Friday, December 08, 2006

Randomly Randomised

Several good things about having an "owwie" on my foot (read last post):

1) Boatloads of sympathy from everyone --note to self: milk this for all it's worth!!!

2) Don't have to drive everyone everywhere.

3) Don't have to cook.

4) Get to lay around and read all day.

5) Don't have to do a bunch more gardening.

6) Don't have to rig up piping for reclaiming water from washer.

7) Got a present early! Actually, this was the second early pressie!

Several bad things about having an "owwie" on my foot:

1) Getting really tired of folks asking me if I'm alright.

2) Wifey-poo is driving the car... scary!

3) Have to eat someone elses cooking.

4) Getting very very fat and lazy.

5) Don't get to play in the garden.

6) Washer wastes a lot of water till I get the new piping rigged.

7) One (two) less things to open on the 25th.

I guess it all evens out, eh?

Oh, did I mention that it bloody-well HURTS!
I'm sure you're aware that I'm joking on a couple of those: wife can drive (sorta), and those two are in the kitchen making one of their specialties which is darned good.

Oh wait, lemme tell ya about the two early pressies.

I GOT THE ULTIMATE FOOD PROCESSOR!!!!! WEE-HOO!!!! It does everything (and boy do I mean EVERYTHING) and it even has a blender on the side.I knew I was getting this for chrissie (that's aussie slang for christmas) cus I got to pick it out and I also got to pay for it.

So why didn't it get wrapped and put under the tree? The day after we brought it home (I still need to pick out a name for it, any suggestions? It's so cute.) the regular blender died --it was old. So instead of naught (not) having a blender for a month, we decided to install the New Food Processor. I don't think a day has gone by when it hasn't been used, damn I love that thing! I want to kiss it, fondle it, and whisper in it's ear (oops, wasn't supposed to type that).

This sucker mashes, slices, dices, chips, processes, blends, grates (3 different grating blades!), and even makes dough. I'm very very happy. How in the hell I ever lived without it I'll never know... No, my two trusty, expensive, custom chef knives have not been retired, just not used as much (they both told me they needed a break anyway --oh, that reminds me I need to get the grind stone hooked up in the garage and sharpen one of them) as they used to be.

The other early pressie is a cheesemaking book. Now, I have cheese hoops and mats and have made a few cheeses; mainly ricotta (buttermilk and goats milk), yoghurt cheese (fake cream cheese), and milk cheese (quick and easy and tasty) in the past, but nothing extravagant.

How did I get this? We were on our way back from the Barossa Valley the other day (still gotta tell you about that) and we stopped in Angaston --ok, Angaston is technically in the Barossa, so sue me-- for photos and noticed a little cheese shop. I, of course, had to go in... wife followed. We left with a goats milk rind cheese, a wedge of jarlsburg, and a wedge of bleu. All made, of course, on the premises. Have you ever had fresh apples and bleu cheese together? No? Well DO IT!!! Your taste buds will thank me.

Anyways, I asked the girl behind the counter where they get their rennet and she told me where and also pointed at the cheesemaking book. Needless to say, I bought it (the book, not the girl).

Small world: the girl behind the counter recognised us. She lives in Nurioopta (in the Barossa) and drove by us on her way into work as we were videoing and photoing some historic stuff at the turn to Angaston. Note: this type of thing happens to us a lot. Why? Well, ask me and I'll write a post about me wifey and I and why we sorta "stand out" from normal folk. Oooh, nice runon...

So the cheese book was supposed to go under the tree which has been up for over two weeks now. I had picked it out, and bought it, so it wasn't gonna be too much of a surprise. Well, I really had a hankerin' to flip through this morning as I was lying about with my foot propped up and iced down... I had no idea where it had been hid, but since I'm getting loads of sympathy it miraculously appeared with my lunch tray. Wee-hoo!

Hmmmm, now I just need to rig some type of cooling unit for the garage and I can make complex cheeses.... hmmmm...

I do have a good story lined up for you. It involves me, bikes, alaska, and dumb things. I was gonna type it today but I'm getting lazy (see number 4 up at the top of this post), so you'll just have to wait.

Ok! Food Time! Wait a minute, this whole post seems to be about food... oh well, no worries here:

I was going to give you more of my holiday feast recipes, but I really don't want to hobble down the stairs and then hobble back up and then hobble down afterwards. Soooooo, how's about this:


Cress is going to be included here since it's grown on the windowsill in the same length of time as sprouts.

Back to sprouts. I've settled on growing (and eating) fenugreek sprouts and mung bean sprouts. They are both very easy to grow and are ready in 5 to 7 days.

Here's what you do: put the seeds in the bottom of a clean glass jar and fill with water. Use either an old nylon of your wifes or cheesecloth to cover the top, use a rubber band to fasten. Let it stand in the dark overnight. Strain the water out in the morning, and rinse and drain again. Put the jar back in the dark cupboard. Rinse the seeds/sprouts daily. You'll know when they are done, trust me.

Don't put too many seeds in initially, the sprouts really do increase in volume. You'll find out, just do it.

Some people only use sprouts in salads... pitiful fools... Last night the crop of mung bean sprouts ended up in a prawn stir-fry. Be creative!

Cress is different. Put some potting soil in a small trough on the windowsill, make sure you you've got some drain holes and something to catch the water --I just use an old tupperware type thingy with some holes in the bottom with the upturned lid underneath. Liberally sprinkle the cress seeds on top of the soil, water well. If you are in a dry climate, the cover with a damp paper towel for the first night or two.

The cress will start growing in a day or two, no worries. Keep the soil damp. In a few days the cress thicket will be an inch or so high, and it's ready to crop. Just use scissors to shear the cress as close to the soil as you can: try to get as much of the stems as you can.

Cress has an odd, mildly peppery flavour... kinda piquant (ooooooh, dave knows big words), and brings out the flavour of other fresh herbs. It's great with tomato(e). A cress and tomato(e) sandwich is very very good, trust me.

I promise this won't turn into a "food blog"! Honest! Hey, I have great stories to tell you and I've still gotta tell you what happened here on friday night last... It was... Interesting...

Oh, wait! Did you know that nasturtium leaves finely chopped are great in salads and have a strong peppery flavour (flavor). The leaves are a very powerful condiment and a good addition to a fresh salad. Another great thing about nasturtiums is that they grow pretty much anywhere, they self-seed each year, have nice flowers, and are a nice ground cover. Go on out to your garden, or local park, or back woods, or wherever you see them growing and try a leaf! I'm not joking! Really!


Karen said...

I'm sowwy you bwoke yo' widdle footy...that really does suck, but WOO HOO on the food processor! You do know, that once you are able to stand and cook, the family will be expecting spectacular foods, right?

Hope your foot heals fast, kiddo! :)

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Thanks Karen, it's actually better already. I think my body knows how to heal quickly after all the fun I put it through in my youth.

The clan always gets spectacular foods, now it'll be quicker, easier, and I can make more dishes in the same amount of time --Iron Chef Australian!!!