Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh glory, back on deck!

Oh bliss. I have my MacBook back. With a new Logic Board and hard drive. Thank heavens for extended warranty. I'm so glad I had that. It would have cost more than a new Mac to get this one fixed otherwise!
So now I'm head down building websites for clients; I've missed out on ten days' hard graft and am going nuts catching up.
Tonight though I took a break. It's Bastille Day - joyeux jour de Bastille! - so it was an excuse for my husband to buy us a bottle of bubbly. I have French ancestors and that doubled the excuse. I stopped swearing at the computer (some things don't change even after the relief of getting it back but actually I was cursing the designer of a web template I was trying to use) long enough to whip up a dish of grilled chicken breast with a tarragon, cream and garlic sauce. I couldn't think of anything more French to cook in a limited timeframe.
Back to the cursing now. I've promised this guy a website by this weekend...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Souper Douper

I love making soup, especially in winter. Now, Sydney doesn't have a 'real' winter with snow and ice, but it does get cold enough that you feel uncomfortable without some form of heating. Our house is chilly and we've had the gas fire on at night and most days since late May. Which definitely makes it soup weather.
Celeriac is one of my favourite winter vegetables; it's low in carbs as well as being tasty. I usually either bake it to go with a roast, or mash it like potatoes with thyme and garlic and a bit of olive oil. But yesterday I decided to turn the huge celeriac in my fridge into soup.
I didn't have a recipe to hand so made something up along these lines:

Chop up 1 celeriac into 1" pieces
Chop finely 1 clove of garlic
Finely slice two leeks
Have about 1.5 litres of chicken stock to hand
Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg
To serve: cream and finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, salt and pepper.

Sweat the leeks in a big pot while you're chopping the celeriac and garlic. When they're soft, add the celeriac, garlic, stock and nutmeg, bring to the boil and simmer until the celeriac is soft - about 15 or so minutes.

Puree the soup in a food processor until it's smooth.

Serve with a dollop of cream, a generous sprinkle of parsley and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir the cream through the soup.

Yum!! Enjoy!!

Oh, and the Mac is still in hospital. I'm finding lots of time for cooking as there's so much work I can't do. Hope I get it back today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Enforced rose-smelling

The insane busyness has taken its toll - not on me but on my trusty electronic best friend, my MacBook Pro. The poor little thing has had a major conniption and now won't turn on. It 'hangs' on the startup Apple logo, as if it's afraid to go any further. The fab Apple support line has been brilliant in trying to help me get the little fella going again, but to no avail. So he's booked into the Apple doctor tomorrow.
Meanwhile I'm using my husband's tiny 8 year old PowerBook G4, which can't run Snow Leopard or the newest version of Safari, and which doesn't have Adobe Creative Suite installed. In many ways this has stopped me working. Yeah, I've got Office, but most of my work these days requires the CS and access to modern web browsers.
Surprisingly, I'm not stressed. I should be screaming about the workload mounting up and panicking that my Mac will have something horribly, terribly, fatally wrong with it and it won't get fixed in one afternoon (as Apple is promising me). I should be waking up through the night in a blue funk. These are my normal responses to computer-generated problems. But somehow I've accepted calmly that for the moment I'm buggered, and I'll have to take it slowly workwise until the Mac gets fixed.
My clients have been great about it and haven't pointed out that it's a bit unprofessional to only have one machine loaded with my necessary software. I guess being small business owners themselves they're aware of the cost of multiple licences for software. Aside from which the G4 probably can't run Adobe CS :-).
So it's a sunny winter's day, I still have one rose in bloom in the garden, which I've had the opportunity to admire and sniff appreciatively; now I think I'll go for a ride on one of the bikes. I suspect nature has been telling me to take a deep breath for quite a while.