Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A couple of new websites...

I've just launched / re-launched a couple of new websites lately......

FootballChitchat - which can be found at http://www.footballchitchat.co.uk - is a messageboard community i've knocked together for fans of Football (soccer). Been meaning to get it going for a while, actually... installing messageboards is a pain in the butt, especially the CHMOD'ing part to set "Channel Permissions" to make it work. The board is largely functionally apart from the painstaking work of adding more boards for all the teams there are out there + making a few more colour schemes for future board members to choose from to customise how they see the messageboard.

Re-launched: My website for my home town.... http://whitby-north-yorkshire.co.uk has a fancy new colour scheme for the front end of the site, the messageboard is same as it's been since I installed the thing (desperately seeking members), and there's some extra domains pointing at the website:
During the past year I also launched Conservativechitchat - http://www.conservativechitchat.co.uk - a messageboard & blog community for followers of Conservative politics in the UK, USA & around the world. Still room for improvement in terms of board members, but the Twitter Feed doesn't seem to be doing too badly.

On a similar theme, I've also got Astronomychitchat - a messageboard for fans of Amateur Astronomy.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Cooking: How to cook rice

For something to fill the blog out a bit more, I thought I'd stick one of my cooking techniques on here.........

Stuff Needed:
  • Long Grain Rice (about half a cup per person is usually enough)
  • Medium / large-ish saucepan
  • Water
  • Salt
tip: I prefer to use "Tilda Easy cook long grain rice" when doing rice, as it doesn't go too sticky / PVA glue-like if you accidently leave it cooking too long (unlike some of the cheaper supermarket own-label packets of long grain rice).

How to cook it:
1) Put water from the cold tap into the saucepan.... about 468ml will probably be enough

2) Place the saucepan full of water onto the hob / burner of the cooker, remembering to turn it onto full heat

3) Put the salt into the water - about 2teaspoons of salt maximum. This supposedly lowers the boiling point of the water. It also helps with the flavour of the rice...... put no salt in, and the rice doesn't taste of anything... put too much in and it tastes bloody awful.......... put the right amount in (2 teaspoons is the amount I've found works to perfection) and it tastes perfect.

4) Once the water starts to bubble away (which means it's boiling), tip the rice (measuring it out in a regular sized cup) into the pan of water.
If you want, you can also put in a couple of handfuls of frozen peas, or frozen mixed vegetables (e.g. peas & carrots & sweetcorn & sliced green beans, etc) to try make it a bit more interesting.

5) Leave the rice to boil away in the pan for 15-20minutes (making sure it doesn't boil dry, or it's almost impossible to get the sodding pan clean afterwards trying to get burn't rice off the bottom of it).
Most cooks / chefs recommend putting a lid on the pan........ I don't bother with one (except at the end when draining off the excess water), as when I do it's a never ending battle stopping the water from boiling over and splashing over the cooker top.

6) Once the 15-20minutes are up, drain off the water (with the aid of the pan lid) then scoop the rice out of the pan with a slotted spoon to serve it with whatever (if anything) you were planning to have with it.