Ted Lasso

A remarkably charming television programme that nails British sense of humour.

★★★★☆

Biryani

This recipe is based on one I got from my father. Please treat the measurements as rough and adapt based on the size of your pan1.

Ingredients

  • Lamb neck2, 500g, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Potato, 500g, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Onion, 1 medium, sliced thin
  • Basmati rice, 450g
  • Plain yoghurt, ~250g
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, crushed
  • Ginger, 1 inch, peeled and grated
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Cardamom, 4 pods, gently crushed
  • Cinnamon, 2 sticks
  • Saffron, ~5 strands
  • Coriander, a generous handful, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
  • Harissa, a squirt
  • Lemon, ½, juiced
  • Frozen peas, a handful
  • Salt + pepper
  • Baking paper

Instructions

Marinade

  1. Take a pan and add the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, 2 cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 saffron strands, coriander, olive oil, harissa, lemon juice, olive oil, salt + pepper then stir well to combine the ingredients.
  2. Add the meat and potatoes and stir well.
  3. Pop in the fridge to marinade (ideally the night before, or the morning of the day you want to cook).

Build

  1. Fry the onion until caramelised and set aside.
  2. Take the pan out the fridge and slowly add water to the marinade, mixing as you go. Stop adding water when the marinade is almost level with the contents.
  3. Arrange the meat and potatoes so that the potatoes are at the bottom of the pan with the meat on top: a layer of potato topped with a layer of meat. Set aside.
  4. Rinse the rice well, drain, then add to a pan with 2 cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 saffron strands, turmeric and salt. Stir well.
  5. Add enough water to cover the rice then put a lid on.
  6. Bring the rice to the boil, then immediately lower the heat and simmer until the water has been absorbed, then remove from the heat. The rice will be predominantly uncooked — that’s fine.
  7. Use a large spoon to carefully place the rice on top of the marinade, then use a fork to evenly (and gently!) distribute: a layer of rice on top of the layer of meat.
  8. Top with the caramelised onion and handful of frozen peas.
  9. Cut a circular piece of baking paper, an inch larger than the pan, place on top, followed by the lid. Press down to form a seal.

Cook!

  1. Cook on a low heat for 2 hours3 then serve like you might a cake.

  1. Pan size is important: you want a pan that will fit the ingredients comfortably (not too big, not too small). 
  2. You can use any meat you fancy. I’ve used this recipe with chicken thighs, lamb chops, etc. 
  3. When cooking this recipe, you want the potato to get a bit crispy on the bottom, without burning. I find cooking it on a low heat for a longer amount of time more fault tolerant. 

Delete your tweets using GitHub Actions

A few years ago I hacked together a bash script that you could use to backup and delete your tweets on a regular basis. For fun, I decided to do something similar using GitHub Actions.

tweet-delete doesn’t create backups, and deletes your tweets on a weekly basis. In addition, since the Twitter API only lets you get a maximum of 200 tweets per request, it won’t work if you have more than 200 tweets1. Many moons ago, I deleted all my tweets and started from scratch and since I don’t post more than 200 tweets in a week it works for me.

To use tweet-delete, clone the tweet-delete repo and edit tweet-delete.sh, replacing the twitter_user variable with your own Twitter user name.

Next, create an app on the Twitter Developer portal and add the following secrets to the GitHub repo using the names:

  • twitter_consumer_api_key
  • twitter_consumer_api_secret_key
  • twitter_access_token
  • twitter_access_token_secret

After committing your changes, a git push to the master branch will kick off the workflow2 and it’ll run automagically every Sunday at 23:453.


  1. I suspect it’ll delete the 200 most recent. 
  2. Delete the “Run when pushed to master” event from tweet-delete.ymlto run only on a schedule. 
  3. Configurable in the tweet-delete.yml file

Farfalle pasta with mackerel and tomato

This superquick pasta recipe takes ~10 minutes from start to finish and makes enough for two.

Ingredients

  • Farfalle pasta, 100g
  • Mackerel in olive oil, 1 tin, flaked
  • Fresh basil, small handful, roughly chopped
  • Chopped tomatoes, 227g tin
  • Harissa, a small blob
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 tbsp, grated
  • Balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a salted pan of water to a rolling boil and add the pasta.
  2. Take a bowl, add the tomatoes, mackerel, harissa, basil, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Stir well, cover, then throw in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. When the pasta is a bit before al dente, drain, chuck the pasta back in the pan then add the sauce.
  4. Reduce the sauce for ~1 minute on a medium heat then add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, a touch of pepper, stir well and enjoy.

Fish and prawn stew

Fish prawn stew

Serve with bread, potatoes or rice.

Ingredients

  • Fresh prawns, 500g, shelled
  • Cod loin, 250g, cut into chunks
  • Fresh lime, 2 juicy, juiced
  • Coriander, small handful, chopped fine
  • Parsley, small handful, chopped fine
  • Large onion, diced
  • Cumin, 1 tsp
  • Paprika, 1 tsp
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Bay leaf, 1
  • Spring onion, 3, chopped
  • Mild chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Gammon stock, 500ml
  • Large tomatoes, 2, diced
  • Chopped tomatoes, 1 tin
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Shell your prawns and chop the fish into 1 inch cubes (maybe slightly bigger), stick them in the fridge for later.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to a medium-large pan and fry until starting to get soft.
  3. Add the cumin, paprika and chilli powder, fry until the mixture gets a bit tacky.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, gammon stock, lime juice, coriander, parsley, spring onion, bay leaf and salt + pepper and give it a good stir.
  5. Let that simmer for about 15/20 minutes, your nose will tell you when it’s done.
  6. Take out the bay leaf!
  7. Blend until smooth. If at this point it looks a bit thick, add some vegetable stock.
  8. Put the the bay leaf back in and bring back to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  9. Add the fish and prawns.
  10. Simmer until the fish and prawns have cooked.

The Experiment

For one week, starting tomorrow, I’ll be temporarily parking my iPhone 8 and instead using a Nokia 130 feature phone.

I’m not sure what to expect, but in preparation I’ve charged my Kindle and I’m eyeballing the London A-Z sitting on the bookshelf.

I’m hoping the experience will be somewhat more insightful than a lesson in inconvenience — join me on this incredible journey!

UPDATE

First impressions after a few weeks with AirPods Pro

Having owned the first generation AirPods for a couple of years and found them to be a terrific (and convenient!) piece of kit, I decided to upgrade to the AirPods Pro primarily for their noise cancelling functionality.

  • The headphones are quite tricky to take out of the case as it’s hard to get a grip on the slippery plastic.
  • The AirPods Pro case doesn’t seem to be as sturdy as the AirPods case. The “landscape” orientation of the case doesn’t feel quite right in the hand.
  • I’ve found the Noise Cancellation mode to be good and Transparent mode works a treat.
  • The force sensor took some getting used to: both using the press and press-and-hold actions. It still feels a bit awkward. I miss the AirPods’ double-tap action on the headphone to pause (etc).
  • I wish the stalks were a little longer: it would make them easier to take out one’s ear and a larger surface area to use the force sensor.
  • The headphones are comfortable to wear for extended periods, more so than the first generation AirPods.
  • Having gotten used to having the first generation AirPods case in my pocket all the time, the larger size AirPods Pro case is quite noticeable.
Category: standard