Tuesday, 28 April 2015

My Bread Recipe

You Will Need (makes two loaves):
20g of dried yeast
30g sugar (or honey)
620ml tepid water
500g bread flour
500g semolina flour
25g salt (depends on preference)

1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar into half the tepid water by gently stirring it with a fork.
2. On a (very large) surface or bowl, mix the two flours and salt together and make a well in the centre.
3. Pour the dissolved yeast into the well but bit by bit (here is when it gets messy and the water starts to drip out in every direction if you don't do it gradually). Make circular motions with your hands to work the liquid into the flours. This should make a very moist dough.
4. Kneading is a lot of fun but make sure to do it thoroughly for five minutes -no more no less. Make sure your hands and the surface are constantly covered in flour.
5. Put the dough in a bowl with cling film on top and place it in a warm place with no draught (e.g a proving draw or above a warm oven). Leave for 40 minutes; until it has doubled in size.
6. Now you have to punch all the air from it. Just whack it a few times with your fist until all the excess air has disappeared. Now mould into your shape and leave to prove again for another 40 minutes. While the dough is proving, heat the oven to 225 degrees
7. Dust a baking tray with semolina flour and put the loaves of bread on it then into the oven for 25 minutes.
8. Smother your bread in homemade marmalade or dip it in balsamic and oliver oil.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Noki's First Holiday

A week ago my family and i took a holiday to the South of France and since this was our first holiday while having a dog, we decided to take her with us. Noki did not enjoy the two day car journey but soon recovered when she saw the garden. Every day we went on a three hour dog walk and it was so enjoyable to go at different times like the evening or very early. Noki also got a lot of attention from all the people there and she met her first donkey, horse and sheep, which was quite amusing. Because she is still an unreliable puppy, we bought her a 45m lead that we attached to a tree so that she could run around all day. She relished the garden sprinkler and tried to bite the water sprouting out.

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Host Review

While on holiday, my family decided that we should watch a different type of film. So here is where we found a very strange, slightly political, Korean film called The Host. It addresses the problems of humans not caring about the environment and the incompetences of governments. What i found most interesting was that you almost did feel much sympathy for the main family because they were just as incompetent as everyone else!

At the start of the film, the Americans dump a load of chemicals into the South Korean sea and this creates a monster. This monster steals the daughter of a failed father and granddaughter and niece to the rest of the family members. The father, who is comically useless, is infected with a 'virus' from the monster. The government goes insane trying to cure him but he just wants to fight back and save his daughter. With his father, sister and brother he attempts to find his daughter but encounters a few problems along the way.

What i enjoyed most about the film was the humour that was brought with a strong message. I am a strong believer in being environmentally friendly and the reason that this monster was made was because of the pollution of the Korean sea. The monster is a bit of a metaphor because like pollution, it was caused by us and will kill us. The colouring of the film is dark and grey, which fits with the horror theme. Although i don't like horrors, i though this one was done well because there were tense moments but there was still a story to follow. The animations were really believable and i liked the idea of a shark with legs. It was interesting that you were not made to feel empathetic towards the characters despite their situation. They were all so different but just as useless as each other. The political message of the film was showing how incapable the government can be and how America has destroyed so much (chemicals in sea and strong reference to Agent Orange). Overall, this being the first South Korean film i have watched, i really enjoyed its 'Jaw' type ideas. I would recommend this to any one how wants to try something that isn't a hollywood film or doesn't like very scary horrors. But after watching this, you might not want to swim afterwards!

4 out of 5 stars


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Half Way Through Misfits Review

I am halfway through series three and am delighted with my choice of TV show. In series one and two, we follow the five main characters but hardly discover anything about their past. In the first series, there is an equal amount of storyline about their crime and their superpowers. I really enjoyed seeing what people have to do on community service and how useless it seams to be; they had to dance with old people and sort through rubbish. The characters slowly become more and more obscene. My favourite part of series one is in the last episode when Nathan makes a hilariously-accurate speech about how messed up our generation is and how different it is to all the others. The speech will make you realise that this is okay and it is supposed to happen. The acting becomes more believable as we find out more about the character's personalities.There is an abrupt departure of (spoiler alert) Nathan at the end of series two, which doesn't seam to affect the group much but I was annoyed because he was the hottest one and had the most outrageous humour. The best thing about Misfits is the unexpected twists in the story line that seam to occur all the time.

