Posts Tagged With: do something different

Daily detox soup – squash and cauliflower soup

Here’s a soup I never thought I’d eat squash and cauliflower soup (unless of course someone ordered it for me in the restaurant game!). My wife was making Weight Watcher’s no-point vegetable curry and she had gone to the trouble of chopping up all the ingredients. Now, you know when you cook something you like, and then it have it lots and lots of times, until you get sick of it. Well, that’s where I was with Weight Watcher’s no-point vegetable curry. So with my latest daily detox soup jelly wobble, she gave me my share of veggies and make a soup for me.

And in the spirit of this blog, I gave it a go! Very thick soup and, to be honest, couldn’t really taste the cauliflower (a good thing). And of course I felt very healthy and satisfied.

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Put vegetables inside cakes – pumpkin pie for Halloween

I’ve never really understood why people continue to put vegetables into desserts. Why spoil a cake by putting carrots and raisins in it when there is an abundance of chocolate in the world? I don’t think I’ve ever chosen a dessert that had a vegetable in it, which is why, faced with a soon-to-be-carved pumpkin for Hallowe’en, I thought I’d try something different and make pumpkin pie.

I followed the BBC Good Food recipe and all was well. The sieving of the pumpkin was hard work, and after all the effort I probably had about two tablespoons of orangery gloop, which seemed more effort than it’s worth – I hope that the pie had some pumpkin taste to it.

The taste was quite unexpected. The nutmeg was strong and the texture was mousse-like – not quite firm but nowhere near liquid. I can’t say I’m in love with it, and I always look forward to the pastry. I shall of course be hovering it up – unless my wife gets there first!

In the 40 minutes it takes to bake, I made some pumpkin biscuits to go with them. Round cutters and orange icing that my five year old helped to make and ice. Unfortunately,I hadn’t thought in advance and I couldn’t think of anything suitable to hand to put the cackling features of the pumpkin’s face on. So they are just round biscuits, with orange icing, next to a pumpkin and a pumpkin pie and before you comment we are carving the pumpkin tomorrow – we couldn’t wait to try the pie!).

Pumpkin, pumpkin pie, and halloween biscuits

The Great British Bake Off has nothing to worry about

Enjoy!

Did you do anything different this Halloween? I’d love to hear. Tweet me @jelly_wobbler

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Do something different – Make origami

I always thought that origami is immensely fiddly. With my patience scale on the lower end of the scale, I couldn’t think of anything worse than trying to fiddle with bits of folding paper to make something that faintly resembles something that looks familiar (the only thing worse on my patience scale is perhaps a round of golf).

So in an effort to try something different and in the spirit of this blog, I had a go at doing some origami.  I had visions of screwing up or tearing up paper in a tantrum on step 139 when the elephant started to resemble a non-rising yorkshire pudding.

I did a quick Google (is Google anything but quick?) and found this site, which looked to make origami simple by having step-by-step instructions. OK, I’ll give the cat a go, it looks quite cute.

Right. Set myself up on the table, got the instructions, lets go. “Origami Cat step 1. Start with a 6 inch x 6 inch square origami paper color side down.” Er, origami paper? What is that? You have to have special paper for origami? Wont printer paper do? Damn it! I imagine it is slightly thicker paper than printer paper. Yikes, need to raid the 5 year old’s arts and crafts drawer. Hold a minute – color side down? Oh jeez. Looking through every single one of his messy drawers, there was not one bit of paper that had different colour paper on either side – except a bit of crumpled wrapping paper and I’m pretty sure the Origami police will crack down on me for using that.

So I looked around the house and managed to find some of my wife’s advertising leaflets. Pink on one side, white on the other. These would have to do. OK, 6 inches by 6 inches. Oh bloody hell. A5 is a few millimeters shy of 6 inches. Have to go metric on this one and go with centimeters – it’ll have to do.

