Archive for May, 2006

Very Important Cultural Study

Posted by on May 31 2006 | Delicious Things

Right then. My secret pal sent me a KitKat from America. Naturally this called for a direct competition. I bought a local KitKat this afternoon for the taste test.

First I needed to get the condition right. With a book would have been ideal, but might have distracted me a little from the task in hand. On the sofa in front of mindless afternoon telly (The Life Laundry) it was. The next essential ingredient was tea to cleanse the palate between tastes. I settled on pure Assam, served with soya milk, as it has a good robust flavour that compliments the chocolate perfectly.

So, on to the competition:

Packaging
I’m still not particularly happy about KitKat wrapping changing from the silver foil, so both lose points for not having that. I know this might be unreasonable, but this is the only place I can vent about that one. I was able to open the Irish KitKat wihtout tearing the wrapping, but this didn’t work well for the American KitKat.
Design wise I like the simplicity of the Irish KitKat, but there’s very little in it.
America: 2/5
Ireland: 3/5

Now then, off with the wrappers:

Size
Here’s where we come across the first major difference. The American KitKat is significantly smaller. -2 to America

Breakability
US: This broke very well. Smooth and clean, each piece divided up perfectly. 5/5
IRE: Poor, very poor. One finger had lots of chocolate, one virtually none. 2/5

Chocolate
US: Too sweet. A glance at the ingredients lists shows why: The first listed is sugar, compared to chocolate in Ireland. 2/5
IRE: Mmmmmmmm. It’s nestle chocolate, not cadburys, but still. Mmmmmmmm. 4/5

Wafer
US: Really good. Not overly crispy, but still with some bite. 4/5
IRE: Very crispy. Perhaps a little too crispy. 3/5

And the winner is…
It was a close run competition, but Ireland just pipped America to the post, scoring 12 to America’s 11. America lead on breakability and crispyness, but the chocolate is so, so important in a KitKat, and Ireland just won out on that one.
Final Scores
US: 11
IRE: 12

Update: I forgot to comment on the writing on the fingers. However, both would score equally. I like the simplicity of the American one, but the Irish one is creative and descriptive.

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Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene

Posted by on May 30 2006 | Books




I like Graham Greene. He writes well and I always get sucked into his stories. This one was good, but I couldn’t really warm to the characters, and the twist was pretty obvious from the very beginning. Maybe I wasn’t giving it the attention it deserved.

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I have the best ever secret pal

Posted by on May 29 2006 | Crafty things, Delicious Things, Swaps and Exchanges

I came home from work today to this:

Such an exciting box of things!

Everything was wrapped in a cool tea-towel with cups of tea on it. How great is that?

Lifting up the teatowel revealed a whole load of presents underneath:


Unwrapped they look like this:


So many things!

A knitted cupcake! It looks good enough to eat and is very, very cute.
A first aid kit in case I stamp on more needles.
Some lovely notecards with my initial on them, which is perfect as I’ve been looking for some good notecards.
An American kitkat which I’m going to try not to eat until I have an Irish one to have with it as a taste test.
At Knits End – which I was going to get as mum bought me the yarn harlot one (same author for non-knitters) and I’m loving it.
And…a sock knitting kit – a huge ball of Lana Grossa sock yarn, some lovely short dpns – I’ve never seen short dpns for sock knitting, although I’d heard tell of them. These feel really nice and they’re totally cute. And a reversible bag to keep it all in – so much more civilised than a ziplock plastic bag.

I’m very, very excited about the sock things, and I’ll be casting on for a pair of socks with them as soon as I can decide which ones to make next.

Thank you so much Secret Pal! You’re great.

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Vanilla Malt Ice-Cream at Vermilion

Posted by on May 29 2006 | Delicious Things




So as a part of my birthday festival (the celebrations started on Thursday and this was Sunday night, so that counts as a festival) I was taken out to dinner to Vermillion, one of my favourite restaurants in Dublin. I think it’s becoming clear that I am very, very spoiled, and very, very lucky.

I love Vermilion for lots of reasons – the restaurant itself is cosy yet light and airy at the same time. The service is wonderful – friendly, not rushed but you’re never waiting, everyone is lovely. The food: Mmmmm. Perfect portion sizes, delicious flavours. According to their website it’s indian fusion cuisine. I’m not totally sure what that means, but it tastes good. The menu changes enough that there are different things to try, but not so much that it lacks the familiarity that’s reassuring in a favourite place. Oh, and the toilets have Molton Brown toiletries, and little flannels as hand towels. It’s all in the details.

However, the main reason I love Vermilion is dessert. I didn’t take a picture of my tea, but it’s the perfect after dinner tea – black tea with honey and ginger. It comes in a little teapot and it’s just that – a teabag and lots of chunks of fresh ginger. It’s really refreshing and just what’s needed after a meal. I’d probably go for the tea alone, but I’m just a sucker for their ice-cream.

What you see above is my all time favourite ice-cream. It even beats my home made maple syrup and snickers bar ice-cream. Home made vanilla malt ice cream. It’s dense and creamy, and tastes of maltesers. It’s an ice cream to eat slowly, to savour. I don’t remember what we were talking about during dessert – I was lost in my own world of creamy deliciousness.

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Hysteria, Project Theatre

Posted by on May 28 2006 | Cultural Things

From the Project Theatre website:
“The Irish Premiere of the Award winning comedy. The production coincides with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sigmund Freud.
In 1938, in his study in Hampstead Sigmund Freud meets Salvador Dali. Chaos ensues. Their comical encounter dramatically transforms into an evening of HYSTERIA…
What’s hiding in Freud’s closet? Who is Jessica? Is memory a fantasy?
Terry Johnson’s brilliantly inventive, profoundly questioning and hugely entertaining play HYSTERIA, won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy and the Writers Award for Best Play.”

Hmmmm. From this I was expecting a comedy of sorts, and some bits were funny. What the review failed to mention is that the main part of the story revolves around one of Freud’s case studies of a woman who was sexually abused as a child. Mixed in with Dali running around holding a penis sculpture. It didn’t really sit right, and I don’t understand how it won awards.

In fact all I really need to say, and this is a spoiler, but trust me, it’s for your own good, is that it ended with: …and it was all a dream…

Sigh. Dinner and company was excellent though, and the play provided much amusement afterwards.

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