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Half Way Book Review: Jane Eyre

We started reading Jane Eyre a few months ago in school and i am enjoying the historicalness and coming-of-age theme of the book so much that i wanted to review it. I am a little under half way through this book. The book starts with Jane in her cousin's house explaining her situation (orphan, lives with cousins, dead uncle). She also explains what was happening while she was explaining this: her heinous cousin John is abusing her and she gets no attention from her aunty. After being provoked by John she lashes out and after this is sent to the "Red Room" and then to Lowood Institution. Lowood Institution is a very religious and rigorous boarding school that people send their unwanted or poor children to. Subsequently, she stays there and miraculously survives. Jane (the narrator) then skips eight years to her being a teacher at Lowood who is advertising for a new job as a governess. When she gets accepted, she willingly leaves Lowood for a new job at Thornfield. Here is where she slowly becomes closer friends with her master despite their class difference.

The story is told from future Jane's memory and point of view. She describes things from so far from her past in great detail. The younger Jane is quite similar to the older Jane because they are both very confident and outspoken. Jane is constantly described as plain and i agree with this; she has a very basic personality towards other people but just like every young person, she over thinks and the reader gets to see this. Finally i have found a character that the narrater explains to be plain and not very beautiful and actually is how they describe; so many novels exaggerate characters but Jane is just plain! What i liked the most so far was the eight year gap for her time at Lowood. This shows that life at Lowood was repetitive and the same for eight years. When she explains the eight year gap, she addresses the reader and directly explains in a chatty manner why she left this gap. I like the sudden pauses in the story where Jane starts to talk to the reader. The character personalities are very clear and different and Adele is honestly the funniest French girl ever. I noticed that Jane is very much like Cassandra from I Capture The Castle; both keep themselves to themselves but can be quite confident.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

New Music 2

This is the second post in my new music series; each week i try out some new music. This week it isn't hip hop like The Mouse Outfit but it is modern alternative jazz. This band from melbourne is called The Cat Empire. I know, what's up with me choosing bands that have animals in their name? I discovered them when i was looking at the line up for The Secret Garden Party. I only realised that the album i have been listening to was released in 2003 but i still love it. All the songs have jazz instrumental parts or repeating rhythms on saxophones, trumpets and trombones. I love the reggae style beats on some on the songs and the stories told in the singing. The heavy bass line and sudden changes in the music will make up want to dance. I can listen to their music while i do my homework because it is so upbeat. My favourite songs are Beanni and How To Explain. Beanni is a very jazz/big band song with a jazzy, happy feel to it. How to Explain has funny lyrics and the catchiest chorus ever with random synchronised sounds and a small raps.


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Lure Fish and Chips

Lure is a local fish and chip shop that we have been going to since it first opened last year. We have only eaten inside once but have taken food away on numerous occasions. It is a small-ish restaurant with very basic pinterest-worthy colour co-ordinated interior. It has little booths, which remind me of hip American diner. It also has rustic stools on the seats looking out onto the street. The waiters there are really polite and have complimented our dog Noki many times.

Fish and chips never entirely attracted me until this restaurant lured me in (oh the pun). The fresh-flavoured homemade-tasting fish makes up for their small take-away menu. Haddock is their main fish that is the exactly how you would imagine a crispy battered fish from the seaside. It comes with a small pot of homemade tartare sauce. I have also had their miso infused salmon and calamari, which is so crispy and full of flavours. The best thing in the whole shop is their side order of Fennel-Slaw. It is just a brown box of perfectness. It is basically coleslaw made out of fennel without the liquidness and creaminess of normal coleslaw. Overall, Lure is my favourite takeaway (along with the local Japanese) because it is tastes very homemade and full of British flavour like fish and chips should be.

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