Pan Fried Lamb’s Heart with White Wine

Yesterday I made something new (for me, anyway) as a kind of experiment (I seem to have been doing this a bit recently) with some Lamb’s Heart (this comes in nice and cheap as people don’t tend to want to buy something they can identify… usually about £1.50 for three which is enough for 2-3 people depending on how it’s cooked).

Ingredients:

  • 3 Lamb’s Hearts
  • ~1 glass of White Wine
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • Olive Oil (infused with garlic?)
  • 1 Lamb Stock Cube made up with 8fl oz of water
  • Rosemary to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

I started by trimming off the top of the hearts as they tend to be quite fatty and the arteries/veins are quite chewy, then diced the remainder.

Warm the oil in a frying pan (medium heat) with the garlic until the garlic starts to turn brown then drop in the heart and allow that to brown for 5-10 minutes.

Add the wine and lamb stock and allow to reduce for about 15 minutes — the juice should start to thicken slightly. About 5 minutes before serving, add the lemon juice.

Serve with mashed potato and vegetables.

Scotland and Mum

Last week, we spent some very damp days near Poolewe in the Highlands of Scotland. There is plenty of picture evidence available here.

The week went, more or less, thus:

  1. Friday night: Drive from the Deep South to Inverness via Tebey and Stirling — the A9 is a fantastic road at 2am
  2. Arrive at Inverness at about 0700 Saturday after a nap near Dalwhinney and catch a train to the Kyle of Lochalsh (because we can).
  3. Conclude drive to cottage and unpackCoille Bheag
  4. Go for an extremely soggy walk around Inverewe Gardens (nearby National Trust for Scotland property with lovely trees etc).
  5. Sarah and her Dad went to attempt a walk over the hills behind our cottage to Rubha Reidh lighthouse … but were forced to abandon this due to encountering a 4″ deep river which the buggy was thwarted by… so, instead, we drove 🙂 Once there, we found the old supply jetty for the lighthouse complete with former railway for whinching the supplies up the steep incline (with kart and whinch in the gorge below).
  6. A trip out to the other side of Loch Ewe to see a tiny distillery and while going there found a small NATO navy base… which initially dates from when the loch was using extensively during WW2 by the Navy with a lot of the old emplacements still evident.
  7. We left after lunch on Friday having seen the surrounding hills covered in snow overnight to drive back during the day to see the landscape.

On the Sunday, we received a phone call to say that Mum had been taken into hospital suffering with what turned out to be a stroke hense leaving a bit earlier than we would otherwise have done.

She’s doing really well, having been transferred to Addenbrookes (Cambridge) a few days after it happend near Enfield. Having intially been unable to move her left side or talk at all, she’s now making reasonable sentences (while still struggling with remembering some words) and, although having issues with sensation, able to mostly move but is still quite weak and gets very tired easlily.

We’re taking Benji in to see her as much as possible 🙂

Benji

BBC News site redesign

Sent to BBC Comments today regarding the new style on the BBC News website…

I may be in a minority, but although my screen may be 1024×768, that
is not the resolution at which my applications run. I often (nee all
the time) have many applications open at once and the most efficient
way to know what’s going on in all of them is to have them layered and
*not* filling the whole screen.

The old 600 wide layout was perfect for this and was a design concept
I would reccomend to others too. The new design, however, doesn’t
actually provide any more space for actual content but, instead, makes
the navigation bars around the edge much “bigger” (that is wider and
fatter). This means I need to scroll off the side to see some of the
sidebar content (which annoys me greatly on any page — sideways
scrolling should never be required).

Furthermore, what were considered headings further down the page under
“AROUND THE UK NOW”, the section headings used to be bold and are no
longer. This makes it much harder to skim down for what you’re looking
for.

I am aware that people far cleverer than I have had a hand in creating
this new design, however it is, in my opinion, a step too far into the
“Web 2.0” idiom. The site was, previously, clean, concise and easy to
navigate for all. That is no longer the case, I fear.

Thumpers at Dreamhost

My current webhost (Dreamhost) seem to be trying out (maybe even moving to) Thumpers from their traditional NetApps.

Thumpers are (up to) 48 Terabytes of storage in 4u… that’s pretty amazing really.

This has had the slightly annoying side-effect that the .snapshot directory has disappeared meaning user-driven restores aren’t possible on some of their servers (the functionality is there on Thumper, but called .zfs and appears to be hidden further up the tree, or maybe disabled at the moment).

Go Go Dreamhost! 🙂

Open letter to Morrisons Plc.

I would have emailed this to them, but no email addresses are available on the corporation’s website and, when resorting to guess work, customer.services, customer.service don’t work. I then tried postemaster@morrisons.co.uk which also bounced. This is, in itself, against the requirements of having a mail system on the internet. Anyway, this is what I was trying to say:

Having recently moved into an area where the nearest supermarket is a
Morrisons, I have been using the store more frequently than before and
have noticed the following “niggles” with the way the store is
managed.

The store feels “cluttered”. At the ends of most of the aisles, there
are extra shelves which constrict the ends of each aisle by about 40%
making the apertures less than one trolley width. Also, in the same
area, the main central thoroughfare is considerably thinner than it
could be because of a vast array of extra product locations (products
that are, often, otherwise available in other parts of the store)
again, constricting the available space by 20-40%.

Secondly, the small (3′ square) metal containers strewn throughout the
store, as if by random, containing products often not in the slightest
related to the aisle in which they are found just get in the way.

Many thanks for your time in reading this. Please let me know if you
have any comments on the above.

This is the bounce:

MailMarshal has stopped the following message:

Message: B475052fc0000.000000000001.0001.mml
From: foo@mafoo.org.uk
To: postmaster@morrisonsplc.co.uk
Subject: My point of view

because the email address – postmaster@morrisonsplc.co.uk – does not exist.

Little criminals?

With reference to this BBC news article about some boys aged 10 to 12 being hauled before the Old Bailey to answer charges of Manslaughter…

What were they doing out and in a position to do something like that without parental guidance/observation?

The age of criminal responsibility should be at such an age as to when children are out and about apparently with enough nouse to know right from wrong. This may be different from child to child, but it should be up to the parents to decide if their child is ready to face the big wide world and is responsible enough a young-adult to do so. If they are not up to this yet, then maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to get in to such a situation.

I note how the BBC article makes absolutely no reference to the parents and the children’s upbringing — did they miss out on some vital moral lessons? Were they just being kids and playing around without realising that throwing stones at other people is wrong? If so, why did they think this?

It makes me quite sad, actually 🙁

If we do raise the age of criminal responsibility, on whom would fall the responsibility for the father who was killed by these boys? No one? The parents? I don’t know.

BlackCT

So, today was the day I had scheduled to upgrade our ageing WebCT 6 system to the latest version.

Four hours into the upgrade of the first of three updates I needed to apply, the following error is produced:

Installation error. com.webct.platform.installer.InstallerException: Unexpected error executing [webct_stat.sql]. ORA-04021: timeout occurred while waiting to lock object WEBCT.WEBCT_STAT

Great.

So I try and call it in, rather than log it on the web as a P1 as they recommend calling instead only to sit on hold for 5 minutes and then get dumped off to voicemail… ok, I’ll log it on the web. That was at 14:00. It’s now 15:30 and I’ve talked to an engineer who will phone me back soon with some advice. There are two more updates after this to apply…

Procedures involving rusty nails, hammers and kneecaps are springing to mind.