Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Word Clock (not World Clock)

"It is ten to eight"

Made with a Diavolino (from Evil Mad Scientists Laboratories) and a LolShield (from Jimmie Rodgers), a piece of paper with carefully crafted mirrored printing, and a recycled solar garden lamp enclosure.

A good way to learn how to tell time in French...

The Diavolino has its own crystal, which makes it one of the few barebones Arduinos that you can actually make a relatively accurate clock out of. It's also one of the cheapest around. Thank you Wendell!

The LolShield uses "charlieplexing" to drive 126 LEDs with only 12 pins...

Setting the clock still requires a serial port.

Arduino project code here.

Display template here:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pastéis de Natal (Pastéis de Belem) - Portuguese Custard Tarts

300g (2 cups) flour
250g (1/2 lb) margarine for puff pastry
Salt and water as needed

5dl (2 cups) cream
9 egg yolks
9 tablespoons sugar

Dilute the salt in the water and mix with flour, working the dough until it is smooth.
Roll out the dough and cover with a layer of margarine. Wrap the dough and repeat the operation until there is no margarine left.
Leave the dough rest for half an hour.
Cut into pieces and fill small individual shapes.

For the filling, beat egg yolks with sugar for a few minutes and bring to the boil in a water bath. Add the cream and go stir until it thickens. Set aside.
When the cream is cold, pour a tablespoon on each form lined with pastry.
Bake until dough is cooked and cream has browned.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and serve hot.

Personally, I would use unsalted butter instead of margarine, but that's a lot of cholesterol...

With a lot of help from the excellent http://translate.google.com and thanks to Sylvie Tavares Ferreira for the original recipe in Portuguese found on FaceBook (of all places!).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What to do with leftover broth?

Freeze it, store the cubes in freezer bags and use in other recipes in place of that awful industrial desiccated broth they sell you.

Philippe’s paté

1 lb ground veal (or veal + pork + beef)
1/2 lb chicken liver
1 cup of duck fat, to your taste (less means a dryer paté)
One cup of dried wild mushrooms (porcini, boletus, girolles, morels)
Pork caul
1 egg
1 small shooter glass of Cognac or Brandy
1 to 2 tsp salt

Spices to taste :
I use pepper (lots of it), dried ginger (about ½ tsp), cinnamon (½ tsp), ground cloves (½ tsp), nutmeg (¼ tsp).
One or two laurel leaves

Let the mushroom soak in hot water or chicken broth for 10 minutes (or more). When done, dry them on Scott towel.
Remove the fat and hard parts, and mince the chicken livers.
Mix the meat thoroughly with the duck fat, salt, spices, cognac and egg (do not use a blender!).
Spices and salt make all the difference in the world. Do not hesitate to salt! Two teaspoons of salt for almost two pounds of meat is not a lot, don't worry.
Add the chicken liver, then mix a bit more. Leave the mixture to rest a bit. Take a break.

Dress the walls of a terrine with the pork caul.
Set a leaf of laurel (break it slightly between your fingers without detaching the parts) on the bottom of the terrine then pour the mixture in the terrine.
Set another leaf or laurel on top of the paté.
Close the pork caul on top of the paté, trim the excess and place the lid (make sure there is a little space between the lid and the meat and that the holes in the top of the lid are free). The caul will shrink a bit and the terrine will buldge.

Put the terrine in a pan filled with water (the water must come about 3/4 of an inch below the top of the terrine).
Cook for 35 minutes to 45 minutes in the oven at 350°F (to test make a deep cut with a knife: no blood should pour from the slit when you put pressure on the paté).

Let stand for at least one hour before putting in the fridge for a day (put a weight on the paté if you have one).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronic Junk

Look what the postman brought me today !

Thanks Erin !

Who wants to be next ?

Register at : The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk, I'll send it next week to whomever wants it most :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

ArduiNIX clock with russian ИН-8 and its ИН-9 bargraph

Nixie tube

This happens in my... er... "other kitchen".
(ИН-8 and ИН-9 read IN-8 and IN-9)
Check the ArduiNIX out.

I managed to control the IN-9 by placing a 1 μF capacitor between ground and the PWM signal of the arduino and controlling the current flowing through the IN-9 through a "high voltage" transistor (MPSA42).

Salmon Gravlax

1 salmon fillet (250g / 1/2 lb)
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
5 teaspoons salt (preferably fleur de sel)
7 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground dill

Mix the pepper, salt, sugar and dill.
In a dish, put the salmon, flesh up. Sprinkle generously with the mix.
Cover with "cling film" and place a weight on top.
Refrigerate for three days.
Rinse under cold water, then dry with a paper towel.
Slice like you would do for smoked salmon (20 minutes in the freezer helps to make very thin slices).

Serve with bagels and cream cheese, or on crackers.