Food

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lemon butter

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Yes, I know too much is BAD FOR YOU (heck, isn’t that what “too MUCH” means?!?!) but there is  NOTHING to compare to home made lemon butter on toast.  Mmmmmmmm.  I used Nigella’s Lemon Curd recipe from How to Eat.  (I don’t know why the names – butter or curd – are interchangeable, but apparently they are.)

This was a recipe that would be utterly UTTERLY perfect if I already had two of my dream things for the house: chooks (for the 4 whole eggs plus 4 yolks) and a lemon tree (for the 4 lemons).  Slowly, slowly, we’ll work towards getting things set up the way we would like.

I have very fond memories of my Mum making lemon butter – I think we must have had a lot of lemons available!   I also remember that Lemon Butter was a good thing to buy at church fetes and street stalls… possibly because it came from people who had chooks +lemon trees.

Oh, and after the first spoonful of the luscious home made version, the remainder of the FOUL store bought version (all citric acid and cornflour, possibly with artifical lemon essence… ewww!) was binned.  We kept the jar (of course!) to use for the next batch…

At least I’ll have an adequate vitamin C intake this week, eh?  The flu symptoms are FINALLY abating (fingers crossed!) – as in, I only wake up coughing a couple of times a night now, and the aches are approaching normal range (underlying fibromyalgia has NOT helped with recovery!).  I was somewhat heartened when watching the V8 supercars racing yesterday to hear a comment that one of the drivers – and bear in mind that these guys are endurance athletes, wrestling their cars around for hours at a time in temperatures often over 40 degrees – anyhow, one of these super-fit guys was still recovering from the flu that had laid him low at the last race meeting a month ago.  And I am NOT an athlete!  Another week off from the gym, though, then I get to start back gently gently…

Oh – and it amused me that the stove was so far out of scale with the lemon person.  Tee hee! I am being Very Good and actually USING my “good” art supplies – there are still a lot of colours in my tin of 30 Caran D’ache Neocolor II watercolour crayons that are untouched, but at least I have used SOME now!

Yes, I know I have remarked previously that my posts tend to be like busses… (the public transport kind, not the kisses.  Although it would be sweet if you think of them as little kisses, too!)

Do please pop on over to Mr Beloved’s blog to see some bamboo. (and be sure to check his previous entries for some lovely water dragons).

And I’m thinking about food.

express

I made a brilliant (if I do say so myself!) quick Thai chicken curry (oooh, modifiers – it was the CURRY that was quick, not theTHAI or the  CHICKEN!) from one of my favourite Nigella recipes tonight.  (Her Green Curry in a Hurry recipe, on her website.) I was totally extravagant and used TWO chicken breast fillets.  Nearly $10 of meat, for just the one meal for the two of us. (Well, I couldn’t finish all my chicken, there’s actually enough for Mr Beloved to have that plus noodles for his lunch tomorrow).

Which set me thinking: I need to be kinder to myself about food.  Actually, I’ve been thinking this for a while, (and BFF has been prodding me about it, too!) but having lunch in Canberra with friend M (*mwah*, sweetie!) slapped me upside the head with the realisation.  M is going through a horrible breakup with a man who has been abusive for years – but she told me “I’m not scrimping on food.” So for lunch together we had a gorgeous duck ravioli with luscious sugo, followed by a green salad and then small cakes for dessert.

For YEARS I have treated myself as though having good food was something I need to do in secret: going out for coffee and cake.  Refusing to buy the “nice” biscuits.  Eating the cheapest possible meat.  I’M WORTH MORE THAN THAT!!  I’m not saying I’m going overboard – I am NEVER going to be over 100 kg again (and am looking forward to the “never” number heading ever downwards). Nor am I saying that it’s all foie gras and scotch fillet from here in – I simply can’t afford to eat like that, even if I wanted to! I don’t actually *like* meat all that much, so only having it once or twice a week is fine. And I don’t mind cheaper cuts of meat slow cooked – mmm, maybe I’ll make stew later in the week, yum!

But – I’m not going to feel guilty about using the whole tin of lite coconut milk in one meal. Or splurging on fruit and veges in season. Or even on decent tinned fruit (does ANYONE still eat tinned fruit in heavy syrup?), since I lack the patience, space, and skill to perserve fruit the way my Nana did…

rice-pudding

pudding-and-apricots

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to have rice pudding and apricots. Enjoyed my rice pudding with apricots – It was sooooooooo gooooooood!  Creamy and nutmeggy.  Proper arborio rice – what a joy!  (Although in my scrawly handwriting, Mr Beloved read the shopping list as “aboreal mice.” We truly do not need to buy tree-dwelling rodents. Especially since next door’s locat tree is full of ripe fruit and therefore many fruit bats….)

