Hugh's kitchen adventures in 2020

É uma continuação do tópico Hugh's kitchen adventures in 2019.

Este tópico foi continuado por Hugh's further kitchen adventures in 2021/2022/whenever.


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Hugh's kitchen adventures in 2020

Jan 1, 2020, 5:50 am

Happy New Year and bon appetit to all Cookbookers!

Jan 2, 2020, 2:41 pm

And the same to you!

Jan 9, 2020, 10:55 am

Can anyone join this group?? Reading of few of the prior years comments, I was interested in the S African cooking. We were there some years ago and loved Boboti! I bought a cookbook, but can’t find it now. Rats! All the recipes on the web use beef and I know the real thing used lamb. What do you think? Do you have a good recipe?

Jan 9, 2020, 11:32 am

>3 kerrlm: But of course! The welcome may be less effusive than the Green Dragon's, but none the less warm and sincere for that. Bobotie is something we make "by the seat of the pants" as it were. I'm sure I have several good recipes, but will need to go and hunt.

Jan 9, 2020, 2:00 pm

>3 kerrlm: Well now I have a surprise for you. I've just looked in my two favourite Cape Malay books, both of which have Bobotie recipes, of course. It is a Cape Malay dish after all. Both Faldela Williams and Cariema Isaacs use .... ground beef!

And yet, this is not totally surprising. Here in Durban, lamb is almost twice the price of beef, so one uses the less expensive option. No pork, that is never used as it is by definition haram not halaal, and most if not all Cape Malays are Muslim.

Now, there are good recipes and then there are good recipes. The Malay writers aforementioned give good, practical recipes. And then there's the late, great C. Louis Leipoldt, medic, botanist, notable Afrikaans poet and Cordon Bleu chef. Who wrote two books about cookery and food (sadly, my copies of these are temporarily-I-hope AWOL). I distinctly recall he discusses Bobotie learnedly, at some length, in a sort of a recipe. Heaven preserve you if you try to follow what he says. Some days after starting you'll have something delicious, but whether you will have any hair left after tearing yours out in frustration is not something I'd put money on. Do you want a consensus of the recipes I have?

Jan 10, 2020, 11:48 am

Good to learn beef is the preferred beast. In Illinois lamb is very pricey even though little lambs are scampering on many farms. Are you in S Africa?? Cant tear my hair since it isi falling out anyway. Ha! Just finishing funny book (cookbook?) by Eugene Walter, Southern legend. Thank you for answering me.

Jan 10, 2020, 2:34 pm

>6 kerrlm: Indeed yes. Durban is on the east coast of South Africa, and I live in (the western fringes of) Durban. At least here in South Africa we have the excuse that the main sheep-farming area has been suffering from a killer drought for the last five years.

Jan 28, 2020, 2:06 pm

After almost a month I should admit to continuing with the usual Friday-supper cooking. Last week I made up a West African chicken recipe, seeing in the week running up to this, somebody on TV mentioned Joloff cookery. The recipe is in The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook, and the result was, truth to tell, no better than ordinary. At least the tomato gravy wasn't bad. But the family liked it, which is the important part.

Editado: Fev 7, 2020, 7:53 am

Supper for tonight is "under construction". Eskom (who often fail to deliver the electricity they have the monopoly on) and the municiplaity have decreed that our suburb "enjoys" Load Shedding just when decent people are trying to cook dinner, so I'm borrowing from Jewish custom and making an adafina, which would normally cook overnight, and can be left in a cooling oven until required. Basically this recipe for Moroccan spiced adafina with modifications. SWMBO decreed the use of chicken rather than beef, I'm omitting the sweet potato, and there's only three of us, so half quantities will do. As I was preparing the onion SWMBO appeared in a great flap saying I had to DROP EVERYTHING INSTANTLY NOW and go and fetch the car from servicing. Omitting to notice that as it was raining, most of our part of Durban was clogged jammed solid with traffic trying to get round the accidents on main roads. So a half-hour interruption took two hours. I hope the fact of chicken-not-beef balances that out.

ETA: Also omitting the eggs.

Fev 7, 2020, 1:24 pm

PS to above: As expected, we got "load-shed" at 6 pm. It was tasty, and deliciously tender; even DD, who is paranoid about chillies, liked it, despite thinking the paprika she saw was the chilli I wasn't using.

Mar 1, 2020, 12:55 pm

Made Bef Stroganov, from the Time/Life Foods of the World book, on Thursday evening. Edible, but not great.

Mar 9, 2020, 6:57 am

Thursday's offering last week was Old Cape Fowl. Not necessarily an elderly chicken, though a free-range bird of a certain age would have plenty of flavour, and you simmer it until tender. Along with whole peppercorns, allspice berries, mace, coriander, vermicelli and sago. The Victorian version would have you put the whole spices in a muslin bag; these days you get muslin for the bag where? The vermicelli turned into penne and the sago into cornflour, which didn't hurt the dinner. To be served with yellow rice and raisins.

Mar 9, 2020, 3:55 pm

>12 hfglen: I'm not sure where in your area you'd find muslin, but you can purchase it at any fabric shop in the US (at least last time I looked). I have yards of muslin, but sending any of it to you would be expensive. Personally, I prefer not to use that method. I'm happy to have the spices as part of the food. I like them that way.

Mar 10, 2020, 6:02 am

>13 Lyndatrue: Well me too actually, so family were simply told to fish the allspice out as they went along. The fabric shop in our local centre closed some years ago when they rebuilt the place.

Mar 16, 2020, 7:40 pm

>14 hfglen: Here in the UK I have no problem getting muslin - my difficulty is finding the whole allspice berries to put in it!

Abr 16, 2020, 2:14 pm

Found a Mozambican recipe for chicken with cashews; evidently from north of Inhambane, possibly north of the Zambezi,, as it contains liberal quantities of coconut milk and, yes, cashews. Brown the chicken bits in oil, then simmer in a mixture of chicken stock and coconut milk. (If you're unlucky enough to use a Mozambican chicken, this step can take for ever -- Mozambican chickens are among the world's toughest, scrawniest birds, and you cook till tender -- then strain the sauce and add lots of chopped cashews and some lime juice. Finally return the chicken pieces to the sauce and warm everything together. The recipe says serve with plain boiled white rice, but I'd read a New England book with a recipe for "summer succotash". French beans and "mealie pips" (US: corn) have never been so rich! But family enjoyed both parts.

Abr 17, 2020, 1:40 pm

>16 hfglen: Sounds good - do the cashews soften or stay fairly crunchy?

I re-organised my cookery book shelves on a regional basis a while back and found I have precisely 2 (out of 251) for sub-Saharan Africa, but it's turned out to be not an easy gap to fill.

