Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 258, 161109

This is a bit of a catchup post.

I've not been doing much on 101things recently, because of other stuff getting in the way. Fully aware that you chaps aren't necessarily interested in that, I won't write about those things in great detail.

The beetroot pasta task (#36) needs a little explaining; I don't want to make pasta out of beetroot per se, but to use beetroot as a colouring agent so I end up with reddy purple pasta. Funky colours, see? The problem is, you need quite a lot of beetroot to get the colour. As an example of this, I present some marshmallows that I made a couple of weeks ago:
See that faint pinky colour? Two beetroot (grated and steeped in 100ml boiling water) in about 750ml of liquid. If a normal pasta dough is 500g of flour, I'm going to need the colour of six beetroot to get anything like the colour I want, and I can't have that much fluid in it, as the dough is basically egg and flour, with only a few sprinkles of water. Cooking beetroot juice turns it brown, too, so I can't concentrate it through evaporation. This is going to take some thought. Yes, I could cheat and make gnocci, but where's the fun in that?

Sam and myself are making a gingerbread army. Wedding favours for a friend of Sams, with proceeds going to charity, like we did with the Charming Armley Cake Comp. This has meant my making a lot of trial runs of gingerbread, but the final batch will be started next week; a mixture of maple syrup, pulverized stem ginger and careful use of bicarb will make these the finest gingerbread men and women the world has ever seen. Photos when available.

Exposure Leeds (#85) continues to skip lightly forwards; I think I've attended all the indoor ones to date and given talks at three of them. I was thinking about this the other day; in the 18 months since I met Jon Eland I've given four separate talks at Photocamps and three talks at Exposure Leeds sessions, and become involved in a pretty huge technology project. It's fun, I enjoy doing it, it's just an odd thing. Anyway, at the last Exposure I gave a talk on Panographs and Panoramix, the slides of which are available in four parts: [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4]. If you'd like me to present this anywhere - because obv, 80% of this is in the delivery - I'll do it for expenses :)

Because I needed to do proper research for my talk I popped into Leeds University's Arts library, the Brotherton. This enabled me to tick off another library from task 17. The Brotherton is a fab library, with special collections, books that are never checked out, and little corners to hide in. The little corners can be occupied by "characters" as in the case of the Library Foot-Sniffer, the scourge of many when we had open access to the libraries, but on the whole it's a lovely place to be. As a part of the talk I made a panorama of the interior...


... and came across a book that I had to check out; David Hockney's Cameraworks. This book contains most - not all - of his "joiners" and some I didn't know existed, and has an interesting monograph at the front by the compiler about the hows and whys. I may spend a bit of time writing about this book at some point.

Once the gingerbread army is out of the way I'll be making more chocolates, and trying to write up some articles for T&C. But... I had an idea for a cookbook. I shouldn't waste time on it, but as an idea I love it and want to take it forward, just a little bit.

That'll do for now. Just a quick state of the nation -type posting.

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