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Friday, 16 May 2014

Quotes worth saving (16) Dear Ridley Scott...

Over the years, many people engaged on the Alien  franchise had spoken about the need to explain the aliens - where they came from, how they were made, why they were so 'hostile', what they wanted. That was always an understandable mistake. As both figures on the screen and entities in a story, they had a magnificence, an arbitrariness, that would have been spoiled by explanation. Far more important than any causative, narrative answer to how they had acid for blood was their living up to the legendary status of being endlessly renewable, nasty, dangerous and beyond reason. To be alien is to be unknowable.

David Thomson on the Alien Quartet, p. 171 (Bloomsbury, London: 1998)

Friday, 25 April 2014

Foodie Fridays: Treehouse Super Salad

To finish my Welsh holiday themed day, I thought I'd post this salad recipe that was inspired by a visit to the Treehouse Organic Foodshop and Restaurant in Aberystwyth.

Now that the sun's come out to play a little more often, it feels like the time for lots of lovely healthy salads. This one is a complete meal on its own, but could also work as a super side salad at a barbecue or buffet for those that like a bit of excitement with their salads rather than the usual tired green variety.

So, here it is, the (titled by JJ)...

Like a Treehouse tangerine dream in purple, orange, and green!



This salad could easily serve 4 as a main meal, possibly 6 with some extra leaves (I'm thinking Little Gem or Romaine lettuce) and plenty as a side.

Ingredients:

100g Pearl Barley
200g Fine Green Beans
3 Carrots grated
Equivalent amount of Red Cabbage shredded into strips
Iceberg Lettuce shredded (amount is left to personal preference, I only used a small amount)
1/3 Cucumber finely sliced
50g Seed Mix (I had Sunflower, Pumpkin, Linseed, and Sesame)
2 or 3 Tangerines or 1 Small Orange, cut into small pieces
1 small eating Apple, cut into small cubes
(optional)
Fresh Herbs; Parsley, Mint, and Basil
Salad leaves

Dressing:
1 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp of Black Mustard Seeds
1 finely sliced clove of Garlic
Dried Herbs; Mint and Basil, 1 tsp of each
Ground Black Pepper

Method:

1. Soak the pearl barley in cold water for at least half an hour. Drain and rinse. Add to pan with double the amount of salted water to pearl barley (I have a measuring cup and the barley filled it, so I just added two cups of water) and bring to boil with the lid on. Keep covered and reduce to a low simmer, cook for at least half an hour or all the water has been absorbed. After half an hour taste the pearl barley, it should be al dente. When done, drain and cool (run under cold water).
2. While the pearl barley is cooking chop and prep all the other salad ingredients. Top and tail the green beans, but cook them last, you want a bit of crunch with them! Add everything to the biggest bowl you have.
3. Mix up the dressing. Leave in a cup or jug with a spoon for people to add indivdually.
4. Add the cooked pearl barley and now boil the green beans. Four minutes maximum to keep a bit of bite and colour to them.
5. Give it a big stir and serve straight away with extra salad leaves or cover and chill until later. Enjoy!





Photography Friday: Devil's Bridge



While in Wales, we went on the Vale of Rheidol Railway
 to Devil's Bridge and saw the Mynach Falls.

The engine gets up to steam...

As we prepare to leave Aberystwyth station.

The windows are strapped in!

And we're off...

Along the Rheidol valley...

Towards Pontarfynach...

Made it!

The Three Bridges
The lowest is the Devil's Bridge

The falls viewed from the opposite side.

However, we climb down Jacob's Ladder rather then up...

The dark soil means the trees grow crooked
It's almost demonic

Mynach Falls

There are three segmented falls

And several natural caves

I could stand and listen to the falling water for hours

Ready for our return journey


Photography Friday: Aberystwyth

On my holidays...

To the land of the Dragon, Wales!

& Aberystwyth's rocky shore

From the war memorial, we saw a dolphin

At this castle, Owain Glyndŵr led an independent Wales from 1404-1406

Aberystwyth South Beach...

Where sun hats are required!

A lone ship coming back into the harbour...

& into the Marina...

Where you can paint your boat on sunny days.

A cooling walk into the sea edge.

Ornate Aberystwyth architecture.

One day did have more usual British weather...

But the sea was still beautiful...

& it was a fine day to clamber cliffs and explore caves

We found this shrine to 'Our Lady of the Cliffs'

The view of Aber and the north beach from Constitution Hill

Clarach Bay

Clarach Caves

Our last day was beautifully sunny...

Farewell Aberystwyth, hwl fawr am nawr!