Sarah C

1
Sep 10

CSI: Twix Fino

FT1 comment • 229 views

Int: THE LAB.

LITTLE GREG: [pokes at a finger of squared off chocolate that looks like it’s been squished by a Big Hand] We found this at the grime scene. It appears to be a new type of Twix product. But not a limited edition flavour that hangs around the big players and disappears after several months! It looks like a whole new product from the Twix brand. Could it cause (arf), a ‘ripple‘?

NICK STOKES: Are you sure about this, Little Greg? Twix Limited Editions have a noble tradition – orange, dark-chocolate flavour (when done for Mars, the ‘midnight’ edition?), er, maybe some others? Are you sure the Twix Gang would bother?

LG: Look at the packaging we found under this ‘ere microscope. It is silver – this means “diet” in UK branding, viz “Diet Coke”. Another well-known gang-runner in the brand game. And observe the lettering, “fino”. How continental!

NS: Chocolate is always Different On The Continent isn’t it. A Mars Bar is a Twix in France, isn’t it? And I am sure I ran the Twix Fino through AFIS (Ed: google obv) which said this has been on the continental market already under the name ‘Tropix’.

LG: You are well travelled for someone who lives in Las Vegas and never appears to go on vay-cay. And are you making all of that up?

NS: I’m not even sure myself anymore. But tropix makes mre sense than ‘fino’. Tropical, and Twix! But then again that might make one think it is an Um Bungo flavoured Twix. Only Grissom could get down with that bad boy. Anyway, so you say this is essentially a “Diet Twix”, with a wafer instead of a biscuit. What’s the chemical analysis?

LG: Traces of Kinder Bueno, covered in a bit too much caramel for the quantity of wafer. Tried to take epithelials, but it crumbles to pieces in a very unsatisfactory manner. PH level resting at “I’ll give it a few months”. As depressing ‘diet options’ go, it’s a snooze.

[Shouting is heard from outside the lab]

SOMEONE UPDATING A BLOG: “Bring back the orange flavour!”

NS: [wry look] Can’t get the staff these days.

25
Jul 10

Bare Bear? Hoarse Horse??

FT7 comments • 245 views

Following Wiley’s 200 tracks giveaway and the prospect of 30 extra Mansun tracks, let me add my humble effort to the “bonus content” pile; from the SMTV/CD:UK Annual, here are an extra 31 Wonkey Donkeys, which I hope you will all attempt to act out to your unsuspecting companions with all due expediency. If they get it wrong, show no mercy!

And remember…

19
Mar 10

Shalom Oslo

FT3 comments • 181 views

Whilst Friends of Freaky Trigger are off today placing moneys on horseys, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, William Hill have given odds for Eurovision 2010. Can you guess where the UK might be placed, given Pete Waterman decided not to bother with the “chorus” this year? Let’s see what happens as the song, um, ‘evolves’ before Oslo. Odds under the jump (h/t Boom Bang A Blog, who is well worth following!)

18
Dec 09

FT Advent Calendar Of Free Online Games: 18th December

FTPost a comment • 129 views

chicken wings are NOT for flying

chicken wings are NOT for flying

Chicken Wings are NOT for Flying!

Ah, who can forget the wide-eyed terror of throwing up a hail of low level umbrellas to catch a clumsy chicken who missed your initial shot, but not being able to stay and look after him as two other chickens are falling down on the other side and they’re scared and they’re crying, wah! They need umbrellas, and I have an unlimited supply! When will these chickens learn that their wings are NOT… for flying.

Fact: this is the only online flash game for which I have actually bought merchandise. A man in the supermarket agreed with me vehemently – “they’re for EATING!”… and then followed me around the aisles (probably seeing if I was going to pick up some of those terrifyingly grey ‘Basics!’ chicken wings).

There are many more beautiful looking games in the same style at orisinal.com, but Chicken Wings… is the only one that has had me in a long term trance of joy as your chubby chicken guardian runs about with umbrellas, flinging them up for his chicks to catch and gently drift down safely to the ground.

Warning: if you try to play this on a trackpad rather than a mouse, there will be tears before bedtime! I am quite sure of this! What we need are games designed to take advantage of their hem hem unique capabilities (or perhaps what *I* need is a USB mouse, hmm).

