Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Whisky sour

My Lovely is away this week, working in a clinic in Toronto. This has left me alone with my culinary shackles unleased. So what do I make for dinner? Simple steak and potatoes. I decided on my way home to pick up a bottle of Chianti.

But that's all beside the point. The thing that caught my eye inside the LCBO was a advert for an amateur photography competition, main prize a photography package*: "Whisky in focus". With a quickening step I walked home eager to find out more.

(aside: I don't drink whisky. Don't really like the stuff. But I have a small bottle in the house for a wonderful whisky-maple glaze I make for grilled chicken)

I fed the cats as the computer warmed up. I logged in, brought up Firefox and typed in lcbo.com . The photo competition link was front and center. Bingo. I started devouring the site (even though it opened up a new browser window -I hate that)

Five categories, blah blah blah, annoying music with an poorly placed mute button, blah blah blah, contest details. I read over the terms and conditions when I see this:
  • ... At the time you send any Photo Entry, in whole or in part, to the LCBO, and whether or not your entry is selected as a winner, you irrevocably transfer, convey and assign to the LCBO all right, title and interest in and to your Photo Entry, in whole and in part, and all the intellectual property rights therein, throughout the world in perpetuity, including without limitation any and all copyrights and the registration, renewal, and derivative rights and you waive all moral rights ...
Full Stop. Come on LCBO - you want me to give you all the rights of each photograph I submit to you with the slim hope I could win a camera? I may be a poor Software Tester, but I know enough to know that this is a bad deal. This is more than the rights to display and use the photos - this is complete control transfered from me to you. Under this deal I wouldn't even be able to post submitted photos to my Flickr account or put them on this blog.

This smells like the LCBO trying to build up the stock photograph portfolio.

I'll be passing on this contest.

To any of you reading this that are considering entering this contest, I wish you luck but do consider the terms. You may not care what happens to your photograph and that's fine. But it's not fine for me.

If anyone from the LCBO wants to contact me, leave a comment and I'll get back to you right away.

*The grand prize is a photo package that includes a 10 megapixel camera, but they don't specify the make or model - perhaps they don't know yet...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No knead bread (modified)

I made the slow rise, no kneed bread for thanksgiving dinner and it seems like more than a couple people enjoyed it. So I'm posting my modified recipe here - it's based off of this blog post that I blogged about here.

The beautiful thing about this bread is that it takes patience (which I tend to have) and not a lot of work (which I like). You basically make a wet dough with flour, yeast, salt and butter, let it sit for 12-18 hours, shape a let rise for another 2 and then bake in already hot pot. Easy peasy. Without further ado:

Richard's No Knead Bread (based off Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread recipe)

3 C flour (AP or bread flour, up to 50% whole wheat)
1/3 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C water
3-4 Tbsp butter, melted

1. In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. Add the water and butter and mix well. Cover bowl and let rest for 12-18 hours (the longer the better). I put mine on top of the fridge. The dough will rise a fair amount and look spongy; it will double in volume (or even a bit more).

2. Scrape the dough onto a floured table and coat your hands with flour. Fold the dough over onto itself 5 or 6 times and the let rest for 30 minutes (covered if drafty).

3. Coat your hands with flour again and shape the dough into a ball. Place on a heavily floured tea towel and then fold the towel over top of it (so it is covered completely). Let it rise 2-3 hours, (until doubled in size).

4. 45 minutes before the dough is ready put a heavy pot or a dutch oven into a 450F oven and let it get hot.

5. When the dough has risen and the pot is hot and as gracefully as possible, dump the dough into the hot pot and cover. Let bake for 30 minutes and then remove the cover and bake for another 15-20 (until top is browned). Remove and place on a rack to cool.


I've got too many things to be thankful for:

An amazing wife who isn't afraid to step out and pursue what she wants. Doing a residency is hard (harder than portrayed on TV) and doing one in conjunction with a PhD doubles that. She comes home tired but still manages to work around the house and look after me and doesn't mind that I'm a goof.

A wonderful family that keeps in touch even when I don't.

A great family-in-law that I get along with. From what I hear that isn't terribly common.

A good job that lets me do what I enjoy and pays me for finding things wrong with what they make.

A dedicated church with dedicated people that don't let me get by with just coasting.

A warm house that's big enough to entertain and sleep friends and family.

A little bit of culinary talent and a wife, friends, and family that don't mind being guinea's pigs.

A fun hobby that lets me capture moments so I don't forget them in 3 weeks (like I'm prone to do).

Too many thing to write down. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

On Explore

I try hard to not be one that toots his own horn, but I found out today that one of my Flickr photos has made it onto Flickr Explore. Flickr Explore is an algorithm that picks out photos that it thinks are worth looking at or otherwise exploring (hence the title).

I really shouldn't be proud that some computer algorithm picked this photograph, but it is kinda cool that out of the ½ million photos uploaded to Flickr every day, I'm in a slice 500 large. The photo is currently standing at #263 on October 2nd. I have no idea how long it will stay there - it has been fluctuating all day and only Flickr knows the algorithm. I suspect it will disappear before long.

I took the photo at Tara's last horse show of the season on Sunday. It was a great day.