Sunday, September 21, 2008

More cooking escapades

I tried out two recipes yesterday, with lots of success (well, I thought so, anyway).

First was nice and simple recipe for lemon drizzle cake from the BBC Good Food website -- I used it as a fallback plan when I failed to obtain a copy of my mother's legendary and delicious recipe.

I made it in a 20 cm spring-form tin instead of a loaf tin as the recipe suggests (I don't have a loaf tin at the moment). This meant it only took around 40 minutes rather than the 45 to 50 suggested, due to the cake being somewhat wider and flatter.

The cake was delicious, but a little dense; next time I will try adding an extra teaspoon of baking powder to try and lighten it slightly.

The second was a Thai-style dish called khao pad gai from a WikiBooks Cookbook recipe. Due to the limited contents of my food cupboard and my unwillingness to buy lots of unusual and seldom-to-be-used foodstuffs, my version of the ingredients (to feed two) looked more like:

  • Olive oil
  • 225 g chicken breast, in strips
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 'Some' cooked, cold Basmati rice
  • 1 medium cooking onion, half-ringed
  • 2 small tomatoes, seeds removed and julienned
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup coriander, coarsely chopped
  • Dark soy sauce
  • 'Normal' granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves fried garlic

We didn't bother with the garnish, the nam pla or the Thai chili sauce, but nevertheless the taste came out okay (we were quite pleasantly surprised by how good it was after how awful it looked just after the egg was added). Note that although the recipe specifies a wok, we cooked it quite successfully in a large, flat-bottomed non-stick saucepan.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Emacs word counting and tab completion

I've been doing a lot of work that's required me to keep an eye on word counts recently, so I've needed a decent word count function in Emacs. The easiest way to implement this was to use the wc command from CNU coreutils.

(defun word-count nil "Count words in buffer" (interactive)
  (let ((start (if mark-active (point) (point-min)))
        (end (if mark-active (mark) (point-max))))
    (shell-command-on-region start end "wc -w")))

If the the mark is active, it counts the number of words marked, otherwise counts the entire buffer. I have this bound to C-c C-w.

I also extended tab completion with dabbrev-expand to all file buffers, so I can use it in MATLAB, Bash, Python, etc. This was inspired by doing lots of MATLAB programming recently at my newly started summer job at Cambridge Silicon Radio.

(defun indent-or-complete ()
  "Complete if point is at end of a word, otherwise indent line."
  (if (looking-at "\\>")
      (dabbrev-expand nil)
(add-hook 'find-file-hook
          (function (lambda ()
                      (local-set-key (kbd "<tab>") 'indent-or-complete))))