Saturday, 12 July 2014

Eats, laughs and reads...

Sorry for the long radio silence - I've had a nasty cold/ cough thing that's taken about ten days to shift. So, what's the news?

Twitter gets me food!

While I was sick, I was on Twitter a fair bit. I saw a local independent cafe (BearPit Social) tweeting about their juices and joked about them delivering as I was sick in bed. A bit of banter later and they actually send someone over on a bike with a delicious green juice and a vegan salad. I didn't have enough cash for both but they bought them anyway and said I could pay them back. Awesome customer service!  

 The Bear Pit is a massively ill-conceived underpass area surrounded by traffic. It has been the type of place colonised by homeless people where you wouldn't walk after dark, but efforts are being made to bring it back to life. Good on the Bearpit Social Cafe - I wish them well!

New Author - Brandon Sanderson

Also while I was sick, I finished the first book in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy 'The Final Empire'. I'm now about 3/4 of the way through the second book called 'The Well of Acension'. The Mistborn trilogy is in the high fantasy genre where quite a few novels are derivative drivel but these ones are pretty good.

They have a nice original premise, they're well written with some interesting (if not quite fully rounded) characters. I think Patrick Rothfuss and Lois McMaster Bujold are much better than Brandon Sanderson. George RR Martin comes second, but Sanderson comes in a respectable third along with authors like Robin Hobb.

Comedy gold

The Bristol Comedy Garden came around again and we had tickets to see Ardal O'Hanlon, Nina Conti and Stewart Francis with MC Craig Campbell. Ardal is best known for his role as Dougal in the brilliant BBC comedy show 'Father Ted' (if you haven't seen it, get hold of a box set and prepare for hours of fun!). His stand up is pretty similar to the endearing, bumbling character he played. Flawlessly confident and skilled, great timing and charm for days. Lovely stuff.

Craig Campbell was also a highlight - he's a Candian living in Devon. Very high energy, a bit crude and shouty but obviously good humoured. He was really funny and his rant about how we should value the NHS had the whole tent of several hundred people howling their approval.

Easy food for parties 

We had a really fun blind wine tasting do at a friend's house last night. We tried six carefully chosen wines and guessed at the variety, country, vintage etc. I'm proud that I got three of the varieties right.

Anyway, I got back from work about six and was due there at seven, so what to take for food? My easy-peasy canapes, that's what.

1. Slice a baguette (or French bread) into rounds. Lay on a baking tray and put in the oven for a few minutes. Watch them closely so they get toasted and just golden brown but not too dry.

2. Slather a generous helping of something gooey on them i.e. cream cheese, hummus, chutney, pesto etc.

3. Heap a generous helping of something toothsome on top i.e. salmon on the cream cheese, roasted pepper on the hummus, rare roast beef on the chutney, brie on the pesto.

3. Season and garnish - a little sprinkle of something on top makes all the difference - chives, parsley, a tiny lemon wedge, cracked pepper.

4. Devour! (preferably with little plates or at least nakins as they can be a bit crumby)

These are fine to prepare while early guests are arriving as you can easily give them something to do. I took the toasted bread and the rest of the ingredients with me and assembled at the venue because it was easier than trying to transport the finished product.

So, that's my news. Did you miss me? What have you been up to?


  1. Wow! What service! I need to try that tactic some time...although without the being sick part!

    1. I think the 'oh poor me, I'm sick' bit did help them decide to bring me food, to be honest. :)


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