Monday, October 31, 2005

Would you like a shoulder to cry on?

I'm sorry.

I didn't know.

Is there anything I can do for you?

How did I find out? Google told me.

"... the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site ... or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts.."

Yes, they told me that your are suicidal and depressed .. :(

Come on... there is no shame in seeking help.
"You are never strong enough that you don't need help" ~ Cesar Chavez

Why aren't you happy? Would you like to talk about it?


OK OK.. lame attempt. I know!

Just couldn't resist. Laughed my socks off (and had to quickly put 'em back on, cos it's starting to get really cold at night) when I saw the ads.

Must be all the entries on Death Sauce and, .. oh wait.. I did use the phrase suicide :p

Even so, I guess it's a good sign. No more Public Service Ads :) Project Framing Glasshopper is now ROLLING!!!

For my first item (Blair's After Death), I'll need to accumulate about $11.31 (including shipping). Not bad. I'm almost at the 20% mark!!

Can't wait.

Oh.. and Happy Halloween! Enjoy your celebration! For me, I'm contented with hiding in my room, wallowing in some cheap beer.

Halloween gives me the creeps. Kids dressed up as their own nightmares, going from house to house blackmailing every victim they find. Bah. "Here! Have some candy laced with Pure Cap". You can have both trick AND treat!

I'll happy which my assumptions that it's just some Mat Salleh Ching Ming (清明).

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Triple layer Sriracha sandwich

Couldn't get enough of Sriracha, so I came up with another meal dedicated to it. The triple layer Sriracha sandwich! Wholesome, filling, balanced, sloppy, and rewarding!!

* Wholemeal bread (3 pieces)
* Several leaves of Iceburg Lettuce
* German Salami (2 pieces)
* Smoke Mackerel (err.. some)
* Cheddar Cheese (1 slice)
* Egg (1, or 2,.. buckle my shoe)
* Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce (LOTS)

Layer 1:

Lay lettuce over bread. Top with mashed Smoked Mackerel. Criss-cross surface with Sriracha.

Layer 2:

Lay another piece of bread, more lettuce, and a fried egg. Once again, criss-cross with Sriracha.

Why keep laying with lettuce? First of all, it's supposed to be healthy. Secondly, it seperates the soggy stuff from the bread, helping to maintain the structure of the sandwich.

Layer 3:

Layer 3 is prepared separately from the first two.

Same thing, bread, lettuce, then the Salami. Slather generously with Sriracha.

Then, overlay with a slice of cheddar, a little more Sriracha for good measures, and microwave for about 40 seconds (or until the cheese starts to melt). The bread will end up a little soggy (This is the reason why layer 3 is prepared separately - don't want to soggify the whole sandwich).

You may also want to wait a while for the cheese to harden a little before proceeding with the next step. The cheese will hold all the goodies together, saving you from a great big mess.

Once done, quickly flip it over the first two layers to complete the sandwich!

Final Product:
The triple layer Sriracha Sandwich. Melts in your mouth, and all over your hands!

* As an afterthought, it would have been better if layer 1 and 2 were swapped. Would make it more structurally balanced, and bring out a better mixture in taste. Will try that next time.

Dipping in Sriracha Hot Sauce

Best way to taste a sauce, is to take a shot off a teaspoon. A dangerous advice when it comes to Hot Sauces, but I suspected that this one I could handle.

How did it fare? Well, it was a little dissapointing on the spiciness factor. With cilipadi as a yardstick, say normalised to 10, I would presume that Sriracha falls somewhere between 6 to 8. rated sriracha at about 2200 Scoville Units, which makes it equivalent the mid-ranges of Tabasco Sauces.

However, where it lost out in spiciness, it gained in taste! It has a sweet and source base ala tomato ketchup, but with a distinct garlic aftertaste. Something like the sauce you usually get when ordering Siu Mai or Lo Mai Kai, but a little less sweetness and a little more bang!

That makes it perfect for my experimental cooking! I love garlic in my food, but can't afford garlic (it costs about 20p per garlic here. I haven't been here long enough to be willing pay RM1.40 for one lousy garlic, thank you very much). I finally found a perfect substitute!

My first dish - Stir fried Lamb and mixed vege, marinated with Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce and Sriracha Hot Chilli Garlic sauce.

The side dish at the far end is Braised Brussels Sprout. It's buttery with a hint of bitterness. Goes well with the sweet and spicy main dish.

It turned out marvelous! Two thumbs up for Sriracha Sauce.

After a few bites, I realised it just wasn't spicy enough, so I sprinkled some dried Bird's Eye Chilli and added more Sriracha.

Still not hot enuff! Had to douse each mouthful with more Sriracha.

Yummy. Can't wait to get the Great White Shark Hot Sauce. Go, Project Framing Glasshopper go!!!

Dazed and Confused

Had a good night's sleep after a can of Grolsch last night. Woke up blurr blurr, felt like I was sleeping for days, so I checked what time it was, and .... Sizzling Rat Nuggets!! WTF? My room split to different time zones ah??

Geek portion of my room (computer clock, Internet time, electronic time telling devices) all say 10:30am, human portion of my room (where my bedside clock, watch, body clock) all say 11:30am.

w..w..w.. DOT.. g..o..o...g..l..e.. DOT .. c..o..m.. => "missing hour 30 october"

Found this: Daylight Saving Clock - When we change our clock

Oh yeah. Now I recall. We were on British Summer Time (BST) / Daylight Saving Time, and today is the transition date.

Thank you pakcik google.

10:30am.. still early.. back to sleep :)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Oh my. The name is taken.

Just realised today that the name Flaming Grasshopper has already been taken. The fella even has a cool animated burning grasshopper logo.

Oh well, wasn't too crazy over that name anyway (*sour grapes*).

Ok.. time to find a different name... errr... Blazing grasshopper? Ignited Grasshopper? Raging Grasshopper? Aroused Grasshopper? Passionate Grasshopper????. Stupid thesaurus.

Aiyah, lazy to think lah. Simply choose one, tak syiok later change again.

Ladies and genitalmen, as of today, Project Flaming Grasshopper shall now be called .... *drumrolls* ... Project Framing Glasshopper!

Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce

After being stung by the hot sauce bug, I just couldn't get spicyness off my mind. Going through the backposts of The Smoking Tongue didn't help either. My usual weekend breakfast of sausages, hash browns and eggs just didn't taste right anymore.

I realise that Project Flaming Grasshopper Framing Glasshopper is going to take really really long. In fact, it might probably not even take off at all (as with most projects that are initiated on impulse and not thought out properly).

So, loaded with good portion of my weekly budget, I went sauce hunting. Tesco... LIDL.... FarmFoods... and finally, just as I was close to giving up, I decided to stop by a small Chinese Supermarket called Ai Hua.. and found this!! :

As I was happily skipping home swinging my Sriracha in hand, I realised something was not right. I do recall seeing an entry on Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce in The Smoking Tongue.

There's supposed to be an elegant rooster as the logo, ... mine's a bloody DUCK! Oh crap, I might have just bought an imitation, a caplang pirated version.

Disheartened, I quickened my pace, reached home, and started doing some research on WTF I just bought.

Other than the ruddy duck taunting me with it's non-proportional wings, I noticed another thing amiss. Sriracha sauce is supposed to be by Huy Fong, not Nhan Con Ngong Kui Whatever

Oh bugger. And I paid 2 pounds for this.

From the Huy Fong Counterfeit Notice :
4. Finally, our bottle has 'Huy Fong USA' embossed on the bottom of our bottle. The counterfeit does not.

Mine says Erotic Exotic Food.

Wait.. did they say USA? Sriracha doesn't sound very American to me. Something just doesn't add up here. Time fore more googling.

From Wikipedia:
"Sriracha is the generic name for a South-East Asian hot sauce from Thailand, although one of the most famous brands is American. It is named after the seaside town Si Racha, where it was first produced as a local product. In fact, some Thais found the American brand perplexing, as Sriracha is thought to be a unique brand from that town, as the western equivalent would be Tabasco sauce. It is made from sun-ripened chile peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt."

Ahh... So mine's not an imitation after all :) . There are quite a few Sriracha sauce out there.

And mine's from Thailand! Can't get more original than that!

Based on scattered sources (newsgroups, recipe pages), in the UK, you usually get the Flying Duck Brand Sriracha sauce (the one I got) instead of the Huy Fong Rooster ones. Also, the Rooster one is HOTTER while the bloody duck is more sour. Crap.

SRIRACHA HOT CHILLI SAUCE, made from sun ripen chilli. Can't wait to try it tonight!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Project Framing Glasshopper

[edit]* This project was initially called Flaming Grasshopper, until the author realised that the name is already taken. [/edit]

After the recent encounter with Jersey Death Sauce, Young Grasshopper was intrigued by the extreme wonders of Hot Sauces.

The floodgates of possibilities have opened! No longer is his foresight limited by the puny CiliPadi and Mae-Pranom Crushed Cilli. Oh what a small word he's been trapped in all these while, blind towards the vast Universe beyond the horizon of taste, practicality and sanity.

Furthermore, chided by Master Nick over his previous attempt:
"Only 4 drops? Young grasshopper you have a lot to learn. I can do at least that much without mixing it. See Death to Leftovers."

.. and inspired by Sifu Smoking Tongue...

Young Grasshopper has made a resolution, a determination, to cast aside social norms, forgo the well-being of his tongue, and strive towards attaining the Zen of Hot Sauces. Thus it was said, and (with your help) so it shall be done.

[ The remainded of the post has been removed as it violates the T&C of AdSense ]

A bottle of hot sauce a day?

Stumbled upon the The Smoking Tongue!

Master Smoking Tongue seems to be on a personal mission to answer the question of "Is it possible to eat a whole bottle of hot sauce every day??" So far, the answer is YES.

How does he down a whole bottle of Hot Sauce everyday? Easy ...

.. just flood your food with it,

.. or gulp it down with a shot glass!

And I used to think I was t3h b0mb with my Cili Padi and Mae-Pranom Crushed Chilli. Hah!

* Once again, young grasshopper is forced to eat the humble pie*

== Pics in this post are ripped off from The Smoking Tongue ==

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Attempted Suicide (A review of Death Sauce)

Everyone, meet Jersey Death - an insanely hot sauce from Blair. Not exactly the Hottest Sauce In The World, but just about as hot as one can attempt to consume before loosing one's mind.

This bad boy is rated with a Scoville Score of 360,000. Compared to Blair's 16 Million Reserve's rating of 16,000,000 (That's of pure Capsaicin, and chemically impossible to be any hotter), Jersey Death seem to pale in comparison. How hot can 360,000 be?

On that mere comparison alone, I scoffed at it's impotence as my brother ordered it from Chile Farm. They categorised it under Untouchables. Bah! Thai/Indian food is just mild for me. I eat CiliPadi by the bowl in one seating. I snigger at people who can't take Nando's Fiery Hot Peri-Peri chicken. How hot can some Mat Salleh sauce be?

I understimated Death. A mistake I paid for dearly later. A lesson in Humility.


The first thing that I notice when the sauce arrived was it's colourful, cartoonish packaging. A failed attempt at trying to look frightening, I would assume. Sorta like a clown in a halloween costume.

Dedecked with ample warning labels, it corroborated my belief that they're just trying too hard to scare you shitless. Playing the psychology game - if you think it's freaking hot, your tongue will burn no matter what. (Hah! how wrong I was)

It even came with a complimentary skull key chain! (Note: if you remove the plastic wrapping around the cap, the key-chain comes off, killing that scary outlook Blair tried so hard to establish. Instead, use a knife and cut around the base of the cap, and remove only the top portion of the wrapper)

Then I had a good look at the content. Bottled Magma from the Hell! I was starting to get worried at this point.

My brother and I took a good whiff, and got the first preview of what we're about to put ourselves thru. The smell really hit the spot. All my doubts started to dissolve, and was replaced by anticipation, worry, and a faint but nagging feeling of regret.

With a growing respect for this Bottle of Death, we decided not to pour out the content... just in case. Using a clean Satay stick, I gave the contents a good stir. When the stick was pulled out, it was covered in bloody red goo.

Scraped the sauce off the stick into a bowl, and we got about four drops. "so little ah? Where got syiok?!", I wondered aloud. "Don't be hasty, young grasshopper.", replied the wise brother.

Topped with two tablespoons of Medium Spicy (read, not hot at all!) Salsa dip ...

Stir well ...

... suicide is served!

Hasty (and still underestimating the sauce), I scooped a reasonable huge dollop of the mix onto my tortilla.

Here goes nothing!

Oh Man!!! Everything's fine at first, but withing seconds, my tongue burning. As I swallowed, I could feel the burning sensation flowing down the throat and into my stomach. If I once had worms or germs or whatever in my digestion track, now no more liao! Muahahaha!!

It was amazing! Makes you feel so alive!

After the first mothful went down, the spicyness still lingered on my tongue. Even my saliva tasted spicy after. The spot where the sauce accidentally touch my lips was sore and "pulsating", the kinda feeling you get about 5 minutes after you accidentally scalded yourself on the wok/iron/kettle.

Then my sinuses/nose started to water, forehead started sweating, I started swearing ... and then I began craving for more!!

This is good shit man!

Of course, the more we ate, the less we could stand the spiciness. Had to tame the beast by mixing in more Salsa, and eating it with cheese (which turned out to be a great combination!).

Attempted to put out the flame that was devouring out tongues, but a 2 litre bottle of Irn Bru wasn't enough.

Milk did a better job, and with it's help, we conquered the FOUR PUNY DROPS of Blair's Jersey Death Sauce.

... the end?

No. Don't forget - What goes in must come out! After stirring up a storm in my bowels for a whole day, it finally came out, and I had to relive the whole experience ... from the other end! Ouch!

Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Jersey Death Sauce - the only Death that makes your feel more Alive!!!

Next sauce I would love to try? Blair's 3am Reserve (scoville score of about 2million - that's equivalent to Pepper Spray!).

(Shoutout to Aizuddin for linking to the teaser post of this entry)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Death in a bottle

IMG_5422_1.JPG, originally uploaded by shawnchin.

Blair's Jersey Death Sauce!

Scoville Units : 360,000 (compared to tabasco sauce rating only around 2500, and thai pepper / cili-padi at 50,000)

More pictures and a short review coming soon ... STAY TUNED!

Monday, October 24, 2005

So, have they succeeded?

IMG_5325_1_2.JPG, originally uploaded by shawnchin.

When people live in fear and baseless suspicion.
When paranoia becomes common.
When you can't even walk to work or take photos of trains.

It does make you wonder....

Sunday, October 23, 2005

My First Autumn

IMG_5405.JPG, originally uploaded by shawnchin.

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

~ Albert Camus

Thoughts come clearly while one walks

Originally uploaded by shawnchin.
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

~ John Muir

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Little cyclist

Originally uploaded by shawnchin.
"Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance,
you have to keep moving"

~ Albert Einstein

Friday, October 21, 2005

Am I lost?

IMG_5301.JPG, originally uploaded by shawnchin.

Travelled to Manchester by train today. The train had to transit in Preston, and with only 10 minutes in between trains, I naturally missed it.

While waiting for the next train, I realised I wasn't alone...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

To kill two Questions with one Sign

Originally uploaded by shawnchin.
Lame lame post!

Q1. Who do you seek when you're pissing Molten Lava?

.. and for geeky HitchHiker Guide To The Galaxy Fans...

Q2. What is the answer to the great question of Life, The Universe and Everything.??

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mutton with Mixed Vege

Originally uploaded by shawnchin.

"My manner of living is plain and I do not mean to be put out of it. A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready. "

~ George Washington

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Swans at St. Margaret's Loch

IMG_5163.JPG, originally uploaded by shawnchin.

More photos of Holyrood Park at my Flickr Page:

* Panoramic View of Arthur's Seat
* Cycling Downhill
* My Fan Club :p

Strolling in Holyrood Park

IMG_5179_1.JPG, originally uploaded by shawnchin.

The remains of St. Anthony's Chapel sitting on the hill in the background.