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jmacnaughtan

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Everything posted by jmacnaughtan

  1. Well, the first attempt went about as badly as possible. I was going to do photos/videos, but there's really no point. - My crappy off-brand food-saver didn't recognise that it had pulled enough air out, so kept sucking and wouldn't seal with any kind of vacuum (but I'll probably use this anyway, see below) - Cling film is, apparently, laughably poor at keeping liquid jelly out (at least if you want it to look discreet). I think I have destroyed my test phone. - A thicker layer of jelly would probably have been better, but not enough - 1.8% gelatin is not enough. I should clearly have listened to @teonzo and not used crappy internet guides. The jelly collapsed immediately under its own weight, but still left the phone in a chunk of it. - Surprisingly, the alarm I set for this morning on vibrate still functioned, even though the screen is KO. Unfortunately, the vibrate function had zero wobbling effect on the chunk. I blame the cheap first-generation vibro-motor in the Nokia, but I'm not sure a newer one would be much better without adapting it perfectly to the resonant frequency (thanks for the head's up @dcarch and @KennethT) - My gelatin is, apparently, nowhere near pure and was unpleasantly cloudy. So: - I'm going to upgrade to a smartphone in the jelly, but probably in a terribly loose (but fully sealed) food saver type bag. It will dampen the vibration, but I honestly don't think this is going to matter much anyway. - As it's fully sealed, it probably won't need a thicker jelly layer around it. - I'll ramp up the next test to 2.7% and see if it still wobbles. - I don't think I'll have enough time to order anything from eBay and expect it to actually arrive in time. The party's on the 2nd. - I might see if I can find a way to make the base move and wobble the jelly. I get the feeling that suspending the vibrating motor is counter-productive, and just bouncing around inside the phone rather than moving the jelly. A vibrating phone is louder on a hard surface than in your hand, so I'd imagine the vibrations would be amplified through the base. - Would leaf gelatin give a clearer result? I always thought it was basically identical, but it might be purer. - In the worst-case scenario, I'll still have a phone people can call which is suspended in jelly. This project is harder than I thought, so all suggestions/advice/hoary anecdotes are welcome.
  2. 1. That's a really unpleasant thing to do to somebody. 2. iPhones are, clearly, waterproof with cling film 3. It turns out you do get network coverage through jelly. I didn't think his one looked that good though - it looked pretty hard too. I'll see if I can do better. I've got almost two weeks, so why not?
  3. Thanks Teo, I'll give that a shot. I'm currently trying one with a 1.8% gelatin ratio - according to a couple of sources, this is what you'd normally use for a wobbly dessert jelly. Doesn't 2.4g make it a bit "hard"? I also wonder what the vibration will do to its structural integrity. It should be OK, but I'm not sure it's been thoroughly tested I'm not sure I want to monkey around building jelly blocks. It will not go well.
  4. Thanks for that - I'll give it a go if I can get my hands on the glycerine and denatured alcohol (shouldn't be too hard). The only issue is that I've got essentially one shot - if the phone gets fried, I don't have another on hand immediately. I'll try this if the vac packing doesn't work out. I think that freezing the phone would help set any jelly instantly, preventing it from getting in. But would freezing it damage the phone?
  5. You shall have one! I just need to pick up a pre-paid SIM and set the jelly
  6. I don't have an iPhone, and I'd be worried about encasing anything that expensive in jelly... I shall! But I put the odds at 50/50 that someone on this forum has actually already done something this pointless
  7. Mine's a cheapo food saver type, so it shouldn't crack. I'm more worried about the plastic pressing all the buttons all the time (it's an old-school Nokia C2 01 with physical buttons. Remember real buttons?). Also, I'd rather the plastic was as unobtrusive as possible - ideally, it should look like the phone is just suspended in the jelly.
  8. Hi, This is a slightly odd question, and I think this is probably the right place for it. As I mentioned previously, I'm hosting a failed selfie exhibition and will be doing food and drink to match. One thing that I thought would be fun to do, however, was encase a functioning telephone in a set jelly/jell-O and have people call it. It would be set on vibrate, obviously Anyway, this is not something I've done before, and the logistics are a bit interesting: - How can I stop the jelly destroying the electronics? Would a phone survive being vac-sealed? - Which proportion of gelatin to water do I need for structural stability, but maximum wobble? - Would a larger jelly wobble more satisfyingly? - Is a phone's vibrate setting even strong enough to wobble jelly? - Fully transparent or coloured? I don't intend to serve this as food, so food safety and flavour are not an issue. All suggestions welcome.
  9. jmacnaughtan

    "Brut" buffet

    Oysters could be a good option, but shucking enough for 30 people would be a chore. And I can see nothing good coming of letting drunk people try and open their own...
  10. jmacnaughtan

    "Brut" buffet

    @teonzo I'll generally try anything, but I draw the line at serving people eyes. The idea isn't to shock really, it's more the idea of it being unpolished, unfinished, etc.
  11. jmacnaughtan

    "Brut" buffet

    I like the egg idea, but I'm not sure how it would work as a buffet dish without covering everyone and everything in yolk and oil... Rillettes are always a good option though. Hey, if you're in Paris on the 2nd of November, feel free to drop by. @Kerry Beal Those little dacquoise cookies aren't ugly - they look pretty cool to me But ugly stuff does certainly fit with the theme. @Margaret Pilgrim There will of course be a lot of brut champagne, but the theme of the evening is failed selfies or selfie brut if, like me, you enjoy being pretentious. I try not to do things by halves, so it will actually be an exhibition, with artists present, champagne, and a press release In fact, here it is - this is the level I'm going for:
  12. jmacnaughtan

