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shun cleaver

I’ve been meaning to show off my highly desirable damascan steel Shun cleaver. It’s been a torrid three month’s and I don’t want to kiss and tell but lets just say “cabbage” “all night long” of you know what I mean and I think you do. It’s a sharp metal testament to the fruits of blogging thanks to the Kitchen Warehouse ad rightwards (thank you clickers).

If any of you have been wondering what Spice magazine is actually like apart from my rambly blurbs and can’t get access to a paper copy, you can have a butchers at some sample pages here.

I was at a vertizontal tasting today (2004! 2007!) and was asked in front of a group of twenty people what I thought of a 2001 shiraz. It was a year 10 algebra what do you think x is Georgeff? moment. I think I’ve got a repertoire of 1.4 intelligent things I can say about a given wine before bouncing the question on. I’m actually pretty happy with this amount, winemaking is an enormously complex process and 1.4 is about what I deserve. The more I learn the more respect I have. That said, I was reading about a South Australian winery that named their wines after rock albums. It’s a swell idea with lots of potential – Paranoid Pinot Gris, Master of Puppets Mourvedre, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back Sem Sav and the 2003 1984.
They chose Joshua Tree.
God weeps.
Some say Gram Parsons died at Joshua Tree, I say it killed him.

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but actually preferred this. And it’s in a church, natch! I’m not sure if Josh Homme is taught to shake off his repressed feeling through the power of food by a mysterious woman or gets eaten. Given the “split pea and hand” soup in the Conan DVD I bought, strong chance of synchronicity suggests the latter. The Police are back together, is that good or bad? Either it’s a three act resolution with the second act crisis being the entire solo career of Sting; or it’s an endlessly recurring cycle.

[Yeah I know youtube is pretty slack but I'm a bit overwhelmed by having two meals in four days which comprised of 16 courses in total]

Oh yeah, I made a beef stock you can bounce a coin off.

duck egg risotto

There’s a food ritual in our house which goes like “(Me)What do you want for breakfast?”, “Anything”, “Nah go on what do you want?”, “Just some toast”, “Ah… just some toast?”, “Yes”, “Just toast?”, “Yes”, “Well was thinking of having poached eggs on rye bread with hollandaise.” There’s also my “would you like me to do the dishes routine” but that’s for another day.

lime hollandaise


So hollandaise it was, and it’s not that tricky, and I added the juice of half a lime and had with spinach which makes it Eggs Florentine and kinda healthy. Then off to Mr Snippy’s Barber Shop where he was kind enough to offer me a nice cold Coopers Red. Gorgeous day, smashing haircut, and a morning bevvy and I was in fine form for a bit of bicycle chain shopping “You know how to fit it” , “Yep”, “And you’ve got the right tools” “Ah yep”, “And one of these things (bit of loopy wire)”, “Yeah yeah of course”, “Make sure it’s not too tight”, “No No”. Of course these were complete lies but I find it hard to admit not being able to do stuff, especially manly mechanical stuff. And anyway I’m now the proud owner of a chainbreaker and a bit of loopy wire which I bought at another shop.

blue sheep cheese


On to the Ginger Pig in Angove Street to drop off a couple of mags. It’s a lovely little food shop and I came out with some Raw (unpasteurised) French Sheep’s Blue Cheese and some Morbier (which has a line of ash in the middle), two duck eggs (a nearby shop owner has ducks and they deliver them fresh), and a jar of local handmade OohLala Coconut and Lime Curd. I went to a cheese night at Herdies Fresh where Catherine Ferrari, whose family has been importing cheese for decades, talked us through some Italian, French and Irish Cheese so I was a bit evangelised on the two good cheeses and no fruit salad approach to cheeseboards. It’s also a complete pain in the arse to get cheese into Australia so show a bit of gratitude.

No point leaving it to sit it in the fridge so I took it over to a friend’s place for some drinking and spirited Play Station Guitar Hero playing (Iron Man/ More Than a Feeling/ Smoke on the Water/ Wanna be Sedated/ Take me Out – all with dab mastery of the maneuver dubbed “rooting the wombat”). I must have this game. The sheep cheese was strong like Black Sabbath yet delicate like Boston and creamy like erm Cream.