Right, so I was off. Steps 1-7 were easy-peasy. At the end of step 7 I had a good looking cat’s head. The body was slightly trickier, with the instructions not being entirely clear on step 13 and took a few goes at getting it right (looking down at the comments I wasn’t the only one getting stuck on step 13). And voila. A small and perfectly formed cat!

An origami cat with a Facebook logo beauty spot

An origami cat with a Facebook logo beauty spot

It took me 9 minutes to make the cat. It actually took me longer to find the piece of paper than it did to fold the damn thing! The instructions were pretty good, and I actually found it quite therapeutic. Seeing the paper coming together to make a recognisable shape was really satisfying, and I felt quite child-like putting the head on to the body for the finished article. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I made another one!

My origami cat has a multi-cultural friend

My origami cat has a multi-cultural friend

If you have any ideas for me to try something different, tweet me @jelly_wobbler or visit the Facebook page.

Categories: Art, origami | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Biscuits inside cakes – pink wafer

Pink wafers are one of my favourite biscuit snacks. Are they a biscuit? Who cares if they are merely a biscuit substitute. I could eat a whole pack in one go. Someone suggested they go into the “biscuit inside cakes” blog so in they go. I was slightly apprehensive that they would stay in tact, as they are quite flimsy, but if they did they would look fantastic. So, lets try something different and put a pink wafer in a cake!

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Pink wafers in the cake batter

As you can see from the below photo, the wafer stayed in tact and the pink ribbon looks fantastic in the yellow batter. 

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Pink wafer inside a cake – looks good, doesn’t taste good.

Unfortunately the taste wasn’t great. You could tell that their was a pink wafer inside – which is better than some of the other biscuit attempts – but it wasn’t a good texture and felt like it had hardened inside. So it felt a bit like having a soft stone in the middle. Still, it looked impressive, which is half the fun of eating cupcakes!

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Skip with a Skipping Rope

Here’s another task I haven’t done since school – probably primary school. It is the favoured training regime of a boxer – not a training session PR stunt of a boxer about to fight for a title belt goes without the hero skipping on a gym rope. So how hard can it be? I remember at school it was easy.

I went for the two-feet-in-the-air-at-the-same-time technique (as opposed to the less-than-flattering-skipping-whilst-running technique). And boy was it hard! I couldn’t last more than three minutes. My less than flat stomach wobbled about, and after the embarrassment my abs were screaming. I was short of breath and my lungs were tight. My 4 3/4 year old laughed to see such fun. I didn’t remember it being this hard at school!

According to this website on the health benefits of skipping, the effort it takes to jump rope for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running a mile in eight minutes!

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A not-very-flattering photo of me skipping

A new found respect for people who can skip. But especially for those who can do these….

Cool skipping  -video of some young types doing some freestyle skipping tricks.

A dog skipping. Yes, a dog!

And if you don’t have a skipping rope… use a nearby person instead.

Why not join a club. Have a look at the British Rope Skipping Association, under Affliated Clubs.

 

Go on, try it yourself! Post your photos and comments to the Wobble a Jelly Facebook page.

Remember, you can tweet me suggestions @jelly_wobbler

 

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Let someone else choose your meal at a restaurant

In my why section, I explain that the inspiration for this blog started as a result of choosing something different off of a menu. It forced me to try something I’d never normally try.

I still felt I was veering towards food I would like, so at a meal with some work colleagues, I decided to try something really different.

We played a game where you choose the meal for the person to your left. And so on round the table.

We briefed the waiter so that he would not repeat the order back so that we only knew what we were having when it arrived at the table. It was really quite exciting – not knowing what someone would order for you, and equally what the other person would think of the meal you’ve just chosen for them. It’s quite a conversation-starter.

I have played The Game know a couple of times – Paella (thanks Marcus!) and Pork Chop (thanks Craig!). Two things I probably would never have ordered, and was a nice change to the norm. I would say the food tasted nicer knowing the excitement and conversation it generated before the even came out.

