heston bloomin’ idiot

I’ve been a right grumpy sod lately, complaining about anything that crosses my jaded path. This means, of course, that I’ve started writing e-mails again. The first was to the Radio Times, who printed what looked at first glance to a very promising recipe for slow roast beef from top chef Heston Blumenthal.


Having just spent the best part of £25 on a freshly slaughtered, organic 3-bone wing rib of beef, I was extremely disappointed to discover a flaw with Heston Blumenthal’s recipe for a low-temperature roast (25 June issue, page 38).

While the list of ingredients calls for 100g of unsalted butter, there is no mention of this within the recipe itself. What is the butter for? Decoration? Lubrication? Can you explain? My meat is in danger of rotting while I wait for an answer.

Three Michelin stars? Not in my cookbook…

Yours hungrily,

Fraser Lewry

As yet, there’s been no response, and my meat is getting more than a little fetid.

Meanwhile, the Independent have redesigned their website. At first glance (there’s that phrase again), it looks promising, a pure-css design with no tables. But it’s a fucking disaster. Pages often throw up XML parsing errors. The site’s DOCTYPE claims that it was built using XHTML 1.1 strict, but it clearly uses 1.0 transitional. In Firefox, the ‘increase text size’ option borks the design. All the articles have new URLs, but without redirects from the old, so all that search engine traffic they’ve built up over the years, all those weblog links, all gone. You have to pay to view the website’s terms and conditions, or competition rules. Most stupid of all, there’s no search facility.

So I mailed in another complaint, to the nice technical gentleman listed on the paper’s contact page, the pleasantly named Lee Goodwin-Grafton.

Hi Lee,

Is there going to be a search engine on the new Independent website? You’re hindering my daily attempts to eke out the latest news related to the lovely Miss Mariah Carey.

All the best,


Once again, I’ve been greeted by silence, although I suspect that Lee is rather busy fixing stuff. Interesting, the details on the contact page have been removed since I wrote my mail, so anyone wishing the draw the technical staff’s attention to, say, an error on the site, has to pay £1 for the privilage of signing up to the Independent’s ‘Portfolio’ of premium articles, where the contact details for the print edition are held. Moronic.


  1. Pfft. Site redesigns, eh? Who’d ‘ave ’em?


  2. Oooh. Nice. And you have a search engine!

  3. I know the password for the ‘premium’ section, Fraser. Don’t despair.

  4. Hey Ant…how comes when i hover my mouse over “your link 1”, the other your links shift to the right by a pixel or two?
    The independant does something similar – it is very distracting.
    In my previous job, i spent many hours optimising drawing code …so i tend to notice little niggles.

  5. Do you think that maybe they’ve made it shit on purpose to encourage people to buy the actual newspaper? If so, they’re idiots.

  6. Not sure about those shifting links. I’ve just plonked in a ready-made WordPress theme, but I haven’t had a chance to tinker about with it yet. Maybe something to do with the CSS… Not sure where my sidebar links went to either…

  7. Hamish in Tunbridge Wells

    From the same recipe – but in The Guardian:

    “If you want browning flavours, melt the butter in a pan big enough to hold the joint and colour the meat on both cut faces and the fat side as quickly as possible.”

    Tra na.

    The Hamester

  8. It’s a different recipe – the Guardian one has a much higher temperature and a much shorter cooking time. Besides, that’s not the point ;-)

  9. RecklessPrincess

    You really ARE turning into a pernikerty old divvel, aren’t you?
    *cough*pipe and slippers*cough*


  10. looking for a recipe for slow roast Sebastian Coe.Must include cooking from live.
    any offers


  11. At first glance it appears that you need to stick to those second glances. Those first ones really do ya something fierce.

  12. Mr Blumenthal cooked the same thing on Full On Food last night, and there was no mention of butter, just a blowtorch. Maybe you’re supposed to eat the butter while you wait 20 hours for your meat to cook.

  13. The dud recipe sounds like bad recipe editing – unfortunately this happens more and more nowadays :-(

  14. On Full on Food he made a great deal of how your oven must be at the right temperature & how you should by an oven thermometer etc., but never actually said what temp it ought to be.
    The finished beef looked incredibly unpleasant as well: like a rib of Spam.

  15. 100grams of unsalted butter is a garnish in Queensland.

  16. Same profanity and lack of taste as everywhere. I am used to it. It`s Ok.

  17. Amazing, I have actually made it on to some idiots blog bitching about well… you name it.

    To be fair I never answered any emails, i mean why bother? Myself and my other colleagues created a great website which was functional and easy to use, but the powers that be decided to outsource it to some unknown company. Once that had happened i had the pleasure of ignoring hundreds of emails every day whilst having lot’s of long lunches on the all the money we were making via the Independent Portfolio “service”.

    Great times.

  18. The Mighty Pedant

    You’re not too hot on your possessive apostrophies, Lee. “idiots” should have one, “lot’s” shouldn’t.

  19. “Apostrophies”??? Call yourself a pedant?

  20. Indeed, it seems the “THE MIGHTY PEDANT” isn’t too hot on spelling either.