Dim Sum for brekky in Northbridge and a day of sloth. Toni went off to buy some folders which I took as “going to buy some folders but secretly going off to buy me Guitar Hero to surprise me and make me the happiest boy in the world” but she really was just going to buy folders and apparently the thought hadn’t even crossed her mind.

duck eggs


Now what to do with some leftover sheep’s cheese and duck eggs. Both were the stronger less popular siblings of the more popular cow’s cheese and chicken eggs so they made a good pair. I’d made some chicken stock the day before (nice one too – it’s always good when it turns easily to jelly in the fridge) so blue cheese risotto it was. Your standard risotto with chopped shallots and pancetta and some fried spring onion and the blue cheese and parmesan reggiano mixed in at the end.

The fired duck egg was on top was because I like Nasi Goreng and the yolk was kept runny and mixed in with the hot risotto. Lovely, a very fancy eggy rice.

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The bureau

Could someone do me a favour and send me an mp3 of Bureau’s “Only for Sheep”. It’d cheer me up immensely.
spiceblog at the g thingy for mail.

and go give some money to Médecins Sans Frontières or something.

In:Many thanks to a Ms. G.Banana of Guam for sending in said tasty ska pastiche.

Meatcake

meatcake


Daddy, what does regret mean?
Well son, the funny thing about regret is,
It’s better to regret something you have done,
Than to regret something you haven’t done.
And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend,
Be sure and tell her, SATAN, SATAN, SATAN!!!


Sweatloaf. And from sweatloaf to meatloaf and from meatloaf to meatcake and from meatcake to, well it stopped there. A kilo of meat plus odds and ends was a bit much for my loaf tins so I thought I’d use my German cake tin that I’ve used for everything but german cakes – I’ve also used a camp (oooh I say) oven to catch sump oil and an eggbeater to impersonate a Dalek. Can’t remember its exact name, it’s kind of like a bundt cake tin but without the hole, which in itself is a kind of structural double negative – the absence of the presence of an absence. Regrettably, meatloaf both shrinks and, funnily enough, sweats when cooking, so there’s no ornate detailing of meat for you to marvel at. Ideally, you’d need a kind of meat that expands with heat and then contracts with cooling for easy removal. One for the boffins.

I make a good meatloaf and this is based upon scribbling down a recipe 15 years ago. The use of cream is the kicker but I was surprised how parsimoinous the herb amounts are. A tablespoon of fresh parsley, half a teaspoon of thyme and chilli powder – all in 1.5kg of meat. This is the princess and the pea territory.

500gm of beef mince, 500gm of pork mince, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 1 onion and two cloves of garlic – finely chopped and sauteed, 1 cup of cream, 2 tbs of parsely, 1 tbs of basil, 1 tbs of thyme, splash of tabasco, and freshly ground pepper.

Mix it all together and place in a lightly greased hole-less bundt cake tin and pack tight. I’ve also placed two whole boiled eggs and some small button mushrooms for extra effect. Smooth over, place a couple of bay leaves on top, and cover with strips of bacon. Place in the baking tray filled with hot water and cook in a 180C oven for 90 minutes.

Serve with a creamy mushroom sauce and decorate with baby zucchini to resemble an ahm creamy corolla.

Delightful. And surplus amounts allow for that most excellent of treats, the cold meatloaf sandwich.

happy birthday to me


Well yeah it was my birthday weekend. I’d tried for birthday week of celebration to get make all sorts of unreasonable demands but no such luck. I am a birthday princess.

Saturday was spent making a cassoulet for a surprise birthday party for a friend. It’s not technically difficult but it does require your attention for the good part of an afternoon. The finished product is the combination of six different manifestations of pork and a duck. It’s pork and bean casserole but then The Crucible is about witches ‘n stuff. Fabulous middle of winter party food for a party of 20 and you get to find out what a pureed half a kilo of so pork fat and skin and 15 garlic cloves looks like. Here’s an explanatory flowchart I made two years ago which kind of makes sense.

cassoulet map


Sunday was my birthday and I decided that people could bring an intrument along and mess about. The garage was dutifully tidied and after a slow nervous start it all became magnificent. Quality playing but I think putting the cello through a wah wah pedal via a big muff (no not that) to a Fender Bassman was particularly inspired. So impressive I didn’t get to play the opening bit of Iron Man for several hours. Total instruments were two electric guitars, two acoustic guitars, one bass, a cello, those little hand cymbal things, a shakey basket thing, maraccas, a tamborine, a didgeridoo and a harmonica. I’ll have to make this a regular thing at Maison Floreat, there’s much to be said for this eating, drinking, music thing.

