Day 227 – Broken Ice and Bells

Please be gentle with me weekend!

As it stands I have to re-do the Elderflower/Lime ice cream a *third* time. I had neither realised nor credited the critical importance of sugar to sorbet. Apparently it spells the difference between nice scoopable sorbet and big chunks of chisel-only ice in the freezer.

There is so much yet to learn.

I just had a semi-nap through part of Nerdist, which means that A: I feel slightly more human, B: I missed part of the discussion with Broken Bells. I enjoyed the track closing the episode. I’ll have to take some time to listen to a whole album this weekend.

spotify:track:5gPrOspTrxMNKKL44h40O2

Even so, I think I’ll sleep early. I want to wake well-rested tomorrow, then return home well-wasted from the gym and take it from there.

Day 226 – Fatigue

Still not getting to sleep at a reasonable time.
It’s not that I’m not tired, but my brain is too alert and swirling with ideas.

Maybe this is just like how it can be hard to fall asleep when a problem is still stuck in my head. When that happens I’ve had a lot of success with writing everything down that I might worry about forgetting and then it just allows itself to switch off.

Maybe something similar applies here.

Tomorrow evening I will start putting all my ideas somewhere that I will not forget them. Fingers crossed that’ll help.

And in between I make ice cream.
Sin will be over to make Port Pears with me.
There will be pictures.

There won’t be samples.

Sorry.

Day 225 – China and Smallworld

Tonight was good.

Ken has returned from China once more. He brought stories of all the places he’s seen. He brought feedback on his tour operator. He brought a terracotta warrior and horse.

Sadly/luckily not the full-size versions, but scale replicas for somewhere in the living room I think. One thing I didn’t know about them is that apparently the originals are all unique; although the bodies may be standard categories, each terracotta warrior has a unique face and hands modelled on real people when they were created.

I’m not sure whether that has something to do with artistic integrity, superstition or the whim of the emperor, but it’s kinda cool to think that the 8000+ statues all have unique features.

There was the obligatory slide show from Ken’s new camera, which sadly didn’t want to work over HDMI on the television. Too late we realised we could have attached it via USB considering every media device is also a computer today.

We had our usual mix of cheese, fruit and chocolate for appetizers.
Kiwi-berries are weird and delicious.

We decanted a bottle of overdue wine that proved very drinkable.

We ordered a multitude of pide delivered to the door.

And then we played Smallworld Underworld for 3. I think I may have mentioned this board game before; it has an interesting premise. Everyone tries to spread their races as far across the board as they can on their own turn… but the game board is purposely designed to be too small to fit everyone. As you conquer lands you start running low on troops and have to let your civilization fall into decline in favour of a fresh new race with more troops.

I came last despite a strong start. My troops were no match for Ken’s Adventurous Spiderines and his Flocking Flames (careful with that pronunciation there). The field wasn’t too wide, me losing at 93, Abbey in second on 95 and Ken on… I think 113 he said?

A very enjoyable evening.

And now I need some very enjoyable sleep to be fresh for a long day.

Day 224 – Professional Juggling

Some days management feels like juggling.
With 7 clubs of differing sizes.
Whilst wading through 3 feet of treacle.

Oh, and one of the clubs may have sharp spikes coming out of it through half of the handle that you’d do best to avoid as well.

At the base level there is a certain routine to it. Things that happen every single week, such as catch-ups with staff and business interests, project meetings, team meetings, time sheets. Listening to concerns from others and then trying to take action on everything before I forget again what they have told me.

Making a routine definitely helps in leaving opportunities for people to remind me when something slips behind the sofa-cushions of the work week.

Where the juggling gets complicated is with the ad-hoc tasks that come my way. It’s a mix of all kinds, and because most of it seems non-recurring, it involves a learning curve each time. And often it’s not clear whether something is important or merely urgent. (And sometimes it’s the trivial disguised as one of the other two).

I really don’t know why I feel as swamped as I do, because objectively my team isn’t that large, and the number of projects we work on isn’t particularly overwhelming. There just is a lot of un-optimised process surrounding it all that I’m still learning to wade my way through most efficiently.

