I've been putting aside all sorts of great stuff this year, but haven't got as far as sharing any of it, so here goes a little slice of web pie, from me to you.
First, a local plug for a local site: texture.co.nz is a Wellington website, covering the many fine offerings that our capital city has to offer locals and visitors alike, from galleries and events to food reviews and community links. Be sure to check out their Restaurant Reviews before you head out with a rumbly tummy.
On a more hands-on subject, the Ethicurean recently ran a brilliant article on making your own sausages from scratch. Combine that with the advice on loading up those casings with your scrummy homemade filling provided by Bob del Grosso at Hunger Artist, and you'll have no excuse left for buying those snarlers full of numbers from the supermarket ever again.
Bob del Grosso is one of my favourite bloggers, actually, a man who knows his organic food inside-out - quite literally. Well worth a look for anyone who wants an insight into the back end of the small farm, be it raising animals, making cheese, or preparing meat products, from butchery through to salami. Not something I think I'll ever be likely to get my hands into, but it's nice to know that there are still people out there who see food production as a craft, rather than a mass market.
He also has a brilliant article here, on the art and skill of cooking, and how it is as much a talent as it is a craft, but one that anyone can learn and perfect. Highly Recommended. Read it, any never let me hear you say you can't cook.
In non-foody related subjects, anyone who has ever been a fan of the fantasy genre and fantasy role-playing in particular, and enjoys having a great laugh at that genre's expense, will love this. Thanks to Mr 2-Trees for the link.
I'd also like to make a mention here of two audiobooks that I'm listening to right now. Hoad's Grim is a horror audiobook drama, very much R-18, and absolutely riveting. I'm drafting a complete review, but the story is presently up to Chapter 20 and I don't want to spoil the mood by getting all wordy on it's @ss. The audio production is superb, and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting the next episodes to come down. BTW, it's a free download, so if you can handle a dose of the macabre that will seriously scare you silly if you listen to it alone in the dark, go start downloading. (Hat Tip: John Joseph Adams at Tor.com, with this interview [1, 2].) I have found a new reason to take my ipod in the car, and to turn the radio up.
The other one is called Crescent, and is also a horror story, though this one is set on a dilapidated and haunted space station on the fringes of the colonised galaxy. So, obviously, very sci-fi, and very VERY adult. Some of Crescent has made me squirm quite uncomfortably, so this one is not recommended for the tender-hearted. Unfortunately, the audio production is not as slick as Hoad's Grim, but this is mainly due to the author's decision to handle all of the voice talent himself, even the women. This makes following the dialogue confusing from time to time, but some of the writing is quite brilliant, and overall I haven't been able to stop listening yet.
Anyway, this was meant to be a quick post so I can get some more work done on my novel, so I must hit the post button. Byebye.