Entries Tagged 'Apocalypse-Friendly Eating' ↓
April 10th, 2009 — Apocalypse-Friendly Eating, camping food, Dinner, Eating Out, Feeding people, Road food
Instalments one , two and three.
It’s been a long and arduous couple of weeks of eating, but have finally found my way into the Ngaanyatjarra lands and some civilised eating options. I arrived in the tiny community of Tjukurla from the tourist resort of Yulara at Uluru a couple of days ago, and have been eating fabulously, if somewhat humbly, since.
My enthusiasm for food has been somewhat diminished over the past fortnight by a persistent stomach bug that left me feeling exhausted with nausea but thankfully with few other symptoms. Not that I was missing out on much. With the exception of some excellent home cooked meals with friends in Alice Springs, eating since leaving Adelaide has been a rather mundane affair. Under siege from a meat craving, I ordered lamb shanks and mash at the dubious Glendambo Road House, our overnight stop between Adelaide and Alice. These shanks were enormous – quite literally an example of the proverbial mutton dressed up as her younger sister. But they were rather tasty and quite possibly the only redeeming feature of a place that otherwise makes no apologies for the appalling state of their accommodation. The bunk-house we were offered looks so bad that my travelling companion and I opted for sleeping rough on a tarp next to the ute rather than risk bed bugs. A sprinkling of rain initially left us doubting this decision, but then a cold, strong wind blew the clouds away and we slept contentedly under the magnificence of the Milky Way.
Ginormous Glendambo Shanks
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February 17th, 2009 — Apocalypse-Friendly Eating, Desserts and Sweet Things, Feeding people, Food for Babies and Children, Kitchen Garden, Vegetarian and Vegan
Zucchini, how I love it. There is nothing more delightfully buttery or charmingly versatile, or, for that matter, quite so easy to grow. Mine are bursting at the seams right now, pushing over the chook wire, and trying to run over the ground, fruiting in black and green stripes, with a pattern like 1960s barkcloth. Having just had a quarter of a year’s worth of rain in one weekend, they’re turning into marrows. And, as I am dead broke until the arrival of the Kevin Bucks, it’s time to get working on ways to use this luxurious, yet cheap, food.
Zucchini Muffins look so damned good the boy recanted his anti-zucchini stance and tucked in. They are also easy. Take a giant marrow or a few small ones and grate until you have 400 grammes worth. Then add: 1 cup white flour, 1 cup of polenta or some polenta and wholemeal, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 lightly beaten egg and 60g of butter you’ve melted in the microwave. You can add flavourings such as a big handful of grated parmesan; a small handful of shredded herbs; six semi-sundried tomatoes sliced up; a big chunk of crumbled feta; ham, bacon, salami or smoked salmon in chunks; a handful of lightly toasted pine nuts or walnuts. Or any combo. Mix it all together until it just comes together into a lumpy mess and put big spoonfuls, lumps and all, into a lightly greased muffin pan. Bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes in a shiny new electric fan-forced oven, if, like me, you have one (I truly love my oven), but any one will do.
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November 22nd, 2008 — Apocalypse-Friendly Eating, Desserts and Sweet Things, Dinner, Eating local, Entertaining, Feasting, Feeding people, Food for Babies and Children, Not Safe for Vegans, One Dish Meals, Recipes
Today my sister, her partner Anne and their kids Ciara and Reece joined us for The Eating of The Hare. They took our bigger boy out to lunch and Owy went to cricket, so I had a couple of hours of uninterrupted kitchen time to potter while our smaller boy slept. There is nothing nicer than feeding people that you care about, and to be feeding them food which they’d been responsible for increased the pleasure. Anne is a bit of a spoiler, so things kicked off with spiders made with sexy ice cream and Cascade soft drinks:
I’m not sure if that’s sharing or territorial pissing that you’re seeing in that picture, but that’s five year old boys for you.
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November 19th, 2008 — Apocalypse-Friendly Eating, Cookery Books and Food Writing, Eating local, Feeding people, Not Safe for Vegans
We spent the weekend at my sister-in-law Anne’s farm on the Monaro Plains in southern NSW. There were all manner of country pursuits including feeding the sheep, watching the kids have goes in the tractor and letting the toddler have a go of the steering wheel.
(If you think that was just some crazy set up toddler diving shot, check here – and no, we weren’t on a road.)
There was lots of good food and more wine than was really necessary. And there was my sister Kelly heading out to see if she could shoot a bunny, back within the hour bearing a wild hare. She is an art teacher and decided to get all Dutch on our ass:
Then Anne dressed the hare while we (and the kids) looked on. We hung the hare for a day in the farm’s old “meat room”, and brought it back home on ice. We were a bit unsure about hanging it here – it’s not exactly a European climate, and we’d already gutted it. Fortunately Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion had the answer – as it almost always does – and it was only necessary to rest it in the fridge for a few days.
I jointed it and rubbed the carcass with olive oil and it’s in the fridge on a rack, covered with muslin. I’ll cook it up tomorrow for the extended family on Friday, but we’ll need something else too as one hare won’t feed all of us.
We didn’t keep the offal because my sister was afraid of hydatids, but she’s not really an offal fancier and I wish I’d kept the liver. I’m thinking a braise with thyme, red wine, prunes, pepper and maybe a tiny bit of bitter chocolate. Your suggestions and expertise are very welcome in comments.
There’s a couple of photos over the fold (gore warning), and a lot more both photos and gore at my flickr.
