Busy times

by Mads Toftum
June 03, 2009 at 23:59 | categories: soulfood

"Time flies when you're having fun". Based on empirical studies carried out over the last couple of months, time also flies when you're busy at work. If I had to guess without checking a calendar, we can't have been going at it for more than a couple of weeks ... except for the fact that the weather is now a lot warmer than when we started 3 months ago.
Luckily we're only 10 days away from ramping down for the summer. I'm looking forward to getting caught up on life outside work once more. Spring cleaning is long overdue, I need to catch up on an ever growing pile of reading and emails, there's 4 or 5 blog entries to write...
Another thing that's high on the todo list is finding a bit more time to take pictures. Last weekend was the first time in ages I got to shoot a few pics in the park. Weather permitting, I'll be back at my favorite spot, listening to the waterfall and ignoring the phone.


My favorite spot


Blues blogging - Johnny Lang

by Mads
June 13, 2008 at 23:06 | categories: soulfood

Most of the music I listen to is either Blues or something closely related. Ten years ago when the fabulous movie Blues Brothers 2000 came out, there was some very great music in it. Many good old classics and then there was a 17 year old Jonny Lang with a voice that sounded more like a 40-year-old blues veteran than a North Dakota farm boy.

So what to choose as an example? I went with "Wander this world" because of the lyrics. YouTube didn't have one with images and good sound, so this is sound only.



Blues blogging - Joe Bonamassa

by Mads
April 05, 2008 at 22:00 | categories: soulfood

Most of the music I listen to is either Blues or something closely related. Most of it is not very recent, and finding new stuff isn't always easy. Lately I've been listening a lot to Joe Bonamassa after my sister gave me Blues Deluxe.




Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns

by Mads
March 25, 2008 at 23:38 | categories: food, soulfood, cooking

Lately I've found some time to bake again and over the easter break, I've been trying out a recipe for Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns in Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor (pg. 136-139).
From looking at the recipe, one could almost expect something with a texture like crackers, but the basic technique does work creating something that's quite soft and pleasant. That being said, the recipe isn't perfect. First of all, it calls for rolling out to a size of only 9 inches square which given the amount of cinnamon sugar filling just doesn't work. I literally had more sugar dropping out than staying in and some of the sugar didn't melt during baking. So my notes for the next time I work up my courage for another round:

  • roll out to 0.5 cm thickness instead of 0.5 inch
  • seal the edge with egg
  • cut to 1 cm thickness instead of 1 inch to let them finish baking before browning
  • use the full 24 hours and remember that a winter cold kitchen probably doesn't qualify as room temperature
  • The 30 seconds microwave trick still brings the bread back to life from slightly stale

My favorite book out of the four by Peter Reinhart that I have so far is still Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers. It's recipes are for more conventional breads, but probably a bit more involved than the ones in the Whole Grain Breads book.
If you're serious about baking, then I can't recommend his books enough. There may be a lot more planning than conventional baking, but the results are well worth the effort.


Vacation over

by Mads
January 29, 2008 at 13:23 | categories: soulfood

For the first time in ages (since 98 or 99) I decided that I needed a vacation and did something about it. (Sure, I've had plenty of time off, but apart from a short trip to Paris in 2005, all I've done is visit family or "vegetate" at home).
Choice wasn't really as varied as I'd hoped for, but I managed to get my 2 weeks at Hilton Sharks Bay in Egypt. The place isn't too bad, but for someone like me who didn't go to spend my time at the beach or in the bar getting drunk on all inclusive, it was a bit of a mixed experience. Having paid for "4 stars" all-inclusive, I certainly would have expected the food to be more than the average rather bland food that they served. I'm told it will improve in the future with a more varied menu cycling over 2 week periods rather than the same menu every week (which made my second week of dining very much a deja-vu experience). Service ranged from poor to great.
The other point that failed was the peace and quiet I'd hoped for. No matter where you go outside, there's either construction work and air conditioners going in overdrive. Not the traffic that keeps me awake at home, but with paper thin doors and walls and lots of steel wheels going by on the tiled floors, there was more than enough disturbance along with the noise from the airport.
Enough grumbling, I still managed to keep thoughts of work down to less than five minutes, so that part along with managing all but 2 of the chapters I'd wanted to read from Java: How to Program, it's been good and not something that's going to take another 9 years before I repeat.
All that is left now is figuring out where to spend all my newly gained energy ;)


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