Abr 17, 2020, 3:15 pm

>17 Sovay: The cashews go in near the end, so they have just long enough to heat up. Therefore they are crunchy.

I have rather more than that, but then I'm within reach of subsaharan African (couldn't say only South African, as I have one or 2 Rhodesian ones) school / church / charity cookbooks. Checking your library, I found Evita but not the other one. Among more readily accessible books, may I suggest the works of Jan Braai (who writes in English and has a delicious sense of humour) and Mimi Jardim (Mozambican, writes in English; mom of the Nando in Nando's); also Cook and Enjoy it, which has been in print since always. The recipe in #16 comes from a Time-Life "Foods of the World" on African Cooking, assembled by Laurens van der Post of all people; I read an electronic copy on the internet.

Abr 17, 2020, 4:28 pm

>18 hfglen: The other one is Everyday Cape Malay Cooking by Zainab Lagardien - I have a long list of recipes to try from it but haven't got to them yet.

Cooking the Portuguese Way in South Africa is on my list of books to look for but so far I haven't found a copy anywhere near my price range - anything at a reasonable basic price has been coming from so far away that the postage is ridiculous!.

Abr 18, 2020, 4:46 am

>19 Sovay: In that case I'll encourage you to try the Cape Malay recipes; it's a cuisine I thoroughly enjoy. Have you looked for any of Lynn Bedford Hall's books? I once found a stray with the title of The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook (2009) on a sale, which suggests it's been remaindered. It has some edible West African and East African recipes.

Abr 18, 2020, 2:23 pm

>19 Sovay: Came across this while browsing the news tonight. It seems to be the "mother lode" of all recipes African, though the story blithely omits hard publication details. The picture heading the story, however, suggests it's published by a group called Quivertree Publications. Possibly a query to them would do no harm, and may elicit information on availability through Amazon etc. Some of their other books look good, too.

Abr 19, 2020, 4:00 pm

>21 hfglen: That does look promising - and in fact typing Africa Cookbook into Amazon search brings up quite a range of interesting-looking options, though not that particular book.

But this is where I need a real bricks-and-mortar bookshop so that I can browse and check the range and obscurity of ingredients and the ratio of pretty pictures to actual information and recipes!

Not going to be possible for a while, sadly.

Abr 26, 2020, 3:58 pm

Made a tagine of beef, peas and olives on Thursday night. Family claimed to like it, but I ended up eating leftovers two nights on the trot. Actually they joined me on one of them, Better Half having put a layer of scones over the tagine.

Abr 27, 2020, 2:21 am

>23 hfglen: Interesting combination - were I a member of your family, I think my willingness to join you might have depended on the colour of the olives.

Abr 27, 2020, 6:31 am

>24 Sovay: They were black.

Abr 27, 2020, 12:00 pm

In South Africa several(many) years ago, I purchased a great cookbook by Ina Paarman. I think she was a Tv marvel at the time. After eating Bobotie in a quaint tearoom in the middle of nowhere,l I had to find a recipe to take home. This is a cleverly written cookbook I cherish.

Abr 27, 2020, 5:56 pm

>25 hfglen: I would be willing to go with peas/green olives, but not peas/black olives, though I can't put my finger on a reason.

Abr 27, 2020, 11:20 pm

>25 hfglen: Black olives in a stew? Bring it on!

Abr 28, 2020, 4:54 am

>26 kerrlm: She still has a magazine cookery column and a line of spices and condiments.

Maio 7, 2020, 11:08 am

Last week I made pork chops alla pizzaiola, with a sauce made up of tomato, herbs and red wine, from Time-Life's Cooking of Italy of 50 years ago. It had to be that one, because the other pork chop recipe calls for white, we only have red in the house, and at our current level of lockdown alcohol may only be sold for export.

This week I found a recipe in Indian Delights for roast chicken with a spicy stuffing and the same spice mix as a rub. Inneresting. So it's in the oven right now. We can buy spices, if the supermarket isn't out of stock of the one we want.

Maio 7, 2020, 2:01 pm

PS to above: Girls and cats approved! The spice mix was the usual ginger - garlic - coriander - cumin mix. Stuffing based on breadcrumbs soaked in tomato juice (!) and fried onion, with spice mix, almonds and chunks of semi-roast potato, all moistened with tamarind. Also whole spices in some oil in the tray below the bird: cinnamon, peppercorns, elachi (cardamom) and star anise.

Jun 4, 2020, 4:16 pm

I thoroughly enjoy old Gourmet magazines, up to about the end of the 1960s (after that the content "went upmarket" into a stratospheric region of impracticality, and edible recipes became much fewer). I consider myself fortunate to have a complete set of 1967 issues that I bound myself, and use from time to time (the volume weighs a ton, and is woefully impractical to hold up while reading). Anyway, hidden in there is a recipe for what they call Malabar curry. Arguably less than authentic, as it involves curry powder rather than separate spices. Ah well. I tried it this evening with a few modifications (pecans rather than the almonds we didn't have, omitted the raisins none of us like, couldn't be bothered with puppodums). And Better Half and I were amazed that Daughter, who normally loathes spicy food with a passion, went back for seconds! A curious feature is that you half-cook the rice, then toss it and the curry into a dish and bake in the oven until the rice has absorbed the excess moisture in the curry -- cute idea. One day I'd be curious to see a more authentic version of this.

Jun 6, 2020, 10:58 am

>32 hfglen: "couldn't be bothered with puppodums"

You can't just leave that out there for us to wonder about. Explain what those are, please?

Jun 6, 2020, 2:38 pm

>33 MrsLee: discs of pea-flour dough with various spices, sold uncooked. You cook them like kroepoek (do you know shrimp chips?), in deepish hot oil; the oil has to be just right and the puppodums puff up quickly to several times the starting size; then they burn in almost negative time. On Thursday cooking them would have involved a special trip to the spice shop in Kloof, an Aladdin's Cave of all sorts of goodies I didn't really need and shouldn't spend money on. These are far more upmarket than the Durban version, which are usually made by a little old lady in suburbia somewhere, and come in plastic bags.

Jun 7, 2020, 4:14 pm

>33 MrsLee: Poppodoms are incredibly moreish and a lot more filling than they appear - they tend to appear as a kind of amuse-bouche in Indian restaurants, accompanied by a tray of assorted chutneys, to fill the time before the arrival of one's main course, which one is then unable to eat due to too many poppodoms ...

Editado: Jun 8, 2020, 5:09 am

>35 Sovay: I'm given to understand by the local Indian community that you're supposed to eat them at the end of the main course. Zuleikha Mayat gives a procedure for making the discs you buy from scratch, in Indian Delights. It looks like an all-day (at least) exercise, which involves all the local housewives sitting together on the kitchen floor gossiping and turning them out by the score.

ETA: You are absolutely right that they are very moreish. Probably quite nutritious, too, when you see what's in them.

