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Fun stuff from around the web

Grab a coffee and spend some times perusing our blog.

Having just finished our latest cookbook I was struck by the words of wisdom from Gizmodo arguing that we should be using scales for ALL our measurements in our recipes. The argument goes something like this:

Recipes work better when you weigh ingredients. A cup of flour can weigh between 4 and 6 ounces. That means if you’ve got a bread or cake recipe that calls for 4 cups of flour, you might measure out 16 ounces or 24 ounces—a 50% difference in the main ingredient! . . . Measuring is easier and cleaner and results in fewer dirty measuring cups when you use a scale. You can measure everything right into your mixing bowl.

Makes sense to me – you can read more here:

The Kitchen Scale, Unsung Hero of Great Cooking – Kitchen scales – Gizmodo.



Amazing video about the relationship honey birds have with african tribesmen that has evolved over thousands of years. The wild honey birds lead the hunters to wild bees’ nests so the hunters can get the honey – in return the hunters leave some of the honey out to reward the birds. Fascinating!



Thanks to NASA you can see the effect that man has on the environment. Below is a photo of the Aral sea – the word’s 4th largest inland sea.

Rivers were diverted, dams were added to irrigate cotton farms etc. As a result, towns that lined the shores of the sea and derived their economy from fishing are now abandoned. Sometimes it takes a view from space to see just how fragile our planet is and what impact we are having on this planet.



Wandering around the restaurant last night I noticed some glowing dots coming from a log in the garden. Upon closer examination they were coming from tiny mushrooms. The light is bright enough to catch your eye but still took nearly 20 seconds of exposure to bring you this photo:

The largest mushroom cap is about the size of your finger nail.

They seem to spring up after heavy pro-longed rain and apparently as they grow, a chemical reaction involving luciferin (a light-emitting pigment contained within the mushrooms) occurs, causes them to glow a ghostly green.



I know what I’m cooking this Saturday morning:



I’m not sure about this one – but according to About.com in the Thai food section, someone has posted a technique for cooking sticky rice in your rice cooker. And no, apparently you don’t have to soak it over night. I haven’t tried this technique yet but if you want to be the first let us know how it turns out.

Ingredients:

  • SERVES 4
  • 2 cups  “sticky” or “glutinous” rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preparation:

  1. Place 2 cups sweet rice in your rice cooker. Add 2+ 1/2 cups water and stir.
  2. Let the sweet rice stand for 30 minutes (or longer if you want – up to 4 hours).
  3. Add the salt and stir once more. Turn on your rice cooker.
  4. When your rice cooker switches off (after 15-20 minutes), let the rice sit at least five minutes extra.
  5. Enjoy your sticky rice!

Sticky Rice Tip: Sticky rice will become sticker the longer it sits.



There’s a reason you should never look at the sun – that’s because NASA does it for you and when they do they see cool stuff like Jupiter and its moons travelling behind the sun – if you were to do it you’d see your retinas fried:

That mild green glow on the left side of the sun is billions of tons of plasma blasting off the surface into outerspace.



Despite the fact that since the dawn of civilization we’ve been buying and eating at village markets, the USA has introduced the ‘Food Safety Modernisation Act’. Essentially regulating and forcing registration on any producer who produces food of any kind and then transports it – the fines for non compliance are horrific.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “those whacky Americans” … but seriously, our politicians lack any sort of imagination and I think it’s only a matter of time before we see similar laws in Australia. Which could mean the death of farmers’ markets and a big win to Woolworths and Coles.

Farmers’ markets are a great solution for these troubled economic times – keeping the money in the local community where it gets spent locally. Let’s hope that our politicians leave our markets alone.

On another note, if you want to fight the economic meltdown, why not plant a vegetable garden and get some chooks? Not only do you save money but you now have some chores to give the kids that gets them away from their play stations.



If the kids are begging you to put some crayons in the microwave ‘ to see what happens’ or you are wondering what would soap do if you set it on high for a few minutes – then I’ve got the site for you. Heaps of videos of every day items put in a microwave and ‘nuked’. The videos are sped up which helps if you’re impatient like me and need to see results fast.



Remember Mythbusters tried to work out if Archimedes really did defeat an invading navy by setting fire to their boats with a parabolic mirror. Behold the power of the sun …



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