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Saturday, 20 October 2018 Dereel Images for 20 October 2018
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Power failure
Topic: general Link here

Another very short power failure this morning at 9:51. That's the fourth in a row that only really affected the printer.

Bratwurst again
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

Finally got round to processing the sausage meat that I bought in Melbourne on Tuesday. The first question was: are my casings still OK? I had last used them two years ago, and I had frozen both the end of the casing I had used then, as well as the unused casings. But yes, they looked unchanged, so we were able to use them.

Or so I thought. It's not easy to get the start of the casing onto the filling tube of the sausage filler, distinctly reminiscent of fitting a condom:

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But this time it was almost impossible. In the end I had to oil the filler tube, after which it still took nearly 20 minutes to pull the 16-odd metres of casing over the tube.

And things didn't stop there. Filling the sausages was much easier, but we had no less than four sausages that burst while filling. I've never had that before, not even with the much weaker collagen casings. I'm guessing that this happened as the result of freezing them. Given the cost of the casings, I think I'm going to have to match future sausage production to the capacity of the casings.

In any case, things worked well this time, though the sausages are rather thicker, probably because of the difficulty filling.

The cost of a sausage
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

How much does it cost to make sausages? My Bratwurst are made from 2 parts of pork shoulder (about $8 per kg) and one part of pork belly (paradoxically, about $12 per kg), making an average price about $11 per kg. On top of that come the casings, roughly 2 m per kg, or about $3, for a total of about $14 per kg, not including the work involved.

And this weekend ALDI have sausages on special: $3.30 per kg. How can they manage that price? It's barely more than the cost of my casings. But then, these will be collagen casings, which only cost about $0.60 for 2 m. But they're really not as good, and I can confirm that ALDI sausages like to burst. Still, that only leaves $2.70 for the filling. What is it? I shudder to think; I can't even buy dog food for that price.

Sunday, 21 October 2018 Dereel Images for 21 October 2018
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The revenge of Malcolm Turnbull?
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Two months ago the Liberal Party of Australia chose a new leader, ousting Malcolm Turnbull, who had ousted the previous leader, Tony Abbott, three years ago. I've already expressed my opinion of his faceless successor.

Turnbull did what I can absolutely understand: at the age of nearly 64, he decided to retire, leaving his seat vacant and the government without a majority in parliament. Yesterday a by-election was held, in which the Liberal candidate lost to an independent candidate, and leaving the government still without a majority.

Why? Wentworth was one of the safest Liberal seats in the country, having never been won a candidate from another party. I'd like to think that it was Morrison's boundless stupidity in suggesting moving the Australian Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. But that's not the sort of thing that causes a 20% swing away from the Liberals. The ghost of (still very much alive) Turnbull overshadowing the elections?

Time to document spice pastes
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A few days ago I made a “Rendang” with a paste from Teans Gourmet, a brand with which I have had good experience. But the quantities!

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1.3 kg of meat! That's far too much! So I put in 600 g.

Wrong! This really does need that much meat, and even then it's very pedas. Yvonne couldn't eat it.

More to the point, though, it's time to start a spice pastes page with comments on my experience and on quantities.

This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.

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