Jun 8, 2020, 6:06 am

>34 hfglen: >36 hfglen: Those 2 posts bring to light something I've noticed: that is, how Indian restaurant practice (and that of other "ethnic" dining) varies from country to country. My experience with Indian restaurants in England is the same as Sovay's: you get your pappadums and "sour pickles" as an appetiser or amuse-bouche at the start. In Australia, you tended to get them with the main course (and if you wanted them, you usually had to order them). Likewise, there were a couple of good Turkish restaurants in Canberra, but the manner of service and the range of dishes offered were quite unlike that of the Turkish restaurant in Bicester.

Of course some of this is probably that "Indian" or "Turkish" is really a portmanteau for quite a range of different food styles, but some of it is due to the food and style having been adapted to what the locals expect and will go for.

Jun 8, 2020, 7:49 am

>37 haydninvienna: Absolutely. I'm grinning quietly, thinking of the "Durban curry" I usually eat just before Railway Society meetings at the German Club here in Durban. When the club is feeling flush and/or has just put the price up, you get a puppodum when the curry arrives; the rest of the time there isn't one in the house at any time.

Jun 15, 2020, 5:50 am

The other volume of Gourmet that I bound myself is that for 1969. The August number has an article on Rijsttafel, written by someone who remembered learning about it in Java when Indonesia was still the Dutch East Indies. (Quite possible: in my final-year undergraduate biochemistry I had as lab partner a "mature student" who had been a lawyer in Batavia (now Jakarta); the following year her quinine-induced deafness meant she could get away with saying what all of us in botany honours were thinking, especially when it wasn't polite to the lecturer.)

Anyhoo: The article has a number of recipes, from which I selected Ajam kuning (yellow chicken) this past Thursday. The chicken pieces are braised in a glorious mix of onion, garlic, coriander (seed), cumin, turmeric, cloves, ginger and cayenne (I used paprika for the Girls) and coconut milk -- smells gorgeous while cooking. My eye wandered one column to the right, where I found a doubtless excellent recipe for Gado Gado, which was sadly impractical. Scratching in another book yielded a more downmarket version. Now I should explain that our tenants' church collect foodstuffs on their expiry date from a local upmarket supermarket, and distribute the gatherings to their elderly. Including our tenants, who very iknily share the proceeds they don't like with us. So in the fridge was a bag of pre-shredded minestrone mix. The wheels went round quickly, and I realised I could make some of that into an Indonesian warmish-salad, aka Gado Gado; I had the makings of the peanut sauce, which goes together quickly and easily: peanut butter, oil, onion, garlic, galangal, cumin, chilli (paprika here), lemon juice; some recipes add a bit of trassie if you have -- I didn't. Add a pot of plain white boiled rice, and we had a mini-rijsttafel for three.

The leftover gado gado (only one or two spoonfuls) ended its days in a pot of minestrone.

Jun 18, 2020, 10:35 am

I feel old. The BBC4 schedule for today announces that Women's Hour will talk about an old cookbook --- from the 1970s! I'm sure many if not most of ours are dated between 1900 and 1969.

Jun 22, 2020, 5:19 am

Thursday was a Cape Malay traditional lamb-stew called Denningvleis. One of the three recipes I have for it claims that the name is unique and untranslatable, which isn't quite true. I also have a recipe for a rijsttafel component called Rendang in Bahasa Indonesia, and that is manifestly the same thing in all its parts. Think lamb stew flavoured with allspice only, or at most with a whiff of nutmeg. Served with yellow rice and steamed veg if you have anything suitable. There were no leftovers.

Jun 22, 2020, 11:22 am

Our tenants benefit from a programme run by their church, which collects almost-expired foods from a local supermarket, and distributes the proceeds to their elderly. We in turn benefit from their surplus and the things they can't or won't eat. And so this week we scored a sweet pepper, a small packet of Bird's-eye Chillies and a quite inordinate number of tomatoes. So I have just made a DIY peri-peri sauce. Tasted it for seasoning as per recipe: like a Colt 45, "it speaks with authority".

Jun 22, 2020, 1:09 pm

>41 hfglen: and >42 hfglen:, sounds wonderful!

Jul 3, 2020, 7:09 am

The Brains Trust in this group (I'm looking at you, MrsLee) may enjoy a thought or two with me, arising from a quick read of 650 cookery recipes .... The author, Hildagonda Duckitt, lived at Groote Post, one of the oldest farms in the Western Cape (near Darling) in Victorian and Edwardian days. Her original cookbooks are Africana, as rare as hen's teeth, and even this re-edited (1951) version isn't overly easy to find these days. But I can't help wonder what "a suspicion (her italics) of onion" is in metric. Especially as the very next recipe, for round of beef, involves applying a dry spice rub to 24 pounds of beef twice a day for 15 days, then marinating it for 12 hours, before cooking it.

Jul 5, 2020, 1:05 am

>44 hfglen: A "suspicion" such as, "Does this have onion in it?" Hmmm, depending on the intensity, cooked or raw, and cooking method, I suspect a tablespoon or less, finely minced. :)

As to her beef recipe, that is how corned beef is made. I would love to try it someday. I believe there is salt involved because the author of Salt: A history of the world mentions the process.

Jul 5, 2020, 6:29 am

>45 MrsLee: Thank you. The recipe quoted evidently ends up with enough roast beef to feed a small army, or at least everybody at Groote Post, visitors abd hangers-on.

Jul 5, 2020, 6:46 am

A couple of years ago catzteach relayed to me a question from one of her "kiddos" about the sources of South African cookery. While browsing 650 cookery recipes ... it occurred to me that I was looking at an almost-primary source for a detailed answer; ideal except that the underlying books are rare and coveted Africana, and it turns out that this book, too, isn't exactly common (3 copies on LT, none on Abebooks and Amazon). But I then found a summary of part of an answer to the original question in Cape Cookery Old and New. I quote:
"When we speak of old Cape Cookery today we refer not only to those dishes which the early Dutch and French settlers brought to the Cape from Europe, but include in the term also the contribution the Eastern slaves made to the cuisine of their masters ..."
Why a partial answer? Well consider. This omits the food of the British settlers from 1820 on in the Eastern Cape and (Kwazulu-)Natal; they brought Germans in as well; and the Indians brought in to the latter from 1860 onwards primarily to work sugar cane (but merchants and others came from India as well). Then in 1975 we had an influx of Portuguese refugees mostly from Mozambique to Johannesburg and Angola to Cape Town (hence Nando's). Curiously, although I recall seeing Belgians arriving in haste and fear from the Congo in 1960, they seem to have left almost no trace on our palates.

Jul 8, 2020, 2:14 pm

Better Half feeling queasy today (Doc assures us it's (a) not serious and (b) not related to Covid), so there was a rapid reassignment of kitchen staff. I looked in the fridge and saw some sausages that needed using up, and was then inspired by a recipe in The Campsite Companion. Mostly to read the recipe and go away and do something almost totally different. I think I'd call the result Wish-I-was-camping sausages. Pan 1 contained some thinly sliced potatoes frying slowly, and some bacon chopped up -- why does bacon contain Kevlar membranes that fiercely resist any cutting tool known to man? Pan 2 contained the sausages; when they showed a decent tan I added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of sweetcorn. Salt and pepper as and where appropriate. Sadly missing (actually maybe not; there's a fearsome pair of cold fronts coming up from the Cape, and the weather talks of snow on the Cape mountains and rain in Namibia) were the tent behind and the view -- a game reserve waterhole would have been good -- in front.

Jul 10, 2020, 6:24 am

And the proper weekly attempt at edible food was Riso alla Genovese, an Elizabeth David gem from her Italian Food. Make something very like a Bolognese ragù, and cook a relatively large quantity of rice to the stage of almost done. Mix the former into the latter -- you now have something resembling a classy if dry spag bol -- and serve grated cheese alongside. Filling.

Jul 17, 2020, 9:32 am

>49 hfglen: Sounds delish!

Jul 17, 2020, 11:33 am

>50 lesmel: Thank You! It wasn't bad, but in retrospect I'm not sure that I didn't like the sausages better.

Ago 6, 2020, 2:00 pm

This week's offering was inspired by a pack of stewing lamb. The result was Hericocq de Mouton, a recipe from Le Viandier via a 1968 Gourmet magazine. So yes, a 14th-century French mutton stew, with onions, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger and white pepper. Simmered in stock for a couple of hours, with parsley and sage joining the brew halfway through. I refused to add nine onions, and used only one, which was plenty as neither Better Half nor I are particularly fond of that bulb. And I used long pepper (which I had) for white pepper (which I didn't). The result was toothsome, though I say it myself as shouldn't.

Ago 6, 2020, 10:29 pm

>52 hfglen: Sounds delish!

Ago 8, 2020, 12:27 pm

>52 hfglen: Nine onions. One wonders if the creator of that recipe was trying to use up his abundant crop before they went bad? Or perhaps they were tiny onions compared to the monsters we have nowadays?

When I'm cooking, and a recipe calls for half an onion, or any weird amount, I usually just use one whole onion and we've never been sorry about it. The exception being a salad which calls for raw onion. I only ever use about 1 T. finely minced in salads.

Ago 8, 2020, 3:19 pm

>54 MrsLee: I was wondering that too. IMHO the recipe would only be bearable with that number if you used the smallest of pickling onions, and then it would be discreet to cut the numbers.

Something to give the Cookbookers a wry smile: This evening's supper was precooked packages from a local supermarket (given by someone else). Mine was "Vegetarian Chile con Carne". Already the label contradicts itself, and Better Half rightly wondered if it was edible (the answer is No!). Mind you, this is the chain that gave us vegan chicken stock. As for the chili bit, well, this is Durban, so one has to assume that the contents of the pack spent some time in the same town as a chili. But it sure as h#ll didn't show. Overall evaluation: Ew!

Ago 13, 2020, 10:12 am

>55 hfglen: LOL, silly labels. It puts me in mind of the book I am reading, Blood Rites by Jim Butcher. When asked what he wanted on his vegetarian pizza, Dresden said, "dead pigs and cows." At a glare from the asker he said, "What? They are vegetarians!"

Ago 13, 2020, 12:13 pm

>55 hfglen: That is a very Harry Dresden thing to say. I haven't read Blood Rites in a while, and I don't remember that exchange, but that sort of humor is part of what first drew me to The Dresden Files way back when. Is this your first time through, or are you on a re-read?

Ago 14, 2020, 4:50 am

>56 MrsLee: And by a curious coincidence I can point in this case to a real-life Harry Dresden. DD had a fellow postgrad, a Nigerian with the imposing name of Adekunle Adebowale, who maintained (admittedly with a twinkle in his eye) that he was a vegetarian because he only ate vegetarian chickens. AFAIK he now lectures in botany at Witwatersrand U (my alma mater!)

Ago 14, 2020, 5:08 am

This week's offering (talk of vegetarian chickens!) was za'atar roast chicken breast. Last year, inspired by an Afrikaans TV cooking programme, I bought a small bottle of sumac, and have spent time ever since then wondering what to do with it. This week a different Afrikaans cooking programme was wittering on about Middle Eastern cookery, and mentioned sumac and za'atar in the same sentence. Inspired, I asked Google, and found a simple recipe for za'atar spice mix, and for roast chicken breast. You marinate the chicken pieces in a spicy mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic (lots of garlic!) sumac and and and overnight. Then make up the za'atar: sumac, toasted sesame seeds, toasted coriander, toasted cumin, salt and and. Sprinkle the spice mix on the chicken breasts and roast for 3/4 hour. Good, but would have been better if the eating hadn't bee delayed by Better Half's doggy school running late and having an interminable yak session afterwards!

Ago 14, 2020, 9:05 am

Sounds very tasty!

But is it za'atar if it doesn't contain thyme/Syrian oregano... if I'm reading that mix right. Sumac is usually just an add to za'atar (and not always--I prefer za'atar without it, for instance--and go lightly on the sesame too). Coriander and cumin are ingredients I've never seen in the za'atar mixes.

Ago 14, 2020, 9:59 am

Simple answer: mine is very leisurely: it has lots of thyme. That's one of the "and"'s.

Ago 14, 2020, 10:03 am

Aha, got it.

Set 22, 2020, 5:30 am

Stray thought from re-reading The Taste of Conquest: did the medieval upper classes really drown their food in spices? The answer, when you read one of the rare recipes that give hints of quantities, is no. To be sure, they mention impressive quantities of expensive spices, but keep reading and then do the math. The ratio of meat to spice (by weight) was about 60:1 in Venice, where spices were most affordable in Europe, rising to 300:1 in England, where they were most expensive. Then consider that those spices spent at least a year on the road between harvest and final sale, all of it in less-than-ideal conditions. Michael Krondl concludes that medieval European food was, on the whole, mildly if interestingly spiced. To which I'd add that one can point to modern recipes that are just as apparently liberal with spices. The obvious place is a group of recipes in Indian Delights (which has been in print for decades and AFAIK is still part of the trousseau of every Indian bride in Durban). And what are they for? Breyani for 800 people, a curry for 500 people ... all mass catering for parties. Just like our medieval forebears.

Out 3, 2020, 4:37 am

And so on Thursday I was inspired to make a Chicken Chacuti out of Cooking the Portuguese way in South Africa for supper. Mimi Jardim tells us this recipe comes from Goa, and it certainly seems like it. One first makes the masala from whole spices (except for a fairly large quantity of desiccated coconut): coriander, cumin, peppercorns, bay leaf, cloves, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, chillies (omitted for this family), nutmeg, mustard seeds, cardamom, fennel seeds and garlic. That is, almost everything the Portuguese in India traded in. These are gently dry-roasted and then (modern touch!) reduced to a sticky powder in a blender. Fry your onions, add chicken pieces and when these are decently tanned add a can of coconut milk, the masala and (the other modern touch) a couple of stock cubes. Simmer till done. The simmering spices perfumed the whole house deliciously, and when it was served even the cats needed repeated persuading that Cats Don't Eat Onions!

Editado: Out 23, 2020, 11:16 am

A different take on two-weeks-ago's is Xacuti de Galinha from Cozinha Indo-Portuguesa, my first attempt at cooking direct from a recipe in a language I'm none too familiar with (having learned such as I know on holiday in Lourenço Marques as was). This one adds mace and poppy seeds to the spice mix, but dispenses with the stock cubes, and evidently expects one to pulverise the roasted spices with a pestle and mortar. As one would have in Great-Grandma's (da bisavó) day. For lovers of heat, the book has a recipe for Amtan Mirem (a sort of supercharged piri-piri) that could be served in a little bowl alongside the main one. But this was most enjoyable with banana and chutney (Mrs Ball's rather than chetnim from the book).

Out 26, 2020, 6:55 pm

>65 hfglen: I still pulverize whole spices with a mortar and pestle. Unless I'm doing a lot of them. Then I use a dedicated coffee grinder.

Jan 7, 2021, 10:43 am

... and 2021. Nowhere near ready for a continuation thread yet.

I'm busy making a (Cape Malay) bobotie for supper. My eye wandered to the preceding recipe in Traditional Cookery of the Cape Malays, which must be long out of print, as it was published in 1949. The recipe I'm smiling at is for carrot bredie, and contains an instruction to warm MrsLee's heart. "You must put quite a few chillies in it to make it strong, otherwise it will be too sweet and not tasty enough." Somehow in the back of my ear I can see the old dear (Mrs Johnny van Harte, if you want to know) who gave that recipe dictating the instruction.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:14 am

>67 hfglen: I wish I could eat at her house! Yours would do though. Still waiting for the transporter machine to be invented. By the time they invent that, all plagues should be cured, right? :) Happy New Year, a bit late.

Jan 11, 2021, 2:58 am

>68 MrsLee: We have a spare bedroom, which you're more than welcome to! Durban has an assortment of Indian eateries, from mild to volcanic. Although I have no doubt that all Hilda Gerber's informants have been pushing up daisies for many a long day, there is still the Biesmillah in Cape Town, just as good as it was 50 years ago. Only thing: it's halaal, so no alcohol!

Jan 11, 2021, 7:06 am

Hugh, answering your call for piffle.

A Christmas story I have not been fully shared just yet.

You may recall my mentioning our oven going "Phutt!" on the morning of 22nd of December last, and we still had the turkey and the ham to cook for Christmas. I will deal with the oven saga elsewhere, but a side story concerns our turkey and ham.

Being a learned and wise woman, my wife decided we should get a frozen turkey early as she believed the COVID-19 pandemic will have played havoc with the turkey supply chain and we may find it difficult to get a suitable bird close to the festive day. As requested I ordered a frozen turkey on-line from Tesco some time in November. It was early enough for the delivery person to comment that it was the first turkey he had seen so far in 2020.

It turned out that he was a chef and was not fond of turkey. We got into a conversation about Brussels sprouts, which I like, and how to prepare them. We exchanged ideas (mine being cook the sprouts in the water that had been used to boil the ham; his was adding some lardon to the sprouts and roasting them), and parted friends each having acquired some new knowledge.

Did I mention we had also picked up a moderate sized ham,well, TBH, two moderate sized hams; one smoked and one unsmoked, which accompanied the turkey into the chest freezer.

As the purpose of this piffle is to chalk up more posts, and I must say, you are in need of a few more posts, I will continue the turkey tale in another post.

Jan 11, 2021, 7:11 am

So, as Christmas approached we had a turkey and two hams in the freezer.

On one of our monthly/three weekly visits to the local butcher, we noticed that the butcher was offering Christmas hampers for sale. There was one with a small boned-and-rolled turkey, a medium sized ham, two packets of bacon rashers, and a packet of sausages. There was also a bigger hamper with a large boned-and-rolled turkey and a large ham. My learned and wise lady wife commented that we have never tried boned-and-rolled turkey and wondered would it be an idea to order one of the large hampers, cook the frozen turkey for Christmas day and have the boned-and-rolled one, in the freezer, for later, when the first turkey ran out.

Lest you are wondering, we love turkey and are pretty fond of ham too.

Under instruction from my wise and learned lady wife a large hamper was ordered for collection on Wednesday, 23rd December.

Jan 11, 2021, 7:22 am

As mention in >70 pgmcc:, our oven went "Phutt!" on the 22nd of December. By close of play on 22nd I had located a local outlet that could provide a replacement element. At 8am on Wednesday, 23rd December my wife and I were sitting outside the said outlet at 08:03 hours. Having entered the premises and purchased the required part, we headed back towards home, but decided to visit the local Tesco and pick up a few last minute items before the rush. We also thought we could pick up the hamper from the butcher, which is beside our local Tesco, at the same time.

While shopping in Tesco and discussing the various items we "NEEDED" we spotted some frozen turkeys for sale at very reasonable prices.

"What if the butcher does not have our hamper ready? What if we cannot collect it later today?" These, and many more questions were asked by my wife before she concluded with, "My instinct is telling me we should buy one of these turkeys, just in case."

Yes, the butcher did have our hamper ready. Yes, we entered the Christmas season with three turkeys and three hams. By the way, the ham from the butcher was cut into two reasonably big hams, so you could argue we had four hams.

At this point I must state that, while we had a replacement element for the oven, we did not know for certain that the element was the problem. At noon on 23rd December we had three turkeys and four hams, and did not have a definite means of cooking them.

That is the end of the side turkey story. I will conclude by saying we cut the boned-and-rolled turkey into three sizeable pieces and cooked them in three different ways yesterday. Dinner yesterday was roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potato and steamed vegetables (carrot, parsnip & celery). Beautiful gravy was made from the juices from the three pieces of turkey.

Jan 11, 2021, 7:22 am

Another 78 posts required, Hugh.

Jan 11, 2021, 7:51 am

You appear to have been busy rescuing the turkey-farming industry single-handed.

Jan 11, 2021, 8:20 am

>74 hfglen: One does one's best.

"It always feels great the first time you save The World." (Name that movie.)