Maybe it’d help to drain some of the treacle though.
2 feet of treacle is plenty.

Day 223 – …

I’m not quite sure what to do with today.

On the up-side, the intermittent stomach-ache I’ve had since the middle of last week seems to finally have disappeared. On the down-side, it didn’t do so before making me miss out on Wet’n’Wild tonight. (I hope the weather keeps for later this week)

Work was a mixed bag of urgent, important and trivial. I think on the whole I achieved something, even though I cannot quite articulate precisely what.

And the gym was a struggle. But by choice. I don’t feel too bad after pushing through some extra weight, so either I’m improving quickly… or I’m going to pay for it tomorrow.

Watched some Fringe.
Helped with some analysis.
Played some Isaac.
Browsed.

It doesn’t feel very productive, but there was a whole lot of “stuff” in the day.
And now I’m just tired.

Maybe I’ve spent today too much inside my own head?

Day 222 – Carrot Cake!

I dozed my way through a large chunk of today. No idea what’s gotten over me.

I did manage more ice cream between naps. I really like how easy the new machine makes it to decide to do another experiment. Immediate gratification FTW.

Today’s recipe was an interpretation of “carrot cake ice cream” as suggested by Abbey. The frosting turned into the base, and the base into garnish.

First: bake 1 carrot cake, slice it into small pieces.

Proto-Ice-Cream
Proto-Ice-Cream

Next: mix 500ml cream cheese + 300ml cream + lots of Frangelico. Place into ice cream maker and run for 20 minutes. Add pieces of carrot cake into the mixture. Run for another 20 minutes.

Finally: decant into container, and decorate with walnuts on top. Freeze.

The mixture tasted okay, but I haven’t tried the finished product yet. Not the biggest fan of cream-cheese-based-desserts, but the Frangelico makes up for a lot. Tasting notes later.

More sleep now?

Day 221 – Today’s Recipes

Technically speaking, neither of the mixtures I prepared today qualify to be called ice cream as such.

First experiment was Banana-Froyo, just out of curiosity for how well it’d work. Simply tip a tub of 5AM Vanilla into machine. Let run for 20 minutes. Slice one banana into small pieces. Mix banana in. Let run for another 20 minutes. Done!

This recipe worked out really well, and is very low-effort.

Second experiment was the Elderflower/Lime Sorbet suggestion from the competition. I’m not sure how it worked out yet; sorbets are a little tricky. Create 1l of Elderflower cordial mixture, using about 150-200ml of cordial syrup. Squeeze and strain two limes into the mixture. Put into machine. Let run for about 60 minutes.

Sorbets like this do not set as well as I’d like. At some point the entire contents end up rotating with the paddle, meaning not a lot of mixing is going on. It tends to leave residue of unfrozen mixture.

Still, taste-test of the mixture have proven it has a nice flavour.
I just keep my fingers crossed it sets in the freezer in a fashion that is still scoop-able.

Day 220 – Plans and Schemes

It’ll feel strange to have a weekend with no Wet’n’Wild in it.

This weekend I’ll be doing whatever I can to help with the bathroom renovations. I’m going slowly insane without a shower at home. If I start gibbering in the coming weeks you’ll know what’s going on.

There will also be a jigsaw in this weekend. A puzzle that is; family gatherings over puzzles are too far in the past. I get a bit OCD over puzzles, but it’s a great way to let the impulse run its course in a controlled environment. You might want to give it a try yourself.

And I’ll be making some ice cream.

Today I at long last handed Peter his winnings. I still need to work out when Sin has time to come over and make Port Pear Ice Cream with me.

But I also intend to work out what Carrot Cake Ice Cream is supposed to be, and make it. And I will be making Elderflower/Lime Ice Cream for Amelia.

Not sure what I’ll do with any left-over time.
If there is such a thing.

Also, I left my stray thought at work, so I’ll have to leave thinking it for Monday. I’m not going into work on the weekend to gather my thoughts.