Another new experience… Sweet chili sauce…

I am trying to grow some vegetables organically in my huge backyard. In some black planting bags I have a few chili plants. They are giving their fruit in abundance this year.

So I decided to try something new. I looked up a few recipes on Youtube, and found some that is not too difficult. That was last night at just before midnight. This morning, after swimming my 50 laps (1.25 km) I jumped in to start cooking my very own sweet chili sauce. Following this Aussie bloke’s advice- thanks mate!

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So here is the recipe- I don’t have any idea how to translate it into that other ounces and pounds and yards and inches business…

You need about 250 grams of chili. 2 Cloves of Garlic. And 1 2/3 cups of white vinegar.

You blend at first about 150 grams of chilis with 1 cup of vinegar and the garlic in your blender. Then after it is blended smoothly, add the rest of the chilis.

Now get a pot on high heat on your stove. Add the blended mixture, with another 2/3 cup of vinegar, and get it to boiling point. Add 1 1/3 cup of castor sugar, boil it all together nicely while stirring, till it is reduced by about a 1/3.

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Let it cool down, and pour it into some sterilized bottles. How do you sterilize bottles? You take it to the vet, and they will spay it…

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It is really a great feeling doing this for the very first time, and to know that the fruit comes out of your own garden, and is organically produced without any insecticides used…

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That doesn’t seem like much sweet chili sauce, but hey, one small step for man…

There is just one small niggling thought in the back of my mind, and if Jamie Oliver, or Nigella Lawson, or Marco Pierre White happens to pass by, please help with this question- exactly which brand of peppers/ chilis should be used in sweet chili sauce? Sweet bell peppers? (That is why I am not asking Gordon Ramsey- he might be 6 weeks older than me, but he will call me an idiot in the kitchen…)

Because I only have jalapeno’s at the moment… and my sweet chili sauce is burning like hell. I am going to market this sauce, let all my church members have a spoonful before church on Sunday, and then deliver a sermon on the fires of hell…

The Red Bike outside Australian Masterchef Kitchen, Series 3

One of my biggest questions in life has finally been answered. But is a long story- I don’t like to keep things short…

My favourite television program is Australian Masterchef. I must say- this program has changed my perception of the Australian people a lot.  As a proud South African, we do not like the Aussies. They are just too good in cricket (sometimes… 🙂  ) and their rugby- the decent kind the rest  of the world can understand, not that Aussie rules funny stuff- is also sometimes ( 🙂 I know…) good.  We all know they come from hand-picked ancestors, Her Majesty’s best…  And there is the story of Breaker Morant– quite a bad bastard in our history…

Agggh mate, -get to the point, I hear the Aussies scream in their weak pale beers…

In any case- Masterchef Australia changed all that negative perceptions. Well, nearly all- do I really HAVE to like Shane Warne?

But the Aussies showed me they have a certain style of doing things, which I really like.  The American cooking competitions are so aggressive  and their judges really like to break the weakest link in the kitchen. And the Brits can be quite boring sometimes in the kitchen and bedroom.  Sorry Nigella. Sorry Gordon. Sorry Jamie…  maybe there are a few exceptions.

As I said in a droning voice already, the Aussies have a certain style of doing Masterchef. Their judges, Adam, George and Matt really love their food and their art of cooking. In the television series, I find that they are quite decent blokes, who do not go about negatively with the competitors. They challenge and inspire. They drive the competitors to give their best.  For the competitors it is a steep learning curve, it looks like one of the best experiences of their lives to participate. THe food they produce is spectacular, and I as viewer learn a lot as well. I did not know that they have such world class Michelin starred restaurants. The outdoor activities shows the viewer  a country of awesome beauty.  I am beginning to like Aussies… (except in that funny yellow Sporting gear…)  Maybe that is why half of my nation emigrated to Australia… 🙂

I know, I know, it is getting long and boring… but it IS workers day in South Africa, I couldn’t sleep anymore and am a little bored, so now I thought to bore you as well, maybe we can go back to sleep…

Anyway, somehow we always suck on the rear teat in SOuth Africa. We only now get to see Series 3, which was broadcasted in 2011 in Australia, and even in Ireland. I peaked on the internet yesterday and now know who won… we are in the final 8 of the series…

Let’s FINALLY get to the point. In Masterchef Australia, Series 3, there is a beautiful Red Motorbike standing just outside the door. One of life’s biggest questions in my mind was: Whose bike is it? And what is it?

So this morning, I decided to find out. (in a Jeremy Clarkson voice. Listen, BBC guys with the thick glasses and moustaches and checkbooks, if ever you plan a Top Gear for motorbikes, and need a fattish middle-age Stig for the job- call me…)

Whose bike is it? The television companies’ bike. Even the presenters are not allowed to ride it. Lawsuits etc- you never know when the handpicked ancestors’  genes kick in and it gets nicked…   Gary is the biker amongst the team, and owns his own Triumph. This is out of the mouth of Matt Preston himself.

The Bike? It is a Triumph Thruxton. I am a bad researcher, I can not find ONE photo of the real one standing outside the MCK on the Internet- can you help?

The Triumph Thruxton was named after a racing track of the 1960’s.

It is described by Triumph South Africa as:

Thruxton. The café racer. Reinvented.

Thruxton. Named after the race track where Triumph ruled the roost and inspired by the famous “Ton Up Boys” of the 60s. The Thruxton is Triumph’s sportiest classic, an authentic café racer delivering that unique Brit twin riding experience. Low rise bars, sporty riding position, aluminium-rimmed spoked wheels (18” front and 17” rear), megaphone style silencers and a modern 865cc parallel-twin engine. It stirs the heart for those around at the time and for those who seek the classic sporty retro cool….

Specifications for the Petrolheads: (2013 model)

Engine and Transmission
Type Air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 360º firing interval
Capacity 865cc
Bore/Stroke 90 x 68mm
Fuel System Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI
Exhaust Stainless steel headers, twin chromed upswept silencers.
Final Drive X ring chain
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 5-speed
Oil Capacity 4.5 litres (1.2 US gals)
Chassis, Running Gear and Displays
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, tubular steel
Wheel Front 36-spoke 18 x 2.5in, aluminium rim
Rear 40-spoke 17 x 3.5in, aluminium rim
Tyre Front 100/90 18
Rear 130/80 R17
Suspension Front KYB 41mm forks with adjustable preload, 120mm travel
Rear KYB chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload, 106mm rear wheel travel
Brakes Front Single 320mm floating disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
Rear Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
Instrument Display/Functions Analogue speedometer and tachometer with odometer and trip information
Dimensions and Capacities
Length 2150mm (84.6in)
Width (handlebars) 830mm (32.7in)
Height without mirrors 1095mm (43.1in)
Seat Height 820mm (32.3in)
Wheelbase 1490mm (58.6in)
Rake/Trail 27º/97mm
Fuel Tank Capacity 16 litres (4.2 US gals)
Wet Weight (ready to ride) 230 kg (506 lbs)
Performance (measured at crankshaft to 95/1/EC)
Maximum Power 69PS / 68 bhp / 51 kW @ 7400rpm
Maximum Torque 69Nm / 51 ft.lbs @ 5800rpm
Fuel Efficiency
Price
Recommended Retail Price R92 500

This means that this bike is almost the same specs as my BMW R 850 R, I don’t need to buy one.

But: It is a beautiful bike!  Now you know…