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bbq egg

Ah yes mag is away (huzzah!) so now for a bit of egg related rock stuff to make up for EoMEoTE that’ve been neglecting baby.

Here is a egg. It was cooked on a barbecue and it is as close to eggy perfection as is humanly possible. Ponder that. Don’t argue. It lives on a pile of the corpses of a million odd shaped, burnt bummed, hard yolked, flipped over, greasy cold barbecue eggs.

A quick recap – Breakfast Barbecue order is this
– cook the tomatoes in the oven, they’re a messy pain in the arse on a hot plate.
– cook the bacon to softness and then put it into the oven to crisp up. On some toast if you like toast soaked in pig fat, and you do.
– cook the sausages
– remove sausages and cover with foil (don’t go anywhere near the bbq unless you have a roll of foil and a plate to put the cooked stuff on).

Now for the eggs. Make sure the plate is hot, add a bit of oil to the bbq and then crack away. Let them fry for a minute. They will start to get a slight crust on them which will make them easier to get off. Turn the heat off, close the lid of the BBQ and leave until the yolk are how you want them, which is runny. Sunny. Serve. That’s it. Easy. Perfection. All else is fluff. Enjoy with cold Coopers Ale and Vodka, Watermelon, Banana and Mint Smoothies.

Thanks to Kate and Jon for brekky.

The eggs were much needed aminoes for the Big Day Out. A yearly rock festival that makes its way to Perth and it is a good thing. A very good thing. This year the feature act was the more or less reformed (usage advisedly) Stooges. A quick summary of 60’s rock:
The Beatles – dull
The Rolling Stones – dull
The Doors – dull
The Who – good (although I think that had to do with me being heavily impressed by Paul Smith)
The Beach Boys – dull
Bob Dylan – dull
Herman’s Hermits – dull
The Stooges – in a vision of the universe compressing to a singularity and then exploding again, the Stooges are that singularity. All else is fluff, distraction, and waffle. I do them a disservice by talking about them, they should be listened to loudly. And, if you can, and I did, live.

Iggy A round of applause for the underappreciated Ron Asheton Iggy

I’d rewrite an Iggy poem but I will simply quote:

Now look out
I took a record of pretty music
I went down and baby you can tell
I took a record of pretty music
Now I’m putting it to you straight from hell
I’ll stick it deep inside
I’ll stick it deep inside
Cause I’m loose
I feel fine to be dancin’, baby
I feel fine, I’m a shakin’ leaf
I feel fine to be dancin’, baby
Cause it’s love, yeah I do believe
I’ll stick it deep inside
I’ll stick it deep inside
Cause I’m loose
And I’ll stick it deep inside
And I’ll stick it hey
Well I’m loose, well I’m loose
Well I’m loose

Not to be touched.
Egg egg me do
You know I love you
Ohh pleeeeease please please
Egg me do

See. Crap. More than it deserves.

Sexy Tex Perkins and the Beasts of Bourbon and the White Stripes had a bit of the magic too, when they kept the fack away from the marimba.

Tex Perkins Jack and Meg White Jack and Meg White

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cold soba and crab salad

A very special first time ever treat for you all,

************a spiceblog original joke!!!!!!!!**********

Noodle: Another vodka tonic and make it snappy!
Barman: Are you always this rude?
Noodle: Well if you think this is bad, you should see me when I’m soba.

************* : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : )**********

Soba is a greyish Japanese noodle made either mostly or entirely of buckwheat (soba) and water. Friend to vegetarians and the gluten intolerant, it also makes for a great train platform or highway service area snack and is marvellous cold with a soy/dashi/wasabi based dipping sauce.

Quite easy to buy dried but flush from successes with making fresh pasta, I thought I’d make some. The gear used to make it is fabulous. Traditionally the soba dough is rolled out with a long wooden pin on a large wooden board. They also use large red and black wooden bowls for mixing. All very stylish and the soba knives are the coolest things ever and it saddens me they aren’t seen more in hand to hand combat with heads fortuitously rolling into soba mixing bowls flecking buckwheat flour with crimson or perhaps a show tune with the rolling pins as canes. Alternatively you could say hello to the BandoTaro. I used my pasta roller.

Not the best occasion to make it, back from the shops at 5:15, unshowered from a run, and having decided barely an hour area that we’d be having a BBQ for 10 for Toni’s family at ours at 6. She came back in after sweeping the outdoors area to find me covered in flour, what was I doing, “making noodles”. I got the look. Ah well it was just a matter of bunging out a coleslaw as well.

The crabs are Shark Bay blue swimmer/ blue manna crabs after our crabbing trio in Mandurah didn’t eventuate due to conditions inclement.

The mix of buckwheat to wheat flour can vary but commonly it’s 80/20 respectively with the gluten in the wheat binding it together. Pure buckwheat soba is possible but this site recommended starting with 50/50. My balance was about two thirds to one third and then alternating between buckwheat and wheat flour to get the dough to sufficient dryness. Start with a third as much water as flour and mix and then add water until it’s “as soft as an earlobe”. Knead for five minutes, wrap with gladwrap and put in the fridge for an hour.

It’s a beautiful thing to work with. The buckwheat has a strong smell which makes it feel more alive than dough and it feels softer and pliable. This may be an illusion caused by its stone like appearance.

As with pasta, make sure the dough is well coated with flour to prevent it sticking in the roller. You just need to roll it out to a “3” and then pass it through the spaghetti cutter in foot long lengths.

Cook in plenty of boiling water for two minutes or less, it shouldn’t be soft, and refresh under cool water and chill. You can actually drink the cooking liquid as a tea and it’s quite refreshing.

This salad came into my head, the sources of which are unknown but I had a vague feeling from somewhere. What convinced me it wasn’t the whispers of malevolent demons or mischievous faeries was that lemons are good with seafood, chilli has made a fine partner with lemon in previous pasta sauces, and the oil would add a certain slipperiness. I had thought nuts and coriander but decided against as the latter would have made it too busy and that buckwheat is already “nutty” of sorts for the former.

Remove the flesh from 4 crabs and flake into small pieces. Finely chop half a largish red chilli (remove the seeds). Finely chop the rind of one lemon (you can use a zester or grate it). Add the juice of one lemon and an equal amount of EVOO. Mix together the soba, crab, and dressing and serve.

Refreshing but really I prefer more traditional combinations of Charcoal Cooked Crabs, Cold Soba, and assorted Tempura. I also felt the noodles had been cooked too long and lacked that bit of chewiness that makes really good soba, thicker noodles would have helped here. A good start though and if you used dried soba, this would be extremely quick and easy to make.

Many thanks Amy for hosting.

Roundup! More noodles: Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: IMBB 22 Use Your Noodle Part 1, 2, 3 & 4


In the name of God, think what you're doing!

Thanks Moira

pork crackle and asparagus souffle

, for those who don’t know, is the French word for breast. A fact I constantly marvel at. Who can look at these delicate treats without recalling Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People with Lady Liberty’s soft orbs swelling out of their restrictions? Who indeed? And who also would have thought that me, a man of 36, had not yet mastered such delights. It is true.

Now I’m not going to tell you how to make one. You should have a cook book that explains how to make a savoury one and if you don’t, then I can’t, in good faith, be an enabler.

The idea was to go to the grower’s market and see what was fresh looking and use that as a base. In the mean time I’d bought some pork belly for the mains, and left with the skin, thought I could do something with it. What goes nicely with pork? Asparagus. Think of asparagus wrapped in bacon. Yes.

The skin gets scored and then covered with oil and salt and crisped to a crackle. Then it’s chopped up into small pieces. I was thinking here of the nice Turkish Delight souffle they do at Jackson’s but instead have little bits of crunchy porky interest. Marking, in a way, the transition of pub snacks, as a marker on the road of life.

souffle ingredients

Things to know about this base. Seven thick asparagus are trimmed at the tough end and peeled. I removed and set aside the top parts as a garnish . Boil the asparagus in salted water until soft without being soggy. Chop into small pieces. Cook further in butter and a splash of walnut oil. Add this to your base, which should be a well combined white sauce of butter, flour, milk and the eggs yolks. In the interests of time, this can be made earlier and reheated when needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the 5 egg whites. Lots of things can go wrong here. Make sure there’s no yolk in there. Cracking the eggs into one container and then transferring to another will save you having to chuck out five eggs and starting again. Use a bowl that is immaculately clean. Ive heard talk of copper bowls preventing over-whisking but you have to ask yourself, treat the cause or treat the symptom? It should go nice and glossy and if there’e the slightest trace of graininess. Stop. Working quickly, mix a third in with the base to loosen it and then carefully fold in the rest of the whites to get a good mix without losing volume.

The ramekins need to be rubbed thoroughly with butter, refrigerated until hard, and then rub with more butter. Fill to within a finger’s breadth of the top, drop some pieces of pork craackle in, and place in a 210C oven.

The recipe I had was for one large souffle and the total time for this would have been 30 minutes. I stopped at 20 but it was a little overdone. The bind is that if you open the oven too early to check, the souffle can collapse. I’d estimate around 15 minutes for single ramekins.

Rush to the table, save one for a super quick pic, and serve with the ends cooked in butter.

It was nice. Taste a little on the subtle side and maybe it needed a little something else. The porkiness of the crackle, provided localised interest, but didn’t travel far. It was nice and airy but really, I’d enjoy well made scrambled eggs better.

braised pork

The rest of the meal, for the visitation of his purpleness of Brisvegas, was a pork belly/pork-chop and cabbage braise served with celeriac-potato-sweet potato-jerusalem artichoke mash. Maybe I’ll explain it all later. It was topped with deep fried strips of parsnip. A trick I nicked from work. To finish, Kate took time out to redeem herself of her murdacious evilness to make a deeelicious rhubarb and apple crumble.

Thank you hosty: Kitchen Chick: IMBB 20: Has my blog fallen?



Giant Ram

I pity the poor fool that doesn’t start their weekend on Thursday. Backtracking from a glass of wine to finish the night at Jackson’s, I’ve now been there approximately one week in total time, which isn’t a bad way to look at where I am and what I’ve done. I’m still learning and also consolidating. I had another go at deboning a couple of quails, I made a mayonnaise and remembered to add the oil drop by drop rather than pour it in and ask “now what?”.

I can chop chop chop and peel peel peel. I’m still doing at least half a dozen things wrong in an evening but these are at least not in the things I’ve been taught to do. Mark, who just snared himself gold, bronze, gold in a local comp, has taken it upon himself to keep an eye on me for when I stray and quickly sets me straight- whether it’s cleaning and flipping a board after chopping up garlic or the right way to segment an orange. Tanya gave me my first list of jobs, which I took as a sacred bond of trust, fields questions, and is going to teach me how to not sharpen knives like a “cocky”. Krystin is starting to get dessert questions and Michelle talked me through how she organises and works through a night of service and set me straight on reducing stocks. Chef wasn’t there , which is good because word has it I’m in the shit for my devasting review of the air-conditioning. It was a relatively quiet night so I took a few pics. I’ve organised a set on Flickr of pics you’ve seen but also some new ones. They’re here: Jackson’s Restaurant


Omnivoribus Australis – Edition IV is up and word has reached as far as San Francisco – home of bays, gays, and clam bisques. It’s your monthly one-stop shop for austro-zealandian food and wine blog and gender clarification. Fans of eggs and 70’s music, if they haven’t yet, should get to the EoMEoTE#11—The Round-up before the drum solo finishes.

