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Daniel Silverstone (Kinnison): Kimchi Trial 1 - Part 3 - Kimchiguk

Sat, 09/05/2015 - 21:18

Earlier this week I allowed some of my colleagues at work to try the Kimchi and one of them (James) liked it enough to ask for a tub of it just for himself. Being a lovely person I obliged.

My darling Rob decided that what he really wanted was Kimchiguk or Kimchijijae. Being both wonderful and lacking in ingredients, I set to do achieving something.

I read a few recipes, worked out that I lacked critical ingredients and so set about simulating Kimchiguk. I grabbed two and a bit cupfuls of kimchi from the box in the fridge, chopped it up more finely, popped it into a pot along with about a pound of cubed pork belly, two teaspoons of hot pepper flakes, two teaspoons of sugar, and two teaspoons of cornflour. I then topped that off with five cups of water, mixed it up, brought it to the boil and simmered it for 30 minutes. Then I cubed some tofu, popped that in and simmered it for another 10 minutes while some rice cooked. Served in a bowl over rice, my approximation of Kimchiguk turned out pretty well. (Note it fed both of us and there was a serving left over.)

With a do-over, I'd try harder to get pork shoulder (belly is quite fatty) and given the option I'd wait until I had hot pepper paste because the malty fermented sweetness of hot pepper paste is pretty much impossible to emulate otherwise.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Daniel Silverstone (Kinnison): Kimchi Trial 1 - Part 2

Sat, 09/05/2015 - 21:18

Last night we tried the small amount of 'fresh kimchi' from my epic kimchi making trial.

I marinaded some beef strips in a blended paste of onion, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil for a few hours before frying that up, and serving on rice with stir-fried carrots, leek and spring onion. A little fresh kimchi on the side for flavour.

I think the Kimchi was a success. Dearest Rob said that it tasted of Kimchi. The flavours were not very well combined and quite clearly underdeveloped, and the pepper flakes were still a little hard. I expect this to resolve over the next few days as it begins to ferment.

All in all, experiment going well, expect part 3 when I know how it tastes after fermentation begins.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Mick Morgan: back on topic

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 17:45

Theresa May hasn’t wasted any time. The Independent reports today that Ms May (Home Secretary in the coalition administration) has said that the new Tory administration will bring the Draft Communications Data Bill, previously blocked by the Liberal Democrats, back to the House of Commons with the intention of getting it passed into law. As the Independent also reports, dear Dave, who is let us say, technically challenged, has in the past expressed the view that no form of communication should be unreadable by the Goverment. This implies severe restrictions on all forms of encryption.

Given that the Tories now have the majority they lacked in the last administration, it is clear that they will see themselves free to attack the kind of liberties I, and millions like me enjoy and cherish. The Open Rights Group maintain a wiki devoted to the relevant points of each political party’s manifesto devoted to surveillance or other possible attacks on privacy. As they point out, the Tory party is committed to:

  • introducing “new communications data legislation”;
  • scrapping the Human Rights Act;
  • requiring internet service providers to block (certain) sites;
  • enabling employers to check whether an individual is an extremist;
  • requiring age verification for access to all sites containing pornographic material.

There are, of course, huge practical and technical difficulties in implementing much of what the Tories wish to do (consider for example the idiocy of attempting to outlaw VPN technology) but that won’t stop them trying. Indeed, some of the technical difficulties may cause the new administration to bring in mechanisms to get around those problems. An obvious example would be the requirement for key escrow for anyone wishing to use encryption.

Excuse me if I find that unacceptable. Time to encrypt much, much more of my everyday activity from now on.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Mick Morgan: do not be ordinary

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 09:10

The early results of yesterday’s poll are depressing beyond belief. It looks almost certain that the Tory party will have sufficient seats to form the next government.

I don’t often make party political points here (though my political leanings may sometimes be obvious) but I was reminded today of Neil Kinnock’s heart rending speech in Bridgend, Glamorgan, on Tuesday 7 June 1983, two days before the election in which Margaret Thatcher was returned as Prime Minister.

Kinnock said:

“If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday, I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.”

Those words resonate even more today than they did 32 years ago. I fear for the old, the poor, the disposessed, the weak, the young, the sick and yes, indeed, the ordinary people of this country. David Cameron and his cronies both inside and outside Government will now return to the task of dismantling all that is good and admirable about our society. A society should be judged on the way it treats its weakest and less able members. Cameron’s Tories are, at heart, brutal and uncaring. That frightens me.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Daniel Silverstone (Kinnison): Kimchi Trial 1 - Part 1

Mon, 04/05/2015 - 16:16

I have spent today making my first ever batch of Kimchi. I have been documenting it in photos as I go, but thought I'd write up what I did so that if anyone else fancies having a go too, we can compare results.

For a start, this recipe is nowhere near "traditional" because I don't have access to certain ingredients such as glutinous rice flour. I'm sure if I searched in many of the asian supermarkets around the city centre I could find it, but I'm lazy so I didn't even try.

I am not writing this up as a traditional recipe because I'm kinda making it up as I go along, with hints from various sources including the great and wonderful Maangchi whose YouTube channel I follow. Observant readers or followers of Maangchi will recognise the recipe as being close to her Easy Kimchi recipe, however since I'm useless, it won't be exact. If this batch turns out okay then I'll write it up as a proper recipe for you to follow.