Jan 11, 2021, 8:41 am

As I rarely if ever go to the movies, I haven't a clue.

Jan 11, 2021, 9:36 am

>72 pgmcc: Ugh. Not a fan of steamed parsnips. They're much better roasted IMNAAHO. But, de gustibus, as they say.

Jan 11, 2021, 9:38 am

>76 hfglen: I still have the gift tickets to a local moviehouse that my sister gave me several Christmases ago. It's so much easier to watch something at home if I want a movie. And the snacks are cheaper, too.

Jan 11, 2021, 9:41 am

>66 MrsLee: I learned what a pestle is in tenth grade when my school put on a play called The Knight of the Burning Pestle. As I recall, it was very silly, with a good bit of fourth-walling, which I had never seen before on stage.

Jan 11, 2021, 9:43 am

>79 Jim53: Of course, being fourteen-year-old boys, we took the title to mean that he had contracted a social disease.

Jan 11, 2021, 11:59 am

>80 Jim53: ROFL!!!

Jan 11, 2021, 12:04 pm

>77 Jim53: I recently saved my brother from his root vegetable hatery when I taught him how to roast them in the oven. He had never done it, because he hated root vegetables. After his heart attack, I made a meal for him, with a side of roasted root vegetables. In politeness, he tried them and fell in love. I feel my time here on earth has not been wasted.

I recently roasted parsnips (which are wonderful drizzled with olive oil, salt or its likeness, and pepper, the healthy version) and lightly drizzled them with butter, 100% real maple syrup, and whipping cream, sprinkled with salt and pepper. It was wonderful, recreating the flavors of my grandmother's parsnip casserole which I loved as a girl, but don't recreate due to its calorific nature.

That casserole has sliced parsnips dotted throughout with butter, fill the casserole with cream, sprinkle with brown sugar and bake until brown and bubbly.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:05 pm

>72 pgmcc: I am amazed. I believe you have even out-done my turkey and ham loving husband! I daren't tell him this tale.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:07 pm

I find using the "reply" button for each post is a wonderful way to add to the piffle. It allows one to easily see the post one is referencing, and then to answer/comment on each post, thereby adding to the post numbers significantly.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:14 pm

It was recommended on my thread to think of my five favorite meals to add to the post count.

Now my brain says, five favorite meals I've eaten? Or five favorite meals I have cooked? Or five favorite meals I like to cook regularly?

Five favorite meals I've eaten:
1. It is 3:00 a.m. in the morning I am hustled out of bed and into my bathrobe to go to the living/dining room in my house (I am very young, possibly six or less?) There, sitting around the table are my father, brothers, an uncle or two and my grandfather. Maybe my sister, but she might have forgone the pleasure to sleep. My mother, bless her soul, then proceeds to serve fried venison with gravy and potatoes and other breakfast yummy food. I have coffee-milk while the men slurp coffee. They talk about their hunting plans for today, the hunting successes and failures of previous years and such, mostly ignoring me, but who cares, because my mother's fried venison is to die for. When we are finished, the men leave and I get put back in bed. I don't remember who did the dishes, probably mom, although that was my sister's and my chore after dinner.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:21 pm

Five favorite meals I've eaten:
2. I am 20. I am in love. My uncle, whose law firm I work for, invites all of his employees to bring a date and go to a high end French restaurant in San Francisco for a Christmas dinner party. I invite the man I am in love with, but not yet engaged to. He is devilishly handsome, my aunt has loaned me a dreamy wrap-around plum colored dress which floats when I walk. I feel lovely. I remember very little of the actual food, though it was delicious and of a sort I had never eaten before. Small portions, numerous courses, rich with texture and flavor. I'm sure there was conversation, but I remember none of it. All I remember is that my dream was sitting to my right and I was unable to eat more than a bite or two of each dish. My dream had no such problems. He sneakily traded plates with me when I quit eating and finished my portions. After doing this twice, the waiter began anticipating it and came and switched our plates for us! LOL I blush now, but how lovely that the waiter did that instead of looking down his nose at us. Yes, I've been married to that dear man for 37 years now.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:28 pm

Five favorite meals I've eaten:
3. Back to my childhood. On the lawn in front of our house. This is really many meals. My mother used to serve all the men who helped with branding or harvesting or any other things doing. Usually about 30 or more people. She would fry huge platters of chicken, make 2 - 5 gallon pots of chili beans, several large tubs of potato salad and cut up loads of fresh vegetables from the garden. Everyone would dig in, the kids and dogs running around here and there. Sometimes other women would bring other salads or appetizers, but the chicken, chili beans and potato salad were my mother's undisputed domain. Sometimes, depending on the event and whether there was work to do after or not, there would be a couple of ice-cream churns going. One time after a branding, I remember one of the cowboys bringing out a jar of pickled mountain oysters for the kids to try. Nope. I did not.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:32 pm

Five favorite meals I've eaten:
4. My uncle, the same one as in number 2. meal, would take our family when we visited to a place in San Francisco which served Dim Sum. It was huge and elegant. The servers kept coming round with one delicacy after another and my uncle kept grabbing dishes off the trays and putting them on the table encouraging us to eat and taste everything. It was a wonder of discovery, and the fact that he paid for it and there was no worry of ordering too much or how much we were spending made it carefree. That was something unheard of in our home where mom didn't even buy pasta or rice if she could help it (we ate the food we raised for the most part).

Jan 11, 2021, 12:42 pm

Five favorite meals I've eaten:
5. Well, I love all our families holiday meals. I suppose the Thanksgiving meal is the most special one for my heart. The particular one which I remember and will never repeat, is when I was teaching my children at home. Part of our history lesson was reading about the actual experiences of the Pilgrims and the natives. We studied what would have been eaten going from documents written by Bradford and others. That year we had duck, venison, oysters (we couldn't find eels), corn, pumpkin and other dishes of the era. It was crazy and fantastic. My parents were there as well and my children helped cook everything.

Other memorable holiday meals were Christmas Eve, we have had big bowls of white clam chowder with crusty bread. Another time everyone had their own Dungeness crab on a table layered with newspaper. Sharing pliers, picks and hammers we shelled our crab, saving some of the body meat for a salad, eating the claw meat dipped in butter as we went, laughing at the mess and delighting in the talk.

I loved the New Year tradition of a table full of snacks as first the parade, then all the American football games were watched throughout the day. When I was little, that day also consisted of taking down the Christmas ornaments.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:47 pm

Sorry Hugh, to be filling your thread with my memories, but you do need a lot of posts still! I'm hoping others will share their memories too.

Five favorite meals I have cooked:

1. Is that Thanksgiving meal I mentioned above.

2. When I discovered truffles for the first time! We purchased our black truffle at the Napa Truffle Festival, then rushed home with it. I invited my friend over, and my mother lived with us. That night when I got home I made a creamy, cheesy, truffle loaded pasta, with a light salad of greens and truffle dressing and some of the truffled cheese as an appetizer. Best. Meal. Ever.