Barchetta in Cottesloe deftly evades the general rule on bars and restaurants named after vehicles being naff (although Cafe Kremenchug Auto Zavod KrAZ-260 would not be without its charms) and disappoints by actually having reet tasty tapas and thus not letting me call it Barfetta. Pity the frustrated food snark, maybe I will anyway, no that would be wrong, wrong, wrong. Bloody noisy though, a victim of its own ocean overlooking popularity. The beers at the OBH are still cold and writing is hard work.

and then a cold frosty beer

Top tip: when taking some cheese along to a picnic, remove the plastic wrap and wrap it in greaseproof paper for that just cut from the cheese wheel look.

picnic Eric Toni and Kate

The Spice Magazine peoples had a picnic to try and capture the spirit of the summer and snag that elusive cover pic. So myself, Toni and the barge widow Kate went along to the Matilda Bay foreshore with my lambchops, asparagus, and eggplants as well as Holy Smoke Chicken pate, goats cheese, olives, bottle of champagne, a sixpack of Swan Stout and a bottle of lemonade. Mucho relaxation was had, freed from the pressures of the press room, time enough to sit in the sun, on the grass, and visualise the successful future that would bring a red and white Square Rigged Spice Yacht moored in the Swan River. I discovered I had a rare talent for making the ukelele a depressing instrument. Back to work, they’ve got three weeks left before it goes to the publishers and stay tuned for a remarkable subscription offer.

That’s it. Sunday’s good lookin’ country cookin’ will be up soon.

plinka plunka

Stop the press Crafty tip-off: I know it’s not about the stuff [cough] but how good does this look. Is it just me? Anyone actually used them? And why does one of them look like they’ve been stuffed with bin liner?

chilli and soy scrambled eggs

Are you ready Jeanne? Aha
Stephanie? Yeah!
Uma, Emma?
Alright girls lets go!

Oh it’s getting oh so hard
Thinking of the things to do with eggs, aha
Oh once again it’s carbohydrates
unspecified, but subjected to heat

I see a chilli in the crisper
Chopped up it’s as hot as the sun
And the cream it was creamy
It thinks it’s the buttery one

The eggs, they were free range, which isn’t at all strange
The butter was danish, unsalted and delish.

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
And the chilli was deseeded
and soy sauce interceded
And it turned into the scrambled eggs
With the cream it was padded
And sugar was added
And it turned into the scrambled eggs
Scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs

It’s it’s scrambled eggs, It’s it’s scrambled eggs
It’s it’s scrambled eggs, yeah, it’s scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs.


vegan delight

Viva Las Vegan with your neon flashin’
And your one armed bandits crashin’

Here’s something quick and late for IMBB 19 that I tricked myself into eating by using my left hand and pretending someone else was cooking for me (old boarding school trick).

Very large field mushroom roasted in EVOO with parsley, sage, rosemary, and ermm thyme, sea salt and pepper. Chopped up walnuts, EVOO over it all and roasted, covered with foil, until soft and juicy. Served on a bed of steamed silverbeet from the garden.

Thank you hosty Sam.

Tagged with: +

Also: It’s a busy dish and I think I fell into the overcompansating trap of making vegetarian dishes “noisy” to make up for the lack of meat. It’d be just as nice with just rosemary and some EVOO and there we come to the vorian-wide issue of paying attention to ingredients and where they came from. This is while I’ll take a thoughtful vegan over a chop burning omnivore any day.


steak and mash skinny version

I quite like how deeeeelightfully ugly my steak and mash turned out. Part of a carnival of food monsters. Charming beneath it’s hideous visage unlike the meal below which, like rokurokubi , hides it’s beastliness well.

You know how to cook a steak. The mushrooms are roasted with rosemary and olive oil. The mash is roasted sweet potato – a bit of scorching gives it its colour – and cream butter and milk. The sauce is just some butter added to the pan while the steaks rested, some finely chopped leak, then a splash of wine, a bit of beef stock, a teaspoon of wasabi powder, and then some cream. All done over a high heat, stirring constantly.

Now for a bit of housekeeping-

Jacksons: I returned for some very accurate chip making, curly whirly squid slicing, potato peeling, aspargus prepping, lwob gnikaerb, vietnameses mint tearing, and rasberry and red wine sorbet tasting. The place was fully booked but it was an hour before and order came in. Much anxious standing around like in Das Boot, waiting for the depth charges while the destroyers passed overhead. Slamming was not to happen, 61 people fed in an hour and a half. Take that merchant ships. Periscopes up Oberfähnrich Mitty.

Meme #1: Mike of Shiraz in San Diego has, out of medium sized meditteranean city affinty, tagged me for a wine and food meme. I’ll do my foody half and nominate my wine friendliest meal of the past thirty days. This was Hal Hartley Pork Belly Braised with Fennel and Pears. Nothing in it that exceptionally cried out for wine but the fact that I expressly made it to match with a wine that I’d bought a year ago, is a gold star effort for me. I’d hope that we’re the reverse the case, there’s be a bit of wino head scratching in kind. I’m going to do a double twisty tag here and send off to mistresses of both wine and food Jeanne of Cook sister! (and bugger me she’s just done the EoMEoTE round-up) and Barabara in NZ of winosandfoodies.

Meme #2: Mrs D of the disturbingly-pet-filled-for-a-food-blog Belly-Timber has gotten me with the 23rd post fifth sentence meme, it is:

They then had to switch the island from driving on the right to driving on the left.

Hmmm take heart comrades!

Five is too hard, I’m sending this to the house of bones.

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we ate bluey

Sorry, no tales of Jackson’s this week, day job intervened. So instead:

Pseudo (aren’t we all) Chef has nabbed me for Food memories of my childhood

– Getting the strap for making spaghetti hair.
– Sardine Sandwiches – three years straight, by demand.
– Insisting the rind be cut off my bacon – fussy little bastard.
– Knowing that the fresh sheep brain patties had sheeps brains in them while my sister didn’t. (sorry Nat)
– Coke Spiders

Robert Corr tagged me for a Name Haiku Meme so Anthony Michael George[ff], here we go:

The opened flower
It is likened to a god
Who is the gardener

Here’s some food from Leederville – Fibber McGee’s and Cafe 130 – out with a couple of folks.

beef and oyster pie T for Toni Beer cake and cocoa


Edition III is up and is like a giant red tractor. Actually it’s more like a mirror universe waffle and cream sandwich with creamy goodness on the top and bottom and waffle in the middle but I didn’t have a pic of that and did handily have one of a tractor. Great way of seeing what’s happening in things foodie in Australia and New Zealand. Hats off Saffy.

Omnivoribus Australis – Edition III

[and yes, you are free to discuss tractors on this post]

green tea ravioli with red bean paste

A quick apology for the rather low standard of presentation but I really can’t be arsed by the end of a dinner. Not that this is any excuse for a lack of skills in this regard. I should learn to do the swirly thing with the satay stick or something.

chotda pack uh oh

A little while ago I was lucky enough to receive a package from kindly Santos of Guam. Her generous efforts at a stretching my parameters were sadly confounded by our strict quarantine laws. I’m happy to announce Australia is still free of the scourge of banana flowers and medicinal bark. Apparently if you want to get food past customs you tell them it’s delicious with mayonnaise. Don’t bother with a Bhudda statue. The lesson is – send cash. Anyway I was left with rice paper and Korean green tea flower (which given my current embarrasing social habit, I was surprised I didn’t start chatting in Japanese with it). I could have combined the two but had a different plan.

My first one was to make green tea beignets and then stuff them but I thought the red bean paste I wasn’t to use wasn’t fluid enough for the task. Instead I was inspired by the fried chocolate ravioli I helped with on Thursday and thoought I’d go with a variation of that.

eggs and green tea flour green tea pasta roller ravioli cutter

The green tea pasta was your standard pasta recipe but with the addition of a tablespoon of sugar and the use of green tea flour. I’m not going to tell you how to make pasta, instead you can go here. The green tea flour wasn’t totally amenable but the pasta maker takes a bit of practice and I don’t think I’ve used mine more than twice this century. Ruggedy ragged edges aren’t too much of a problem if you’re just going to stamp it out anyway. Run it through to a 5 thickness.

The red bean paste – an freezes quite happily and was left over from IMBB#15 Mizu Youkan – detailed making instructions to be found there including showtunes.

Well then it’s rather easy. Cut out enough pasta for the ravioli stamp to fit comfortably, add a teaspoon of the bean paste, place another piece of pasta on top and, after squeezing out any excess air, stamp. Repeat. Deep fry until crisp at 180C and serve.

It was served with a gamache mix of half cream/half dark chocolate melted over a double boiler. Some cream for the plate and a slice of frozen custard apple as an afterthought. Santos has the goods on custard apple aka atis.

Well it was good. I would have liked a little more bean paste in my mine but it’s not to everyone’s liking. The green tea flavour was quite mild and the ganache nicely in unsweet unison. The custard apple, which I’ve never had before, and suspect it may not have quite been right.

Now as for the rest of the meal. I’d asked a couple of friends and a bit after 4 Toni asked me what I was making and I realised I had no idea. So a quick trip to the shops just before they closed at 5 had me sorted for guests at 6:30.

spanish mackeral

This is the spanish mackeral caught by Local Man Catches Large Fish who would be joining us for dinner.

The spanish mackeral was in cutlets and it’s just a matter of removing the skin. Using my tip from the Kaiaseki workshop, I coated it in salt for half an hour and rinsed to remove some of the fishy smell. Cooked in nice hot slab of butter with the addition of flat leafed parsley and tarragon and a splash of vinegar and served with aparagus mixed after cooked with lemon peel、parsley, tarragon, and butter.

A lovely piece of fish it was.

chicken and walnut fettucine with chilli pesto

Since the pasta maker was out, I made some plain fettucine as well. Not too hard but I hanker for a plastic pasta hanger as it was a bit of a tangle. Actually comes apart quite nicely when cooking which happens in about four minutes.

For the pesto – one chilli, deseeded and chopped; two crushed cloves of garlic; pinch of salt; handful of toasted pine nuts; and handful each of parsley and parsely; process, adding EVOO until it gets to the right pasticity. Stir in some grated parmesan cheese.

Chop us some chicken thighs, marinate in pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil and cook in a pan. Toast handful of walnuts. Add to the pasta and the pesto and serve.

A swell mix of textures and home made pasta really is better.