    "Brut" buffet

    I'm a huge fan of their green peppercorn mustard. But it is to be approached with caution I'll probably end up doing two big fillets, one traditional and one less so. I've done a bergamot zest cure before, and that worked. Would other citrus work as well?
  13. jmacnaughtan

    "Brut" buffet

    This may be involved, but it won't be my doing. I do love rillons. I can imagine just a big pile of them, served slightly warm. Also, as it happens, I'm going to Dijon on Friday. Are you familiar with Edmond Fallot? Not sure about raw meat, as it will be hanging out on a buffet table for a while. And the goat's cheese is a winner. I had not thought of this. Something simple and rich for sweets would probably be best - so I don't have to spend much time on them or make too many. Aside from brownie bites (meh) or truffles (also a bit meh), I'm not really sure which direction to go. Possibly some kind of financier?
  14. So, I thought it would be funny to turn my apartment into a gallery space and throw an opening party for a failed selfie exhibition. It started out as something of a joke, but has since snowballed and there has been a selection process, the photos are currently at the printers (60 x 40cm...), I'm going on a champagne road trip this week and there will probably be around 30 or 40 people turning up. I have pretentiously labelled the movement as selfie brut and the space itself as galérie brut. I thought it would be fitting to have food to match (obviously, the champagne will be brut), but I'm running out of ideas and I thought you all would be the perfect crowd to ask. In this case, I'm interpreting "brut" as raw/unfinished/brutish/unrefined. Here's what I'm thinking so far: A huge pat of excellent salted butter, with good bread to match. Thickly cut chunks of gravlax salmon. Some charcuterie of some sort. And that's about it so far. All suggestions are welcome!
  15. A chunky côte de boeuf, for sure. For pork, it's cheating, but jamon iberico wins every time. Chunky, half-kilo-minimum duck breasts. For offal: veal sweetbreads, duck hearts and foie gras escalopes. With a bit of rearrangement, that would actually make a pretty good dinner all together
  16. You could try pairing the rowans with raspberries. Scottish raspberries are excellent Maybe treat them like a crabapple and make a sort of jelly? I don't know about their pectin content, so you may have to experiment.
  17. This looks pretty good - I shall give it a go. From the ratios, it looks like it'll be a bit similar to a brownie in texture. Am I right in this? Good to know on both counts, although I've only ever seen them whole.
  18. Apologies if there's already a thread here, but I couldn't find it. I have recently been enjoying Brazil nuts. They seem to get no respect whatsoever, but are clearly the King of Nuts: - They only seem to come out at Christmas - They always rise to the top of the bowl - They are big and brutish. More importantly, they are the only nut big enough to be satisfying when you eat just one of them. Anything else must be shoveled mouthwards. Anyway, I'm having trouble roasting/toasting them effectively - for some reason, the inside browns before the outside and I don't know why. This generally leads me to overdo them, which is terrible given their price tag. Any recommendations? Also, I'm looking for things to do other than just eat them. I picked up a half-kilo bag of pretty beefy ones, and I've got around two thirds left. All suggestions are welcome
  19. There's no reason you can't use gelatin - just hydrate powdered gelatin in six times its weight of water or purée, then microwave it until it's melted and stir it into the bulk of your fruit. ETA: A ratio of around 1% is generally pretty good.
  20. @Merry Berry Those slices look really good - do you put gelatin in the mascarpone mix? I've never had it sit up so well without it.
  21. What's up with that calorie count? How can it vary by more than a hundred per cent?
  22. jmacnaughtan

    On "Natural Wines"

    Many old wines don't actually have that much sediment, especially whites, red burgundy or sweet wines - I tried an 1897 Rivesaltes at a wine show and there was almost none. In any case, if the restaurant does corkage, you can often drop off the bottle a few days before, so it can settle down if you need to. Sometimes, it's good to let someone else take care of the cooking if you're bringing out a special wine This really should go without saying, but thank you for doing so. It's incredibly rude to just rock up to a restaurant with your own bottles and expect them to accommodate you - the wine list is where a lot of their revenue comes from. And even if they do have a corkage policy, you should still order at least one bottle from their list.
  23. jmacnaughtan

    On "Natural Wines"

    An interesting article, and indeed balanced. I have no problem with natural wines - provided they don't have the rank, animal notes and excessive sourness that I've often seen. From what I understand, these come mostly just from a lack of hygiene, with bacterial infections that would normally be controlled by sulphur. Great natural wines just taste, thankfully, like great wines If you get the chance, try Montirius in Vaqueyras. They're natural, but their hygiene is impeccable - they use dairy pipes and pumps rather than standard wine ones, so they can be kept completely clean and sterile when needed. And it goes without saying that you wouldn't know they were natural until you actually went and talked to them about it.
  24. I find the colour is far better if you just leave it alone on each side, compared to flipping. And it's less effort.
  25. Interesting. I read that it came into Europe through the Ottoman Empire and Muslim North Africa, and was for a long time held to be heretical by the Church. This is how we get the image of the devil with a fork.
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