The Penalty Box

Five minutes for attempted world domination

Guard Tower

June 30, 2013 at 11:40 PM | categories: Five Hole Photo | View Comments

I took this photo on the crazy long walk from the city wall entrance to the inner door to the Forbidden City in Beijing. That's right, getting inside the giant wall does not actually get you into the city where the emperor lived, merely just a long pathway to a door that leads into the city.

The guard tower in the picture is one of many that dots the walls surrounding the city. Emperors had it good back in the day. You know, aside from the constant plots to murder them by people wanting to grab power. But what power it was.


f/8, 1/800th sec, ISO 400

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Adventures in Foodland - Bacon wrapped meatloaf with polenta cakes

June 26, 2013 at 09:22 PM | categories: Culinary Capers | View Comments

I decided to spruce up some leftovers by adding bacon. Yup, because I'm creative like that. Yesterday I made some meatloaf and polenta, which was different from the usual meatloaf and mashed pototatoes. I don't usually like to cook single or two person servings, so I ended up with half a meatloaf and a bunch of leftover polenta. I spread the polenta into half inch thick sheets on some glassware to cool. This resulted in a nice polenta cake that I could slice into smaller portions.

I wrapped some slices of meatloaf in bacon and pan fried those first to render out some bacon fat. I finished the heat up process of the meatloaf in my toaster oven. I then coated the polenta cakes in some flour and pan fried them. Half an inch is a nice thickness because you can get a crust on them quickly and have them heated through after the crust is done.

I don't normally just blanch asparagus, but that was done mostly for pictorial purposes. Blanching vegetables brings out their colour better, even though the flavour isn't. My roasted asparagus from the previous night had garnered a rather dingy, pale green colour and wasn't all that pleasant to look at.

To top it off, I added some butter to the remaining bacon fat (waste not, want not!) and sweatted down some julienned onions. I tossed in some flour to make a roux and chicken stock to make a gravy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Results with some 10 second plating (because I was hungry dammit): IMG_0921

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Plank Hole

June 15, 2013 at 01:20 PM | categories: Five Hole Photo | View Comments

This is another picture from the set I took viewing things from the ground. Looking straight down made it just another hole in a walkway in North Vancouver. I found the background much more interesting once I knelt down and focused on the hole. Bokeh is neat.

Plank Hole

f/2.8, 1/250th sec, ISO 100

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River View

June 02, 2013 at 09:55 PM | categories: Five Hole Photo | View Comments

The Rocky Mountaineer train up to Whistler is a pretty scenic trip. It's kind of expensive, but if you can find a Groupon or some other kind of coupon for $99 like I did, it's worth doing. The trip takes a couple of hours and you see some cool things on the way there and back.

This shot is of a river that the train passed on the way up to Whistler. At this point, the cloud cover started drifing over the train, which allowed for some overcast lighting. Hooray for natural diffusion of light!

River View

f/4.5, 1/800th sec, ISO 400

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