And now: some housework. Actually, now I check my list, I see I need to make cards (two, sympathy) TONIGHT.  Off I go.

The hunt for (un)read Ottobre continues.  (See what I did there with the lame Tom Clancy reference? Oh wait, there’s obviously a redundant word there – I mean, he was GREAT for the first coupla books, am I right? But give him dialogue or female characters and  – ewww.  No wonder he franchised himself out…)

Small diversion there while the steam escapes from my ears.  Seriously, WHERE IS THIS MAGAZINE HIDING?  (And why can’t I just LET IT GO?!?!  It’s not like I don’t have  – oh, I dunno – about a GAZILLION other patterns I could be sewing!))

And speaking of things hiding: When I was in Adelaide I bought two glove puppets from Ikea.  (Not that I can find THEM on the Ikea websites anywhere in the world, either – it’s a conspiracy! Stop me before I get back onto the Tom Clancy stuff, ok!)  One was a pantomime-y sort of horse, and the other – to my great glee – was a moose.

I have a thing about saying  “CHOCOLATE MOOSE!” and making antlers with my fingers whenever the opportunity arises to have chocolate mousse. (Obviously).  So I was having the BEST time running around Ikea saying “CHOCOLATE MOOOOOOOOOSE!” with this silly $4 glove puppet.

But as The Teabot5000 pointed out, the ways of the moose are subtle.  And moose has become quite well travelled as he lurks, hiding, until the other person finds him and squirrels (SQUIRRELS!  Nothing up my sleeve! – Oh, I just slay me.  And wasn’t Tom Clancy still a bit obsessed with Boris and Natasha types?!) him away to turn up – anywhere.  He’s already been to the gym with me, hidden in the ginger-nuts container, and developed a lovely singing voice when placed over the old doorbell chime unit.

MOOOOOOOSE!

MOOOOOOOSE!

Today I was innocently out at my Personal Training session, then lunch with the girls, and I get home to find my blog has been MOOSEJACKED!!  (tee hee!)

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow.  Mostly because I have a 9 am appointment at a different gym as part of the Weight Management Program and they’re going to make me run on a treadmill (HA!  So THEY think – I can’t run on those things!) and then keep pricking my fingers and measuring the lactic acid levels in my blood or some such, which allegedly will determine my ideal cardio training rate. Whatever.  I have to –  get this – FAST – and have NO CAFFEINE – for three hours prior to this torture.

I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.

NOT EVEN THE DOG WILL COME NEAR ME BEFORE MY FIRST CUP OF TEA.

(In fact, I suspect the Teabot 5000 actually uses a tray on a looooooong stick to deposit my first cuppa on my bedside table.  Possibly while wearing full protective gear just in case.  I don’t know this, because I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.)

Suspected First Cuppa Delivery System

Suspected First Cuppa Delivery System

And they want to make me do their DUMB tests when I’m already HAPPY with MY Gym and MY personal trainer? GRRR! If I had liked these people AT ALL I might have started training with them at my other session of this sort of torture months ago – but they were nasty and the gym they were working out of then was vile.  They’re at a new place now, but I really resent having to go and waste workout energy on stuff that’s not MY program…

Ahem.  I may just have a teensy issue or two around this, ya think?!

And now I think I have definitely earned some raspberries and ricotta and maybe a banana as well.  Since I’m going to be clawing at my STOMACH in the morning anyway…

As I write we are in the middle of a wonderful fabulous heavy rainstorm.  Ahhhhhhhhhh!  I know this makes me sound like I’m 80 instead of 40, but the relief in my joints when a storm finally arrives is BLISS.

The other cause of happiness: Today a book arrived from my Mum and Dad:

On Food and Cooking - you NEED THIS BOOK!

On Food and Cooking - you NEED THIS BOOK!

I had the first edition – in fact, I have had SEVERAL copies, one I which I gave to my Dad – but somewhere in one of the moves I lost MY copy.  When I was at my brother’s over Christmas I was browsing his copy and remembered how much I enjoyed it – and so Mum and Dad kindly agreed to buy me a new copy.

So now I have the revised edition, with lots more info, I think I may have got the better end of the deal!

The charming and erudite Harold McGee continues to write about food and science – his most recent monthly column can be found at this link or by clicking the “news” tab on his website.

(*giggles* I might add that the book doubles as a handy weight for triceps and biceps work – you need strength to hold this up to read, or your nose will get smashed!)