Oh food – I spent most of the time faffing around in the kitchen making steamed pork ribs, pork belly, san choi bow, and fried rice vowing that I wouldn’t mess about in the kitchen so much next time. Helpful hint – don’t defrost packets of dumplings before you need them.

A good swag of pressies, apparently I’m a discerning alcoholic and foodie. Somebody was asking before about ceramic knives. I got one from Toni and they do look like some kind of ‘safety knife’ for special little cooks but they are facking sharp and my lacksadaisical attitude meant trimming a bit of nail and skin off my index finger. Bottles of stuff to go in the ‘save for nice’ department, objet d’art, flip flops, and bric a brac, a handmade beanie from Kate which you’ll no doubt be seeing, and a late arrival in the handmade department from Crafty (you should check it out)

37. Friends, they age with you.

How many blogs have a theme tune, hey? Made this yonks ago on garage band and it’s been sitting gathering dust on my lappy. Mercifully free of vocals or any actual playing of music. Although look out for “Spiceblog! – The Iron Man Variations.”

Or you just go and enjoy this via The Poor Man.

NEWS JUST IN! – filed by Crafty

curry buffet


Friday bring-a-curry dinner for six. Rude amounts of food, if we’d ended up having the naan bread as well, we would have come close to meeting the entire calorific consumption of Bangladesh for 1973. Bloody marvellous with each dish having the full attention of each maker so there was no can’t-be-arsed fade off for dishes four and five. I made a Charmaine Solomon curried duck with potatoes and cabbage (I subbed the cabbage for silverbeet leaves for a bit more oomph) as well as a mint and spring onion chutney and half a litre of cucumber raita – bringing the total up to 1.5 litres. Strategy of eating a bit, waiting, and going back later, proved most successful in making a dent in it all. Passing the time was our host’s very good idea of everybody bringing a CD with their ten favourite songs on it, loading them all up, and then putting it all on random. Guess the person’s song was fun and it there’s much pleasure in listening to music that’s outside your regular tastes but carefully chosen and an education. There was no Jive Bunny, nor were there 60 Pixies songs.
Dire Straits appeared and that was AOK by me. Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus proved rarer towards the end of the evening in favour of fade out/in/out and through composed bits of Eighty’s epicdom. No fights either. Something very Rawlsian about it but I’m not sure what. Not an easy thing to pick 10 and I ended up with an undecisive set with a few hybrid songs to fill a few gaps and round it out a bit.
My eventual top 10 were AC/DC-Ballroom Blitz; Groove Armada – I See You Baby; Shake – Kristin Hersh;
Sonic Youth- Kool Thing ; Queens of the Stone Age – First it Giveth ; Butthole Surfers – Sea Ferring; The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog; Pixies – Here Comes Your Man; Anthrax and Public Enemy – Bring the Noise; Matthew Sweet – Evangeline.
No arguing.

eating

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Mojo's


Third in a series of spiceblog’s dinner and a show. Tapas and a trip to Mojo’s and the Swan.

tortillaHere’s a tortilla that I seem to have done properly. Two important things. Frying the onion and the discarding the onion and keeping the oil. Leaving the cooked potatoes to sit in the egg mix for fifteen minutes before returning it to the pan.
Chop one medium sized onion finely and saute gently in a heavy pan without burning in half a cup of olive oil for 20 minutes. Leave the oil but discard the onion. Actually don’t chuck it in the bin like I did but use it for another dish. Peel and thinly slice five potatoes, I used Royal Blue which are the most versatile. It’s a nice bit of knife practice by the way. I added a small handful of chopped thinly sliced jamon to the oil and then added the potato in layers, seasoning each layer as I went along. Let the potatoes slowly cook, turning and mixing gently as needed until cooked. Drain the potatoes and reserve two tablespoons of the oil. Add the potatoes to a bowl of 5 whisked free-range eggs (look I’m not arguing here 50% of the taste is the egg) and a couple of tablespoons of parsely. Leave to sit for 15 minutes.

