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Knowing my predilection for liquorice, some family members recently brought me box of crushed liquorice root back from Egypt. Rather than drink the infusion, I thought I’d attempt to recreate a Heston Blumenthal dish we ate at the Fat Duck 18 months ago: SALMON POACHED WITH LIQUORICE. I remembered I’d kept Blumenthal’s recipe for liquorice jelly from The Guardian in 2003 for exactly this reason. The dish we ate at the Fat Duck was garnished with chicory (without doubt the best chicory I’ve ever tasted), but The Guardian version (and the version on today’s menu at the Fat Duck) recommends pink grapefruit and asparagus alongside the salmon, as “both liquorice and asparagus contain a compound called asparagine”.
Overheard on a train (two women chatting about lunch): “Is taste symmetrical?”, meaning Are Human Taste Thresholds Similar on the Right and Left Sides of the Tongue? Basically, the answer is yes: “taste threshold sensitivity is equivalent on the left and right anterior tongue for most individuals.” And whilst we’re on the subject of eavesdropping, check out Overheard in New York.
David Hempleman-Adams, who broke a 25-year-old world balloon altitude record in December last year with the aim of drawing attention to climate change, broke another world record yesterday, hosting a dinner party for his mates Bear Grylls and Alan Veal, 7,000m (25,000ft) above Salisbury Plain. The three-course meal included asparagus tips, duck a l’orange and fruit terrine. Dining four miles above the earth has its own particular hazards as Patrick Barkham reports in today’s Guardian: “they had to snatch off their masks and gulp their food before taking some more oxygen, while being careful not to drop anything – a spear of asparagus falling from that height could kill someone.
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Just had my first SkypeIn wrong number: “‘Ello, is that KwikFit?” http://www.skype.com/go/skypebuttons --
Gravity’s Rainbow being my favourite book and all, seems like I have to link to this: “nobody asked me to, but I did it anyway”. Although this is perhaps a more impressive page.
After a year long fling with Sony Ericsson, I’ve come back to Nokia and upgraded to a 6630 Smartphone. Actually, I haven’t dumped the T610 entirely, this will sit next to my server, with a pay as you go SIM, so I can start working on a couple of SMS apps using Tim Ellis’ excellent UltraSMS utility. The 6630 is a great phone. Not only does it have a very usable 1.
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If you can work your way around the site’s terrible navigation, there are some great free fonts to be had here.
My new favourite internet radio station. Also available in iTunes’ “Eclectic” category.
I’m a huge fan of Basecamp and have been a happy and productive basecamper for six months or so. My favourite feature has always been the To-Do list and now 37signals have released this as a separate app: Ta-da Lists. In their own words, “just what you need and nothing you don’t”. Best of all, it’s free.
One of the highlights for me at the PAL Digital Science Lab for Wellcome/NESTA I attended recently was an evening spent sampling a couple of Dean Maddon’s cocktails of nucleic acids. I’m pleased to note that the recipe is available online. Best served in a test tube, obviously.
One of my erstwhile heroes, Jacques Derrida, the Blake Carrington of French Philosophy, is dead. Or perhaps now we just refer to him ‘sous rature’: Jacques Derrida.