17
Dec 09

Suga Shikao – ICA

FT4 comments • 481 views

Suga Shikao, looking fiiiiiiiiiine in a red top and waistcoat, reads slowly from the pages of the day’s Metro – Japanese… Jpop… Superstar!! – and everyone at the ICA cheers. I say everyone. It is possible that I squealed at a pitch audible only to small dogs. Small Japanese dogs, at that. Suga Shikao is big business in Japan, and tonight he’s at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. I know two things about him before the show at the ICA: 19sai (19yrs old) (the theme tune from an anime xxxHOLic, though is that relevant? I have never seen it, considering most anime to be king of suck), and, er, his co-authorship of crunchy mega-boyband KAT-TUN’s best seller ‘Real Face’. WHAT OF IT.

suga shikao

suga shikao, making jam, yesterday

Overheard some comments that ‘Japanese fans have a lot riding on Suga Shikao’ … ‘ambassador of Jpop’… never mind, ‘broke all the rules of pop’. What, precisely, would Japanese fans have riding on Suga Shikao? A domestic artist conquering abroad, being showered in laurels and then a victorious Moomin Saver flight back to Narita having glorified Jpop and saved the industry? First of all – this was a gig, this wasn’t representation and record releasing for the UK Christmas No1, and wasn’t a track hastily recorded in English to please a prolific songwriter (thank goodness)! A serious market break… doesn’t sound like it?
»
More

5
Dec 09

THE FT TOP 25 PUBS OF THE 00’s No 20: The Chandos

FT + Pumpkin Publog10 comments • 884 views

Sometimes I feel that I am the only one who likes the Chandos – a large Sam Smiths pub near Charing Cross station where the downstairs always feels kind of old and stuck in time, and the upstairs like a velvet throne of luxury and depraved decadence in comparison! Upstairs, I have witnessed sights that should not be seen, downstairs I am pretty much always sure that I will find sawdust on the floor. WHY this pub makes me think of a Globe-era London (are those bear baiters by the fruit machine?), I don’t really know. The stained glass makes everything shine reds and oranges (see below the jump), making yr prettier companions prettier and your beer more lustrous… (as if such a thing could ever happen to the strange unnatural beauty of a pint of lady sovereign ahem).

Perhaps it is THE MAN with THE KEG who safeguards the pub who makes it so great – (if you squint in the above picture you can see him but pub correspondants will be out with their cameras to capture his full glory soon) – plenty vicarious fun can be had in merrily eyeing the door for a minute or so. The man with the keg stands above the door, bearing the keg.
Given kegs are not very light…oOne day that keg is going fall and rain a rain of BEER on the righteous/unrighteous.

9
Jul 09

power shandy: the next generation

FT + Pumpkin Publog2 comments • 239 views

Facebook asked me to be a fan of women who like beer! I do wonder why. Of course I clicked through, a little concerned it might be a more, ur, specialist site – you know the kind with black bars across the ladies eyes and pixellated bits until you pay a subscription – Oh! Look Out!, I found on two more clickthroughs a page from the brewers? pub company? PR company for a shadowy cabal? for a random pub in Burton on Trent who apparently created the page (? don’t understaaaaand fzbk):

“Every Wednesday evening 2 courses are £11.90 and 3 courses are £14.90 from The Dial Ladies night menu. Visit www.thedial.uk.com to see the full menu.

BEER COCKTAILS ARE JUST £4.95!”

BEER COCKTAILS?!
http://www.bittersweetpartnership.com/experiment/

(Let’s have an example of this beer cocktail then:
Amber Mojito
6 fresh mint leaves / caster sugar / 1/2 lime, cut into wedges / 60ml Havana rum / ice / 100ml ice cold Coors Light / 1 spring mint to garnish)

Well I can’t see WHY you’d want to do this in any way at all but whatever…. for one crazy second I thought this would be like – you know – Black Velvet (guinness and champagne)… but I was wrong. Yet I still don’t know who on earth the Bittersweet Partnership are (I wonder what their name could.. imply…) – ooh and note the “Coors Light”, for the ladies…

More clicking through, and by this time I have developed RSI, I get the “Alfie” page: http://www.bittersweetpartnership.com/whats_it_all_about/. (DYS?). It appears that the main push from the Bittersweet Partnership, via a Facebook intro, is to raise awareness of a super new product. KASTEEL CRU ROSE. You heard. Rose and lager. Rose… and… la…

Rosé lager! All this clicking and we’ve reached the grail. And what a grail! This isn’t just a fruit beer. This is pink wine topped up with Wifebeater!

My Former Boss once poured half a bottle of pink blossom hill into the remnants of his pint of Carling at the end of a boozy lunchtime, and i suspect Kasteel Cru Rose would not at all dissimilar… if you’re reading, Former Boss, perhaps you could sue them? I mean, SOMEONE SHOULD. This hamfisted and bon-bon-bonKERS attempt to get women drinking beer by MAKING IT INTO COCKTAILS is both the worst and best thing ever! Let’s think about the assumption it’s making: women like cocktails. Women don’t like beer. But if it was in a cocktail!! There’s only one problem – and that is that brewed hops plus tequilla plus vermouth plus a maraschino cherry and ideally a sparkler would taste like a Hermesetas addled pig had done his business in your mouth… \o/ \o/ ???

