Monthly Archives: October 2015

Recipe for Chickpea Curry

This recipe was originally posted on my Norwegian food blog, but after serving it to some Irish folks, I have been begged (read: asked nicely) to make a translation into English. I was inspired to make the recipe after eating a delicious chickpea curry at the hotel I was staying at during the EasterCon in Bradford in 2013. This recipe is totally dairy and gluten free, so it is suitable for most people, even vegans!

1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cummin
1 onion
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil (e.g. rapeseed oil)
1 can (about 400-450 g) chickpeas
2 ripe tomatoes
1 can (about 400 ml) coconut milk

How to
Make a paste of the ginger, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, garam masala, cardamom and cummin in a bowl so that it is ready to be used. This is easily done by mixing it together in a mortar or small bowl.

Finely chop the onion in a food processor.
Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes, until soft (not brown).
Finely chop the tomatoes in the food processor. It should look like a sauce.
Add the curry paste to the onions, stir well and sauté.
Add the tomato sauce, bring to a boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil.
Drain the chickpead well, them add them to the rest, and cook until the coconut has reduced.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remember to stir the curry every now and then so it doesn’t burn.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The curry goes well with brown rice…
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Visiting Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo

Tuesday 13 october 2015, corrigancj and I visited Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo. Phoenix Park is the largest park in Europe, of 707 hectares. Dublin Zoo is located in the Phoenix Park, and is a 28 hectare park and home to some 400 animals.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Flowers at the entrance of Phoenix Park.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

To get to the zoo, we had to walk through the park, which is a really nice walk. Even at autumn there are flowers around, as well as some evergreens. Many of the trees had started to change into their autumn colours, which made a beautiful frame. Phoenix Park is known for its fallow deer that roams about free, but unfortunately didn’t get to see any.

The Dublin Zoo has so many animals and is so large you can spend a lot of time there. We walked around for three hours, and even then we didn’t see all the animals. The zoo prides itself for being part of international breeding programmes for endangered species, and there are some rare animals to meet in the zoo.

One of the rare animals in the zoo is the okapi. At first glance it can look as if it’s related to the zebras, however, they’re related to the giraffe! The okapis are said to be shy, something that was easy to see in the zoo. They liked to almost hide among the trees.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

One of the okapis at Dublin Zoo.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

One of the cutest animals in the zoo, is the red panda. The red panda has become endangeres through human activity: Not only have they been hunted for their beautiful fur, but by cutting down their forest homes and the bamboo that forms the main part of their diet too. Dublin Zoo has managed to breed them, which is good.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

A red panda at Dublin Zoo.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

I really enjoyed Dublin Zoo, and there were many excellent things to see: the sleeping silverback gorilla, tigers, wolves, and many more. However, one of the highlights for me were the penguins. People who know me know that I love penguins, and in Dublin Zoo we got to see them up close. The penguins that are kept at Dublin Zoo, is the Humboldt’s penguins, a vulnerable spices. They are, like the red pandas, threatend by human activity.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Humboldt’s penguin at Dublin Zoo.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

After hours of walking, we headed back to the centre of Dublin for dinner and to relax. We agreed it had ben a nice zoo visit.

Octocon 2015

9 – 11 October I attended Octocon, the National Irish Science Fiction Convention. It was helt in the Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, and stated Friday afternoon, and ended Sunday afternoon. Guests of Honour were Emma Newman and Maura McHugh, but there were several other guests as well.

The convention was kicked off with the opening ceremony, where chairperson Gareth Kavanagh wished us welcome and introduced the Guests of Honour. I had an opening after the opening ceremony, where corrigancj and I headed for dinner. My first panel wasn’t until 20, the Bodily Autonomy in YA panel, which I found very interesting.

There were actually several LGBTQIP+ themes panels for Octocon 2015, which I was very happy about, and I attended several of them. Though I attended several really good panels through the week end, my convention highlights were the Guest of Honour interview with Emma Newman, and the Tea and Jeopardy live show.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Emma Newman at the Guest of Honour interview.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The Guest of Honour interview with Emma Newman (who’s one of my favourite authors), was a warm and personal interview. I think Janet O’Sullivan did a great job, and there was tea and much laughter.

The Tea and Jeopardy live show was based on the Hugo Nominated Podcast of Emma Newman and Peter Newman. Being a fan of the podcast (I must admit I’m still a bit bummed it didn’t win the Hugo’s), I was thrilled to attend the show. I was offered cake by Latimer when entering the tea lair, but I politely declined. Author C.E. Murphy was Emma Newman’s guest for this episode, and it was muc fun. I laughed so much! I missed the chickens, though, but I totally understand they couldn’t be brought to Ireland…

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Emma Newman and Latimer at the tea lair of Octocon 2015.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The only problem I had with the convention, was the inside jokes at some panels (not all), that went right above my head. I am not familiar with everything Irish, and there were moments there were things I didn’t understand.

All-in-all I enjoyed my week end, and it was nice to meet up with some convention friends that I know from EasterCon and/or Twitter again. Will I come back to Octocon next year? Only time will show…

Dublin: 8 and 9 October 2015

I left home early Thusday morning, to catch the 8:30 flight to Oslo, where I would have a connecting flight to Dublin. After having run away from my coffee because I was booked into an earlier flight due to my original flight being cancelled, I had a centre seat at the flight making me feel a bit squeezed. I then had some time at ardermoen, before I continued to Dublin. The flight was good, having lots of room, up until some person thought it was a good idea to spray perfume inside the plane. Needless to say, I got an allergy attack, but was thankfully moved to the front. The rest of the flight was spent trying to get back to normal.

I was met by corriganjc at the airport, and after a long and tedious journey to the hotel, I checked in, and got to relax a bit before we headed for food. We had lovely pizza at an Italian restaurant called Little Caesars, which according to corriganjc has the best Italian pizza in Dublin.

When in Dublin, do as Dubliners: Visit the pub! The pub called Against the Grain had been reccomended to me on Twitter, and it being fairly close to the hotel, we went there after dinner. It was a very friendly pub, with a smiling and helpful staff. It had an excellent atmpsphere, and a wide range of good beer. I enjoyed the pub very much!

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

At Against the Grain.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

I woke up too early Friday morning, and after trying to go back to sleep, I gave up and got fed breakfast. I headed out for a walk after breakfast, and pretty much stumbled over a small park with some church ruins. It was very lovely. Turns out St Kevin’s Park is listed as an area of historical and archaeological importance by Duchas. So that was a fairly nice start of the day.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

St Kevin’s Park and church ruins.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

I had a nice rest after my walk, and dozed a bit before corrigan arrived, and we headed to get coffee at the Bald Barista. To be honest, I found it a bit disappointing, so I was very happy when we had hot chocolate at Butler’s Chocolate Café later on. I had a yummy hot white chocolate, which came with a complimentary praline. Yummy!

We did a bit of walking after being full of hot drinks, and all of a sudden it was lunch time, and we ate at the vegetarian restaurant Cornucopia, which had some really lovely food. Well fed we headed to Dublin Barista School, which has the best coffee I’ve had in Dublin so far.

To get back to the hotel, we walked through St Stephen’s Green, which is a lovely park. After a rest and some reading, it was time to register and get badges for Octocon, which will be given a post of its own.