At the moment in the car I'm listening to Greendale (Neil Young), someday, you'll find everything you're looking for... It's a good thing I can't really talk about work or certain other aspects of my life here. It's been a beastly week on so many levels. One day I'm going to write, everything is going really, really well. I am. And I will mean it. But anyway, eating is good. Perhaps too good.
Tonight's meme is about food. From Kerryn.
What are your favourite foods?
Cherries, dark and slightly tangy with a touch of resistance to the bite. Chocolate. Biting and creamy lemon curd tart. Cold rice pudding with sultanas and mixed spice, the day after with cream. Really good sourdough bread with a thick crust (Natural Tucker casalinga still a bit warm from the oven comes to mind). Sour crunchy dill pickles. Excellent yellow peaches. Mid-loin lamb chops barbequed over the fire and eaten in your hands with a smidgen of garlic yoghurt dressing and some bread cooked on the griddle. Soup. I like making soup. Lentil and barley which I could eat several times a week. And new creations like the standard red lentil and sweet potato soup with a beetroot from the garden to add an earthy undertone and the best colour.
What foods do you hate?
Boarding school cuisine of lumpy custard and watery gravy. Crap white bread. Packet pasta with lots of numbers. Deb instant mash, especially the way my sister used to make it as a child, watery and with lumps and serve with frozen peas and some grilled meat. (She's a good cook now, but some of the food we ate as kids...ugh shudder). Disappointing cakes that look great but once you bite into them you realise it's all commercial flavours and cheap vegetable shortening. Apples that have been in storage for years, on the shelves for weeks and smell musty and taste like paste. Creme caramel and most baked or egg custards. Except lemon curd and lemon tart which when they are good, I adore and custard tart which is OK.
Foods you like but are embarrassed to admit:
Packet custard. In some moods I'll eat maccas (mcdonalds) but it's never as good as I think it will be and always sits badly. Snowballs. Chinese food from food courts, or from one particular food court.
Strangest food you’ve eaten and enjoyed?
Can't think really. I don't go out of my way to eat strange things.
Cooking failures that still rankle?
My aunt's sixtieth birthday cake. Too big, with texture like pudding and icing that wouldn't stop running. I so wanted to get it right and everyone was so nice when I didn't. The sago plum pudding with the undissolved sago about ten years ago. A family Christmas and that was when we had the cafe so expectation was high. And the brandy spilt in the back of the car on the way over. Then there was the first ever function we did at the cafe. In my naivete, I thought we could just offer the normal menu. It was an utter disaster. And it was people I knew from a job I had the summer before, where a couple of other friends worked. After the last meal had been served, I went into the storeroom and had a cry, only to be comforted by a man I had a crush on but who I had just realised was married to someone in that office. That's a whole other story... but oh the humiliation.
Ingredients you don’t want to consider living without?
Butter. Olive oil (remember life before olive oil?). Salt. Yeast. Sugar. Flour. Eggs. With these things I can make almost anything with whatever else is around.
Highly desirable; parsley and other herbs from the garden. Garlic, pepper, lemons. Tinned beans and tomatoes. Cheese. Fresh fruit.
Current kitchen conundrum?
I need some new staple dinners. And some new ones for G to cook too. Oh and remembering to unplug the toaster. Because in a flash Grace is up there playing at making toast and seeing what happens when you stick a knife in there. Other than that she's quite good in the kitchen, she loves to help make her breakfast. She's a dab hand with sandwiches too. And baking. And helping herself from the fridge which I'm in several minds about. We're re-thinking the policy on that one. It's her house too and at some stage she should be able to help herself to a drink or snack but not endless jam sandwiches, orange juice and ham. As would be her choice now. Notice that we're eating supermarket bread too, thats something that's sort of snuck in, under the radar so to speak.
Cuisine you’d like to know more about?
I'd like to be able to cook a good vegetarian curry and a lentil dahl. Previous attempts have been woeful. I can do a good fish in coconut milk but that's not very useful when you live with a vego.
Foods you’ve hated but have grown to love?
Anchovies. Chillies. Bitter lettuce.