Add the oil to the pan, heat, and then add the potato-egg mix and press it down with a spoon. Keep shaking the pan to loosen the base. When the base is very lightly browned, slide it onto a plate, and then flip back over into the pan to do the top. Remove and serve.

A few other things we had were mussels cooked in Vina Esmeralda and parsley and then grilled with a parmesan, butter, garlic and parsley mix. Cheese and quince paste, tomato and lightly toasted sourdough bread. And salted cod potato cakes with aioli.Chorizo in Red Wine. Apologies for not having more pics but I do tend to spare new guests the sight of me taking too many food photos.

And down to Mojo’s in North Fremantle to see a promising bunch of twelve year olds in their first gig. Talented little buggers. A very Black Sabbathy original song which filled my heart with hope now I realise that Wolf Mother are jazz rockers. Rock on Short Fuse. Another acoustic performers, then two more acoustic performers at the Swan Hotel (which has the best tiles for a men’s toilet ever). All good, there’s no fairness you know. [shakes head wistfully, looks at beer thoughtfully]

short fuse singer two cute kiddoes in a band

[note to self: see more bands, write name of bands down, go electric despite solid acoustic performances]

Oh yes. Big plug for Spanish Flavours in the Wembley Food Hall next to the Wembley Pub. I got my jamon, chorizo, salted cod, and quince paste there. Quince paste was great and only $10 a kilo. Good line of friendly helpful chit-chat from the owner who does a good job of the whole rolling h for j thing.

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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.
However:
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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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.

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will listen to crap for charity

There is triumph over adversity, there are great feats in the field of human endeavour, and then there is hitting the half-way mark uphill with steadily increasing rain with a back to back triple of Kenny G, Charlene, and Bec Cartwright. [Anthony Georgeff is available as guest speaker and for motivational workshops. His book Visting Paradise, Visting Me will be out next Summer] Missing is in the capture the starting tune of Girls on Film – Wesley Willis and the finishing one of Panama (Panamaha). Sadly no Benny Goodman and no Bop Girl. Had I trained even less, they may have been included.

Big thanks to pledgers who have already coughed up and for the others, a very large thank you in advance. To get to Oxfam:
Oxfam Australia
Oxfam America
Oxfam International

By my sums we should have raised over $200. Wooh!

fun run

Alright people, elaborate fundraising idea for those who like to keep their sado-altruistic yinyang in harmony for this Sunday’s City to Surf.

The last race I, erm man of action did, was only possible through the sweet relief my carefully chosen iPod playlist [see:vanishing pointless: A Man of Action Dislikes Eye of the Tiger With a Great Passion]. On the theory that you can put up with anything for an hour or so, I thought I’d open my playlist for sale for a good cause as penance for my narrow minded music related sanctimony [see: innumerable yah! boo! Iggy Pop/ Johnny Cash/ John Cale/ New Order/ adorable Japanese girl bands did it better comments on the interweb]. Here’s the plan:

1. You nominate a song/songs in comments at $10 a pop. Now this could be Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You, but then why not get your kicks by having me listen to Whitney Houston’s version. Or imagine the fine pleasures had at the thought as I struggle up the final hill at the 11km mark, lungs aburst, only for the bowel loosening sounds of Aga Doo or anything from Rattle and Hum to come through my headphones.
2. I put these songs into a playlist and press play at the start.
3. If your song comes up during the race, you donate $10 to Oxfam. If it doesn’t you don’t have to.

Goddit?

To keep myself sane and get the ball rolling, I’m treating myself to 5 songs for a total of $50. They are:
Comfort Eagle – Cake
Panama – Van Halen
Cinnamon – Piggies
Apple Tree – Wolfmother
Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age

And further ,and not all crap it looks, additions from sponsors in the Will Listen to Crap for Charity Playlist are:
Never Been Any ReasonHead East from Stephanie
Boys of Summer – DJ Sammy from Kate
Car Song – Cat Empire from Vic
Signed Sealed Delivered – DJ Smash from Reid
Hangin’ Tough – NKOTB from Saffron
All the Cats Join In – Benny Goodman from Rob
Bop Girl – Pat Wilson from Ampersand Duck
I’ve Never Been to Me – Charlene from santos

Keep them coming people, don’t make me use guilt.

More!
Lola – the Kinks & All seats taken – Bec Cartwright from Mindy
Girls on Film – Wesley Willis from Chook
Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns and Roses from Jon
Celebrate – Namie Amuro from Heech (can’t find it yet – anybody?)