So that’s WTFDYWMTDWT kinda done for now, lasts month’s IMBB-fried has been done but a bit late; and with green (carbohydrate subjected to heat) eggs and an, I’ve done EoMEoTE#10.


Hey! check out what’s at An Electronic Restaurant by Masterchef “Noodle Cook” and Oslofoodie has made pancakes.


Another week. My fanciful blog life has become real and as you’re probably all thinking, it is like the uncontrollable materialisation of desires by a machine left by a long extinct ancient civilisation. So here we go:

Comestibles Kaiseki Workshop

Boiled daikon with egg tofu in dashi Peeling Daikon Grilled Salmon

I’ve always wondered what food workshops were like and I got to tag along to one as photographer for Spice mag on Monday. Good good good. Handy stuff from the kaiseki (Japanese gustation menu before gustation menus were around) chef at Yahachi. I never knew you should use the water from washing the rice when making dashi and salting fish like eggplant to draw out the fishy taste. We were treated to my favourite Japanese chef trick of shaving a long translucent strip of daikon with a knife. I’m sure if it had been the tearing a Minties wrapper competition he would have come in at 15 metres. I got to try all four courses of the various kaiseki menu items and enjoyed every last morsel. I’m inspired to tender daikon and crunchy lotus root. If that wasn’t enough, each course was matched with sake from the Australian brewery of Go-shu. Very pleasing to the tongue and better than any imported one I’ve tasted here. My favourite one, the Go-shu Nama, happened to be their cheapest. How very fortunate. Apparently it’s available at the Wembley Downs Shopping Centre (cue misty hazy memories) Liquor Store. We also got to try some Leaf (of Cottesloe and Mt Lawley) teas with a detailed explanation of each one reminding me of how ignorant I am in this area. Lapsang Souchong is now my smokey fave.

Yahachi’s site is here and Comestibles has a few more workshops this month. If you’re interested, I can email the details.

Perth Blog Awards

Kangaroo Steak Perth Blog Awards RODD

Wooh! Wednesday night at the Brass Monkey. After dining on a most tenderly cooked and deliciously seasoned with Szechuan pepper Kangaroo Fillet, I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of not one but two awards:

Most Creative Blogger Currently Working in the Public Service
Best Impersonation of a Giant Gnome

take that! Linus Pauling. And I was honoured to receive the RODD ancient knife of gnomic hammer and elfin tong. Legend has it, it will be used with all other trophies to serve at an afternoon tea, the likes of which can barely be imagined. Check out the others at the WA Blog Awards. More pics here.

Many thanks to Bret of Not The West for his organisations and as a shamefully late post for 3108 Blog Day, I would like to draw your attention to four new Perth blogs that have decided to enter into the fast paced and brutal world of food blogging:
Cook & Eat
An Electronic Restaurant by Masterchef “Noodle Cook”
TeDAMENU Tuckertime Home
chubby cat cooks
and because she’s a fave and spreads the good word with Omnivoribus Australis, Saffy of The Food Palate

Encore Night at Jackson’s Restaurant

service Vension chocolate ravioli

I was kindly let back into Jackson’s kitchen again. Much more settled this time. I wasn’t sweating when I got to the door. Advances were independent thinking when I prepped the veges in servings ready to go by myself without being asked; and multi-taskingin getting an order of veges out and deep fry 20 mini pappadums, albeit in laughable disarray. I also like to flatter myself that if I hadn’t noticed a small piece of styrofoam in the fennel salad I was preparing, disaster may have resulted. It was impressive to see how intense things can become with just a slight change in orders. Most of the service seemed a rattle of dishes, table numbers and controlled frenzy. You could feel the calm settle as the list orders dwindled towards the end of the night. On my modest front, I practiced slow patient cutting work with asparagus and learnt the benefits of working tidy and the efficacy of a few bowls and containers. I helped make the white bread rolls and the chocolate ravioli, as well as reprising the gremolata, and not burning my hands with the sauces I had to organise into flasks. Lots of counting things which turned out to be surprisingly tricky. There was a date and apple cake for afternoon tea and steak and frittata for dinner. A Clam Pho for a snack. I got to lick the frypan of the scrambled eggs with Western Australian truffles and try lamb cooked in a mind bogglingly complex Moroccan spice mix. Tiramisu to finish. If they’re wanting to be rid of me, they’re going the wrong way about it.

In other news:
Host-for-life Jeanne hosts EoMEoTE again, I clain (clain?); Clement continues and may have finished with the mammoth series IMBB 17 – Tea at A La Cuisine!; and money raised in the City to Surf went to Oxfam – many thanks all.

Why hello Anne, that’s a heck of a dress you’re wearing.


banana delight

Kate, who makes a very nice paella I must say, has tagged me as to who would play me. Trickier than it appears when I’m not even sure if I’m actually playing myself all the time. Michael Ironside seemed appealing. I think I’d be great with a robotic hand.

Also very tempting was Christopher Walken, he’s running for President you know. Personally I think this is an unnecessary ploy for my affections – Adam Sandler playing yet another idiotic yet loveable man-child would be a preferential candidate to the current idiotic yet dissembling and cowardly war criminal man-child. I’d love to have ludicrous hair yet retain dignity and be able to switch into a tap dance or a karaoke spot. Yet it wouldn’t be right, playing roles isn’t what he does best. What I’d love is Christopher Walken playing me in someone else’s movie so “I” could walk on say a couple of lines. People could go “wow! who the fuck was that” and then I could wander back to the kitchen and check my gravy.

So it’ll have to be Daniel Auteuil. Despite actors being some enhanced projection of self, he seems to be resolutely the everyman. Not handsome but interesting and prone to the absurdities of life, faced with a light and appealing touch. He also gets to throw knives But then again, I’ve seen barely a tenth of his films and I’d hate to pretend I’m an expert on his work, should my bluff be called.

So I’ll have to go with Owen Wilson for his good humoured faintly crap taoic ambivalence maybe and at the very least for his spectacular car crash in the Royal Tenenbaums. But then again the more anxious anal aspects of Ben Stiller certainly…

Ahh fuck it Michael Ironside will play me and if you want to caramelise bananas just slice them, coat them in a mix of raw sugar and cinnamon. Pop them in a very hot pan and turn when caramelised. You can release the sugar in the pan with some butter.

Oh tagging three people, if you would like someone to play you, let me know. First three.

Oi!; and speaking of Kate, she’s nicely remembered to remind us about Perth blogger awards at the Brass Monkey tonite! People will be there and speaking of whom, Crafty has just given me an idea. Oh wait java script polls don’t work in blogger posts – bugger! And it makes my text all small if I put it in the sidebar. Gah!

Two Words: Jackson’s and RODD.


deporte del sangre

A reader shares a moment of triumph. Details at ten.

Elsewhere: Those looking for a handy dandy node of culinary things Auskiwian should get over to Omnivoribus Australis – Edition II

From London: That old black magic has me in its spell That old black magic that Jeanne weaves so well
End of Month Egg on Toast Extravaganza#9 round-up is up. It’s like giant easter egg with eggs inside it and inside those eggs, more eggs.

green eggs and hammer of thor

“Excellent” exclaimed Thor “Thought I’d never be rid of the specky twat. Now, where’s that Sven Hassel book of mine?”


Thanks Jeanne!

What? Oh alright, values reaffirming coda then:
Be wary of those who claim to make omlettes.
Now off to bed with you.

Places to go


Australia can be a dry place. So it’s worth celebrating the times when we have more to eat than clompy booted Swiss agricultural exchange students. That’s why we have Omnivoribus Australis. Get yourselves signed up before the end of the week at Saffy’s new home. Onya.

And yes it’s that time of the month again again – End of month egg on toast extravaganza . Go harry Glorious Host for All Eternity Jeanne of Cook sister! and have the question answered “on cheap recreational drugs: yes or no?” Month after month? I say yes. I was knackered after two.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, the podium is up for DMBLGIT at Lex Culinaria. Go look, it’s nice.

And for those in Perth, don’t forget it’s The Avon Descent this weekend.

Anything else I’ve forgotten? Oh hi Stefan.

chai panna cotta

“But we brought cream…
and scones”

I hope someone else remembers that line from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, a 70’s British WW2 comedy set in India. A much less smug observation than the more familiar “but what have the Romans ever done for us?” on the give and take of imperium. And what else does tea make me think of? Not much. In the greater scheme of beverages, it wallows. Currently it’s serving as a kind of methadone to get me off unthinking reflexive coffee drinking. I’ve become rather fond of the tea, spice and milk combo of chai though. It’s my new king of milky drinks, without peer (yes including latte), and its spicey complexity seemed a good opportunity for translation into a not so sweet dessert.

chai ingredients

Good luck finding a definitive chai recipe. I don’t think there is one but this is with good reason, it’s endlessly variable. Chai would make for an excellent platform for appreciating spices and understanding what each one does. A lifetime of fine tuning could be done with possible variations for time, quantity, and grinding of spices to reach the right balance. The first challenge is to get the taste of the tea right as it’s the dominant flavour. After about 10 minutes of simmering, I got there and then strained the milk. To improve the spice flavour I let it continue to simmer longer with some more cinnamon and ginger until it was where I wanted it to be. Keep in mind also that the flavour will be diluted a third by the cream. The ball-park quantities of tea and spices you see were for 2 cups of full cream milk and 1 cup of water. The tea was Harrods (God bless you Ma’am) Empire Blend No. 34 a mix of Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri. I have no idea why I have this. The other ingredients form left to right in the pic are: peppercorns and allspice; star anise and ginger; cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamon.

To transform this into panna cotta requires 300ml of double cream, 2 cups of the chai, half a cup of sugar, and 4tsp of gelatine. Bring the cream, sugar, and the chai to near boil, turn off the heat and sprinkle over the gelatine and stir it in unti it has dissolved completely. Let it cool with the occasional stir and pour it into ramekins and refrigerate until set. It can be loosened for serving by resting it in hot water for a not very long time.

The syrup is a fairly standard Indian syrup and I thought it would be at least a good geoculinary (do you like this word? I just made it up, nice isn’t it?) match. It’s from a recipe for Gulab Jamun. The rosewater aspect fitted in nicely because I had a bunch of dried rosebuds that I had bought as wasn’t quite sure what to do with. Something unexpectedly romantic perhaps. Anyway two cups of water, one cup of sugar, and five bruised (just crush them a bit with the flat of a knife) cardamom pods. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, take off the heat and stir in two tablespoons of rosewater. Allow to cool before pouring over the panna cotta.

Tasty. Not too sweet at all and a lot of little background notes. I managed to do some justice to its looks with a bit of Saturday afternoon soft light messing about with the spare one I had on hand (like you do). The only odd result was a rougher “breadier” texture on the bottom (i.e. the top of the ramekin). I’m assuming some kind of separation occurred from the cream but if anybody knows any better, help. Nothing unpleasant though, an unexpected feature.