Jan 11, 2021, 12:58 pm

>77 Jim53:
Is "kind words butter no parsnips" a generally known saying, or if it just one peculiar to my own family?

It would seem to fall on deaf ears among parsnip-haters.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:02 pm

Five favorite meals I have cooked:
3. My favorite Christmas Eve dinner, or Christmas, or New Year or any special occasion:
Top grade Prime rib roast (still cheaper than going out to eat at a quality restaurant), roasted rare.
Mixed baby greens salad with toppings like bacon, toasted pecans, pomegranate arils, thinly sliced onions, blue cheese served with blue cheese dressing.
Either baked or mashed potatoes (if mashed, then mashed with roasted garlic).
Dessert: chess pies
Special treat, my daughter's homemade fermented eggnog. Knocks your socks off!

Jan 11, 2021, 1:16 pm

Five favorite meals I have cooked:
4. I once did a taco extravaganza in which my DIL's mother posted a photo of carnitas on FB and I made the comment of "I would like to try that." Then she said, "Invite us when you do!" (They lived in the Bay Area, we live in the far north of California) So I said, "Come next weekend!" and they did. :) I tried making the carnitas two different ways to compare (roasted and stewed then broiled, we preferred the stewed/broiled), then all the accompaniments were served alongside. 2 salsas, a tomato base and a fresh mango, slivered cabbage, jicama, cilantro, radishes, cotija, cream cheese (fresca), soft cooked corn and flour tortillas, beans. My friend, my son and his wife, my mom also were all there.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:22 pm

Five favorite meals I have cooked:
5. This is just general. When teaching my children at home and we were studying geography and cultures, we would serve a special meal each month, inviting grandparents and or friends. It involved costumes, some sort of drama or memorization of poetry performance and food from the countries we were studying. The children of course helping in the cooking thereof. Then as we ate, we discussed the countries and their history and customs. Great times.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:34 pm

Long way down but I agree with Jim about roasting parsnips. The only, only way.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:57 pm

I lurv mashed parsnips and carrots -- steamed, mashed with butter. YUM!

Jan 11, 2021, 2:10 pm

>96 lesmel: Vive la difference! IMNAAHO once you have cut the carrots into julienne strips, anything other than eating them is a mistake.

Jan 11, 2021, 2:11 pm

Thank you, Jim and Lee, for the help!

Jan 11, 2021, 2:23 pm

Some party bits: biltong
Beer everybody knows. Craft breweries have been coming up like mushrooms here, at least before Covid.
witblits. Haydninvienna, local scuttlebut suggests that you can also use it as a substitute for Jet A1.

Editado: Jan 11, 2021, 2:26 pm

>97 hfglen: My dog would disagree. She thinks carrots in all crunchy forms are the most perfect method for eating. lol ETA: whole, sliced, quartered, julienne, dice, mince...she loves them all. Crunchy is her only criteria.

Jan 11, 2021, 2:24 pm

I'll have to go away and think about five favourite meals. I have a feeling that curry will feature.

Jan 11, 2021, 2:27 pm

>100 lesmel: I may yet come to an agreement with your dog. If not julienne, then carrot sticks will definitely do. But any application of heat is a mistake.

Jan 11, 2021, 2:44 pm

>99 hfglen: Or if you distil the booze from peaches or marulas instead of grapes, you have made mampoer.

Jan 11, 2021, 2:50 pm

Of course if we can persuade Bookmarque and Sakerfalcon to allow a detour in the Great Green Dragon Tour, we can take them to Groot Marico and introduce them to Willem Prinsloo's Peach Brandy.

Jan 11, 2021, 3:13 pm

>72 pgmcc:
Will the left-over turkey and ham be consumed by Spring?

Jan 11, 2021, 3:37 pm

>105 suitable1: I am struggling with the idea that there will be any left over. The indication so far is that there will not be any left-overs.

Jan 11, 2021, 4:41 pm

>96 lesmel: My grandmother did that with carrots and turnips. A comfort food for me. Sometimes she diced them, and sometimes she mashed them. Both delicious.

Jan 11, 2021, 4:45 pm

I realize in looking at the answers in my posts above that meals to me are more about the people and circumstances and setting, and less about the food, but perhaps the food cements the memories.

Jan 11, 2021, 4:48 pm

Some things I love to cook and eat.
Curried anything
Stir-fried anything
Carbonara pasta
Roast beast
Roast veggies

Jan 11, 2021, 4:53 pm

Things I don't like to cook, but do it for my husband.
Fried chicken
Macaroni salad
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Don't get me wrong, I like to eat all that stuff, I just don't enjoy cooking them.

Jan 11, 2021, 4:55 pm

This is the Crab Mornay I described in MrsLee's thread.

Jan 11, 2021, 4:57 pm

>105 suitable1: We had the second piece of turkey for dinner today. This was one my wife put a Southern Fried Chicken style coating on and roasted. Like the other piece it was delicious. Also like the first piece it will not survive sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

Jan 11, 2021, 4:57 pm

Things I have cooked and probably won't ever cook again.
Spaghetti squash
Decorated cakes (fancy frosting)
Dandelion salad

Editado: Jan 11, 2021, 5:35 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Jan 11, 2021, 8:28 pm

>108 MrsLee: I found your choices for meals heartwarming. I'd noticed that there was a lot more about the people and the feelings vs the food. That's probably the best part. :)

Jan 11, 2021, 8:31 pm

>109 MrsLee: ~raises eyebrow~ roast beast?

Jan 11, 2021, 8:34 pm

>110 MrsLee: Waffles? Really? That's one of my favorite things to make. Especially late at night or on Sundays. Generally, I cheat and use a waffle mix and the Heloise club soda waffles recipe.

Jan 11, 2021, 8:51 pm

>102 hfglen: , >100 lesmel: I agree that carrots are best raw. I especially find them less than pleasant in frozen mixed vegetables. The carrots always seem watery and tasteless.

Jan 11, 2021, 8:52 pm

>111 pgmcc: that looks lovely!

Jan 11, 2021, 8:58 pm

Adding to the piffle, I bought a bottle of Marula Cream for over the holidays. It's very nice. I remember you mentioning marula fruit a couple of times, including above in post >103 hfglen:.

Jan 11, 2021, 10:28 pm

>116 lesmel: Heh, I like almost any animal roasted, at least any of the ones I've tried. Roasting big pieces of meat is one of the simplest methods to get reliable flavor, and that is what drives my favorites.