And here we go…
Breathless – Kenny G from Nat
Ghostbusters[techno mix] – Ray Parker Jnr from Jean
Metal Machine Music – Die Krupps from Yellowsupurinter

That looks like it. 20 songs. Cheers all. Might psyche myself up by watching Atanarjuat.

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Steak Sandwich

steak sandwich that way

Yeah I’m back and relaxed and in new digs. Mmmm roomy. Here’s a steak sandwich I made for rock power before going to an exceptional Queens of the Stone Age gig at Perth Metro/Mad Max Thunderdome (true Chook true). It gave me strength to assist boisterous youth at the edge of the mosh pit and not worry when they sang into my ear. One grateful lad in a blue t-shirt gave me a hug and then wouldn’t let go. Bless.

I have to face up to the fact that most steak sandwiches are not the ones of my dreams (Saffy also dreams) but are overdone bits of minute steak in a skinny bit of whitebread. This one is good.

A large bit of rump steak tenderised. Don’t use a tenderiser, use your fist, trust me it’s good , you’ll feel better. Sliced up into meaty fingers and marinated in oil, soy, chinese wine, chilli powder, garlic, something called BBQ bush blend (lemon myrtle, bush tomato, and mountain pepperleaf), and potato starch for chinese velvetiness.

Onions caramelised with a pinch of brown sugar and a splash of Monteith’s Ale when softened.

Lengthy piece of foccacia carefully sliced along the middle. Bits of blue cheese along the bottom. Rare bits of steak on top of that with the onions and pour some of the pan juices ove the top. Place some spinach leaves on top. Then the top bit of bread and into the sandwich press until the cheese is melty.

Good.

One, two

Via santos who found out via R4KK4 who got me leff‘s kind technical support, we have the added dimension of sound!:

nikka

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.

Monsieur Camembert

cheese-BEFORE-dessert

Hey are Monsieur Camembert any good? Should I go and see them at the The Fly By Night Club? Is anyone else going?

! In spite of the mesmerising involvement of an accordionist, I felt more Rabbi Bagel than Monsiuer Camembert. Apparently gypsy tunes but to my untrained ear I could have sworn Hava Nagila got a hammering a few times but the again I was busy poohpoohing art ideas. Speaking of weddings, what’s with the plastic outdoor wedding chairs at the Fly By Night Club? Felt like a school parent’s night.

debasaaaaaaaaargh Apologies, just a couple of pic only posts from Tokyo as I’m out of typing action from a faintly riduculous karaoke related injury. At a karaoke box, last song of the night, 2/3 of the way through nailing “Debaser” and the glass partition I was leaning against gave way and I followed it – falling a metre onto my back. Bit of claret, distressed karaoke staff, a trip in an ambulance and over a dozen stitches in my right hand, back, and head. Lots of laughs at the hospital at my stretchy smurf hat they gave me and when I dozed off on the table and started snoring. Kudos to the hotel staff for not blinking an eyelid when I came back at 2am just wearing jeans, shoes and bandages. All in all aok, could have been nastier, and learnt that there are worse things at karaoke than having to wait your turn.

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harissasweetpotatoSantos has been on fire on all fronts of late. Her level of joy bringing brilliance has reached luminescence that can only leave me to fear that we’ll soon find her drowned in her own vomit, leaving the rest of us to plonk along like Eric Clapton. And that’s Wonderful Tonight Clapton.

Cribbing from her baked sweet potato with egg and harissa and modifying it for an impatient local audience. Diced up a sweet potato, microwaved it until soft and gave it a brief EVOO roasting in a pan in the oven in my kitchen in my house. Stir in two heaped teaspoons of harissa, and then pile it into four butter lined ramekins. Make a hollow, crack an egg in it, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top with a splash of EVOO and cook until the yolks wobble ever so slighly when nudged. Wooh!

What? Everyone likes Herman’s Hermits? Bah.

Momento Mori-san: Rakka tells us that Hideaki Sekiguchi from GuitarWolf died a few days ago from a heart attack. 38! Jostling for bassist position no doubt to follow. Watch for the smoke.

