Sunday 31 January 2010

A trip to Rosedale.

There is a chapter in that most ubiquitous of "self-help" books, "Men are from a, Women are from Venus" entitled "Women Talk and Men Go To Their Caves"

Now I freely admit to never having read the book, but for some reason the fact that this chapter exists sticks in my memory.

And it is, I believe, a universal truth.

When men are working through "Stuff" they get all quiet and insular and like bears, they hibernate until they're ready to come out.


We talk.

We head off with our nearest and dearest besties and talk. And rave. And plot. And scheme. And talk. And bitch.



And the girls would never dream of offering solutions. They just sit and listen, and refill your glass, and pass you the tissues and tell you "it's not because you're fat" and refill your glass and hold you while tears trickle down your face.

And if your friends are really all they are meant to be, all they should be after 30 or so years of supporting each other through marriages (good and bad), births (good and bad), cheap tawdry one-nighters (good and bad), they know what you'll need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, hoik up your Big Girl's Boggers and SUCK IT UP, TIGER.

For some women it's chocolate. For some it's wine. For some it's a new man, for some it's a day spa.

For me, well, you can probably guess.

It's food.

Herbs still fresh and warm from Tee's garden. Her idea of being one of my oldest friends?

"I bought them so you could cook for us"

Oh Goddess, does that girl know me!!

Chicken in Pajamas at the Rosedale Pub, courtesy of Sue. Good, hearty country pub fare. No pretentious twattage, no bullshit. Just food and non-judgemental company.

Her idea of being one of my oldest friends?

"come to my house and just be."

It's not Chicken Soup that nurtures a Soul, it's chicken parma and a pot, and the deep, abiding laughter of someone you've known more than 30 years.

And then to come home to Widdie, who doesn't bother to bring anything but the main ingredient because "I know you'd have everything else I need", and smoked salmon roulades, to talk about being mad old cat ladies together.

Her idea of being one of my oldest friends?

Nodding in ALL the right places.

In 2010, make sure you forget the crap chain emails, and the bullshit forwarded Face Crack status update, and remeber to tell your 'festy besties" that Women Talk, and that is what nourishes our souls.

Saturday 30 January 2010

Left over lurve.

Recently I wrote about my version of pulled pork. Having no idea how or what it was, I kinda made it up as I went along. And it was pretty delicious. But then again, what is not to love about pork, slow cooked in vinegar, onions, tomatoes and spices.

But we had a lots.. and AWFUL lot left over.

Tammi suggested that we use the leftovers for pulled pork nachos.

So we did.


It was so gooooood. A few days in the fridge had allowed the pork to achieve a deep sweetness, which went perfectly with the tomatoes and creaminess of the avocado. The textural melange of the pulled pork, the cruch of the corn chips and lettuce and again, the creamy silkiness of the avocado pretty much provided the perfect mouth feel.

Nachos are one of those things that I pretty much avoid unless I am stumped for a vegetarian option for guests. I had truly never thought to use left overs in them, relying (on the odd occasion that I gave in to the pleadings of the Step-Beasts and "made" them) on mince, tomato paste, red kidney beans and something made by El Paso,

Now, they are possibly going to become my staple "turn leftovers into something other than "risotto" dish".

At the risk of bring up the whole "authentic" debate, I am thinking left over chicken Mahkani, garlic corn chips and raita "nachos". Maybe souvlaki lamb, tzatziki and lemon/oregano "nachos".

Wednesday 20 January 2010

pulled pork

Australians like to think that they are the BBQ kings and queens of the Universe. And we are. But just as we accuse Americans of being arrogant and insular, so are we about BBQ. The BBQ we know, whether it me dodgy spewpermarket snags over Heat Beads, or gohr-may seafood skewers in a Webber, the truth is BBQ is much MUCH more than that.

Pulled pork is a typical BBQ dish from Southern US, called "pulled" because it is slow cooked to the point that all the connective tissue breaks down and you can pull the pork apart by hand. It is then served in sandwiches and over rice.

In the United States, pulled pork is commonly slow-cooked by a smoking method (known as BBQ'ing), though a non-barbecue method might also be employed.

The preparation of pulled pork differs from region to region. In areas such as Tennessee, pulled pork is typically made from a mixture of the blade shoulder and arm shoulder meat and served with a tomato-based barbecue sauce. In areas such as Noth Carolina, both mixed cuts of the belly and shoulder alone are commonly used, and the pork is served with a vinegar-based sauce or with no sauce.

My pulled pork was slow cooked on the stove top for almost 7 hours. I used a 1kg chunk of pork belly roast and left the skin on.

I slow cooked it with a can of tomatoes, some capers, a fresh sliced jalapeno chilli, some sweet pickled onions (with the vinegar) and plenty of chicken stock. I used my trusty old cast iron camp oven, and had it in low heat for 6.75 hours. I then removed the skin and finely sliced it (the rubbery skin bits made a wonderful textural counterpoint to the meat and the onions) and "pulled" the roast apart with 2 forks. I actually cooked it in 2 sittings, on for 3 hours on Sunday night and then again on Monday. When I got home from work on Monday night, the hours was positively fragrant!

We ate half of it over rice with fresh cracked black pepper, and are saving the other half to use on Thursday, for a nacho topping, a la Tammi Jonas 's suggestion.

Monday 18 January 2010

Happy Gnu Ear!

Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever

"Don't Dream It"
From RHPS.

What with kids and dogs and friends of kids and dogs being here for ex-moose, I haven't rightly had a chance to blog about anything. And to be brutally honest, there hasn't been really anything going on that was blog-worthy.

Until this weekend.

I spent the weekend eating. Eating in a most unseemly, deeply erotic, hedonistic way. I ate eggs. I scoffed smoked salmon. I inhaled some of the most extraordinary Indian I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. I tongued cheese. I sucked pasta, I slurped seafood. I masticated fresh baked sour dough. I licked tandoori goat. There were exotic fruits and sorbets, and chocolate unctuosly oozing from fountains and cakes and custards and rose-tipped nipples of white chocolate and slow-cooked thighs and hocks. Yolk was licked from sticky fingers, fluids were exchanged on spoons, cheeses were left to melt on tongues and swallowed slowly, with orgasmic relish. I embarked on a positive orgy of self indulgence! It was positively pornographic in its consumption of carnal delights!

The corrolation between sex and food is what divides the "eat to live" from the "live to eat" brigade, of which, clearly, I am a card-carrying member. The idea of spending an entire weekend giving myself over to Dr Frank N' Furter's "absolute pleasure" is a far cry from my "normal" life as a harried wife and mother. But I did it, and I am all a-quiver at the prospect of doing it again.

There is nothing worse that a blog post that alludes to in-jokes that no one gets ( and yes, I AM talking about you, Squinty McSquinty-Pants ;) ), so I shan't bore you all with the minutiae of the weekend, but suffice it to say that erotic hedonism is alive and well, and living in a suburb near you.

Happy Gnu Ear to you all, and may 2010 bring all your dreams to fruition. Whatever they might be.