June 19th, 2004

(no subject)

I was pottering the web earlier on looking for a crème brûlée recipe when I noted on this page the existence of a book called Elegantly Easy Crème Brûlée. Talk about specialist. It's not that I have any objection to extremely specific recipe books -- as the owner of, variously, Smoked Salmon - Delicious Innovative Recipes, Skewer It! (as the name implies, various kebab recipes) and, as I now discover, two copies of Hamlyn's Fondue Cookbook (anyone want one?) -- but I can't come up with more than half a dozen variations on the basic crème brûlée recipe for love or money. Possibly this is why I haven't written the book.

I am about to start cooking rotwang's super-duper special birthday meal. (I think, given the discussion above, that most of you will be able to figure out what's coming up for dessert.) It's not going to be much of a surprise -- except maybe the starter -- since he specially requested the main course (veal in marsala and mushroom sauce) and the dessert (guess, go on, guess). Trying to find veal in the supermarkets seems to have become a lot harder since I last tried to do so; I probably should have gone to a butcher, sure, but I had a bunch of other stuff to pick up as well. In any case, I bought out the entire stock that our next-to-local Tescos (which was, at one time, their flagship store -- it may still be, and in any case it's huge) had. Two smallish packs. Next time I'll know.

This week has been very busy, work-wise; a lot of deadlines coinciding. I took some time out from work, chores and tidying earlier on today to read Robert J. Sawyer's book Calculating God (having enjoyed Frameshift). Calculating God doesn't seem to have been published in this country at all, or else it's out of print; either way, it's a great shame, because I really enjoyed it. The basic premise is that an alien arrives on Earth wishing to consult a palaeontologist; the unusual aspect is that the alien is from a race which believes in a Creator for the universe, and the discussions between it and the chosen palaeontologist (who has had more reason to contemplate ethical dilemmas than one might expect) are very well drawn.

Right... time to cook.