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Clement of A La Cuisine! went and made me all rambly nostalgic and in the process reminded me of one of my Uni era grand food projects, the muffuletta. A kind of delicatessen terrine, cached in a loaf of bread. The special occasion was an outdoor concert in King’s Park with Ben Folds and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Dining with Robbie and Veronique, and Robert and Manas.

muffuletta

It’s actually not that hard at all, most of it is brought. For heavy duty deli shoppping I usually go to the Contintal Supermarket on the corner of Fitzgerald and Roe. The only real kitchen work is the roasted red capsicums (peppers) and the fried eggplant. I roasted the capsicums over the burner until the skin bubbled, then picked the skin off, persuading a few recalcitrant bits with a paring knife. I think this can also be done by placing them in a paper bag in the oven, but I’ve forgotten how exactly. The eggplant was sliced to a 4mm thinckness and cooked in a pan with EVOO.

Next was the ricotta mix. A cup of ricotta with a handful of finely chopped basil, and an egg yolk and mixed. The dressing was a 1/4 cup of EVOO, 2tbs capers and a tbs of oregano.

Get a nice round loaf of bread, slice the top off, and hollow it out. The ricotta mix gets spread aound the bottom and the sides. Then it’s just a matter of stacking food up to the top. For this one is used – prosciutto, fried eggplant, roasted capsicum, coppa, rocket, green pesto, and stuffed olives with the dressing poured over. The lid is put back on, wrapped in foil and refrigerated for 8 hours.

benfoldswasoconcert

As for the concert. Situated on freshly cut lawns in a natural ampitheatre, surrounded by gums trees, with the stage in front of a small lake; it would have been good even if Frente had been playing. Ben Folds is a supreme human being. Talented, funny, humane, and just makes fantastic songs.

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Big Day Out 2005

bdo05hd

Western Australia, State of Childhood Musical Disappointment. My mum still hasn’t gotten over the Beatles never making it across the Nullabor. Tour dates flashing across the screen in Countdown would stop at Adelaide, forever convincing me of a universe that was arbitrary and amoral. So thank you the Big Day Out , for fronting up every year since the early 90′s.*

bdowankerBacon and eggs brekky with champagne (hoorah!) kept me happy until hot dog with cheese and then later chips and a corn-dog. The hot dog failed in a few respects. The onions were in small squares, the sausage was shorter than the bun implying stinginess, and the processed cheese wasn’t given it’s one possible saving grace of meltiness. Corn dog was agreeably disgusting. Tooheys Extra Dry joins the hall of low expectation fame by being tasty when it’s cold, you’re thirsty, and you’ve waited in line for twenty minutes for drink tickets. Pleased when replaced by sharp tasting local, Emu Bitter. Not for foodies but I’m a pragmatic eater and I believe better food is to be had at the demographic black hole rival of the Moonlight festival. One day they’ll catch up with my aged b-boy in a bucket-hat ruse and say off you go grandad.

1. First Can of Beer, 2. Found Drink Tickets (well spotted Chook), 3. Hot Chips, 4. Corn Dog, 5. Hot Dog

slipknotdyi The shows! Once again, Plumber bummed Collapsy man who Drank too much pre-mix Bourbon did not disappoint in a compelling performance. Stars were the Blues Explosion for reasons too simple to explain, except to say they shouldn’t work but they do, the show was only flawed by not being long enough, and few leads can match John Spencer for the musicality of his voice and effortless knee drops. Yah boo sucks to Slipknot. What crap. Our nation’s shirt making spotty angst ridden youth deserve better.

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1. Blues Explosion, 2. Beastie Boys (ISFTWO lounge set), 3. Spiderbait, 4. The Flairz, 5. Regurgitator.

*Alright alright it wasn’t just Buddy Williams. I should say pre-BDO came along I did get to see Skyhooks, Devo, The Long Tall Pitchforks, The Cramps, U2, The Beastie Boys, The Sugarcubes and the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

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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.

Musical Interlude

Suckers to tha side

I know you hate my Honda Jazz

Santos is still doing outstanding stuff while over in LA at meet me at the corner of third and fairfax.. I was going to tell you to listen in on her hosting of the the molotov cocktail hour on KXLU 88.9 FM but I messed up the dateline and instead of being tomorrow, it’s today but before today, which is Tuesday but Wednesday over here. Baka desu!