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November 6th, 2008 — Apocalypse-Friendly Eating, Feeding people, Food for Babies and Children, Kitchen Garden, One Dish Meals, Vegetarian and Vegan
I know this is a cooking blog, but for me cooking and gardening go hand in hand. Growing food inspires me to cook, and my desire to eat good food sends me into the garden. I’ll get to the cooking bit, but not before I ramble over the garden (rambling over the garden then heading into the kitchen is a habit of mine).
Over the years I have moved a lot, and had many herb and vegetable gardens. Building them has proven to be an essential part of my settling into any new place, even if the landscape is not ideal. I have gardened in tight spots, in pots and sour soil, dealt with overshadowing, put up with short term leases and, in the first home I owned, accommodated the tendency of my then partner to steal the best spots for spiky grevilleas.
My garden tends to reflect my mental state. If it flourishes there is every chance I am procrastinating mightily, but my soul is mending. The reverse applies. The garden in my last house fell over and decayed because I got too busy writing a PhD, but my relationship was also withering on the vine. In the year that passed between moving out and buying my new house I had no garden – just a few styrofoam pots. I didn’t even have a compost heap. Now I have a new house, Maxholme, and this is the backyard, as it appeared on my first day of ownership.
It’s a 611 square metre blank slate, so the work begins to build a garden that reflects who I am – a woman on the very brink of turning 40, with no inclination to please anyone other than myself and my hungry child. A blank slate suits me very well indeed, and I will fill it with food. In these days of financial uncertainty and mortgage stress it is quite fashionable to be worrying about food security, but that doesn’t matter one jot to me, I’d be planting food anyway.
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October 10th, 2008 — Apocalypse-Friendly Eating, Celebrity Chef!, Cookery Books and Food Writing, Eating local, Ingredients, Kitchen Garden, Salads and Veg
Aren’t they pretty? Owy ran in with them on the weekend, having found them growing in the neighbour’s yard after all the rain we’ve been having recently. He has been to a one day truffle growing course, so is a complete fungal expert. But I Doubted.
If you belong to that group of the countless thousands of the no longer young who have bought a ramshackle fixer-upper in an isolated and very beautiful French village, you can pop down to your local pharmacy where they will identify your foraged mushrooms for you. Probably with moustache-twirling and the whole bit, I imagine, but that may be merely the cumulative effect of my recent reading. I’m just about to finish Stephanie’s Seasons (scroll down to the out-of-print titles), which is a kind of a proto-food blog- it’s Stephanie Alexander’s culinary journal for 1992 which includes her month’s holiday in Provence. Also recently, I borrowed Mary Moody’s The Long Table from the library. I recommend The Long Table if, like me, you went to Uni with one of the author’s kids and will be charmed by the many entertaining pictures of her childhood. Otherwise I’d go for Stephanie.
Anyhow, who needs moustache-twirling French pharmacists when you’ve got the internet? (Although I suspect one would come in handy for the discreet supply of amphetamines which is, I’m convinced, the real reason French Women Don’t Get Fat.)
Just tapping in “identify edible mushroom Australia” took me to this very helpful (pdf) guide from the Western Australian Agriculture Department which provided exactly the excuse I wanted not to eat these beautiful looking mushies. I’m happy to eat wild mushrooms gathered by someone knowledgeable – last year for instance, the bloke who runs Li Shen exotic mushrooms very briefly had some foraged saffron milk caps at the Farmer’s market that were fan-bloody-tastic. But we’ve had death caps grow in our yard before and I don’t crave excitement like I used to. (Commenter dylwah, a dear old friend and exalted mushroom identification guru, may testify to my youthful enthusiams.)
I figured that what Owy had found was some Agaricus xanthodermus or “yellow stainers”, because the stem discoloured yellow a little when it was cut. Of course I’m not sure now whether they would have been fine, and after reading the magnificent UK site Wild Mushrooms Online maybe they were – I didn’t notice the distinctive off smell they talk about, but I was ignorant of the test of popping them in a bag to concentrate the aroma that is suggested there.
I have been doing some more prosaic foraging, though. My (as of today, and happy birthday darling!) 6 year old locked us out of the house yesterday, so I did some gardening while we waited for my sister to rescue us. We grow “wild” rocket, which tolerates our cold winters beautifully and has overtaken what was once lawn near the bed where it was first planted. Now that it’s established on it’s own, the hundreds of tiny self seeding plants in the veggie bed need to come out so they don’t crowd out the new things we’ve planted there. This is what they call “micro herbs” up the big end of town, and a couple of hundred of them makes a great salad.
September 13th, 2008 — Apocalypse-Friendly Eating, Levity, Not Safe for Vegans
I have long been fascinated with the sponsored links in the spam folder of my gmail account. I wonder about the day that the online equivalent of junk mail was christened spam. What was Hormel Foods’ reaction? After all, the irritation caused by an avalanche of unsolicited email offering snake oil remedies for s*xual satisfaction and instant riches is hardly a response any profit-minded company would want associated with their product. Surely?
The nomination must, however, have been a double-edged sword, especially with the introduction of spam filters and folders which opened the way for a dedicated advertising opportunity via email accounts, many of whose owners might visit them several times in one day. Every now and again, I check the spam folder of my gmail account, just to assure myself that no genuine emails have been caught by its filter, and not once have I seen any product other than SPAM® recipes advertised above the list of unread messages.
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