All the dumb things

A cautionary tale in development

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

This blog has moved

Posted by razzbuffnik on May 13, 2007

I’ve moved this blog to my own domain 

http://blog.allthedumbthings.com/

Advertisements

Posted in All the Dumb Things, Animals, Art, Carnival, Carpentry, Climbing, Dams, Food, Gardening, Kites, Masks, Music, People, Photography, Planes, Recipes, Theatre, Travel, Uncategorized, Worthy things, Writing | Leave a Comment »

The butcher of Casablanca

Posted by razzbuffnik on May 5, 2007

For some strange reason, I never went shopping for meat to cook myself when I was in Morocco.  I always felt more comfortable eating my meat over there as anomolous charred lumps on sticks from stall holders.

casbutcher.jpg

As a matter of fact, if I had to buy meat like this every day, I’d probably be a vegetarian.  It’s a bit too “real” as one can still see how the meat was once an animal, not like the way the meat is packaged in plastic like here in the west. On reflection I find it amazing how quickly things have changed in the western world.  A scene like the image above would’ve been common in 19th century Europe. No refrigeration, no plastic bags, just a cloth sack you brought your self.  At least you’d know that the meat was fresh.

This photo was taken in 1982 on Kodachrome 64.

Posted in Food, Photography, Travel | Leave a Comment »

Chickpea salad

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 28, 2007

This is a sure fire winner by my wife. This salad goes very well with just about any Mediterranean dish and is particularly good with grilled fish or lamb. 

chickpea_salad1.jpg

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
1 marinated roast capsicum (red bell pepper) chopped into 1cm (¼ inch) squares
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small Spanish (red) onion, diced
2x400gr (14oz) cans of chickpeas
½ cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped
2 lemons juiced
¼ cup of virgin olive oil.

Combine ingredients in a bowl and serve.

If you want to use a fresh red capsicum, cut it in half, take out the seeds and place both halves, skin side up, under a hot grill.  Grill until the skin begins to go black and starts to smoke and burn. When skins are mostly black and blistered, place the capsicum in a plastic bag and tie the bad closed and allow it to sit in the unopened bag for about 10 to 20 minutes, to sweat.  Take the capsicum out of the plastic bag and peel the skin off.  The skin should just lift off quite easily.

Posted in Food, Recipes | Leave a Comment »

Artichoke dip

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 28, 2007

This is a quick and easy recipe that is always popular with my dinner guests.

artichoke_dip2.jpg

Ingredients

1 small jar (170gr or 6oz) of marinated artichokes, drained
1 400gr (14oz) can of cannellini beans, drained
3/4 of a cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon (or more to suit taste) fresh basil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Method

Puree all ingredients in a food processor.

Serve with either crackers or pide (Turkish bread)

Posted in Food, Recipes | Leave a Comment »

Breakfast today. Set and setting

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 25, 2007

At breakfast this morning I found myself counting my blessings. So I took a picture of the moment. It’s hard not to feel so lucky when I’m faced with such a scene. This is the breakfast that I eat nearly every day in my back yard (weather permitting) as I ready myself for another peaceful day, working from home.

breakfast.jpg

The only thing missing is my wife who is on her way to work in the city (as an engineer). Both my wife and I like to have our breakfast together in the backyard on her days off.  On such mornings it is even more blissfull as we read the newspaper and do the crosswords together.

John Lennon once said “life is what happens to you when you are planning for the future”.  I think that the Buddhists are onto something with the “be here now” thing.

Posted in Food, Gardening, Photography | Leave a Comment »

My version of Baba Ghanoush

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 25, 2007

This is a very quick easy dip that is always a hit at any diner party I hold. This recipe is my own and I’ve strayed quite far from traditional baba ghanoush.

baba_ghanoush.jpg

 Ingredients

1 300gr jar of grilled eggplants (I use the brand “Always Fresh” here in Australia)

1/2 a cup of yoghurt (I use a Greek style one with S. Thermophillus and L. Bulgaricus cultures)

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1 tablespoon of tahini (be careful to not put too much in as it can over power the whole dip)

1/2 a cup of almond meal (this isn’t essential but it helps soak up the moisture of the yoghurt and gives the dip body)

Juice of one lemon (start of with half the juice and then add more to suit your taste)

Pinch of pimenton (smoked paprika).  It’s not essential but the smoky flavour and colour do add a nice touch.

Method

Drain the grilled eggplant (if you like lots of oil, pour some of the oil on the dip when it’s complete). Place all the ingredients with the exception of the pimenton in a food processor and puree. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the pimenton.

Serve with fresh hot pide (Turkish bread).  If you can’t get the Turkish bread, barbeque rice crackers or sesame water crackers go well with the dip.

Easy!

If you’re a bit of a purist and want to use a fresh eggplant, here’s what you do.  Prick an eggplant all over with a fork and stick it in a very hot oven for about 45 minutes until is starts to smoke and burn. The next step is to take it out of the oven and cut it in half. Scoop out the insides of the eggplant.  At this point some people squeeze out the excess moisture. Then just follow the recipe above, substituting the fresh eggplant for the bottled eggplant.

Posted in Food, Recipes | Leave a Comment »

What to do with your excess chillies

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 25, 2007

Each year I harvest far more chillies than I can use at one time. I have only two small chilli plants and each year I’m amazed at how productive they are.  One of the problems that so many chillies pose, is that they are so hot that one only needs to use a few at a time and the majority will rot before you can put them to use. As a consequence, you don’t have any home grown chillies when you want to use them in the future.

chillies.jpg

I overcome this glut of chillies by pickling them. Pickling is extremely easy.