I started off with three Chinese Leaf cabbages which seemed to be about 1.5kg or so once I'd stripped the less nice outer leaves, cored and chopped them.

I then soaked and drained the cabbage in cold water...

...before sprinkling a total of one third of a cup of salt over the cabbage and mixing it to distribute the salt.

Then I returned to the cabbage every 30 minutes to re-mix it a total of three times. After the cabbage had been salted for perhaps 1h45m or so, I rinsed it out. Maangchi recommends washing the cabbage three times so that's what I did before setting it out to drain in a colander.

Maangchi then calls for the creation of a porridge made from sweet rice flour which it turns out is very glutinous. Since I lack the ability to get that flour easily I substituted cornflour which I hope will be okay and then continued as before. One cup of water, one third of a cup of cornflour was heated until it started to bubble and then one sixth of a cup of sugar was added. Stirred throughout, once it went translucent I turned the heat off and proceeded.

One half of a red onion, a good thumb (once peeled) of ginger, half a bulb of garlic and one third of a cup of fish sauce went into a mini-zizzer. I then diagonal-chopped about five spring onions, and one leek, before cutting a fair sized carrot into inch long pieces before halving and then thinly slicing it. Maangchi calls for julienned carrots but I am not that patient.

Into the cooled porridge I put two thirds of a cup of korean hot pepper flakes (I have the coarse, but a mix of coarse and fine would possibly be better), the zizzed onion/garlic/ginger/fish mix and the vegetables...

...before mixing that thoroughly with a spatula.

Next came the messy bit (I put latex gloves on, and thoroughly washed my gloved hands for this). Into my largest mixing bowl I put a handful of the drained cabbage into the bowl and a handful of the pepper mix. Thoroughly mixing this before adding another handful of cabbage and pepper mix I repeated until all the cabbage and hot pepper mixed vegetables are well combined. I really got your arms into it, squishing it around, separating the leek somewhat, etc.

As a final task, I scooped the kimchi into a clicklok type box, pressing it down firmly to try and remove all the air bubbles, before sealing it in for a jolly good fermenting effort. I will have to remove a little tonight for our dinner (beef strips marinated in onion, ginger and garlic, with kimchi on rice) but the rest will then sit to ferment for a bit. Expect a part-2 with the report from tonight's dinner and a part-3 with the results after fermentation.

As an aside, I got my hot pepper flakes from Sous Chef who, it turns out, also stock glutinous rice flour -- I may have to get some more from them in the future. (#notsponsored)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Corporalism?

Sun, 03/05/2015 - 22:29

I was playing shop the other day with my son as he'd recently been bought a new toy till with money and food and it was going fairly well until he got a little excited and started saying "I want more money". At this, I started telling him that he couldn't just get money for nothing and that he'd need to sell me something else from his shop. This made my wife uncomfortable and she asked me to stop as she didn't want him being indoctrinated with such capitalist ideas from so early an age.

So, what's the alternative? I'm certainly not convinced there's anything wrong with teaching my son the value of currency and trade but similarly, I sort of agree that I don't want him to grow up only aware of one way that the world can work.

Educate for what's practical in the world he's growing up in and risk indoctrination or play through other scenarios and risk him growing up not knowing how to deal with financial matters?

How would that even work? I'm not sure I know how to play socialist shop. Maybe my parents failed ;)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Why-fi?

Wed, 29/04/2015 - 21:30

I'm an arch linux user and I love it; there's no other distro for me. The things that arch gets criticism for are the exact same reasons I love it and they all more or less boil down to one thing: arch does not hold your hand.

It's been a while since an update in arch caused me any problems but it did today.

It seems there's an issue with the latest version of wpa_supplicant which renders it incompatible with the way wifi is setup at boot time. The problem was caught and resolved very quickly by package maintainers who simply rolled the wpa_supplicant package back. However, I was unlucky enough to have caught the intervening upgrade shortly before turning my laptop off. I came home this evening to find I had no wifi!

This wasn't a huge challenge but I haven't written a blog post for a while and someone might find this useful:

If your wifi doesn't start at boot...

And you're using a laptop with no ethernet port...

And you know an upgrade will solve your problem...

How do you get internet so you can upgrade?

Simples :)

  1. First, find the name of your wireless interface:

    iw dev

    Which will output something like:

    phy#0 Interface wlp2s0 ifindex 2 wdev 0x1 addr e8:b1:fc:6c:bf:b5 type managed channel 11 (2462 MHz), width: 20 MHz, center1: 2462 MHz

    Where wlp2s0 is the bit we're interested in.

  2. Now bring the interface up:

    ip link set wlp2s0 up
  3. Connect to the access point:

    iw dev wlp2s0 connect "AP name"
  4. Create a temporary configuration file for wpa_supplicant:

    wpa_passphrase "AP name" "password" > /tmp/wpa.config
  5. Run wpa_supplicant to authenticate with the access point:

    wpa_supplication -iwlp2s0 -c/tmp/wpa.config
  6. In another terminal (or you could have backgrounded the above), run dhcpcd to get an IP address from your router:

    dhcpcd wlp2s0
  7. Update and reboot or whatever :)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs