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Steven Hanley hackergotchi picture Steven
Hanley

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Tue, 05 Aug 2008

Bean Bag Goodness - 17:05

Square shaped Alta Bean Bag (fullsize)
A little while back I got myself a nice large bean bag so as to have a fun pink relaxing place to sit at home. At the time when I trialled it out in my office and again that night at the Canberra Linux User Group meeting I got to thinking it would be neat to have a bean bag in the office.

As for the pink bean bag at home, I can report that at first it felt a bit over full, the first few days with it I thought it could use less beans, however it has seemed to settle a bit and is more comfortable now for one or two people. I can also say that two reasonably tall people do indeed fit fairly comfortably together on it to watch a movie and/or relax.

A few offices around the building have couches or similar so people can relax on them in order to comfortably read papers or similar (this is a university after all), it sounded like a good idea. So I now have another bean bag, the people at Blob Beanbags suggested another line of bean bags they do called Alta Beanbags, the large pink bean bag was a little bit too big for my office, however the jumbo sized Alta Beanbag fits better.

It seemed a bit harder to fill than the first bean bag, however with help from a colleague and the use of a large cardboard funnel I was able to get 300 litres of beans into it. Initially I thought it was not full enough, possibly due to my first impressions of the pink one being that it was too full. However after looking at the seating suggestions on the website and trying it out in a few different positions I changed my mind. I like the way this can be sat on easily in a number of different ways, the material is slippery, however so long as you sit down in a manner such that the beans and bag support you well it cradles you in that position. I like it, though I almost fell asleep while trialling it earlier so I must be wary not to get too comfortable at work in it...

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Roti round 2 - 16:01
Yesterday I mentioned my first attempt at Roti, last night to help finish off a rather nice pumpkin, spinach and chickpea curry I thought I would take to heart some of the lessons learnt and information gleaned online. So I made more Roti.

This time I used a heavy base stainless steel pan, not quite a Tawa, however I think it is the closest easily available item I had to use. I added a little bit (a few dribbles) of oil to the dough mix before starting to add water. The pan was cleaned off between the cooking of each individual Roti. A quick spray of canola oil was used on the pan surface between each Roti rather than excessive amounts floating in a wok as happened in round 1. Oh and I used self raising flour wholemeal flour.

The bread tasted and felt a lot healthier than round 1, less oil throughout. The bubbles appeared during cooking once the pan base was hot enough, the first two or three Roti were cooked before the pan was hot enough I think. The main problem this time was the bread was not as flaky as good Roti often is when you get it at a restaurant, this may mean I need to fold it over some dribbles of oil once the dough is made as some sites suggested. The other even more annoying problem was that the good bubbly Roti was awfully dry, so it cracked when handled and bent a lot rather than a nice malleable bread you can easily tear and scoop with. I wonder if making the dough just a little moister will help with the dry feeling.

As yummy as it all was it took a lot longer and was more labour intensive to make Roti than simply heat or cook some brown rice, thus I think I will keep Roti for occasional meals and when eating out and stick to brown rice with most of my curries and other Roti friendly dishes.

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