Thank you Clement for hosting and prodding me out of my usual food comfort zone.

chai panna cotta

Johnny One-Cup

“All you need for a movie is girl and a gun and a bowl of cooked white rice, a raw egg, a can of tuna, some wasabi, and sprinkles.”
Jean-Luc Godard

Extra Bonus: Ah hear ya go, bonus Cook sister!: EoMEoTE #8 – all the drama!! round-up is up release of original drafts:

Johnny Noguchi stepped off the Yamanote line smelling of booze. He didn’t care. His station was never what it seemed. Maybe it should have been more like it he thought it should have been like if he thought more about what it was like but the Lets Kiosk was long shut. A night not spent following up a lead ended up at Pub Honeybee

Johnny Noguchi stepped of the freshly opened doors of the Yamanote line. Fuck ’em if he smelt like booze. Following up a lead ended up at Pub Honeybee wondering why the manko singing yesterday got to chat to the college student and he got matronly comfort. Lets Kiosk shut a while back. No drinks from there. Up the stairs, were they always this high? No ticket.

Fuck! thought Johnny Noguchi as he looked at the bowl of hot rice he’d cooked earlier before going out to find a lead where he’d ended up again at Pub Honeybee where he’d drunk sho-chu while waiting get the attentions of the younger hostess who spent all her time with the blue suited manko who sung Yesterday. Mixing in the raw egg that he’d bought at the Lawsons

Johnny One-cup walked up the station stairs that he’d walked down earlier in the day. He might have thought about this some but he had too many other things on his mind like how he’d ended up at Pub Honeybee instead of following up leads and what to eat when he got back to his apaato.

Into the conbeni, past the racks of pudding breasted bikini cover girls, sweeping past the rows of snacks – cronky, blinky, spinky, and honk, and chocolates that looked liked mushrooms. He wondered why mushrooms never looked liked chocolates and then remembered the expensive autumn mushroom matsutake that looked like a penis, not a chocolate though, but good to remember. He grabbed two eggs in a plastic container, two large cans of Sapporo black label, and made his way to the counter.

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Been noticing a few people wondering where EoMEoTE#8 is and I’ve been wondering myself. Last communication I had from Jeanne was an extremely cryptic part of an email:

Never had a craving for macarons but now I do.

Normally I wouldn’t think anything of this but the spelling of macaroons is a deliberate attention getter. She lives next door to the largest macaroon factory in the United Kingdom and would constantly tell me how she was never without macaroons. The missing “o” refers to the double ovoid of IMBB?#16’s Eggs and EoMEoTE#8. With the second “o” missing one can only conclude as thus

Never had a craving for macaro[removing EoMEoTE#8]n but now I do.

But the curious thing though is that the number of letters in macarons is eight rather than nine. Eight in Japanese is hachi, coincidence I think not – not only to hatch an egg but to hatch a plot. Eight is four and two, or shini which is also the verb stem “to die”. Eight is also the cube of two. Another word for a cube is a die. The two must die. But which two? Can two people be one? Well only if they’re a gemini. And there’s only one gemini in our EoMEoTE foundation duo, and that’s me. Fuck!

I’m a dead man. Only one place to hide. In the outback.

Ha! Come and get me Jeanne Horak with your murderous intent.

You picked the wrong man to mess with Jonty Terreblanche

Well, so much for feared Rhodesian Special Forces mercenary Jonty Terreblanche. The hunter becomes the prey. Winchester lever action .22, only rifle known to drop a charging rhino head-on. Didn’t know what hit him. Now I can get around to doing my EoMEoTE post.

And if you’re feeling Aussie, Saffron’s got the first Omnivoribus Australis up. Aussie Food Blogging, in one handy location. Go see.


carousel cookbook

Nicky at delicious:days started this meme and I can’t complain because it’s kind of my fault in a way. As you sow…Anyway I would accuse Lyn of Lex Culinaria of being the teeth in my buttocks but she made me a cake so I can’t mix the metaphor that feeds me. Apparently this is a way of getting to know me but the food me but there’s so much more you could find out about the other me. Go on ask me about something else like ahm erm…

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own
I grew up on a farm in the rural idyll of Muntadgin. Despite access to a large number of things like guns, vehicles, and power tools as a child, I remember being quite excited when we got our microwave. I don’t think we had anything else that went “beep” at the time. Except for my pong game, which kind of went “bwok”. Child geek, I managed to set the clock and boil a cup of water before “Dad came home”.

This ramped up to a much acclaimed “Microwaved Rice Pilaf” before settling down to a steady routine of “Microwaved Cabbage with Pepper”. It’s sad that such a thing of wonder is now relegated to defrosting and hot water for gargling with salt.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?
When I was a child I had a book and in that book was a bear and the bear lived in this house with a winding staircase. This impressed me because we didn’t have a staircase when I was a kid. No-one did. Which made slinkies kind of a disappointment. Anyway this bear made soup for his animal friend (maybe a rabbit) and used carrots and he also had these herbs which he was chopped up with a wooden handled mezzaluna and at that point I thought, if a bear could make a carefully prepared meal, then so could I.

Do you have an old photo as evidence of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?
No but here’s a pic of me bringing apartheid to its knees in ’88.
sharpville six
They got a reprieve!

Mageiricophobia – do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
Cake sized amounts of sugar and mandolines.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest let down?
Valued- Wusthof Trident chef’s knife
Biggest Let Down- What’s that Toni? Oh, our wedding night, oh ha ha I don’t think.
Tofu making kit, just too hard and my blender’s pretty crap with anything tougher than a milky smoothy.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like – and probably no one else!
Always been partial to a bit of roadhouse cheese inside a sausage.

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?
Butter, Mushrooms, Yeast

The quickies section:

Your favourite ice-cream?

You will probably never eat?
Fois gras

Your own signature dish?
I’d like to think I make a very nice seafood chowder.

Three people….
I’ll have to think.

Hokay, an under no obligation hello Perth: diverse of background Ted of TEdALOG Lite (up!); would do it very nicely Karen Cheng ; and man friday, Two Minute Noodle Cook.


4 minutes

 tonkotsu ramen with googiesRelating a modest off-broadway event like End of Month Egg on Toast Extravaganza with it’s big time inspiration Alberto’s Is My Blog Burning? is a difficult thing to to do at the best of times. Is it the shadow? Is it the reflection in the puddle? Is it the opposite but equal reaction? Is it Sewamono to Kabuki? With IMBB doing eggs this month it feels like Josef Stalin giving a cheeky khryu-khryu.

And speaking of Animal Farm, while on the money politically, does anyone else think the animals in the barn farm of Orwell relatively quaint? The industrialised base of the totalitarianism that we managed to dodge, but animals mostly didn’t. In short it’s like a searing allegory of battery farming done with a Tuesday evening wine and cheese night of the Fabian Society.

Personally, I can’t imagine anybody in these foody spheres not willing to cough up an extra dollar or so on the safe bet that proper free-range eggs are significantly better for the chook and the happy moral free-ride that they’re tastier. Even so, not one to let a neat segue go past, classy Viv of Seattle Bon Vivant has blown open the cage door by opening eggs to IMBB and I’m still standing there going bwoak with my boiled eggs.

Why boiled? Well I thought I’d do something simple that I couldn’t do well. They are deceptively easy as I noted by the eggs in the ramen pic up above and how they were hard boiled en masse but with an accuracy that allowed the very slightest sheen of undone yolk. I can also never remember how long it’s supposed to take and even a sad knick knack collector like myself, finds egg timers a complete waste of time (no pun intended). While I could probably nail a good time for myself, cooking for others ranges from nice and runny to those who see each drop of raw yolk as a festering pit of salmonella. I took the times from James Patterson’s Kitchen Essentials and saw how it worked for myself. As for the times, well what is time really? I’d choose the passing of an appropriate length song as a handy guide.

Boil the water. Pierce the rounder end of the egg with a drawing pin to allow the gasses to escape. Place the eggs in. Bring back to the boil and then a high simmer. The eggs pictured are taken cold from the fridge and were they warmer, freshly taken from the nether regions of a chicken for example, the times should be shortened.

4 minute egg:

4 minutes The Propellerhead’s Spybreaks’(short one) bass line is one of the most compelling bass lines this side of Cannonball. And while Cannonball has a tentative lope before turning it on, Spybreak is all skinny arms and ski-rope. It is of course better know as the theme of the Matrix and should have most leaning over backwards and dodging imaginary bullets while the eggs cooks to a lovely runny conclusion. Other possible alternatives: The Whore Hustle and The Hustlers Whore, PJ Harvey; Down To Mexico, Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her; or Auto Pilot, Queens of the Stone Age. A second longer gets you Always on My Mind, the Petshop Boys – worth a thought.

6 minute egg:

6 minutesRight on 6 minutes gets you a good balance of runny and composition with 電気GROOVE’s ボクの姉さん. A cute piece of cod reggae that’s charming enough. But a few seconds runnier and you’ve got Black Sabbath’s medieval rock masterpiece Iron Man. A bit firmer, and it’s disco in the kitchen with Groove Armada’s Superstylin or run out and punch someone after your egg is done with Rage Against the Machine’s Wake Up.

8 minute egg:

8 minutes Nothing 8 minutes on the knocker but some interestingly similar dilemmas. Slightly runnier with Black Sabbath’s masterpiece of chops and retarded drumming, War Pigs/Luke’s Wall or Groove Armada’s chillier relaxo tunes of Inside My Mind. Better done would be a little over for Dimitri from Paris’ frankly more fun Back in the Daze or the tchicka tchicka faux spy groove of Dirty Larry. Very tempting to push further on with Ministry’s Jesus Built My Hotrod (redline version) and yank it out just as the fade-out becomes nearly inaudible.

10 minute egg:

10 minutes 10 minutes was a little overdone with no shininess. The Stooge’s We Will Fall is a little over but is also a tremendously boring song for them, if not anybody. Boris’cover of Me and the Devil Blues would make for a more interesting 10 minutes. But the perfect ever so slightly under hard boiled egg is Metallica’s To Live is to Die. For my liking take it out as the lute takes over at the end and walk like Sir Lancelot to the egg-cup.

Marbled Eggs

marbled eggs As an added bonus. These are commonly known as tea eggs and are a gently cracked hardboiled egg allowed to simmer in a mix of tea, soy sauce, and star anise amongst others for a few hours. I used red wine, rosemary, and peppercorns in the hope it would end up tasting like steak and eggs with a red wine jus. I was, of course, deluded. A little bitter but pretty enough though wouldn’t you say? Yes.


You wouldn’t believe the number of emails I get each day with questions like Do you have cutlery in Australia? and If you’re in the Southern hemisphere, how come the food doesn’t fall out of your saucepans? So as a kind of ambassadorial info counter, Saffron and I have been having a chat about getting some Australian food and drink posts in one place as a tasty sample of what’s here. And there are lots -I can’t keep track of them all but AG‘s having a stab at it with the Australian Food Bloggers Ring.