Instead I can present for your food/music pleasure the unlikely Garlic Bread and 1.25litres(8.7 gallons) of Coke pairing over Pizza Delivery and Nicholas Cave at Tim Dunlop’s the road to surfdom. Jeanne does hot chocolate, it’s actual hot chocolate but don’t tell me you weren’t thinking “Everyone’s a Winner”. And speaking of winners, “best comment evah” – a million monkeys eh? Apologies for the other 999,999 duff comments people.

Just finished reading the above Richard Metzler book I picked up in Melbourne. Metzler, is a rock writer most famous for, and should be for more, not listening to many of the albums he reviewed. Which is no bad thing. If I had to listen to some of the shit that comes out and lets face it, my friend Ollie, is the most honest man on earth, for admitting he bought a BS album for her “tasty bod” – good for him. I had to abandon efforts to have the Rugby Super 14 in Perth just to avoid listening to 2.85 more Cosima songs. And you don’t want to listen too much, if you’ve ever been cornered by a Grateful Dead fan and made the mistake of suggesting it’s boring and then being told “I had to really *listen*”. Actually I’ve even gotten over the takes a few listens stage of my music listening life, if it’s not hitting some switches in 15 seconds then I can’t be bothered. But this is a food blog so what’s my point, oh yes, a fine piece mentioning the “Cigar Store Indians” (?) as little as possible by recounting a visit to the mythical (?) National Soup Museum in Biloxi.

Most fascinating, perhaps, are the displays in the Extinct Wing, devoted to flavours which for various reasons have through the years been removed from company rosters. These include:

Olive and Watercress, Homemade Gull Chunk, Dawg, Maraschino Kidney, Wax, Cream of Pupa, Turkey Glutton, Olde Fashioned Gruel, Black Putty, Chicken with Starch, Pond Salamander, Blowfish Noodle, Sow Butt, Airedale Tenderloin, Badger Biproduct, Scrod Gill, Striated Mutton Pulp, Sour Barnacle, Sparrow Cauliflower, Cootie Broth, Puff Ball…Creamy Prune, Stove Top Marigold, Imitation Penguin……..Puppy Eyes, Udder and Donut, Weasel Plop, Szechuan Pigeon Foot, Parsnip & Cricket, Steroid and Gluten, Whale Vulva, Aerated Mucus, Styptic with Toenail Bits, Toad Scum, Tartar Control Moth, Jogsweat Lite, and Fat-Free Pantyhose.

I’d be hard pressed to add a single worthy addition to this perfection. Pressure Sore Potage?

Mail!: The Drummer (begrudging coif solo) from the Kryptonics writes!

hey!

Just somehow stumbled onto your blog as I was stuffing around googling old names and songs…

Did you ever get hold of the Kryptonics song? I noticed you were searching for Oedipus complex but you quoted lyrics from “baby”. I still have the original 45 but its pretty badly looked after.

He’s right – memories eh! Oedipus Complex is

Coz’ girl I’ve got an Oedipus Complex

And girl, I think that you’re my mother.

Little better ever and *this* is why acquired taste is bogus.

Aaaaaaaaaaaargh

Terror on the kitchen floor. My favourite read ever, Reader’s Digest Book of Strange Stories, Amazing Facts, was compromised by having to turn pages carefully as a kid so I didn’t end up on page 391 and the terrible faces that appeared on a kitchen floor in Belmez in Spain in 1971.

Faces appeared and a medieval cemetery was found underneath AND

these microphones had recorded sounds not audible to the ear-voices speaking strange languages, agonised moans matching the torment in their eyes of the faces on the floor!!!!!

and speaking of horrifying phantom people and agonised moans, Robert Corr is quite the Entertainer.

Bonus RDSSAF pic: Anyone looking for a thumbnail for their DEVO coverband blog, it’s yours.

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Sunday Night Tapas

Silvania Franco has a straightforward book that promises much – Great Tapas. The patties cross the line from mashed potato blandness to tapas genius but it’s a shame they retained their name as a patty. Patti Smith perhaps. Ham was changed to prosciutto as there was an especially nice looking hunk of it already on the slicer at the deli. I used a 2yo NZ cheddar in the absence of manchego.

Ingredients: 4 slices of prosciutto-chopped; 200gm of grated cheese; 500gm of Ruby Blue potatoes – boiled and mashed; 1/2 cup of plain flour; 2 tbs of butter; muchos salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all the ingredients together and shape into patties the size of an iMac mouse. Fry in a little olive oil on both sides until golden (they are a little fragile).

