Go Betweens.) Heavy rains are far more pleasing when the volume of water is so impressive. Rain pools in every crevice and creates rivulets down windows. I have happy memories of walking home as a student and being so soaked that there was no point in a brolly. These days at the end of a dry winter, it is a relief to see a decent rainfall.
my last attempt to make honeycomb. Humidity is the enemy when it comes to honeycomb. Dry conditions means smooth, crisp, shatter. Moisture means a sticky mess that melts in your hand not in your mouth.
I partly made the honeycomb to use up the liquid glucose, partly to entertain Sylvia, and partly because our Australian version, Violet Crumble is a sentimental favourite. My dad loved it and we gave it to him for many Christmases as a kid. I would have loved it even more as a kid if I had had the fun of watching it puff up when the bicarb hit the sugary mixture. (Though I was a little confused about what it meant by letting the bubbles subside.)
I like the suggestion in Coles Magazine, where we found the recipe, that it would make a great gift but we just snacked on it. It was perhaps too sticky to keep very long. I suspect this might be a good gift if made in the cooler climate of the Northern Hemisphere or shortly before giving in Australia's warm climate.
- When I left the UK in 2002, I had thought I had closed my account with Lloyds Bank. But they kept sending letters to my parents' address. After receiving a new Lloyds visa card recently I sent a complaint. The bank rang to let me know that my account was never closed because 10p of interest had been added after I "closed" my account and they apologised. What a waste of resources for 10p. Incidentally I have had to query a disputed transaction on a visa card and spoke to a very nice person then too. Are bank's service improving or just when they need to apologise!
- I was sent a parking fine but when I checked the location, I found that it was a street I have never heard of. Luckily I had a receipt for a payment I made in another part of the city to prove I was not there. I have appealed and am waiting to hear back.
- There was the very sad story last week about a car bursting into flames and the driving lunging at people with a knife in Burke Street in Melbourne's CBD. It was tragic that he killed Sisto Malaspino of Pelligrinis cafe. A more heartening story was "Trolley Man", a homeless man who has been hailed a hero for pushing a shopping trolley at the killer. I know it is not always the ideal response but I still would like everyone to have a Trolley Man as a modern day guardian angel at their back.
- My boss spoke at a conference recently and as he went in to speak, the organisers played the music of Star Wars. One of my colleagues wanted to check they didn't play the Darth Vader theme!
- I spoke to an undergrad maths student who told me he did a maths exercise that took 58 pages to work through. Now that is a maths problem!
- I recently finished Claire Tomalin's fantastic memoir, a Life of My Own. I continue to marvel at her literary life. However the comment she made that keeps coming back to me is that she thought she was making decisions about her life but when she looks back she finds she was just a product of her time. I keep reflecting on decisions I make and wondering how much agency I have. Goodness that takes me back to studying Tess of the D'Urbervilles in Year 12 and discussing determinism vs free will.
More chocolate treats that make good gifts on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate nutella caramel cups (gf)
Chocolates with peppermint filling (gf, v)
Chocolate salami (gf, v)
Rocky road (gf, v)
Vegan bacon and seed chocolate bark (gf, v)
Vegemite fudge 2.0
Chocolate dipped honeycomb
Slightly adapted from Coles Magazine, November 2018
1 1/4 cups castor sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup glucose syrup
2 1/2 bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
250g dark chocolate
Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
Stir sugar, water, golden syrup and glucose syrup over low heat in a large saucepan for 5 minutes or until sugar is melted. (I think this took a lot longer than 5 minutes.) Turn up heat and bring to the boil. Cook without stirring 10 minutes or until temperature reaches 145 C (this was a lot less than 10 minutes for us) or hard crack stage (ie drop lump in cold water to see if it is hard).
Let bubbles subside (I still don't understand this but am adding it - we let it sit a minute or so). Sift bicarb soda over the mixture. Gently but quickly mix bicarb into the mixture and scrape into prepared tin. Let this cool - it will be a couple of hours.
Once honeycomb mixture is cool, chop into chunks. Melt dark chocolate (we do this in the microwave, making sure there are a few lumps at the end to be stirred in so we don't overheat it). Dip honeycomb into the chocolate and leave on baking paper to set.
On the Stereo:
Northern Attitude: The Fall