One day, once a month, you send in your suitablest post for the last month and they all get put together in one place for a good look over by others. So, if you are an Australian food/ wine blogger, or know one, spread the word to keep an eye out over at Writing On A Paper Napkin for guidelines and stuff on submissions. Don’t let us leave you you crying when there’s room on our horses for two? No.

And I’m thinking also New Zealand, if they don’t mind coming in under the Australis tag, just for the reason that they’re cooler than us.

example 1: Aus v NZ
example 2: Aus v.NZ
example 3: Aus v NZ

egg of greg

Related:Cook sister!, on the ball.
Unrelated: Crying, while eating (thank you bright young Mark).

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Multi-headed Pacific food goddess Santos has a further incarnation as The Cookbook Exchange and is sharing the genius. Head over and you can swap books that just ain’t you and swap ’em for something else with someone else. Different strokes folks. You can do cookbook reviews too. Capital Letters! Join us before we join you.


———–And now a spiceblog promotion———-

Not the same is it?

book bed

There’s anemptiness isn’t there, as you leave the pixelated glow that lights your face? But imagine spiceblog there in your hands, with you as you fall asleep and still there when you wake-up, right where you left it saying hi there sleepy-head before you go with it to a cafe for coffee and a pan au chocolat to the envious gaze of strangers. Owen Linderholm has lovingly put some fine choice cuts of spiceblog in his new book Digital Dish. Not only here’s, but there are 23 other better food bloggers from around the world like Cook sister! to keep you company through the seasons. With you. Anywhere. Always. Just click on the buttons under the Digital Dish logo on the right.

digital dish


His Lordship of Strathmore has popped me in a cradle, punched a yellow GG1 tag in my ear and sent me on my way. How could I refuse a vice regal Book meme request and pleasure of being in fine tagee company.

1) Total number of books I’ve owned:
I didn’t say I could count. Large pic of most of the survivors is here.

2) The last book I bought:
Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia

3) The last book I read:
Actually finished?
One for the Money Janet Evanovich
When I’m at the bookstore I usually buy two books. One I think I should read and one I read.

4) 5 books that mean a lot to me:
The Reader’s Digest Book of Strange Stories and Amazing Facts
an early source of wonder.
The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman
– oh good morning Princess.
The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde
my best and worst qualities.
Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
-geeky, pacey, sharp, sexy
Love and Rockets – Jaime Hernandez
-bilingual and biontological

5) Tag 5 people and have them fill this out on their blogs:
I’ll be doomed but I’ll have to park this bus here, having already memed people this week. But if you mailed me and told me that I invited you, I’d probably believe it.

Ah apparently
Dispensing Happiness up!
apple of my eye up!
-Shina (in comments for now)
The Daily Magnet (in comments)
Lex Culinaria up!

This is of course cookbook free. The meme of which is ticking along very nicely.




X-large for the curious.

Meme Update:
Chubby Hubby twists my arm in comments.

OK here we go ahm meme thingy. Post a picture of you cookbooks and answer the following questions that I’ll make up now and ask myself –

1. Rationale behind what we’re seeing?
Sorted by height with mags getting the heave ho into the pantry or “the reading room”. Try to get one general cookbook per genre but can’t resist French and Japanese cookbooks. I’m cheap so I love second-hand books and try to shy away from celebrity books (unless Frank Black were to do one)
2. Most recommended?
Not the wind beneath your wings but will help avoid a lot of novelty specialising – Essentials of Cooking by James Peterson. All you’ll need to know for Western style cuisine.
3. Cookbook that made you what you were?
Le Cordon Bleu at Home. My first cookbook when I was at University. Kind of set a standard while at the same time being completely accessible.
4. Porniest cookbook?
While I do find the Culinaire France highly arousing, it’s also quite functional so not porny. Cold Appetisers gets to be hidden in the heat vent because it’s fabulous and I’ve never actually cooked anything out of it as it’s the master of the unobtainable ingredient.
5. Sophie’s Choice cookbook?
Little blue notebook on the furthest point left with all my scribbly little recipes in it in a time before blogging.
6. If you were a cookbook, which cookbook would you be?
Ha! Twat!

and for Santos
7. If your cookbook we’re extremely valuable, so valuable you might hide it with other valuables, where would that place be?
under the Big W

Hmmm now I feel all demystified. Actually you could just post a pic and we’ll speculate. Whatever. Now ermm meme away, go meme, go!

Flickr pool: check!

Meme! Meme! :
-Stephanie! Dispensing Happiness: Joining the ‘Fun’.
-And the Ra! Ra! Cookbooks pool is going nuts. Books! Models!
-Chubby Hubby! has a great mountain of cookbooks
– Sylvie! at Food- Got To Love It
– Bramble! crosses the barriers at akatsuki talks rot: My cookbooks
– Santos! is hot with book ’em and cook ’em
– Jeanne! tart’s with tops on at –Cook sister!: Read ’em and eat
– Andrew! Yes it does at Spittoon – Cookbooks.
– Nicky! bathtubs at delicious:days – On Cookbooks
– Alan! sorted but loose at ma’ona: Cookbooks
– Elizabeth! is bandwagonesque at blog from OUR kitchen : Cookbooks Meme
– Kitchen Queens! has consumer psy-ops in Something’s cooking: Cookbooks galore
– Cenzina! invito tutti i cibo-blogger italiani…il cavoletto di bruxelles: Libri di ricette!
– Crafty! knicker draw at Craftapalooza: Porniest Cookbook
– Paul! has the anti-cookbok at Food Blog
– Kitchemage! reach out and grabya at kitchenmage: Cookbook Meme
– Lara! Dragon(shaggin?)wagon at cheap veggie gourmet: Jumping on a Meme
– Lyn! meet Russ at Lex Culinaria: Spiceblog’s cookbook meme: the cookbooks of a crazy intercontinental jet-setter
– Jennifer! dreams of some kind electronic brain for the kitchen with Taste Everything Once: Cookbook Meme 2005
Sue! no way a kitchen spaz at Snackish.
Petula! la cucina bruta atla cuoca petulante: Un libro di cucina come una fiaba

Attention! : This is a self -activating meme. Consider yourself invited.


pinksoda The simple egg/toast algorithm of EoMEoTE is developing at such a pace, predictions are for sentience by #8. You’d then best get over to Cook sister! for the EoMEoTE#6 round-up before we’re all made to slave in their calcium mines under their cruel reign of egg terror.

You can also check and add to the EoMEoTE – End of Month Egg on Toast Extravaganza Flickr group.

Many thanks and bravo Jeanne and all contributors. Diversity, quality and humour. [sighs contentedly]


Being a classic “plus one” personality type with the added disadvantage of being a secular animist tends to make me very prone to suggestions from friends instead of omniscient beings (witness this whole EoMEoTE thing). The Voices.

Admittedly an egg based tribute to an aged doctrinal heavy wasn’t on the top of my list of things to, but as it was for my favourite lefty, Robert Corr, how could I refuse? Despite spiceblog being typically oblique and asynchronous to the goings on of the world (I mean the last five posts were all a thinly veiled commentary on the Crimean War) I thought I’d give it a go anyway. May the eggs provide a guide for the church into the 20th century. This one’s for you your Wholebreadiness – Pope Benedict XVI.

The parsley, green for Irish Catholicism. The hollandaise sauce, gold, always believing. Does it come from Holland? You’d think not, hot-bed of Reformists, libertines, and Jewish emigres called Rodrigues. No lemons so a dash of vinegar.

The bread, New Norcia Seven Grain Sourdough. Why seven? Black Francis says that God is Seven. Seven grains, one loaf, many slices. What’s in it? St. Paul, in his first Letter to Corinthians tells us “a bare grain, maybe of wheat, or of some other kind” [15:38] . Take that gnostics. Who’s responsible for this bread? None other than Benedictine monks. And despite leavened being symbolic of our sinful nature they’re giving it too us anyway. Well not exactly giving it to us but it’s a nice thought in a long tradition of good work and public good. So whether you’re munching on some Cistercian cheese or knocking back a couple of Trappist coldies, we foodies have much to appreciate in this smart sacred-profane/member’s lounge-public bar combo and look forward to future ventures.

Which brings us to the bacon. Not not-Catholic thinker Francis Bacon, (secular saint of preserved goods, martyred by dying after research into freezing chickens), but amoral bacon. In certain other major religions you’d be forced to have the relatively lackluster Eggs Florentine, for no better reason than because because. This is a courageous decison and to be respected, it’s not like pigs were particularly well regarded. Unlike bread and fish which were something to be shared, pigs got to be cliff jumping demon dumpsters, leaving a very large question mark over their qualities. This was the kind of thing that could split a church and tie up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for centuries, but it hasn’t. Is it healthy? Should it be crispy? Do pigs have horrible lives before being slaughtered? Unless it’s hillbilly style congress, we are forced to live in this tremendous moral void. How are we doing? Well, surprisingly enough, great.

Finally, the eggs. Symbols of reproduction and womanhood… ah well at least they’re not gay eggs.

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EoMEoTE – Roku!

gomatamago It’s ON!





Woah! Yeah! Woah! Yeah!

Don’t forget to tell EggmotherJeanne of your toasty construction.


Orange. This month’s theme by Foodgoat of “Orange you hungry?” for Is My Blog Burning? #14 nabbed my attention because orange is my favourite colour. I can’t say if the colour’s link with schizophrenia go further than anecdotal but it’s hard not to feel some kind of disconnect with reality as we see the gains of the last century being frittered away and the kitchen.. what’s that Mr Smeg? I should go on? Very well.


Ikura (salmon roe) are spherical wonders. The pleasure of the translucent orange and the glossy sheen is matched only by the slight resistance to the bite of the membrane before it releases the amniotic fluids. They are like Paul Smith cuff-links in bubble wrap. Tobiko (flying fish roe) is nearly as pretty but has a grittier texture. I would have been happy just to pop them on a spoon, take a piccie and be done with it but since I’ve cooked about three things in as many weeks, I’d best do the thing with heat.

Blinis are fine slavic treats to have with roe and I’ve been feeling very slavic of late, no idea why. They are yeasty pikelets for people with too much time on their hands. I would adapt them by using buckwheat as a Japanese influence (it’s what’s in soba noodles) but soon find a recipe with buckwheat already in it. Nori then.

Blini Mix


1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast; 1 cup milk (warmed); 1 cup all purpose flour; 1 cup buckwheat flour; 3 free-range eggs; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup milk.

Let the yeast dissolve in with the luke-warm milk and them mix in it with the flour. Cover with a tea-towel and leave in a warm place for two hours. Punch it down and then mix in the egg yolks and the rest of the milk. It should be smooth, but still light. Add the salt to the egg whites and beat to stiff peaks and fold into the mix.

The nori was three toasted sheets rolled together and cut into narrow strips with kitchen scissors and then mixed in. From here you need a blini pan but as I don’t have one, I used a biscuit cutter as a mould. Browned a little on both sides, you could see the thin strips of nori just below the surface.


