Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

naanI was all consumed with being a mrs-cleaver-mommy yesterday. 

For the first time in ages I had no imminent deadlines and other than a house that needed dusting (pure evil) the day was mine! All mine! 

The sudden desire to cook was overwhelming. Fresh free-range-corn-fed-no-hormone- chicken fillets from the farmer’s market beckoned me to Indian magnificence. It was all there in my head- a banquet fit for a Maharaja- right down to the home made Naan bread. 

Dough was kneaded, breast fillets were caressed in spices and cheesecake was topped with raspberrys (yes I know dessert wasn’t very Indian inspired but who can resist cheesecake???) 


The result: 

The naan was an epic fail (although it looked great) with a taste somewhere between cardboard and chipboard- and even my basmati was somewhat nutty [insert reality adjective *crunchy* here while I am not looking.]

WTF? I’ve never stuffed up rice before?

The chicken was okay, I guess- but with no tantalizing accompaniments to sop up the tangerine-coloured gravy- it was just sloppy chicken.


 Surprisingly however I didn’t feel too disappointed.

Just spending the day with my hands covered in flour and listening to the unique whir from my kitchen aid mixer was soothing to my need-to-cook-soul. 

And washing aforementioned mixer after a day of cooking (even if it was a disaster) is so much more satisfying than my of late weekly wiping of dust from her beautiful chassis.

 (Dusting, I reiterate, is after all pure evil.)


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 Tried these delicious little treats at the local farmer’s market today…Cannelle.  A baked custard pastry.

The internal texture reminded me somewhat of the divine bougatsza my dear Greek friend taught me how to make.  And don’t be afraid of the outside looking almost burnt- it’s caramelly crisp chewiness is divine.

Here is a link to the definitive recipe and history by Paula Wolfert.  


As for me I wish I had more time to don an apron these days…instead we’ll have to be satisfied with big plans to go back next week and buy some more. Yum.

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At exactly 3.27pm every week day I hear the same words whined at me from the back seat of our car. “I’m staaaarving Mum.”


No, you are not starving.

Your bellies are plump and round from last night’s supper of chocolate teddy bear bickies and ding milk, not distended from years of malnutrition- the kind you get from only eating porridge-mush made out of tree bark. You are not starving. You are hungry or famished or longing for sustenance.

But you are not starving.

There is a big difference I think as I throw them cheese sticks that have been conveniently plastic wrapped and somehow modified so they no longer need refrigeration. Genetically modified, I guess and then begin to worry about the choice I’ve made. But then I relax- this ‘no need for refrigeration’ cheese is nothing new. We had those blue boxed chunks of yellowness when I was a kid too. Well the blue boxes weren’t as fancy as the modern bits of cheese that string apart when you unwrap them- but then again I wasn’t allowed to play with my food when I was a kid anyway.

Or talk with my mouth full.

Or leave food on my plate.

 Ahhh… the food on the plate rule explains a big chunk of my psyche.

Shocking pictures of pitiful, desperate looking stick creatures from Ethiopia were the introduced rage for relief and aid programs when I was a child. But parents around the country manipulated those sad images for their own evil intents. The Ethiopian children with their stick like arms and blown out stomachs were meant to inspire a stream of donations and funds and sponsored communities- but instead they created new dinner time tag lines- “Eat your damn brussel sprouts. Finish your liver. Think about all those starving kids in Ethiopia.”

Now when my kids look even remotely full I whisk away their plates. My son (master 11) who was born with innate old-fashioned-Italian-values watches me with disbelief as I scrape everyone’s leftovers straight into the bin.

“But Mum that’s such a waste,” he bemoans and shakes his head melodramatically,“maybe the cat will eat it?”

I’ve tried being a whiz with leftovers but my plastic packages glad wrapped and promising just end up growing penicillin. I stand a metre away from the open fridge door and point in the general direction of the fuzzy shadowiness and my husband diligently (and rubber gloved) disposes of my sad attempts at not wasting. Some days he doesn’t even need me to point, he just follows his nose.

I’m sure my son wants to open up a restaurant one day like the one he heard about in Beijing. It gives the patron a discount if you finish your entire meal. As for me I’m trying my best not to be wasteful. I now only cook what I think we will eat. If I ever misjudge the rest is for the cat or the compost.

 And I also have a new 3.27pm plan.

 The next time my kids whinge that they are staaaaarving I have something other than cheese sticks to fling into the back seat for them.

 It’s a Thesaurus.

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