Kiwicon Talk: The Mysterious Shrinking Pen Test Toolkit

Here's the talk I gave at Kiwicon 6 this year.


Childhood's End

A short poem by Andrew Stephen

Robert Heinlein
Isaac Asimov
Arthur C. Clark
Harry Harrison

Updated 8/5/1988
Updated 6/4/1992
Updated 19/3/2008
Updated 15/8/2012


Smokey Paprika Chicken

A couple of weeks ago Hana bought me a small tin of Chiquilin smoked paprika. This uniquely Spanish spice has a full bodied smokey flavor with a hint of heat. Tonight I used it for the first time. If I remember correctly, it went like this:

3 Chicken breasts
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large (400g) can chick peas
4 medium tomatoes

Melt butter and mix in garlic, salt and 2 tsp smoked paprika. Baste chicken breasts with butter mixture.
In a bowl mix chick peas, chopped tomatoes, and toss with olive oil and remaining 1 tsp paprika. Spread chick peas evenly in roasting dish, and place basted chicken breasts on chick peas.

Bake in oven preheated to 180˚C for 30 minutes. Raise temperature to 230˚C for 5-10 minutes, or until chicken breasts are browned.

Serve breasts on a bed of chick peas. Serves 4.


Sweet & Sour Beef Casserole

This recipe is simple, easy to cook and ideal for cold Winter evenings. I remember as a child having a dish much like this at a restaurant in Tekapo and loving it.

1 kg Beef steak suitable for casseroles
1/2 cup flour, seasoned to taste (I use curry powder and ground pepper)
1 40g packet French Onion soup powder
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tin whole, peeled tomatoes
1 tin pineapple pieces
1 large potato or kumera, thinly sliced.
1 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Cut steak into 2-3cm chunks. Dust chunks with seasoned flour and brown in a hot frypan. Place browned meat in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Drain juice from tinned pineapple and tomatoes into a bowl and mix with soup powder, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Layer chopped onion, then pineapple, the chopped tomatoes over the meat. Pour juice and soup mixture into casserole dish then top up with hot water until the contents are just covered. Place sliced potato (or kumera) over


The Rain Comes

The sky loomed, grey and unforgiving, casting darkness over the lawn as Sam looked out his kitchen window. A lock of unkempt white hair fell across his face before being swept brusquely aside. Gnarled, leathery fingers stroked a white stubbled chin. A mug of brown tea sat steaming on the bench as he thought.

After a week of sunshine he felt guilty about ignoring the garden, and now the weather closed in he wondered if he should quickly weed before the rain came. Helen had always tended the garden. It seemed orderly then; now tangled and full of weeds. He remembered watching Helen through the kitchen window, kneeling, trowel in one hand and a smile on her face, curly grey hair shifting in a warm breeze.

With a sigh he lifted the steaming mug and turned towards the bedroom. “Helen,” he called, “I'm bringing your tea. Can you sit today, Love?”

I wrote this short short story for the BNZ Short Short Story competition for short short stories of 150 words or less. Short Story is Short.

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