To stop the roe rolling off, I bought some King Island Crème Fraîche. The intention was to blend it with uni (sea urchin). No luck getting any so I thought I’d try just a sprinkle of wasabi powder and mix it in. Unwilling to gamble completely on this taste combination, I made a trio of wasabi, plain, and mixed wiith the tobiko. Finally I thinly sliced up some sashimi salmon for extra orange credentials and because it’s nice to eat and added some garnish of orange rind.

The eating was simplicity and the verdict is pleasant and interesting. Neither the nori or the wasabi overwhelmed but perhaps needing a splash of something citric or a nice bottle of a dry sparkling white. Yes.


That was quick:Foodgoat … something tasty every day: Is My Blog Burning #14: Hot Orange on Orange Action!!



How I love EoMEoTE. It is to food posting, what the electric starter is to engines.

I say this because last Monday I was in a plastic dinghy, in the surf, with a rope start outboard, listening to the whir and gasp of an engine that was doing nothing, as the waves rolled in. Why was I doing this? Because a few hundred metres offshore, were the bounty stuffed crayfish pots we had put out the day before under even more calamitous circumstances. A pump of fuel and a weedy rumble, off we went and at the end of the rope we found nothing we hadn’t seen 15 hours before. Never mind.

Breakfast then became pancakes and bacon and, as Carita had prepped the poaching liquid as per the previous day, poached eggs. I suspect she knows enough about the vagaries of fishing to have not prepared soy sauce and wasabi or whipped up some lime butter. The poaching liquid – the addition of a splash of balsamic, some parsely and two whole chillies. Does it make a difference? I think it does.

Toni is the egg poaching expert in our house so I deferred to her advice on cracking the egg into a ladle and gently lowering it in. A poke to test doneness and served with buckwheat pancakes and the toast that had lain in the oven under crisping bacon.
Was it crayfish?
Did I care?
As is often said:
You cannot eat your dreams,
for the taste of marshmallows,
becomes the mouth of feathers.

Round Up: I’m the Alex Winter of EoMEoTE! Fixed.

Oi!: Who’s the cheeky Netdisaster monkey?



When it was announced that the interblogging food event of Is My Blog Burning #13 for this month was My Little Cupcake, I didn’t say yippee. I felt sad. I felt disenfranchised. I felt trapped inside my cage of masculinity. I felt lost. I felt hairy in an age of smooth. I felt weak. Don’t know how Bill Granger does it.

I can’t.

I must.

This one’s for Becky.

First step was to get rid of the sugary softness, I settled on a Yorkshire pudding batter.

Sift one cup of SR flour – needed for lift for the cupcake shape, and then place an egg in the middle of the pile and beat in. Add half a cup of milk slowly and then beat to a batter and then continue to beat for five minutes. Then stir in another half a cup of milk and refrigerate for half an hour.

Flavouring had to be meat. Salty beats sweet. Black pudding. Hard to find so I settled for 150gm of blutwurst from Elmars. Cut it into slices and then fried it up in mutton dripping; carefully saved from sunday night’s chops. This smoked blutwurst will crumble when cooked, mince it up further. Allow to cool and mix into the batter.

Get the oven up to 180C and add a dab of dripping to each muffin hole in the mini muffin tray. Place in the oven and when hot, fill up each one almost to the top with the batter, add a little water to any empty ones for even cooking. Cook for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Icing-sugarless Icing
Obviously icing sugar wasn’t going to be an option so I settled for a cranberry sauce. Half a cup in a pan, a splash of the last remains of a bottle of Wild Turkey, bring to the boil and allow to simmer until it thickens, adding small amounts of cranberry sauce to get the consistency right.

Remove cupcakes, apply cranberry, and eat.


Mantastic. Really. Bloody brilliant. Bravo me if I don’t mind saying so myself. Robbie says great.


muffplosion!: Is My Blog Burning? IMBB 13: Cupcakes and Muffins Galore!

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girlsolive Ahhhh Bloggies. Not to be people.

Thanks for the nomination, kind words, support, and the votes(some go-getters as many as a dozen times!). Well done to Aus/NZ winner what’s new, pussycat and congratulations on her non-webby nuptuals. Consolations to fellow silver medal winners – locals and foodies. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a hot date with a cold bottle of sherry.

More: Have you hugged your noodlepie today?

And a thought: Tough call, but best blog in Aus/NZ in my opinion? Deltoid.



I remembered my monthly eggy cycle not with the stomach but with the brain when Chris Sheil gave post-modernism CPR after the beating it received from angry villagers, accusing it of pinching apples and looking funny. I was just there to defend scrambled eggs, I’m a simple man¹.

I was going to go for the perfect poached egg but a slight victory hangover called for fried. Not very inspired I know, but chance favours the prepared mind and a 1/4 full bottle of last night’s shiraz was at hand. Too late go through the elaborate procedure of Bacon and Eggs Poached in Red Wine I just poured a glass in the frypan once the whites had set and placed a lid on. A quick dash outside to get a twig of rosemary from the garden to add. Simmered until the yolks were cooked. A tasty sunny side up finish to the eggs and an instant jus to be soaked up by the bread. The bread was New Norcia sourdough and was joined by fried roma tomatoes, bacon, and hash browns.


If you’d like to know more or be a part of EoMEoTE²#4 please speak with our lovely host of the month and founding member Jeanne. The round-up will be in a week or so.

¹But I do know what I like. I woke up one morning to the guest “post-modernist” chef on Good Morning America telling us about his [gasp!]edible menu and [swoon!] hot/cold soup. The former dismissed by the Flinstone writers long ago in favour of the “bringing the table tennis table to the French restaurant” gag, and the latter showing he’s never used a microwave. He would have been covering himself with mud for a performance piece twenty years ago and choking on Gitanes Sans Filtre, forty. Stick to carny son.

²EoMEoTE is a global iniative to promote accessible engagement with simple food and shared experiences. All are welcome to partcipate. Spiceblog uses and encourages the use of free-range eggs.

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Listen up


Say it sister.



It’s astounding,
time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll

IMBB#12 Taboo.

Madness is our taboo, not food.

Food taboos are the remnants of village mentality and morality dictated by an invisible entity. We are rational people, especially cooks. We know that doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is folly. Our every dish is the application of the experimental method. We predate the Enlightenment and take it to our hearts.

So madness, as Foucault put it, is the leprosy of our age. It is where we draw the boundaries of what we are. I also fear it is how we avoid the genuine madness that we should face – a kind of mental gortex. To be free I must transport myself to an externality.

FX Holden put me onto the real juice. La sal loca. A jar of Jane’s KraZy MiXed-Up Salt from somewhere in the Americas.

The ceremony began with the defrosting of the breast of a free-range chicken , once done, it was carefully rubbed over with the salt, and then left for 6 hours. Quickly fried in a pan in olive oil, I then sliced it into pieces, one breast is apparently enough for a man of my size.

A quick checklist. Mahler – check. Oranges – check. Sugar – check. Toni would be my guide. I ate the chicken on a bed of gnocchi with a spinach and tomato sauce and waited…

2 minutes – a vague feeling of satiety.

5 minutes – slight thirst.

10 minutes – mild feeling of well being.

30 minutes – gnocchi may have slowed the reaction time

1 hour – a fierce vibration in my pocket with a ringing sound, mother.

4 hours – feeling of boredom and hunger.

5 hours – fall into a deep sleep.

Wow what a trip.

Thank you Carlo

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I know it may seem , having got past the initial step of being able to identify wine as wine, that I stumbled at the next stage of distinguishing between red and white. I could ask for pity as I suffer from the debilitating genetic illness of partial red-green colour blindness and subsequent humiliation at the hands of Ishihara test administrators. I’m also prone to the “hardware store effect” as well double-entedric distraction. As a result, I humbly submit to Wine Blogging Wednesday #6 heads down south – South African Reds, a chenin blanc.

The occasion was Greg Manthatcatchesgreatfish was bringing over some dhufish fillets from said great fish for cooking. Joining us was Anonymous of Floreat, glorying in topping the sales figures for Supermart and handily bringing an Australian chenin from a winery bought by a South African. How apropos.


First off was the Halina Brook Estate 2003 Chenin. Unusually north for a West Australian wine with a vineyard near Bindoon. I can only tell you what I wrote on my kitchen whiteboard and that was “densely packed citric bite in an oily enteric coating“. Thinking back it was better than that sounds, a sharp hit that grabbed the tongue with a heavyweight refreshing linger.

Unusually further west was, from Stellenbosch South Africa, the Morgenhof Estate 2001 Chenin Blanc (or “Steen” as they say on the veldt). Immediately noticeable, even to me, was the richer gold colour of the wine. A shade over $20 a bottle, it’s midplaced between equivalent budget bests and lower premiums in price which sets up certain expectations. It has a simple trick and I fell for it. Like any song with a cow-bell, any wine that can tranport its flavour across my tongue in a sherbety fashion will have my love. And it does. Nothing else interfered with it, not the stone fruitiness or the warm nose. If you like this effect I don’t need to tell you any more, in fact I can’t. Thank you South Africa.


As for the meal. The dhufish fillets were cooked on a stovetop griddle just in butter. They are not to be messed around with. I found “done” occurred just as the fillet looked like it was going to flake. For a simple match I had Pommes Veronique without the garlic and good dab of goose fat; oven roasted asparagus; and a bernaise without the sorrel tarragon sauce on the side. It’s a magnificent piece of fish, sweet and unfishy without being bland. A West Australian must have.

Egg whites to be rid of led to the soufflé omlette. The combination of 4 egg yolks with 115gm of caster sugar, whisked until pale and creamy with 30ml of Cointreau added once done. Egg whites whisked until stiffly peaked with a little extra caster sugar added slowly for extra hold and gloss. A third mixed in with the yolks and then the rest folded in. Baked in a long baking dish in the oven at 150C for 10 minutes, some strawberries dropped in and then warmed brandy and Cointreau poured over. Light the match and ….. oh well, must have gone straight to the bottom. The dessert that wasn’t there, sugar and booze mysteriously appears in the mouth.

Rest of the meal spent with readings of The Philosopher in the Kitchen. Hilarious. Best thing since the Scarlet Pimpernel.


Typically well written red round-up from Jeanne at A barrel of South African reds – WBW#6 round-up, Part I and Part II

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A Menu For Hope

A Menu for Hope is a collaborative menu by food and wine bloggers. Our goal is to raise money for UNICEF for those areas tragically affected by the recent tsunami. Now before you run off to enjoy the virtual treats, two requests.

  • be sure to look through the menu above. Clicking any of the 12 courses and wine selections will take you the blog responsible (there may be small delay in posting). And,
  • when you’re done, consider that the needs in the affected areas are still very real. Give your support by donating via the UNICEF button. Large or small, it all helps. Think of it as the bottle of wine you didn’t have to bring.

