Dear Reader, I have taken the plunge into the world of vlogging. Not only do you now get to hear me, but you also see me and the Fuss Free kitchen!
It would appear that video is not the easiest thing to do. My naive self thought it was merely a matter of pointing (or rather getting Ed to point) the camera, pressing the red button, downloading, doing a speedy edit and uploading to YouTube.
How wrong I was. The camera exports a MP4 file, which Windows Movie Maker does not appear to want to read or edit without, in the manner of a small child, having a tantrum and grinding to a halt. So I tried cropping the clips in Picasa, exporting, then sticking them together in WMM. But Picasa, for some reason known only to Google, exports the clips as MOVs, which apparently is an Apple format and of course Windows does not want to know, as Microsoft and Apple WILL not ever speak to each other.
I then found a free converter to change the MOVs to something more WMM friendly, then tried to make a film. The computer crashed. Repeatedly. Then told me that I did not have enough memory. I removed 20GB of crap from my hard drive and tried again. Still no luck.
In desperation I tried using Ed’s laptop (his is newer and runs Windows 7), eventually we got a video clip but the quality was dreadful.
Since then I have tried umpteen free video editting programmes, cried, screamed, shouted, sworn and contemplated throwing my laptop out of the window. Ed, who has nobly tried to help, has done the same. Had I a little more money in the bank I would have gone straight to the Apple store and bought a Macbook Air. Instead I bought a copy of Digital Video Editing for the Dummy that I felt I was. Useless.
In the end I tried one last piece of software that amazingly worked! No worries about WMV, MP4 or any other TLA. And it was super speedy too. About 60 mins to produce a 2 minute film.
The moral, dear reader, is to beware of kind PRs that contact you offering free video cameras, and ask you to produce “a couple of short films”.
I choose to cook a lovely sounding recipe, of leg of lamb stuffed with cherries and ginger. Delicious! A beautiful piece of organic lamb arrived from Rhug Estates, whose beef I have had before and greatly enjoyed, I highly recommend them. the lamb arrived in a cardboard (recyclable) box, with an ice pack, and appropriately swathed in woollen insulating pads.
Welsh Lamb (and beef) has also been recently awarded a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) by the EU. Simply put this means that it is badge of quality, and Welsh Lamb is special, in how it is reared, treated and tastes. The lamb has character and is connected to the place it comes from, and the farmers who tend their sheep.
The actual recipe suggests stuffing the lamb with ginger cake and cherries, I kept the flavours but added a Fuss Free twist, by making the stuffing from breadcrumbs, sautéed onions and garlic, loads of grated ginger and a good handful of cranberries.
It was delicious, the lamb was the most tender and tasty I have had for years and the stuffing was the perfect complement. It went perfectly with my maple cumin root vegetable mash.
Definitely one to be repeated, and I certainly will be cooking more with lamb.
See the second video for my guests’ verdicts.
Thank you to Welsh Lamb for the video camera & lamb.