Just be careful, it could go wrong. I ordered Bone Marrow for my colleague and didn’t go down well. And you may get something completely unusual….. Fried chicken and waffle anyone?!

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Go on, play The Game yourself! Post your photos and comments to the Wobble a Jelly Facebook page.

Remember, you can tweet me suggestions @jelly_wobbler

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Re-read a book you read as a child

For this task my first stop was raiding the bookshelves of my parent’s house. My eyes were drawn to Roald Dahl’s Matilda. The worn, bluey yellow spine brought back memories of re-reading the story multiple times, as I did with most Dahl stories. The yellowing pages were up-turned at every corner, proof-positive of a well-thumbed book.

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I wanted to find a book I remembered I liked, to see how the story differed from an adult’s perspective. There are two conundrums with this. Firstly, would it spoil the happy and fond memories of so long ago, now that my adult’s eye would analyse every sentence and happening. Or secondly, would it improve the story and the writing, being able to appreciate the story-telling, imagination and literature from a world-weary view.

So I read Matilda on a long-haul flight in under 3 hours, drinking in every word, illustration and colourful character. In a change to the norm of reading novels, it was a child-like, guilty-pleasure to read a story with pictures. The book was published in 1988 and I am fairly certain I read it first within minutes of it being published – over 23 years ago. And it certainly did not disappoint. The characters are so cleverly described, the names of whom are funny in their own right. The plot captivating, the motivations of the cast thought out. Even for this 33 year old, the getting-one-over-the-adults (especially a mean teacher) appeals so much to younger teenagers. It’s no wonder I loved it as a kid. And it really isn’t patronising, which is what I expected before I flicked open the first page. Words like ‘asinine’, ‘ethereal’ and ‘seraphic’, and phrases such as ‘lovely pale oval madonna face’, ‘the prostrate giant’, and ‘huge overstuffed grub, replete, comatose’ pepper the prose like a mad uncle – familiar but strange. There were a few gripes, particularly with speech, but it did not cloud the experience one bit.

Most of all, reading those yellowing pages on my business-class flat bed, seeing the faded corners of the pages that had been folded over by my 10-year-old self 23 years ago took me back to a memory of an excited boy, lying on his cabin bed, feet swaying in the air behind him, savouring every word, paragraph and chapter again and again. That was the best memory of re-reading Matilda.

If you want to read some silly analysis into the story, click here:

After reading the book, I feel obliged to go and see Matilda the Musical

Go on, try it yourself! Post your photos and comments to the Wobble a Jelly Facebook page.

Remember, you can tweet me suggestions @jelly_wobbler

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Pick up an earthworm

I am ok with spiders, daddy long legs and centipedes.

Fish, lobsters, crabs revolt me.

Worms, slugs and snails are somewhere inbetween. In my garden compost, whenever I dispatch my latest peelings, cut grass and egg shells, a multitude of worms drop down from the black lid. My first instinct is a squirm and my stomach turns a little. When my eldest boy became inquisitive I kept telling him there’s nothing to worry about, they aren’t scary and to “look how small they are”. Time to take my own advice and get over my mini-fear of them.

The worm I chose was fairly flat and plump. It was cool to the touch and a little bit slimy. I could see the cast inside and one end (possibly the head) began rising, as if sniffing the air. The middle contracted and the sensation on my skin was like when my eldest would spit out a piece of food he didn’t like.

Like the first time I touched the skin of a snake, it was all rather disappointing and really nothing to worry about!

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Here are 5 interesting facts I have since found out about the common worm:

  1. Charles Darwin spent 40 years studying earthworms. It only took him 3 years to write the Origin of the Species.
  2. They have 5 hearts, to help pump their white blood around their body.
  3. They never over-populate. They breed only when there is enough food to go around. Something us humans should take note of.
  4. They are asexual, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs. 
  5. As they travel through soil, the tunnels they create allows air and water to flow to lower parts of the ground.

Go on, try it yourself! Post your photos and comments to the Wobble a Jelly Facebook page.

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