A new recipe for the mighty munchmun.ch. I really ought to start taking photographs of some of the things I cook.
These are the notes that I took during the day and I may well have gotten things down wrong, particularly in some of the presentations where we whipped through slides at a frantic pace. Slide decks and alternative coverage should congregate on Lanyrd sooner or later.
This first talk up provided an interesting insight into the inner workings on the jQuery team/board and the day-to-day decision making process.
It’s been a while since I’ve looked at jQuery Mobile and this talk from Todd makes it look like a very exciting project. I’m interested to see how theming it actually works so that we don’t end up with thousands of look-a-likey sites, but will definitely consider giving it a test run next time I want to build something aimed at a mobile platform.
Good discussion on how to approach the ways in which both web apps and native mobile apps are used to give a user access to core functionality, including some cool implementations using Backbone.js.
Very interesting talk, particularly the thinking around solid error logging. It’s given me some good ideas around trying out server-side rendering in my projects. Maintaining correct URLs using new HTML5 APIs is very important; hash-bangs are rubbish.
This seemed to be an amusing polemic against the proliferation of using jQuery plugins to mask knowledge and coding ability. I agreed with a lot of what was said regarding the idea that browsers are catching up and it may be less necessary to rely on abstractions like jQuery to pave over differing levels of browser support and implementation of features. Chris didn’t really cover using polyfills to cover gaps where feature support is spotty, which seems to me like a logical sister act to this talk—maybe that was what the other half an hour he mentioned consisted of?
Probably more of a sales-pitch-cum-tech-demo, Haymo was enthusiastically showing off Aloha Editor without getting into the (arguably more interesting) details of how they’d built it. WYSIWYG technology is certainly advancing, but still doesn’t feel quite right to me: I still think that web content should ideally be written using semantic markup, or at least Markdown. WYSIWYGs will always mark content up for how it looks instead of necessarily using the correct semantics.
Very amusing and energetic presentation from Paul covering the range of tools available to web developers these days, from source code abstractions (e.g. SASS/LESS & CoffeeScript) to one-page websites such as Sassy Text Shadows. Time seemed to run out far too soon so I’ll have to make a note to check out the slides and see what else we might’ve missed out on, but it’s definitely convinced me to have a go at using SASS and CoffeeScript for an upcoming side project.
This talk covered some solid software architecture principles in a very similar vein to Nick Zakas’ talk from Full Frontal last year, but with better code examples and prettier slides. That said, old thinking isn’t necessarily out-dated, and this gave me and my Guardian colleague, James, food for thought with regards to ways that we could better make use of patterns in future developments.
By far my favourite of the day, and sadly rushed since it fell at the end of the schedule. Fantastic talk and very thought-provoking, in particular making me think when it comes to balancing between fast selectors and reusable selectors. I’d like to l look much more closely at lazy-loading functionality and content based on when it’s actually likely to be used. I’d love to get this guy to come and give a talk to the Guardian tech team.
I’m really keen to try and increase my knowledge of classic French gastronomy, starting with amazing sauces. Last night I pan-fried some trout fillets and served them with beurre blanc, based on a recipe by Valentine Warner. I don’t recall ever having beurre blanc before now, but it was rich and glossy, sweet and tangy, and utterly delicious.
I finally managed to get to this delightful little coffee house that’s opposite Forest Hill station. Friendly staff, a very nice flat white (using Square Mile coffee) and a ridiculously delicious passion fruit custard tart. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Last weekend I picked up a new cookery book that I had been looking forward to for some time, ‘Mexican Food Made Simple’ by Thomasina Miers, the Masterchef winner and co-owner of Wahaca. Her ethos, both on television and in her restaurants, is to try and bring simple Mexican street food to a grateful public. From personal experience at Wahaca I would definitely say that her goal has been reached.
I’ve made quite a few Mexican dishes before, but was excited to get home and try some from the book. I set off for the supermarket, extensive list in hand, and returned home relatively successful. That said, anywhere without a solid supply of coriander these days is seriously doing it wrong.
I tried to follow the recipes as much as possible, but due to missing ingredients and giving myself way to much to do, I veered off course frequently. Inspite of that, I and my fellow diners were pretty pleased with the outcome, and it’s a good first step down the path of delicious Mexican gastronomy. These recipes, therefore, are not perfect but should hopefully give you some good ideas to play with.
I’m sure that everyone has made plenty of salsa before, but I’ve never roasted the constituent parts before. It gave the salsa a really pleasant deep smoky tang and the added heat seemed to help the flavours meld together. This version has no chilli in it at all, purely because the supermarket was all out of them. You could add as much or as little as you want, but make sure to toast the chillies whole in the same way as the tomatoes and garlic for that smoky depth of flavour.
Not the most complicated recipe, that’s for sure, but it never hurts to have it down. This, again, is a chilli-free zone, but that’s personally how I prefer my guac: smooth and soothing, slathered on anything and everything!
Press cling film right down onto the top of the guacamole to stop it from browning.
Ceviche is a delicious dish whereby the fish is cooked using an acid, lime juice in this case, instead of applying any kind of heat. It leaves the fish very soft and juicy. I served it up on tostadas, which are small tortillas deep-fried until crispy and golden.
Quesadilla means “small cheesy thing”, which in itself is ace. You can fill them with pretty much anything you like, but thick juicy mushrooms work rather nicely and were personally requested by my better half, so who am I to argue?
This was the dish that suffered slightly whilst cooking, partly due to a cast iron skillet that hadn’t been seasoned well enough, and partly because I was doing about twenty other things at the same time whilst trying not to burn myself! It tasted okay in the end, albeit a little ‘caramelised’ in places, but got good reviews from the less-critical folks present.
An amazingly talented and distinctive muscian, The Tallest Man on Earth fills me with joy whenever I listen. I played his debut album, ‘Shallow Grave’ ad infinitum and am currently on my very first listen through the follow-up, ‘The Wild Hunt’. So far it’s as good, if not better.
At the moment it’s a battle between Tallest Man and Yeasayer for my favourite album of 2010, although based on the breath-taking ‘Spanish Sahara’ I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the new Foals album is a contender.
Here’s a little treat for those that haven’t seen it: