Archive for the ‘My Life Musings’ Category

Cooking with draliman – Hey Pesto!

October 13, 2017 54 comments

Here’s what my lovely friends in the village got me for my birthday.


There were even instructions on what to do! My first problem was, in fact, the instructions. Everything is measured in cups! Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? What size cup? Teacup? Coffee mug? How can you have a “cup” of grated cheese? Surely you get a different amount depending on how finely you grate it? A “cup” of basil? It’s leaves!

Fortunately, Google had the answer. It converted stuff to ounces. Ounces! What? Further Googling converted it to grammes. Phew, this is hard work and I haven’t even started cooking yet.

So I chopped everything up and pounded away in my new mortar and pestle. And it did, to my surprise, become a paste.


Next, into a bowl, add the cheese and olive oil and mix. Yes, I added way too much cheese. Somewhere between “cups”, “ounces” and “grammes” something went a bit awry.


Now to cook the pasta. It’s been years since I cooked pasta. I assumed it would shrink when cooked like everything else. It didn’t. So I ended up with far too much.


And boy was it tasty 🙂


Categories: My Life Musings Tags: ,

Draliman’s First Bake Extravaganza!

July 2, 2016 71 comments

Yes, you heard it correctly. I’ve done some baking! If you discount helping my mum as a toddler or cooking stuff in Home Economics at school, my first baking ever!

I am also tentatively linking this post to Maria and Rosema’s Word-High July for yesterday. The Filipino word was “kilig” meaning “butterflies in one’s stomach”, as I had butterflies in my stomach over the outcome of my baking!

I decided to make a Victoria Sponge, so I found a recipe on the BBC website from none other than Mary Berry.

I toddled off down the shops and got the ingredients, cake tins, mixing bowl, a cooling rack and so on. What I didn’t get was an electric mixer so I used a wooden spoon (old school!) and also I didn’t have any way to actually measure ingredients 😦

So “225g of self-raising flour” turned into “that’s about 1/6 of the bag, so that’s about down to the top of the logo on the packet – bung it in!”

Here is the finished creation. After I ate a huge slice.


It’s very tasty! I gave some to my friends and they were very impressed by how light the sponge was.

So, I am classifying my first ever baking attempt as a success! I will be buying kitchen scales and an electric mixer, though 🙂

Pizza by Draliman!

December 14, 2015 49 comments

I mentioned in a post last week that I was going to try making my own pizza. And I did! Here’s how it all began.

Evil Dr. Zog's hidden volcano lair.

Evil Dr. Zog’s hidden volcano lair


I carefully mixed the flour into the water/yeast/sugar. They don’t tell you that when you do that, the water starts leaking out. And it’s gross. And no matter how much flour you put on your hands, the dough still sticks to you.

That done, it’s time to chop basil for the sauce while waiting for the dough to rise and go springy or whatever.

At last I get to use my big death knife

At last I get to use my big death knife


Fingers still miraculously intact, I check the dough. It has risen, hooray!

Risen and springy and whatnot

Risen and springy and whatnot


Open the fridge – what to put on it? Everything!

Pile it on!

Pile it on!


Into the oven and – ta-da!




My first baking since Home Economics at school, early 1980s. Very tasty!

Categories: My Life Musings Tags: , ,

5 Day Challenge – Odd Jobs

July 3, 2015 22 comments

Odd Jobs. No, not this guy.

Odd Job

Picture from

This is Day Four of the Five Day Challenge, which Gill over at In Touch with Emma nominated me for. The rules are:

“Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph (and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge – I’m not doing that bit).”

I have two photos for you today.

Ever since I moved in, the grill in my cooker has been a bit iffy and finally it broke. Then a couple of weeks ago the oven broke as well, leaving only the hob functional. But you can’t cook a pizza on the hob :-(. So here is my new cooker. I’ve helpfully labelled the different sections.



(a) – Chilli heating section

(b) – Cheese grilling apparatus

(c) – Pizza cooking compartment

I also needed to fix one of the steps leading to my house. So armed with some quick-drying mortar and tools borrowed for here and there, I gave it a go. My first ever attempt at such a job! It’s not very neat, but my main aim was to make sure it was solid so I smeared the mortar everywhere.

Fixed Step


Job done :-).

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Bring on the raccoons!

November 13, 2014 23 comments

Guess what I got?

A cute raccoon picture from Goldfish’s Etsy store, as seen on FishOfGold!

Did you guess?

I opted for the matt finish in the white border, and popped down town for a frame. Here he is hanging proudly on my living room wall.


How cute is that?

I had terrible trouble choosing as there are so many cute animals on there, but I’m more than happy with my raccoon. It arrived in double-quick time too!

Thanks, Goldfish 🙂

Categories: My Life Musings Tags: , ,

Spooky Puppy!

October 31, 2014 32 comments

As some of you know, I always buy Puppies on a Roll toilet paper, and each pack gives me Puppy Points, until the end of the year anyway, when the scheme ends :-(.