Jan 11, 2021, 10:31 pm

>117 lesmel: Waffles are okay, but they tear up the roof of my mouth. Also, I am stuck in the kitchen for almost an hour pulling a waffle out and loading the machine again. The actual mixing of the batter is easy, I would rather make pancakes.

Editado: Jan 11, 2021, 10:35 pm

A mysterious deletion...

Editado: Jan 11, 2021, 10:48 pm

Favorite foodie movies?
Chocolat did not love the book.
The Hundred-foot Journey
Eat Drink Man Woman
Julie & Julia
Bottle Shock, more about wine than food, but good movie.

Jan 11, 2021, 11:50 pm

>122 MrsLee: Pancakes are infinitely faster if you have a flat griddle. I think I like the slow process of cooking the waffles. My fancy-dancy iron has a timer. I can actually work on two things in the kitchen when I make waffles b/c of that timer!

Jan 12, 2021, 4:30 am

I'll agree with >109 MrsLee: about cooking curried anything-within-reason. Fortunately, I live in the largest Indian city outside India, and so most obscure ingredients are relatively freely available, recipes are "a dime a dozen" for more different dishes than you'd believe, and good examples (from mild to incandescent) are not hard to find. The one I've never had the courage to try is Durban's own contribution to the tradition, the Bunny Chow. Not helped by being informed by a Zulu colleague that there is no non-messy way of consuming one.

Jan 12, 2021, 4:50 am

And favourite eating-out places?
There is or used to be a very upmarket Indian place in Umhlanga Rocks (according to a friend, the local licence-plate mark NUR stands for Now U Rich, which tells you all you need to know.)
A relatively new Chinese eatery-cum-takeaway just up the road
If away from home in the right direction, one will find on the harbours of Kalk Bay, Hout Bay, Saldanha Bay and Doringbaai places that specialise in "fress fiss from the sea", straight off the fishing boats. The Saldanha one rather questionable, as it's almost within the dust cloud of South Africa's main iron ore export terminal. The Doring Bay one is attached to a winery in a disused fish factory, one of the few places in South Africa that can make a credible Pinot Noir reliably -- the vineyards overlook the beach, and are cooled by the icy cold South Atlantic.

Jan 12, 2021, 4:53 am

Oh, and the Biesmillah in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town deserves a more-than-honourable mention. They serve, as they have done for the last 50 years, deliciously authentic Cape Malay food on the edge of what I believe to be a World Heritage Site.

Jan 12, 2021, 4:55 am

I'd love to take MrsLee to lunch there one day. There's a very special spice shop a few doors down the road, which it would be a crime not to enter -- but I guess it would take a small nuclear explosion to get us out of there!

Jan 12, 2021, 9:41 am

>129 hfglen: Spice shops are almost as dangerous as bookshops for me! Your eateries sound so delicious and fun!

I cannot say I could offer you the same treats if you came here. In our town there are about 6 Mexican restaurants (1 or 2 decent), 5 pizza places (1 decent), 3 or 5 Chinese (one never knows), one Thai (used to be excellent, now not so much), one Japanese (excellent), numerous chancy diner type places, one or two fancy steakhouses that didn't know how to cook steaks the last time I visited. Most of the "American-style" food places here cook out of cans. :(

We have to drive 30-50 miles for any reliably good places to eat. Hence all the home cooking. That and the budget.

Jan 13, 2021, 10:42 am

Unlike MrsLee, I'll not name favourite dishes to make. There are too many to explore to waste time making the same thing over and over again. But my favourite styles are Balkan -- Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian.

Jan 13, 2021, 10:46 am

>130 MrsLee:

There's always McDonalds.

Jan 13, 2021, 10:46 am

Better Half asked if I'd be interested in cooking some lamb tonight. Of course I would, how about a fragrant curry (it's quite warm this evening)? Korma, said DD. So a batch of Badam/Kopra Kurma is simmering away.

Jan 13, 2021, 11:46 am

>133 hfglen: That sounds delicious. I can almost smell it here.

Jan 13, 2021, 12:09 pm

Looks like we will get you to 151 and then you won't be able to continue your thread since there is a bug. lol

Jan 13, 2021, 1:11 pm

>135 lesmel:
Oh dear, a bug? Sacre bleu.

Jan 13, 2021, 1:36 pm

>134 pgmcc: It tasted rather good, too! Coconut milk, lemon juice, tomato passata and a bit of everything in the spice rack!

Jan 13, 2021, 1:39 pm

>136 pgmcc: If you follow this evening's SABC-TV news, that could be the makings of dinner in time to come. They were boosting mealworms, but mopane worms have been a delicacy in Limpopo Province "since always".

Jan 13, 2021, 1:52 pm

Jan 13, 2021, 2:56 pm

>132 suitable1: I just threw up a little. Yes, we do have various fast food chain restaurants here, but I won't eat at any of them.

Jan 13, 2021, 2:58 pm

>135 lesmel: I had a problem getting the link, but it came up when I went back to the main page and then opened my thread again. Hope that works for Hugh!

Jan 13, 2021, 3:01 pm

>135 lesmel: >141 MrsLee: Link? What link?

Jan 13, 2021, 3:27 pm

>142 hfglen: The continue this topic link once we get you to 151. It's been broken a few days.

Jan 13, 2021, 4:34 pm

>131 hfglen: That sounds like rich, warm, and spicy goodness.

I love Asian flavors, but haven't tried cooking enough to feel at home in the cuisine. My Mexican and Indian are my go-to foods when I want lots of flavor.

Jan 13, 2021, 4:35 pm

>137 hfglen: "a bit of everything in the spice rack" my favorite!

Jan 13, 2021, 4:38 pm

Here's a few seasonings I won't purchase again: saffron, long pepper, grains of Paradise, tarragon, dried thyme, anise (I do use star anise).

I'm on the shelf about white pepper.

Jan 13, 2021, 4:56 pm

>139 lesmel: Yay!

Party! Our piffling has not been all in vain.

Jan 13, 2021, 4:58 pm

Now Thirteen posts to go. How will we ever get there?

Jan 13, 2021, 5:10 pm

Jan 13, 2021, 6:20 pm

>131 hfglen:, >137 hfglen: sounds delicious!

Jan 13, 2021, 6:21 pm

>148 pgmcc: I think this should be the last one needed!

Jan 13, 2021, 6:21 pm

>146 MrsLee: Not anise? Any particular reason?

Jan 14, 2021, 5:11 am

Many thanks to everybody! Not that this needs to break up the piffle party. Please feel free to move to the new thread I'm about to start.

>136 pgmcc: (next morning) The kitchen is still fragrant with spices!

Jan 14, 2021, 8:08 am

>152 lesmel: I just don't find myself using it. Between the star anise, the fennel and caraway, I don't reach for much anise. Not a big baker, so maybe that's why? I think I have one recipe for anise cookies, but I haven't made it in years.