Bests to you all and cheers especially to Pim for her inspiration and work. Now for my part in this, lamingtons…


Lamingtons are blocks of day-old sponge cake, dipped in chocolate sauce and coated with desiccated coconut. Named, allegedly, after the fleckled shoulders of Baron Lamington, Governor of Queensland (1896-1901). Their roots are the resourceful salvaged failure of a sponge cake and reluctance to waste. They are uniquely Australian and our version of the fundraising brownies. So apologies, not a dish from the most affected countries but in these times we must ask the question, who is my neighbour?

(makes 12)

The Cake

[Note] The cake is made a day in advance and put in the fridge. A fresh cake will crumble when cut.

– 3 free-range eggs

– 3/4 cup caster sugar

– 2 cups of self-raising flour – sifted and sifted

– 1 tablespoon of butter

– 1/2 cup of warm milk

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Place the butter, sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating well. Fold in the flour gradually, alternating with the milk.

Grease a rectangular cake tin (15x27cm) with butter and pour in the mixture. Bake in a 160C (325F) oven for 50 to 60 minutes, testing with a skewer. Allow the cake to stand for a few minutes before turning out. Refrigerate.

The Chocolate Sauce

-500gm of icing sugar

-1/3 cup of cocoa

-1 tablespoon of melted butter

-1/2 cup of warm milk

Beat together well, adjusting the volume of milk to get a smooth consistency.

Cut the lamingtons into 5cm cubes and then dip each cube into the chocolate sauce, allowing a little time to absorb. Now roll in a tray of desiccated coconut and then do the same with the lamingtons.

You may, if you wish, serve with the excess chocolate sauce.



Woot! Cracked the double monkey! Keep it coming babies.

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I was stitched up and roped into this by Nicole at Craftapalooza. Onetwothreefour…

1. Total amount of music files on your computer?

Whittled down to top 1500 .

2. CD you last bought?

Frank Black Francis

Pixies obsession spurred this is a bit of odd completism. Disk two of remixes is interesting in a pavlova with a sea urchin glaze kind of way. Or maybe a glazed urchin with a sea pavlova.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

Can’t remember. Let’s just imagine it was the Scientist’s Nitro.

4. 5 songs you often listen to, or which mean a lot to you?

  • Hallelujah – John Cale

    Sublimating like it should. Nudges out Jerusalem

  • Blackfella/ White Fella – Warumpi Band

    “message” song but mucho fun and leaves me happy rather than wanting to run out and tip a car over before setting it on fire. And so much better than INXS’ dream on thingy,not to mention Ebony and Ivory and less said of MJ and PMcC the better. Similar fave Free Nelson Mandela by the Specials a tad redundant now, no?

  • Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

    Bypasses all rational thought.

    Pangadangpangdangdang[shifts weight onto balls of feet]

  • Bring the Noise – Public Enemy

    Don’t think any song has left me quite so mentally knackered after listening to it for the first time. BASS!

  • You Are Always On My Mind – Elvis [the 70s box-set live version]

    Had mea culpa to Priscilla all over it and a glimpse of the oxen sized heart beating beneath that would eventually finish him off. Hunka Hunka Cheeseburger mockers can bite me. No heresy in the Pet Shop Boys version at all though.

5. Who are you going to pass this on to and why?

Jeanne – because I suspect she’ll catch a couple of notable omissions.

Andrew – because he’ll fret about it, do a fantastic job, think it’s rubbish, but secretly enjoy it all.

Saint – passing on the getting to know you aspect of this to a most enigmatic of South Australians.

Non obligatory of course, I don’t think it’s one of these and the ship they then sailed on, The Titanic, type chainy letter thing.

EoMEoTE, favoured food event for the half assed, has moved from its humble mediterranean, olive oil rubbed home to be hosted in the centre of modern civilisation Cook sister!. I have great hopes for it. I dream that one day we may have a spaceship descend at the end and congratulate us on it and its efforts in promoting global peace.


1, 2 and 3. A french toast combo of bacon and bananas I nicked from gained inspirition of via the Walk Street Cafe in Subiaco.

Hooray for french toast and its use of old bread and eggs past their optimum poaching date (had I been so organised). Thick chunky slices triumph over slimmer eggy bread imitations and provide for delightful multi-variable pan temperature, slighty browned, medium rare interior calculations. Soaked for a good half hour in 3 free-range eggs, a cup of milk, and a dash of vanilla essence. The greater the proportion of milk, the longer the cooking time. Cooked with butter as were the slices of banana. The bacon was allowed with cook in the pan first and then relegated to the oven where it would crisp while the others were cooking. Pile toast, bacon, and bananas, with a brush of butter for photo glossiness, and garnish with maple syrup. Had with the fresh apple, beetroot, carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice seen pictured.

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We forget eggs. In my ancestral hometown in Bulgaria they would have many words for eggs. Variously, “the egg that is still warm”, “the egg that was the only one lain”, “the egg that is good only for throwing at naughty children” and “the egg that must be saved for grandfather”. And with that opening of our eyes I would like to announce EoMEoTE#2End of Month Egg on Toast Extravaganza 2.

Hatched, if you’ll forgive me the pun, barely a month ago, here, cook sister there, here , and the mother hen.

The rules are:

1) There must be an egg

2) It must be on toast

It is open to all humanity. The period covered is a broad post-Christmas until New Year. Photographed and or with commentary is to be informed of by e-mail or in comments. It doesn’t even have to be by you. Owen of Tomatilla has outsourced some child labour especially.

And remember, we’re not judging – we’re sharing.

Sorry folks for the delay I’ve been flat out busy compiling the entries for the first ever EoMEoTE – End-of-month Egg on Toast Extravaganza – where bloggers create an egg and toast concoction to share. They have come from one end of the earth to the other, of all sexes, and multiple ethnicities. Bread, eggs, great binders in this big old lump of meat we call humanity.


My own humble effort was fired off prematurely and it shows – egg on toast and sauce, that’s it. I’m a simple man.

Godmother of EotMEoTE Jeanne of Cook sister!,took her entry so seriously there were no typical form mentions of eggstravaganza. Not just scrambling but whisking the whites for fluffiness, wilted some spinach, added some smoked salmon AND ADDED HOME GROWN CHIVES!!!!!!!!!!! Outstanding. Mei capilli sunt flagrantes.

Reid of‘Ono Kine Grindz‘s fried egg was so good he couldn’t take a picture of it before eating it. A first! What spirit!!!

January the 31st is EotMEoTE #2 – see you then!


End-of-month Egg on Toast Extravaganza #1 (© Cooksister Inc. )

Free range eggs cooked in olive oil, sunny side up but covered with a lid for slight setting, with Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce on wholegrain bread. This is early but I could have sworn EoMEoTE#1 was for the last Friday. Had at the end of a night out:

Jimmy’s take out-before out. Good. Cheap. They have edamame. I like Jimmy’s a lot – 375 Hay St, Subiaco


Rocket Science (pictured in Boozovision) and Peabody (three’s rock harder,always+through composed rock number).
Sample convo:
Woah it’s a strange crowd at the Rosemount. Those guys over there are creeping me out.
[after the interval]
Oh that was Rocket Science

Bah Carlton Pubs. I want Swan and BTW the new Boag Draft is a bit pissy but OK for summer and a happy price.

Still getting the hang of my new camera. Here’s a picture of my lunch down on the Matilda Bay foreshore.

It’s cookies for the monthly foodblogger virtual congregation Is My Blog Burning? and I’m way behind the game to do it this time. What with this, Wine Blogging Wednesday, Sugar High Friday, Does My Blog Look Good in This, and:

  • Is my Sacrifice to Baal Worthy? Wednesday
  • Localised Good Luck Getting These Ingredients Monthly
  • Interblog What that Missing Pet Became Thursday
  • Travesty of Tradition Tuesday
  • Where I’ve hid the Gin Sunday
  • Feast on the Flesh of Thine Enemy Foodblog Fiesta
  • Worldwide use of Foodstuffs in a Non-food way Wednesday
  • Nude with Food November
  • Tangential Tuesdays
  • International No Really You can Make Delicious and Moist Cakes in the Microwave Monday
  • You’re Late, You’re Drunk, The Dinner’s in The Oven and It’s Burnt Wednesday
  • Global Tuesday, so Tuesday is Fookin’ Steak and Chips Tuesday
  • What the Fuck would Jamie Oliver, Delia or Any of those Useless Hacks on TV Know Monday
  • Blogger Best thing they ever did to stop those Genocidal Serb butchers in Kosovo oh you’re Serbian I just meant the ones…Dinner Party Conversation Recount Sunday
  • The only Thing I can do right Is Cook and Now I’ve gone and burnt this cake Thursday
  • Double Entendre December
  • Haven’t had These Since Prison Wednesday
  • Surreptitiously Testing Food Allergies September
  • Gas Top, Electra Oven – my Mother’s recipes that never really please Daddy Week
  • Trinational Killing and Grilling Tuesday
  • All Offal October
  • If a Tree Falls in the Forest and Nobody Hears it Did it Make a Sound? Non-Blogging Friday

Have I missed any? No, not you Avatar

Never made a terrine before and I think it has something to do with the reason I don’t make many cakes, the intrinsic fussiness of presentation. On the plus side, the variety of possible ingredients allows a large range of thematic interpretations. I had considered doing one that resembled the layers of the earth but decided that I’d make an Irish one for an Irish friend’s 30th and work over an old favourite. The party was postponed a week but the terrine went on.

To tell the truth, I can’t be arsed writing everything down but here’s a sketch – if you want more details, you know where to find me.

Beef and Guiness Stew as here but without the spuds and the addition of the aromatics – leek (ermm Celtic heritage), carrots and celery. No red wine (not irish) or beef stock (didn’t want to use commercial stock).

The spuds were to make their own layer and were thinly sliced and steamed above the bubbling stock above. The idea was the fumes would infuse into the potatoes like damp smoke. Did it work? Exceeeeeeeeeeeedingly subtle.

Lamb and Kidneys

Oven roasted slowly and moistened with the above stock. Shredded when done.


French jiggery pokery that I couldn’t really see the point of but when Le Cordon Blue at Home says do it, then you do it. The stew was strained and the beef shredded and the stock returned with a new round of aromatics and egge whites that were to capture rogue impurities. Strained after half and hour and still bits, so it was all twice strained through a tea towel. Reheated later with 1 tbs of gelatine.


Had a great plan to pipe a mashed potato Celtic design but this was downgraded to the famous and much toasted, I’m sure, Ley Line Following Potato Circles of County Cork with a green, sweated-in-butter leek background. Then the lamb and kidney, a layer of potatoes, and then the beef, and filled with aspic (barely enough).


Taken over for Sunday arvo beers. I was impressed with the dots against the green even thought they’d somewhat randomised. Carving was a disaster and I think it may have called for some kind of drop saw or high tech laser. THIS WAS NOT HOW IT WAS MEANT TO BE. The taste, fine but not knock your socks off, maybe a few veal bones in the soup may have helped. Enjoyable. yep that’s it. Looked at the residual pile of meat and jelly and it made me not think of the Emerald Isles but Pal. Presentation – pah!

