Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reading, Hearing, Wandering Planet.

EmperorsSoul_BookpgeI finished the little book, The Emperor’s Soul, by Brandon Sanderson. At first I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it, but in the end it was very good. Once again a different type of magic. He certainly has some original ideas. Obviously being a small book it didn’t take me long to read it. I can highly recommend it. I now have the David Weber book I mentioned as well as a book on my Kindle which I have already started Killer Cuvée which has a winemaking setting. I wonder if Brandon Sanderson is planning to write more in the setting of Emperor’s Soul, it would be most enjoyable. He does seem to jump around in his worlds though. He has finished the Wheel of Time books and the last book is supposed to be published in January. I have no doubt I am not the only one waiting with bated breath for the end of this series.

So we went for our audiology tests and the upshot is that they think Hearing Aidwe should both have trial hearing aids for 90 days. Matt is fighting this as hard as he can. What I don’t really understand, although it was explained to us, is why we should have a hearing aid in each ear when most people one sees have only the one. However we are told it balances the hearing properly. Later talked to our friends who were telling us about the horrendous cost of batteries. These are not covered by our insurance apparently and cost $80 for 60 batteries and the batteries do not last long they tell us. Batteries were never mentioned at our audiology appointment, so I think we will have to make some further enquiries. I don’t think we need to be shelling out large sums on batteries.

rogue-planet-852Apparently a rogue planet has been found wandering in space. It is a pretty unusual occurrence they say. Normally these wandering planets are difficult to see because of an excess of light. This has been spotted with a Canada-France-Hawaii telescope. This is an artist’s impression of the loose planet. I didn’t know planets could wander around loose, I thought they were always attached to a star. One lives and learns.

In England we used to make and/or buy curries of all kinds. In fact take away Indian food has surpassed fish and chips I understand. This is a recipe from BBC Food.

Home-style Chicken Curry

A rustic and authentic quick Indian one-pot packed with tons of hot Asian spices and fragrant coriander.Chicken Curry

  • 1 large onion
  • 6 garlic cloves , roughly chopped
  • 50g ginger , roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 8 chicken thighs , skinned, boneless (about 800g)
  • 250ml hot chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  1. Roughly chop the onion, transfer to a small food processor, and add 3 tablespoons of water - process to a slack paste. You could use a stick blender for this or coarsely grate the onion into a bowl - there's no need to add any water if you are grating the onion. Tip into a small bowl and leave on one side.
  2. Put the chopped garlic and ginger into the same food processor and add 4 tbsp water - process until smooth and spoon into another small bowl. Alternatively, crush the garlic to a paste with a knife or garlic press and finely grate the ginger.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or sturdy pan set over a medium heat. Combine the cumin and fennel seeds with the cinnamon and chilli flakes and add to the pan in one go. Swirl everything around for about 30 secs until the spices release a fragrant aroma.
  4. Add the onion paste - it will splutter in the beginning. Fry until the water evaporates and the onions turn a lovely dark golden - this should take about 7-8 mins. Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for another 2 mins - stirring all the time.
  5. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, and sugar and continue cooking for 20 secs before tipping in the tomatoes. Continue cooking on a medium heat for about 10 mins without a lid until the tomatoes reduce and darken.
  6. Cut the chicken thighs into 3cm chunks and add to the pan once the tomatoes have thickened to a paste. Cook for 5 mins to coat the chicken in the masala and seal in the juices, and then pour over the hot chicken stock. Simmer for 8-10 mins without a lid until the chicken is tender and the masala lightly thickened - you might need to add an extra ladleful of stock or water if the curry needs it. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with Indian flatbreads or fluffy basmati rice and a pot of yogurt on the side.


Adding a dash of water while blitzing the onion, garlic and ginger saves on chopping time and helps thicken the masala as it cooks.

Have a great day



  1. That's highway robbery on those batteries.
    Rogue planet nearby? Interesting!

    1. You are so right Alex. I wonder how much they are in the States.

      Isn't it interesting, will look forward to hearing more about it.

  2. I would think there are rechargeable batteries. My Nan has hearing aides and they are wonderful. She still has trouble hearing me on the phone, but she can tell it is me. At 90+ i can't imagine my Grandad running into the village to buy new batteries all the time. I'll be you can fine a rechargeable set.

    1. I don't think so Sharon. The idea is you buy them in large amounts so the pack lasts quite a while although the batteries themselves only last a few days.