Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Batch Processing Alive And Kicking

I'm a busy nerd. I don't have the time to cook every night. I do a week's worth in one batch. I thought I'd share this week's beef stew with you. Enjoy.

 Big Bertha!
 1kg beef mince
 6 big, ripe, juicy, squishy tomatoes.
 4 carrots.
 2 large green capsicums.
 2 small heads of broccoli.
 2 or 3 sticks of celery.
 2 Big onions.
 Ready to go! Mincer on the right.
 Minced vegetables in, ready to puree tomatoes.
 Pureed tomato.
 Beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, chilli, soy sauce.
 Beans distributed first to ensure equal shares.
 Stew over the beans, ready for the freezer. Yum!
 Clean kitchen, ready for next week.

Makes 12 serves, which feeds the two of us dinners for all but one night of the week. That night we treat as a treat. :-)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Roll Your Own

This old dude was hand rolling his own cigars at 8am this morning. He grew the leaves himself, he said. He smokes four of these a day, and rolls himself a bunch every morning, if we understood each other. He asked me where I was from but after frowning his face up and looking off in the distance for a bit, he shook his head and said, 不知道 ("No idea, mate."). Fair enough. Australia is just a minor player in the international scene after all.

I had to trundle off to work and had forgotten all about the morning's encounter until the smell of the fragrant tobacco smoke outside the subway entrance on my way home reminded me. Mr sweeper had a  butt in his mouth as he pottered around downstairs. Ordinarily, I'd be fairly incensed at someone smoking inside, but these home-made cigars actually smelled quite fragrant. What crap the cigarette companies must add to their product?! Go healthy; roll your own.

Egg & Bean Breakfast

One of my favourite breakfasts: Poached eggs with pressure-cooked kidney & lima beans, topped with freshly chopped tomato, onion and parsley. Add a sprinkle of fresh chopped garlic if that's your thing, and a dash of soy sauce or a pinch of salt. Yum!

Lady Autumn is a Dancer

Autumn has come and she's here to dance for me! :-)
The last few days have been so crisp and cool and breezy. It's a very welcome change. I was running out of patience with Summer; if she had a face, I would slap it. But lady Autumn is welcome in my house at any time. I wish she could stay forever. She's my favourite of the weird sisters.

When I was young, Summer was like a playful cousin, full of fun and freedom and warm embraces. Now she's grown tiresome and hateful, punishing us with her hot tongue and ferocious temper.

Winter was a stranger to me in my youth; she never visited us as kids. I didn't meet her until well into my late twenties, and it was not a pleasant acquaintance then. I had heard the rumours of her bitter indifference and icy wickedness, but I wanted to believe she'd been maligned. Alas, they were all true; she struck me down and shrugged and left me to die alone in the cold. I survived that first encounter by luck and fortune and the kindness of strangers. And I'm wiser for it. I have a caged respect for her now and cautious approach. Frequently, when I hear she's coming, I find reasons to be elsewhere and excuse myself from her company.

The songs of Spring are a delight for all; a warming embrace of life and love. While I should be grateful to her for seeing Winter off, I must admit that I find Spring's dusty composure quite irritating. She rarely showers and when she dances her pungent fumes and scratchy pollens stab and scratch at me incessantly. I am quite glad to see the back of her. Or at least I would were it not for Summer thumping at the door.

But there will always be a seat at my table for Lady Autumn, the dancer.

-- for Inga