I have become addicted to "Patchworkz" on shockwave.com (it finally works!) which is very mouse-intensive and has given me RSI in my right thumb. I think my mouse is on the way out anyway, so I'll probably plug in the one that came with the new PC. It's a normal type of mouse but at least it's optical.
Still working through putting music on the hard drive. 2.5GB used so far up to F with some exclusions. Some of the CD information online is weirdly wrong. Like, on the De-Lovely soundtrack the information for track 7 is missing, so track 19 (the last one) just... ends up with no name. It's weird. I like the artwork function, though. It's funky, if a little temperamental. So far I'm not hating Vista, also (apart from some backwards-compatibility issues) which is a definite improvement on XP. So much so I haven't even felt the need to turn it into Win 98. ;)
I also ordered the new Alanis album (Flavo[u]rs of Entanglement) which arrived on Saturday. I'm really liking it so far. I think my favourite track is "Not For Us" although the lyrics of the final track (I suck at names) are also striking a chord. On the second bonus CD (I bought the deluxe edition) I also really like "On the Tequila", which disguises itself as a bouncy summer-type song but maintains Alanis's trademark cynicism. I'll post some lyrics later.
Last night I made a sausage casserole from scratch. So here's a recipe, mostly stolen from a google search and modified. I cooked it using the rescued crock pot which was originally under the leaky sink. (I soaked it twice in warm soapy water, before you ask. :P)
Sausage Casserole - serves 4.
8x thick sausages (I used Cumberland)
150ml red wine
600ml vegetable/chicken stock (I used 3x OXO veg stock cubes in 600ml water)
2tbsp tomato puree
400g veg of your choice (mine had 2 carrots and the remainder of the weight made up of musrooms)
1 clove garlic, chopped (or more if you like garlic)
Heat oven to 200oC (which I think is gas mark 6.)
Brown off the sausages in a pan with a little oil.
Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables and make the stock with 600ml boiling water and three stock cubes. Mix the vegetables and garlic in a bowl and sprinkle in the herbs. Toss lightly to cover.
Mix together the stock, wine, tomato puree and flour (using a whisk). It doesn't have to be perfectly mixed because the bubbling in the pot will mix it sufficiently enough whilst cooking.
Place browned sausages in the bottom of the pot and place mixed vegetables on top. Cover with sauce.
Cover the pot and place in the oven for 1.5 - 2 hours. (I reduced the temperature to 150oC for the last half hour as it was already reducing a lot.)
I served mine with boiled brocolli and cauliflower and boiled potatoes, which I put on to cook for the last half hour of the casserole. There's still enough left over for tonight, too. ;)
You can also cook it in a large covered pan on the hob if you have one, and I think it only takes about an hour because you lose significantly more moisture than in a crock pot in the oven.
And obviously, you can make it vegetarian or not put the wine in, whatever suits. ;)
Mm. I like making things from scratch and eliminating the need for jars. I have so far managed to stop buying bolognese sauce and now 'Sausage Tonight' type things. Must learn to make curry. Also 'Chicken Tonight' sauces, as they can't be that difficult to recreate.
Oh, incidentally? The shepherd's pie I cooked for my grandmother was totally delicious, thank you very much, although I served far too much of it. I should really stop praising my own cooking so much, but I'm so used to things going horribly wrong like when I was at school that it constantly surprises me that I can actually cook these days, when I've really only learnt properly the past couple of years or so. The key is confidence, experimentation and basic knowledge.
I have my PDR at some point when Marie's finished with Ann, so should probably get this posted. Longest entry in a while... you can tell I'm back at work. :P