Eaten with the marinated octopus I made (excellent if I might say so) and some bread and we were joined by a bottle of Alias Pinot Noir, substituting for sherry.

*The photo was me being spiteful at the poor exposure and just scrunching up the brightness and contrast, not big, not clever.

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{Sigh}

Crème Brûlée has always had me reaching, not for the whisk, but my copy of Dirty by Sonic Youth. The song is a curiosity but Kim Gordon has the right elements of a female vocalist and this custardy confection – hard candy with a soft under. As a stretched out large sunglassed beatnik on the back cover, it would have a single me crawling across broken caramel to get to her. As shock art, the album fails only for the sumptuousness and beauty of the guitars, but the tray liner photo in the Japanese release is ummm well lets just say don’t look Big Ted (you’ve been warned).

Stretching the associations, 1992 would have been the year where, cooking for my then girlfriend and now wife’s 22nd birthday, I had my stepping out of the cave moment with a Crème Anglaise. Institutionally fed, custard had always been a flavourless yellowly liquid made from rehydrated powder. Slicing open my first vanilla pod almost had me running over to my neighbour’s house to say “Oi! Sniff this”. Creme Anglaise, along with the magnificent Italian Zuppa Inglise, may be a generous tribute or international baiting, is perfection. It also taught me two important lessons: better food was out there; and it was within my reach. Out of the cave and over the bridge I went.

Sweets are still my weak point but I was given a prod by Guamand Santos at the scent of green bananas. and her very excellent thing ch-ch-cherry bombs . The Rock Dinner steps a little further forward and I’m tumbling towards turning into a conceptual foodist.

Experimental Notes

To make Crème Brûlée properly you need a blow torch to caramelise the top. I didn’t get one for three reasons; they are very pricey, I’d be off scraping paint before you could say Australian Dream, and I wouldn’t have been happy with anything less than this.

My plan was to, instead make a flambe hybrid. Sugar on the top, soaked in brandy, and then up it goes. Fortunately, in a rare flash of common sense, I tried it out with some yoghurt in a ramekin first. A damp squib, so plan abandoned. A shame, it would have been spectacular, so if anybody has any better ideas on sparking this up, get back to me (and no dishwashing liquid and petrol is not going to happen).

Crème

Usual trick of using a few sources to come up with something. I went to this Recipe for Creme Brulee Recipe and this Creme Brulee » Recipe (which just seems wrong on a few points), and fudged around and came up with this

8 free-range eggs yolks; 3/8 cup of caster sugar; 1 vanilla pod (you could use vanilla essence but you wouldn’t would you? No didn’t think so); 500ml of double cream.

Egg yolks and sugar whisked until pale and creamy.

Vanilla pod spilt carefully with a knife, the innards scraped into the cream and then the pod put in as well. Gently heat the cream, just until bubbles start to form around the edges. Don’t boil.

Warmed cream slowly mixed into the egg and sugar and then the whole lot put into a ceramic bowl and heated over a saucepan of simmering water. Non stop stirring until the mix is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Ramekins (8) 7/8th filled with the mix and then put in a roasting tin, half filled with hot water. Covered with foil and cooked in a 170C for 40 minutes. Taken out and left to cool in the fridge.

Brûlée

Tricky bit not least for the fact the this was well into beer tasting over at a friends house. Each ramekin is topped up with a 5mm level layer of caster sugar. Friend’s oven was smokier than a Japan Tobacco conference room so I put a dish of water in there in the hope that it would absorb some of the smoke. Top element nice and hot and slid the ramekins under it, keeping a sharpish eye on them, moving them around to compensate for the irregularity of the heat.

And?

The caramel crust is a very fine balance to get and I had mixed results. The photo of the two leftovers represent the Diamanda Galas and Little Nikki Webster ends of the spectrum. A blowtorch would have helped a great deal with consistency. Enjoyed it but detected a tiny degree of tooth edginess of caster sugar and wondered if better results could have been had with normal sugar. The sugariness did seem to settle down from between off the stove and the finished product. Any ideas?

As for female vocalists, ichiban is Aiha Higurashi of Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her and while I’m at it Mayumi Kojima. If you’re interested, mail me and I might just brûlée you a sample.