For fun or to win?

I have never been very good at Scrabble, which is why I've been enjoying a bit of improvement with "Words with Friends" on the iPhone.

Normally when we used to play with friends, the big thing was to get five and six letter words and that was all. When you try this with people who are serious about the game, this is what happens.

Now, if I adopt a different strategy and play mostly defensively and not always go or nice, long words, the scores are a bit better.

But is it as fun? I dunno...there is some fun from not getting beaten badly, but some is taken away when you are actively trying to stop the other person from making points.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Buying the cow

Well that was quick – the Kiva project I’m sponsoring has reached its goal and the cow will hopefully be soon on its way to the butcher shop :) Repayments start in January so will keep things updated here as well.

Testing the Kiva waters

I’ve been toying with the idea about micro-lending through Kiva for a couple years now, and with Christmas on the way I decided to finally take the plunge. This is something I can support: a butcher in Uganda who wants a loan to buy a cow :)

Edit: Apparently the link to a given micro-loan applicant is not constant, so I've removed the banner. Again, a few things on the site that need some polish.

I spent a good hour or more looking through the requests and to be honest a lot of them just don’t seem noteworthy. I don’t really want to support someone who is running a store so they can buy more pop to resell. Nor do I necessarily think it’s good for someone to request $1000 for a saw when it seems like the money will go to something else. There is a lack of properly-written scenarios on a whole and not enough clarity on what exactly the money will be used for.

Regardless, I'm planning on following this for a few months and making a loan every paycheque or two provided I can find something that seems worthwhile. I’ll post updates here whenever they happen.

How to make a cream-based soup


You would think that by now I would have stopped being surprised about the crap that companies will put in our foods. Still, every now and then I enjoy having the chance to complain about things and today seemed like a good time :)

I decided to make a cream of broccoli soup for supper and here were the ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or so)
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
  • 600 ml chicken broth
  • 350 ml 18% cream
  • salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 head broccoli

In case anyone is curious, the instructions are quite simple. Melt the butter and sauté onions until soft. Slowly mix in the flour till it thickens (yes, just a basic roux). Add all the other ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to low and simmer for at least 15 more minutes.


Let’s take a second to compare this to a can of cream of mushroom soup from the “wonderful” folks over at Campbell’s.

  • water, fresh mushrooms (ok)
  • modified corn starch, enriched wheat flour, soybean or canola oil, corn starch (don’t even get me started on how bad all of these are)
  • milk ingredients (??)
  • fresh cream (ok)
  • MSG ??!
  • salt, whey protein
  • potassium chloride, sauterne wine (with sulphates)
  • mushroom flavour (dried onions) .... uhmmm
  • yeast extract
  • disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate
  • spice

It’s time to make food real again.

My new place