“ Simplicity is the outward sign and symbol of depth of thought.”
This month, it is SUMMER at last! YAY! Hot hot days and fresh fresh fruit. Have a look at our mangoes here. A very Australian variety that might have come from India. (There are rumours that much much more migration happened between India and Australia over the centuries than we have ever realised. This is no surprise to me. I have (biasedly) noticed similarities in language, appearance and spirituality.)
My daughter and her family arrive in three days. YAY! I can’t wait.
This month I (re)discovered …
- that I can deal with my daughter being in London most of the time, and only seeing her and her family every 12 months, but that when it gets closer to being with them again, I get quite very emotional. Can’t wait to be in the kitchen with you again, Amberjee, and can’t wait to see Aidanjee and Kenjee again. Aidanjee, are you in for some big time spoiling.
- how intense corporate life can be. I had forgotten. If you missed it, have a look at Corporate Life will Drive You to Drink. And Chilli. Thank goodness I am on a break while Amberjee is here.
This Month …
- This month, Ball Whisk has a post on the lower carbon footprint of vegetarian diets – even more so that localvorism (eating food that is locally grown).
- This month, Monsoon has its first birthday. Monsoon is the local Indian restaurant in my street in North Adelaide. It does very good dosa. One year ago I was watching it set up and get organised. Now they are celebrating their birthday with amazing Punjabi food. Lovely! If you are in Adelaide, make sure you try their birthday banquet.
- This month, one of the outcomes of corporate life is that I am walking a lot more. I do about 6,000 steps to walk in and from work, plus a whole lot more in the running around that I do during the day. Note that a really healthy active lifestyle is 10,000 steps per day, and I would get this most days now.But also, because of the limited time I have available I am eating better. Strange? Yes. Mostly, rather than resort to junk food, I eat salads from the Asian shop or Curries from the Sri Chimnoy Cafe. And at home, a simple dish of fresh salads, or fresh veges with a few lentils or nuts or tofu or paneer or feta or other cheese. Very simple. Very yummy.
- I have pulled out one of my long time favourite cookbooks, in response to a comment on one of my posts. It is:Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East, by Arto der Haroutunian, published in 1983.A fabulous collection of (simple) dishes from that region of the world. I will delve into it again.Oh, I have just googled the book – it has been out of print, but will be re-released in April 2008. Watch for it!
Fast Fast Food
- If you make your own paneer, it is quite easy to take some out of the fridge, pan fry it, drizzle some honey over it and some flaked almonds, and call it dessert.
- Take some button mushrooms. Remove their stalk and slice the stalk in 2 lengthwise. Heat some oil and butter, or some ghee, just a little, in a pan and throw in the mushrooms.
Throw some bread in the toaster, or cut a thick slice of Turkish bread, or split a lovely fresh rye roll.
Flip the mushrooms over, and add a tomato, cut into small cubes, some lovely celtic sea salt and some black pepper. If you have a little fresh lemon zest, grated, add that too. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
Through in some finely chopped parsley, stir, and pour out onto your bread or toast. YUM.
- Take those oven dried capsicums that you made a month or two ago. Slice tomato and cucumber thinly, and arrange on a plate. Drizzle good virgin olive oil over them, with some celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then crumble the dried peppers and sprinkle the crumbles over the salad. Serve with bread and feta cheese.
Hints and Tips for This Month
- Check this out – a post by My Diverse Kitchen on making a Masala Powder from lentils. Very common in Tamil households, it is called milagaipodi.
- Very special hints on using and storing ginger is provided by Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen. and by Lunch in a Box. There are some great descriptions of how to store, freeze and use ginger for different purposes. Ginger is my favourite spice, and I use it in teas and cooking all the time.
- Poha (depending where you come from in India) is a fav type of rice for me. It is a flattened, partially cooked rice. It is not cooked the same as ordinary rice, but is quickly turned into the most scrumptious of amazing dishes. Cooking for all Seasons has a great description of poha and two recipes in her post called One Poha – Two Ways
- I love this post – an introduction to Kashmiri Spices and Ingredients complete with photos by In Love with Food. It is often puzzling when starting to cook Indian, if you have never done it before. Some ingredients and the way that they are used are quite different. This post is a great intro to Kashmiri food.
- Ever had food cravings? What do they mean? Have a look here to decipher what cravings for chocolate means, for coffee, for sweets, for salt, for anything.
- And a post on water as a cure for anything. How interesting.
Favourites from This Month in previous years
Gradually as this site develops, these recipes will appear. They are favourites from my old old site (see About). If you are desperate for any of them now, let me know and I will make them available.
December has always been a good month for cooking as normally everything starts to slow down and gear up for the more relaxed holiday time.
- Guacamole 1296
- Avocado Soup (adapted from The Best of Everything) 0898
- Chilled Asparagus Soup (The Soup Bible) 1202
- Cucumber Soup (adapted from The Best of Everything) 0898
- Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise 1298
- Chickpea Salad 1298
- Nilgiris Dal Makhani (Nilgiris Indian Restaurant in Sydney) 1202
- Many-varied Pesto 1296
- Roast Capsicum and Tomato Sauce (Gourmet Traveller, December, 1998) 1298
- Potato and Caper Croquettes with Red Capsicum Sauce, (Gourmet Traveller: Cucina Italiana), 1202
- Narasimhan’s Indian Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry1202
- Barbarqued Roast Tomatoes (modern Australian BBQ)1298
- Baked Strawberries (Vogue, November, 1998) 1298
- Baked Nectarines 1298
- Fresh Strawberry Frappé 1298
- Berry and Kirsch coulis 1298
- Barbarqued Berries in Kirsch 1298
- Charles’ Coffee and Icecream Desert 1202
- Onion Marmarlade 1298
- Apple Honey (Apple Jelly) 1298
- Strawberry Jam 1298
- Apple and Herb Jelly 1298
- Flavoured sugars 1298
- Pita Bread (Moosewood) 1298
- Olive Oil and Fennel Bread 1298
- Foccacia #2 1298