Archive | March 2011

CATER-WAULING

Caterwauling present participle of cat·er·waul Verb: (of a cat) Make a shrill howling or wailing noise…

 

In general, mankind, since the improvement in cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires. 

Benjamin Franklin

 

6 batches of puff pastry

3 cakes

3 loaves of bread

24 croissants

5 litres of fruit salad

5litres of grated cheese

2kgs of chopped/halved cherry tomatoes

1kg sliced Rosa tomatoes … I could go on and on …

 

I’m on day two of catering for a 3 day film shoot. That’s why I am not visiting blogs; I’ll catch up soon, OK? In the meantime, here’s yesterday’s banoffee cake.

 

Have a good day, friends, and don’t forget the food calendar; today is:

National Clams on the Half Shell Day
Tater Day
Oranges and Lemons Day

Which reminds me; 5 litres of orange juice …

ROCKET PORN AND INSIDE-OUT SANDWICHES

Stand back! I gotta get some rocket fuel out of the fridge! (Adam Savage)

It can be argued that cooks are rocket scientists on an eternal quest for kitchen chemistry. The internet has aided this quest immeasurably; I wonder if anybody has an idea of exactly how many food bloggers there are globally? Food has been termed ‘the new pornography’; Alexander Cockburn sums it up perfectly:

Now it cannot escape attention that there are curious parallels between manuals on sexual techniques and manuals on the preparation of food; the same studious emphasis on leisurely technique, the same apostrophes to the ultimate, heavenly delights. True gastro-porn heightens the excitement and also the sense of the unattainable by proffering colored photographs of various completed recipes.

 

I’ve digressed hopelessly with this post; my aim was to celebrate the fact that I learned something new through blogging this week: rocket is known – in other parts of the world – as arugula. I thought Arugula was an island in the Caribbean, but it turns out that is Aruba, which is totally beside the point.

And so on to rocket in my kitchen; a jar of Pesto Princess Rocket & Walnut pesto, a chicken and a frenetic work schedule that necessitated a supper that would cook itself while I kept my head down at my desk. Sandwiches came to mind, but I knew I’d be scowled at. Out of nowhere came the memory of my friend Sous’ comment that she dislikes the modern trend of ‘deconstructed’ food. I had a fanciful notion and decided to make ‘deconstructed’ chicken pesto sandwiches; ‘inside-out’ sandwiches, if you will, and spread the pesto thickly between two slices of white bread (crusts removed). I diced the bread into tiny pieces and stuffed these firmly into the cavity of the bird. A coating of Shiraz salt on the outer skin and into the oven it went.

Easy peasy, everyone happy.

And now; the third and final winner of the Pesto Princess apron is Corina, with her slogan for Pesto Princess:

Pesto Princess – Royal pleasure by the mouthful!

There’s really no arguing with that!

ABOUT ME

My name is Cindy-Ann, but you may address me in any way you feel comfortable.  I have some nicknames:

‘OC’ (from my company’s name, Original Cin) which has become ‘Ousie’ among some friends, mostly those in my Facebook group; Honour The Fag Hag.

‘Lovie’, which stems from a time when I owned a décor shop in Simonstown (La Vie En Rose).  The ‘bergies’ in the village called my friend and I ‘Lovie en Rose’ and the name stuck.

A lot of people call me Cin.

I was born in Bloemfontein and only attended one school, from Sub A to Matric; Eunice Girls School; I loved school.

I studied Fine Art in East London.

There is little that upsets me more than bigotry.

I am hopelessly in love with food and wine and my favourite day of the week is Sunday, when I love to entertain in my kitchen. I recently started doing small-scale catering for private events.

Writing is like another limb for me, I can’t conceive of life without it.  While I do write fiction and poetry, my real income is derived from editing educational material, and copywriting for advertising agencies on a freelance basis.

Music is an integral part of our family life.

Most of my shoes are red.

The greatest gift from my mother was her rule of an hour’s quiet reading after lunch, before we were allowed back into the swimming pool.  Needless to say, I often skipped the swimming and a life-long love affair with books began.  I don’t understand people who don’t read.  My sister-in-law, for instance, almost broke off her engagement to my brother during a family holiday because, as she said, ‘hy wil net lees’. (Good title for a poem?)

I always have three library books on the go at the same time: A work of fiction, a biography and a non-fiction reference book (cooking, quotations, music history etc).  There are books I keep for emergencies (forgot to go to the library) and dip into from time to time, these are usually collections; I especially enjoy the Granta books and my family oblige by giving them to me as gifts.

It is impossible to select a list of favourite authors, I love many and for many reasons.  Some years ago, I resolved to re-read books I’d enjoyed when I was younger.  This resolve came at the advice of my uncle, who said that a young reader would read to discover the plot, whereas a more mature taste would enable the reader to appreciate the craft of the author.  This has proved very true.

The period between World Wars 1 and 2 are particularly interesting to me.

I would love to have met Quentin Crisp…

There’s more, but that’s what this blog is about.

STRANGE FRUIT SWINGING IN THE SOUTHERN BREEZE

 

I find it surprising how food trends spread like wild fire in so short a space of time. Lately, I have seen Dragon Fruit everywhere I browse on the net and decided to investigate this fruit myself. Finding it pretty enough, I was disappointed to discover that it tasted like … nothing. Still, wanting to blog about it, I went to Google to find if there was any interesting trivia, or – perhaps – a joke, about this strange fruit that would inspire a post. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled on this site [I have removed the links] :

We’re always looking for new jokes to add to our site to make it even better. If you have or know of a food/drink related joke that we don’t have on the site and would fit into Knock Knock Jokes or One Liner Jokes then submit it to us! Providing your jokes are in good taste we will add them within 48 hours!.