The first thing to do is get some jars, of a suitable size (I like using the smaller, wide mouthed salsa jars), wash them and then heat them up (with the lids, detached from the jars) in an oven for about half an hour at about 120 degrees C (about 250 degrees F).

After washing and rinsing the chillies, slice them (discarding the stems), complete with the seeds. A note of caution here, if you have sensitive skin wear rubber gloves. Needless to say, keep you hands away from any mucosal membranes afterwards, or you’re going to be in for a character building experience. 

Pour enough apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar that you have on hand) to cover the sliced chillies into a pot.  Then add olive oil equal to about 20% of the volume of the vinegar, and bring the mixture to a boil.  Once the vinegar and oil is at a rolling boil, carefully add the chillies. Boil the chillies in the mixture for about a minute or two.

As a variation to this recipe, you can slice up some garlic and add it to the chillies at this point.

Take the jars out of the oven and put them in a dry sink.  While constantly stirring the pot contents, ladle the chillies and vineger mixture into the warm jars, leaving about 1.5cm (about half an inch) space to the top of the jar. When you have no more chillies left, top up the jars with the remaining oil and vinegar mix, making sure that you completely cover the chillies and then take the warm lids out of the oven and screw them onto the jars.

The remaining oil and vinegar mixture can be kept as a condiment chilli oil. When the jars have cooled down to room temperature wash the jars in soapy water, to removed any residual chilli oil.

chillies2.jpg

Store the chillies in a cool dark place.  I’ve used chillies preserved like this, one and a half years after I’ve pickled them, with not ill effects.  Always store the opened jars in the refrigerator after use. When the pickled chillies have been refrigerated, the oil solidifies, but don’t let that worry you as it doesn’t affect the flavour.

I use my pickled chillies in cooking and I’ve noticed that the oil and vinegar take up a lot of the chillies “heat” so keep that in mind when you cook.  Just add more of the oil and the “heat” goes way up.

Posted in Food, Gardening, Recipes | Leave a Comment »

The butcher of Belize City. 1983

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 24, 2007

This is one of the scariest old men I’ve ever met.

As I was wandering around Belize City market when I came across this gentleman. I found the colours and textures immediately appealing and I wanted to take a photograph.

butcher_adj.jpg

butcher2.jpg

Years before I would’ve just taken the photo, like a thief and run if I had to.  Those days were behind me and I didn’t believe in doing that anymore. I now believe that photos can be much more interesting when the subject responds to the camera and it’s ethical to ask first. So I walked up to the butcher who was chopping up the meat with a very big cleaver, and I asked him if I could take a photo of him and his shop. His response shocked the hell out of me.

 He raised his cleaver and pointed it in my direction and in an angry and aggressive tone, asked me why he should allow me. I told him I that it would make a good photograph but he was not having any of that, and then he also told me that he wasn’t interested in being portrayed in a way that would make him look like fool. I tried to explain again that it was the colours and textures that I was interested in.  He said he thought I was trying to make him look like fool, all the while, brandishing the cleaver. I was starting to get worried as his voice started to raise even louder and the cleaver got more animated.  I was feeling very threatened and wasn’t too sure how I was going to get out of the predicament without just running.

My break came when I told him my grandfather was a butcher who had trained in England, and that he might be interested in seeing how the butchers do things in Belize.  His mood changed immediately. He asked me how old I thought he was. I said late fifties (I was telling the truth about what I thought).  He smiled a big smile, puffed out his chest and said he was 78. He then said, “O.K., you can take your picture. So I took the first picture from a distance and I noticed he wasn’t smiling, so I asked him to smile.

“So you want to make me look like some grinning old fool?”
“No! No! I won’t have it!” He picked up the cleaver again. 

To mollify him, I backed down with an, O.K., O.K! I then asked him for one more shot a little closer with him standing and he didn’t have to smile.

After that, I put down the camera (I didn’t think it would be wise to take anymore) and he relaxed. He then started asking me questions about my grandfather. He loved it when I told him my grandfather once got in trouble with the law in England, after the war during the time of food rationing. Both my Grandfather and his boss were brought up on charges for putting too much bread crumbs in their sausages and not enough meat.

In hindsight it’s not hard for me to understand why he was annoyed. I’m sure that people in markets all around the world are sick of having their photos taken by tourists for nothing in return. He just wanted to be treated as a human being, to be engaged with, rather than be photographed as some colourful object.

Posted in Food, Photography, Travel, Writing | Leave a Comment »

A cake to have with coffee

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 22, 2007

This is a fairly dense moist cake that is perfect with coffee and it’s very easy to make. 

The recipe here, is my modification of the “5 cups cake” recipe I found at http://peasoupoftheday.blogspot.com/ 
via  http://asiya2.wordpress.com/

franken5cc.jpg

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of self raising flour

1 cup of shredded coconut 

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of coconut cream

2 eggs

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

1 teaspoon of coconut flavouring.

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F. These temperatures are for fan forced ovens.

Mix the ingredients and then pour into a greased, round 185cm baking tin (spring form if you have one).  Bake for approximately 45 minutes (a little longer if your oven isn’t fan forced)

Posted in Food, Recipes | 3 Comments »