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IMBB?8 Food and Booze

Short term wagon boy is sitting this Is My Blog Burning? out. I’d recommend getting over there in a day or two to see what people have done with two of the five pillars of a good life.

Apologies, and for those who wouldn’t dream of visiting another food blog out of burning loyalty, here are some things from the archives: Beef and Stout Stew with Scone of Scone; Beef Bourguignon; and Deep Fried Wine with a Champagne Batter.

it’s up: IMBB?8 round up. Cheers to “There’s a Chef in my Kitchen” for hosting.

I did wish I had a burnt orange Crockpot and an XB Falcon but that’s life.

A big cheers to umami for doing the hard work on Reader’s Funky Appliance Fiesta (rFAFi)

Apropos: a plug for Gadget Lounge.

Whitefellah makes a big fire…

This IMBB6 turned from bewdy to bugger within the shakes of a dog’s hind leg.

Aussies and barbies. Australian’s use of fire predates Prometheus. We travel the world telling people it is our food. Visiting Presidents are hosted at them.







We don’t grill or barbecue, we pan-fry outdoors. Recent immobility combined with an ancient tradition of bushfires have meant you’ve as much chance seeing a burning bit of wood as a Landcruiser with mud on it. Prophylactic hotplates were the start, then the wood got replaced by gas, and then the a grill was placed over the gas as a nod to progress, wood shavings sit in the shop waiting for a few obsessives. Haven’t seen a Weber outside of a garage sale in years. True, things have advanced since the dark days of “the barbie pack” (sawdusty sausage, a pounded steak, and a chop that would be cooked to carbon), but only because somebody was bullied into buying a bit of fish by a TV show or a glossy mag. I’m 35 and my smell memory tells me it was different once, did I have tears at BBQs because of a sookier childhood or was there something else?

A clue was found in the Culinaria France with racks of snails and meat over glowing bits of wood. That was it, if the French could do it, then so could I. All I needed was a place on the fringes, away from the prying eyes of civillisation, where the nearest law was 30 miles away. I picked up the phone, asked the operator to put me through to Mick (yeah yeah little Tony, no, no, yes, not yet, maybe one day)…Dad, I’m coming up to Munty. Can you sort me out for some meat and wood?


EAST! Over the hills, the shops vanished, the earth flattened, people waved when they saw another car. Fresh road kill offered opportunies but did I want us to be known over the world as a land of Skippy munchers?

Three hours – radio was fuzzy and all talk, iPod on its fifth cycle, just one last dead straight stretch and I’d be there. My Dad wasn’t – forced North to tend his sheep. Instead, I met Gavin – giant of a man, from Corrigin. He’d help me get local food. His wife, Sally, had cooked on fire as a girl. Their daughter, not used to strangers, clung tight to her Mum.

The lamb was waiting for me in the freezer. Chops of on-site born, saltbush fed and dispatched Dorper. South African, rather than the traditional Spanish Merino. Inspired and latitudinally consistent, I bought an LP sized spiral of Boerewor sausages at Mondo Di Carne.


Yabbies, freshwater prawns/crayfish/lobster, were left to chance. With over a dozen dams spread over 15,000 acres, four traps, and yabbies in at least one of them – it’s your classic pea and thimble. That done, I went to the pub where, as an outsider, I was allowed to have full-strength beer on the condition that I told no-none and gave none away. The years meant no-one recognised me but I did stupidly show someone my licence – they laughed and said last we heard of Anthony Georgeff he’d run off to Asia. I laughed too and then went home to bed, hoping.

I needn’t have worried, second dam. Bingo! Not many, but big buggers said Gavin – I took his photo with them.

Third dam, a dozen more.

Next, the wood. Mallee roots were gnarly before skateboarders had even begun to tire of the word. They sit on the edge of paddocks, the trapped souls of land clearing, waiting to be released. A few Jam tree branches and that was done.

The final job was to make the racks. I drove up to the farm tip. Rumour has it that somwhere, under that huge pile of agricultural detrius, lie my Dead Kennedy albums – who knows. I salvaged some old oven racks and wire and that finished the getting.


I piled the wood, and then lit like all Aussies once did – a quart of petrol and a match. Shifted the jerry can and the ute and left it to reduce to coals and went back in to the kitchen.


The lamb chops were briefly marinated in olive oil pulverised with garlic. Sausage – just oil. Aoli made to have with the yabbies. The yabbies were sent to sleep in the freezer before removing their heads. Knife ready for the ikijimi at the slightest wriggle. Pooh tube removed with a twist of the middle tail and a yank. Tails in a bowl with some more olive oil. The oil was really just to prevent sticking. Nothing fancy – wanted to keep the number of flavour variables low.

Womenfolk prepared the vegetables while I chucked more wood on the the fire.

Back for the final prep. Placed the sausage on a rack, surrounded it with chops, placed the other rack on top and wired it up with fencing wire and a few twists with some pliers. Yabbies placed on one half of mesh, folded the other half over and wired that shut too.

Time for a beer and a think. This was rooted. How could the chops and sausages have the same cooking time? How would I control the temperature? What if someone wanted theirs well done? Who’d want yabbies coated in ash? F**k ’em, I’d done worse, much worse.


First on were the veges in the camp oven. Coals underneath and on top.

Next a few bricks and the meat rack on top. Yep, yep and fhoooooof – up went the dripping oil and fat. Shit, shit – do I get water, can I start it again, did we even get any water this year? I looked for help – we grabbed more bricks. Up another level, the fire settled down. A bit of shovel work let me decrease and redistribute the heat. Chuck a glass of wine in the camp oven. Then we flipped the whole thing over. On went the yabbies, they were quick and the shells could go on the coals. Four minutes tops. Off they came. A little longer and a little faster and off came the meat.

That underutilised kitchen utensil, the bolt cutter, opened it all up.


I sliced the sausage up like a pizza. I popped a bit in my mouth. It was a little charred on one side but the centre was cooked through. I grabbed a few more bits – it was magnificent. I ditched my planned apology.

Defying my fears, the lamb chops had cooked perfectly – just ever so slightly rare and very juicy. The yabbies peeled easily and were done through – the shell imparted some sweetness and the muddiness had gone. Only the camp oven veges, neglected in all the hullaballoo, were overdone.

We left the cutlery on the table, and sat around the fire, eating silently, working through some red wine (some more than others), and chucking in the empty shells in the fire. I went back for more, but the cold had sucked the life out of the meat, it was the briefest of pleasures. Instead we continued our way through some bottles of red, keeping warm by the fire and laughing at those who tripped over in the darkness.

The fire was at my feet, the universe at my head.

Did you know the dark patches in the Milky Way are an emu? True.

IMBB5 readers – hello and welcome. Regular readers unaware of the Is My Blog Burning event, here’s some background.

The unlucky guest, a Red Emperor,is one of the finest white fleshed fish available in the seas of Western Australia. A whole fish needs to be given its dues. More so for having been yanked out of a happier place and further still for being named like the missing link between Puyi and Mao. The result was simple but elaborate, or maybe vise versa. As much as I like my fish simple, it deserved a little more in it’s starring role than a dab of butter.

A nabe (nahbeh) is a kind of Japanese steam boat, or a fish stock fondue. Really it’s just seafood, tofu and vegetables cooked around a table in broth – popular for cold weather home parties. The ceviche is not really a ceviche at all but sashimi with dressing, catering for birthday guests who might have found raw fish a bit much. It was added to get the full value of the fish’s flavour and to do 3 things with the fish rather than just one.

“Traditional” cuisine in Australia is a head scratcher and my childhood fish experience was crumbed fish digits. The rationale was a menu that would make the best use of the fish, keep me out of the kitchen when guests arrived, allow me a bit of nostalgia, and be geographically specific as it’s winter down here -although a sunny 18C winter.

There’s all the gear – just missing food.

Red Emperor

The head and bones were for the broth, the wings for later to be put in the nabe dish for ongoing stock value. The best part of the fillets was kept as a strip to be sliced as sashimi for the ceviche. The rest was cut up into bite sized pieces. These pieces would be for the guests to put into the nabe pot, cook, and eat.

The Broth

An A5 amount of konbu seaweed left to sit in a couple of litres of cold water for 20 minutes and then brought to the boil. Just before it does boil, the konbu has to come out. Konbu is the base for dashi stock and I’ve recently learnt that it’s a natural source of the MSG like mysterious fifth flavour – umami. Into the pot went the fish head and the bones to simmer for 30 minutes. The resulting strained broth is what all the ingredients are cooked in at the table.

The Rest

not the definitive list by any means but here’s what we cooked along with the fish.

  • a dozen fresh shiitake mushrooms – stems removed

  • firm tofu – microwaved for 1 minute to firm – bite sized pieces

  • fried tofu -rinsed in boiling water – bsp

  • bamboo shoot – half cm slices

  • half a daikon -half cm slices and parboiled.

  • a dozen prawns – the body shelled, poo tube removed

  • a dozen crayfish legs

  • a dozen baby squid tubes- halved and scored.

  • kamaboko (fish cake) – half cm slices

  • chinese cabbage and spinach roll – both boiled and then as beneath, rolled then sliced.

Dipping Sauce

2 parts soy to 1 part ponzu(lemon vinegar). Guests just put a small amount into their bowl.

Three Fish Ceviche Entree

Sashimi grade, tuna and salmon and the fillet of Red Emperor with the skin removed. Sliced into half cm thick pieces, lain on a bed of thinly slice lemon, with the following dressing drizzled over it.

Half a cup of local extra virgin olive oil; 1 tbs white wine vinegar, 12 green peppercorns; and the juice of lemon. Crushed in a pestle and given a stir. The chopped green bits of spring onions provided colour.


The broth went in the nabe pot and then we all sat around dropping food in and arguing about whose was whose. The delicately flavoured pieces of Red Emperor were well served by a quick swim in the light broth. The standout though was the ceviche – tuna and salmon are my sashimi regulars but the Red Emperor was heaven. The citric acid test was passed. The cold glassy eye of the fish still stares at me, but this was the best I could do to say sorry and thank you.


Without the following this may have not been possible.

Rummages around recycle bin..

Brandy and Dry – settle an upset tummy

Red Bull and Tequila – get things going a bit

Emerson’s 1812 IPA – an Indian Pale Ale from NZ – best thingout of there since The Datsuns

Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout- wowly exceptional stout

Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbeer & Dunkel- world’s oldest brewery -free glasses!!

Alias Pinot Noir 2001 (Adelaide)- supposedly a cutely titled release from a winery that usually puts this stuff out at three times the price. Pat myself on the back bargain.

Became a bit of a blur after this, vaguely remember laughing at Robert Plant’s trousers again.

Footnote: In thanking the fish and the booze, I should have also thanked my guests, you know who you are, for the seafood, gifts, drinks, and good company. You all score 11.

Update: Wena has done a great job with the list of submissions. Go read.

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