9 December 2018

BCPS Garlic Challenge - with added coffee! (@BCPathology) by @NLi10



A short while ago, the lab I work for rebranded and sent out three cloves of garlic to everyone that wanted them to try their hand in the Garlic Challenge.  For your typical non gardener the challenge is actually putting the garlic into the ground - and in this aspect I have succeeded!  Granted, I've just missed out on a lot of the unseasonal warmness, and light showers, but there's plenty more to come (It's Only Four Degrees etc...)!



As interesting as it would be to fill this with pictures of my garden I figured that it would make a nice three part video as the garlic grows (or more likely my cats dig up and desecrate the pots) and take us neatly into spring - so here is part one!






For those less inclined towards YouTube, here is a rough summary of what I've done.  As there were three cloves of garlic I decided to randomly allocate these (via the method of tipping them out) to the following growth mediums:

  • Starbucks waste coffee grounds (mixed with soil after Siri basically said pure coffee would be pointless)
  • Mulch from our compost heap that is basically all avocado skins and left over leafy greens.
  • Regular cat infested soil from under one of the shadier bushes


Three pots, three cloves, 6 months to grow.  Lets see what happens!

Advent Calendars Day 9! (by @NLi10)

We got our first comment - truly I am an influencer now and will soon be on Strictly Come Dancing (at least the Para-version).



Actually decent stuff today too - things you might actually buy!

8 December 2018

Brains Brewery Dark Matters Beer (Aldi) By @SpectreUK



So… er… Dark Matter then. I looked it up on Google (of course) and it came up with a form of hypothetical subatomic particles that is thought to account for roughly 85% of the universe… I stopped reading about there scratching my head. "But it's right in front of me!?" I thought… It's good that Brains Brewery, in Cardiff, found it before the scientists did, because I bet it would be stuck in a test tube in some laboratory deep underground about now, rather than just about to be poured into my waiting beer glass.

This 4.4% volume coffee porter certainly has something about the night's sky about it, though it's literally pitch black in colour with not one shiny star in it. It has a deep roasted dark chocolate malt smell to it. There is an initial dark chocolate malt taste, followed by sweetness from the caramel malt, and a bitter touch of liquorice and raisins from the additional herbal hops. It then has a creamy smooth chocolate finish with the barest hint of roasted coffee in the aftertaste, mixed in well with the chocolate malt. I'm glad Cinabar finally found me a bottle of this Dark Matter in our local Aldi, as when she was on holiday last year in Cardiff she couldn't find one bottle of Brains beers in the shops! A bit like Dark Matter for the scientists then, I suppose?

Advent Calendars Day 8! (by @NLi10)

I can understand why people review the non-food ones now.  With no pictures it feels like i'm stuck in a loop.  At least Haribo and Tea are exciting still!


7 December 2018

Breakfast To Go Shreddies/Shredded Wheat (@DegustaboxUK) By @Cinabar


I received this pack of Breakfast To Go Shredded Wheat in one of the wonderful boxes from Degusta. A subscription service where they send you a monthly box of interesting products. I decided to have this for my breakfast at my desk, while catching up on work emails. The pack comes with a pot with Shredded Wheat, a carton of milk and a plastic spoon, everything you need for breakfast. The first thing I did was to try and pour the milk, and this was a struggle. The carton said tear here, but the carton wouldn’t tear by hand. Admittedly I’m not the strongest person in the world, but I’d put myself down as average and I could rip the carton. I’m in an office but I couldn’t find any scissors about (we are paperless, so don’t really have the need for that much stationery). I found a butter knife in the kitchen which I used to create a bit of weakness by sawing at the top and eventually I got it open, with some pulling, enough to get the milk out. It probably is reasonable to assume if you are in an office there are scissors about normally, but these on the go products are designed to be picked up and eaten anywhere, on a train for example, where I assume people will struggle too.


My next issue was my pack was labelled Shredded Wheat and the contents were clearly Shreddies. Not an issue for me as I’d be happy with either, but it is still nice to know what you are going to get.
The milk is long life and when poured over the cereal you can taste the difference from fresh in the flavour. I do from time to time use long life milk in tea or coffee and I can’t tell the difference, but that is for a small splash in a strong drink, on these cereals it stood out a lot more. The Shreddies were nice, but they regular Shreddies. I’m not sure this is something I’d buy to be honest, it is a good idea, but the milk carton was driving me mad!

Advent Calendars - Day 7!

I've made it to the end of the first week - should I keep going?!