Sunday, 9 October 2011

Success (Sort of), Pain (Definitely), and A Bridge Between Two Worlds

So another successful slow cooker meal can be added to my list (that makes two). This week it was Hungarian Cholent, which is a kind of stew.

Now although I can say that this new recipe came out delicious, I have to admit that things didn't go exactly to plan....

Firstly, my Haricot beans boiled over, and in mopping up the stove I nearly set the tea towel I was using (as it was the closest absorbent item to hand) on fire. I burnt a hole through it, and had to throw it away. For next few moments I waited for the smoke alarm to go off - but to my relief it didn't.

Although now I'm thinking that might be a bad thing.....

The second hitch I encountered was the fact that my slow cooker wasn't big enough to hold all of the ingredients. I had to leave out a tin of chopped tomatoes (or rather the contents of the tin) and two tablespoons worth of rice. Even with these omissions, my slow cooker was full to the brim.

Luckily, all was not lost. When it was cooked I had two bowl fulls off the Cholent "as is", and then added the tomatoes and the rice. This is cooking off now, and will be ready in about twenty minutes.

Of course I know the reason for the lack of space - I followed the recipe and its measurements as they were printed, even though they were for enough to serve six people. But its all right, as this will last me for at least another two meals.

On a sadly more sour note, I have been today visited by an unpleasant old acquaintence: my bad back.

I was fine this morning, and then when I went to get up off the sofa, WHAM! someone drove several red hot needles into my lower back. You know when it hurts so much you are scared to move? I was like that for a good few minutes. Eventually, like Mick Hucknall, I got up gingerly - but have spent the rest of the day walking like I've soiled myself.

I don't know what has brought this on - maybe it is the long hours I did last week catching up with me that did it. Or maybe it is old age. Whatever it is, I don't like it. I'll have a shower before Downton Abbey tonight, and hopefully that will help relieve it.

Now, there are very few moments in life, where two completely seperate things in your life become linked, or you discover that they are linked. Today, I had one of those moments.

I was watching a programme called "Planet Dinosaur", which this week was about the fight for life between predators and prey. One of the dinosaurs they were focusing on was the Stegosaurus stegosaurus - Google Search and they were describing its armour, namely the set of spikes in its tail. This weapon has been named the "Thagomizer" - but it hasn't been given that name in honour of the scientist who discovered its use. It has in fact been called that in honour of a Cartoonist (my favourite Cartoonist as it happens) who used that exact title in one of his Cartoons in May 1982.
The Cartoonist is called Gary Larson; his cartoons were called "The Far Side", and the cartoon in question can be found at the bottom of this blog.

People have had streets, buildings, asteroids, and inventions named after them, but to have the subject of a cartoon used as a real scientific term - that beats them all for me. I've had the work of my favourite Cartoonist and the subject of a lifetimes interest joined together by one word. That doesn't happen very often, and I think It's fab.

So here's to you, Thag Simmons!


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