I have used some of my last points to get a frightening, horrifying Halloween scene! Are you ready? Are you sure? Here goes…


Horrifying! Spooky!

Come out from behind the sofa! Here’s an aerial view.


We’re safer up here in the sky.

Will our intrepid puppy summon his courage and enter the haunted house?


Scary stuff!

I hope I didn’t scare anyone 🙂

Fish and Chip Van Friday!

September 26, 2014 26 comments

Yes, it’s fish and chip van Friday here in the village.

Fish and Chips

Whoa there!

Holy heart attacks, Batman. It’s a good job I didn’t order “large” chips!

I still managed to eat it all, though 🙂

Categories: My Life Musings Tags:

Mr Coffee

September 4, 2014 24 comments

I’ve bought myself a new gizmo! Here it is.

Coffee Machine

Mr Coffee

It’s amazing! You pop one of these little pods in the top.


Mr Pod

Then you fill the little tank in the back up with water and push the button. Hey presto, coffee. It’s, like magic or something.

Categories: My Life Musings Tags: ,

Shopping Around the World August

August 28, 2014 31 comments

Yesterday was the scheduled date for Bacon and Fozzie’s “Shopping Around the World” feature! I’m a day late as yesterday I did my Friday Fictioneers (yes, Friday Fictioneers starts on a Wednesday).

Here are the prices for the goods they have chosen for the south west of England.

Water.  Let’s shoot for a price on a 24 pack of water.  This is something that we use every day and can’t live without.  Some people drink it straight from the faucet while others of us buy bottles.  What is the price of a 24 pack of water in your area and what brand?
I occasionally drink water, but I only buy 6 packs of 500ml bottles, so I’ll have to go online for this price! Off to…

First off, it has to be sparkling water. If I want still water, I’ll get it from the tap (which apparently is what “faucet” means). I looked and looked and I can’t find any 24 packs, the most was 12. I’ll show the ones I buy – 6 x 500ml.



This costs £1.50, which is US$2.49. In terms of quantity, as Bacon posted his in “ounces”, 500ml = 16.9 US fluid ounces.

As a bonus, the website proudly proclaims that this water is vegetarian-safe! Who knew?

Bath Soap.  Something ‘most’ of us use when we shower – or I hope so anyway snorts. What brand do you get, how many boxes together and how much.  I say how many boxes because I know sometimes they are sold in packages of 1 or 2 – sometimes more.
To be honest, I haven’t bought a bar of soap for many many years. Maybe decades. So I’ll have to give you the price for shower gel. I buy Lynx shower gel, which is £2.40 (US$3.98) for one 250ml bottle. Currently it’s on offer for £1.20!

Because, obviously, shower gel doesn’t go off, I tend to wait until it’s on offer and then buy loads.

Deodorant.  This is something that has blown mom’s mind lately – the price of deodorant – WOW!  Again, this is something that most of us use every day or should.  Tell us what brand you get and how much.
Again, I buy Lynx deodorant. According to the TV adverts, all you need to do is squirt it a bit and then thousands of women come running. It hasn’t worked for me yet, but I live in hope that one day it will live up to its advertising. I’m not greedy, one woman will do.

This is currently around £3.50 for a 200ml bottle (it varies a lot). Again, I wait for an offer and buy loads at once.

Laundry Detergent.  Another product that is important in our lives while washing our clothes.  What kind do you buy, the price and size.
There are lots of different types of this – colour fast, bio, non-bio… As a bloke I don’t care, as I chuck everything in together anyway. I buy Ariel “whatever”. This is the one I currently have in my cupboard (cupboard not shown).


This comes to around £6.00 (US$9.94) for 20 washes. One of these boxes will last me around 4 months. I expect someone’s going to work out my “washes per week” now. Be kind.

Random Item.  This is something that we are going to start incorporating every month.  This is your choice.  List a random item from your area, what it is and the price.  ALL YOUR CHOICE
For my random item I’ve chosen half a dozen medium-sized free range “happy eggs” from the Happy Egg Co. Because nobody likes an unhappy egg. These cost £1.95 (US$3.23) and I used two last night to make this scrummy omelette, with bacon and cheese.



This is the first omelette I have ever made! My boss at work gave me instructions (thanks, boss!) and although it turns out I have neither omelette pan nor mixing bowl, I made do.

Now that I’m clearly a master chef, I’ll need to try a soufflé or baked Alaska next, because how hard could they really be? 🙂

Picking My Own

August 25, 2014 21 comments

My friends from round the corner found out that I’d never been fruit picking, so on Saturday we all trooped off to the nearby Pick Your Own farm to get some strawberries!


Here be strawberries!

There were also some very nice flowers planted along the way.



Here’s the fruits of my labours (pun intended).


Just £1.65!

And here’s the finished article. Very tasty, and enough left over to take some to my mum and dad.