Taking this back to the initial facebook page for “women who like beer” – it’s not surprising that no-one is ‘a fan’, given that by the time we’ve gotten to the crux of this bizarre push, we’re not reeeally talking beer anymore, are we Tonto. It makes me wonder what’s lurking at the bottom of other facebook ads. A fanpage for La Roux will turn out to be advertising Jeremy Vine endorsed stock cubes?!

Oh, and whilst I’m putting “cru” on a beer doesn’t make it any more premium… (hello Kronenboug ‘Premier Cru’ et al, purse, sows ear, springs to mind)…

Full disclosure: you can probably disregard all of this as I myself have been known to sample the power shandy in my younger days (half of budvar, topped up with smirnoff ice). Internet searches give me a whole range of variants on the power shandy – mostly with a “bomb” aspect – i.e drop a shot of midori into a can of Special Brew. One suggestion is for a shot of soju to be chucked in a mug of Hite! Non, mon cher…

11
Mar 09

Hot wet and dripping

FT8 comments • 503 views

Hello, my query is this. Lately I have been doing a lot of cooking using no additional oil or fat in the pan apart from the skin of the meat I’m choosing. The obvious question = why is this a new and exciting thing to me, given it’s bleeding obvious? The second thing is = omg!! The opportunities for dripping!!

Therein lies the question. So far I have a little clay dish with some chicken fat in it (which has been in my fridge since 12 Feb 2009) and RIGHT NOW I am cooking a duck. The duck is cooked skin side down on the lowest heat EVER for 15 mins, and then I will be left with even more fat to store: hurrah!!

QUESTIONS: 1. Will anything go badly wrong if I just pour the duck fat on top of the existing chicken fat?
2. How long can you store dripping for anyway? I have a vague memory of a tub of dripping living in the fridge when I was very small, I was kind of fascinated by it and it never seemed to get used..
3. Is the theory that you just continually keep topping up dripping with fat from yr meat something I have IMAGINED?
4. Is my quest for dripping gonna kill me somehow?

SKOOL ME DRIPPIN’.

If you could answer me within the next hour that wd be grebt as my duck is cooking RIGHT NOW and soon I will add the CABBAGE.

I am making simmered duck with cabbage and potato btw. Just in case you were interested. Oh come on, it’s better than the Goombay Dance Band, isn’t it. OR IS IT (yes).

17
Feb 09

Loose tea woe

FT + Pumpkin Publog6 comments • 280 views

What am I missing here? I am a great fan of Yorkshire Tea for Hard Water, and on finding it in loose-leaf form, nearly wet myself in excitement – but upon opening the tea, you find something akin to… granules? Like Lift Lemon Tea? But they don’t dissolve! BUT, they are so powdery that they slip through any filter and strainer, leading to a well manky cup of GUNK. Wah! Sob! Cry! My life is so hard.

Loose tea is meant to be leaf tea, surely – what’s with the fine powder? Sure, if you’re having INSTANT TEA (my friend put forward the point the other day that ochazuke is kind of instant tea – but this depends if it has some sort of tea granules in it – I have always poured tea over mine, it is TEA SOAKED RICE after all and more tea has never hurt, anyway)… and it’s meant to dissolve, but this stuff doesn’t…

AM I DOING SOMETHING WRONG? Or do I need to visit Taylors of Harrogate and ask “whut up”?

16
Feb 09

a t-shirt with souvlaki tetris on it, now THAT i’d consider~

FT2 comments • 417 views

To anyone who ever played any sort of videogame in the 80s, or if you even wanted to, or even if you DIDN’T but downloaded an emulator anyway because all the cheap hipster shops near you are selling tshirts with ropey graphics of FROGGER on them: you really, really should get Retro Game Challenge for the DS. Sure, it just sounds like another collection of retro mini-games, and that IS the basis of it but oh my, it is so much better than the sum of its parts!

You play the part of someone whose DS is hijacked by an obsessive gamer named Arino, who boasts of his supremacy in ALL GAMING! Indignant at your petty noughties gaming, he sends you back to the past to challenge him, turning you into a kid to take on child!Arino. This has the utterly charming effect of placing two little kids on the floor in front of a tv and gaming console on the bottom screen whilst the game gets played on the DS top-screen. The kids crawl about, sprawl on the floor, punch the air, exclaim out loud at the scary bits, howl in unfairness, fish out magazines for hints and tips (familiar to anyone who read eg SEGA FORCE et al – yeah yeah I’m a generation after typing out debug scripts, deal) and cheer on each other. It sounds nothing special at all but the down to earth charm of it, even the kids stumbling around on the floor and switching on consoles has gotten me OBSESSED.