Alternatively how about;

The Swinging Lifestyle
For more information, why not visit our pals at Swinging we are sure that you will find the time well spent.

 

From Dragon Fruit to wife-swapping in one click? Reminded me of an episode I blogged about back in July 2008:

Whilst trawling the internet search engines for 100 pairs of cheap scissors to use as an invitation gimmick for an event I am planning for a hair salon, I stumbled upon a link to website featuring swinging.  As I had long been contemplating turning a neglected corner of my garden into a little hidey-hole play area for Original Bunn, with a swing and – perhaps – a small dollhouse; I immediately clicked through.

Oh my!  Swinging, for some, happens on a very different playground indeed. 

There is, it appears, a surprisingly large crowd of married people who arrange social meetings with other couples purely to engage in a bit of rumpy-pumpy spouse-swapping.  The activities are fully encouraged by all parties involved.

I would have had to register to enter deeper into the website to find out more, but worry so about a computer mechanic at Old Spouse’s office seeing the website in my history log at some future date.  What would he think?  But I’ve been wondering about the matter all day.  What do these people do if they meet up in the supermarket?  Do they form friendships with fellow ‘swingers’ and go on holiday together?

Would they send a sms to another couple:

Hey Charlene, there’s a rugby game on Saturday, come overand watch and then we’ll have a braai and a swing?

Old Spouse would have a heart attack if I suggested we do this with Les and Mabel from number 26.  In fact, I would die of embarrassment to see Les in his bathing suit and can’t begin to think of Mabel’s navel.

I just don’t get it at all. 

Why get married in the first place?

I hope they don’t take the children along…

Disclaimer: I got a lot of flak when I originally posted this. I am not knocking swingers – each to his own, and all that – I am simply; on a personal level, mystified by the whole business.

LAZY WIVES AND FACELESS FISH

 

On this day in 1897 Victor Mills was born.  He was a chemical engineer who worked for Proctor & Gamble.  He improved Duncan Hines cake mixes, improved Jif peanut butter, and invented Pampers disposable diapers. (sourced from foodreference.com).  From the improvements he chose to make, we can conclude that Mister Mills had a lazy wife and was thus compelled to work on things which would make life easier for both himself and his children. Looking back on my own life, I am most grateful for the Pampers. Thankfully, my days of needing them are over and my baby has grown up to the extent that her social agenda is busier than mine.

She was away at a sleepover with her best friend yesterday, which was a good thing; she was not afforded the opportunity of berating us for barbarity. Her current moral attitude to food involves not eating anything ‘that once had a face’. Our nice, fat yellowtail would – most certainly – have qualified.

In fact, as the fish lay staring at me from my kitchen counter, I too had severe misgivings; I lifted my knife several times to begin the process of beheading and gutting the poor fellow. This is a man’s job, I said to my husband and he; flattered and pleased at the opportunity to flaunt his Camel Man talents, did the job with no more than a flick of the wrist.

 

Stuffed with chopped tomato, onion, yellow peppers and pesto and wrapped in a tin foil blanket, the fish went into the oven to bake. We have ample left over, a kedgeree is on the cards for supper tonight.

Won’t resemble anything that ever had a face. Not remotely.

Ah, we mothers, what tricks we have up our sleeves.

PRODUCT REVIEW: COOKME PASTA MIX

Sorry, Nancy and Lyndatjie, this is a meaty post.

 

How to order your steak preference in France

Bleu – Done on a very hot grill for 1 minute on each side.
Saignant – Meaning bloody. Very rare, but cooked slightly longer on the second side than a ‘bleu’ steak.
A point – rare for British standards. This implies that a steak is cooked a little longer than a ‘seignon’ one.
Bien cuit – ‘well cooked’. This level will still often have some pinkness in the middle of the meat. A ‘bien cuit steak’ is cooked until the juices run brown on the surface of the steak.
Très bien cuit (!) – should get you a steak that is totally cooked through!

(source: frenchentree.com)

My own preference is saignant and, in my most humble (read snobbish) opinion, bien cuit and (quelle horreur) tres bien cuit are criminal. But this is beside the point, as this post is not about steak; our planned barbeque was rained out on Friday night, so improvisation was called for and I dashed out in the torrential storm to buy pork sausages.(What I did learn during the excursion, is that I shouldn’t drive at night anymore. While out, I stopped for a clump of leaves floating down the road. Thought it was someone’s dog.)

After the NoMU demonstration at the the new Pick n Pay Good Food Studio in Hurlingham  last week, I took a stroll through the new store. There was a lady manning a promotion for COOKME, a range of products I had not seen before.  Intrigued, I bought the Pasta Mix #2; with romanitas, tomatoes and olives with chilli.

 

I sliced and fried the sausages, added the soaked COOKME ingredients and served it with Mafaldine pasta, a thick ribbon noodle that was robust enough to support this rather spicy dish.

 

The COOKME is a great larder standby, albeit quite pricey at about R60 a packet, and this is a quick and simple meal and a nice alternative to bangers and mash.

Disclaimer: I was not remunerated in any way for posting this revue.

 
 
 

THERE IS NO BLUE FOOD

 

Oh! He said; that’s just bizarre:

blue doesn’t belong with food!

 

It stayed on my mind and I looked

in my books;

found cobalt berries and cyanide jellies,

and aquamarine apples and figs.

 

Further along, there were goodies

a plenty;

in cerulean bottles and bowls,

but nothing could tempt me.

 

Now I will tell this dear boy the truth:

that I’m totally stymied,

forsooth he has got me all burdened

and bothered by blue!

 

The tint of my mood has turned to despair,

so I have decided to cook up a dish;

a big hearty stew,

that will soothe and bring solace anew.

 

But for my casserole, I’ll use what I know’

The vivacious, beloved, vermillion:

 Vindaloo!

 

©Cindy Taylor 2008