December 2010

Christmas cooking

We had the in-laws over for Christmas, and for the first time since Tanya and I’ve been together we also had the kids for the whole time (their stepmother got snowed in in the UK, only flew out this week).

Braai-ed steak (porterhouses from Constantia P&P — and they even had brussel sprouts) on Friday, with potatoes in foil in the coals, always good.

Tanya insists on turkey, this year I wizened up and brined it for only about 10 or 12 hours in 2 litres of apple juice, some vinegar, a few oranges, ginger… basically a variation on this theme (Close to, if not all, of our turkeys are imported butterballs. Brine these for too long and it gets overpowering. That happened last year. Half a day seems perfect). Of course I didn’t smoke it, I stuck it in the oven over a roasting pan with the giblets, half an onion and some water in it.

Turkey was great, so was the ham MIL brought. Gravy (stuff from pan, minus the boney bits, food processed) was excellent.

And of course there was Christmas pudding and Christmas cake and trifle (which lasted until Monday, the trfle, that is. We still have cake…).

Present from the in-laws was a pressure cooker. Used that to make a stock from the leftover turkey. This worked so well that I then made a meat stock followed by a chicken stock — I had five or six 2L ice cream containers full of frozen stock bits that I hadn’t got around to.

The beef stock went into a stew on Monday. The left-over turkey + stock will go into a risotto next week. Last night was a more mundane but still excellent pastorie hoender (I’m sure I’ve posted my recipe somewhere, but can’t find it right now… blogfodder, yay!). Tonight is a beef tomato bredie using a bunch of tomatoes I bought cheap and froze a month or so ago.

We live high on the hog.

Dell Inspiron 910 Beep Codes

The battery on Tanya’s Dell 910 (Mini 9) failed a while ago. Works from mains, dies the moment you unplug the charger.

So I bought a new (generic) battery off Amazon.

Plugged the new battery in and got a beep code, 2-2. My first thought was that I might need to downgrade the BIOS, since some generic batteries only work with the older A04 BIOS (Even though this specific battery is supposed to work with newer BIOS as well). Tried using the old battery, but the error persisted.

So I tried looking the beep code up. What a mission.

The Dell documentation has nothing. Dell Iran mentions that the 910 uses beep codes and not LEDs, but the site’s down, and the page listing the beep codes isn’t in google cache.

Further searches for “Dell Inspiron 910 beep codes” turned up many sites wanting to sell me a manual, but nothing else.

I eventually searched for “Dell Mini 9 beep codes” and found this link. It’s a memory error.

So I reseated the memory, and now the 910 comes up with either battery pack installed.

In general, the last thing you frobnicated is probably the source of your problem. In this case, it wasn’t.

(As an aside. The Dell battery pack is rated at 14.8V and 32Wh (which would be somewhere around 2.2 Ah I guess. It weighs 225 grams. The replacement is rated at 14.8V and 2.2Ah, but only weighs 170 grams. You get what you pay for).