8 December 2007

"The Brain, The Brain, The Centre of The Chain."

The title doesn't have much to do with anything except for the fact that I am very excited, in a sniffly, boffinish way, to have discovered a Baby Sitters Club blog wherein a 20-something woman goes back and re-reads the books and then writes up all the glaring logistical errors and continuity flaws. The quote is taken from the BSC movie, something I had forgotten about until recently. Yesterday's obsession is todays' charmingly kitsch retro-pop-culture...so watch out. And by that, I mean that I have been on Trademe for BSC books. Shh!

We don't have a heck of a lot of food in our cupboards at the moment. After the massive spree that was shopping for the Christmas dinner, I didn't want to spend any more money on actual groceries. Let me tell you, I am looking forward to the vege market tomorrow.

Above: This here is the very last of the leftovers, and indeed, the last of most of our vegetables. I'm not so good at 'making up' salads, but I was proud of this concoction - the rest of the roast chicken, with roasted cauliflower and red peppers, avocado, and capers. It was so unbelievably delicious! We had this dumped on top of rice, and it was surprisingly filling (you know, for a salad.)

Above: Fish Pie. It is actually a kind of low-rent fish pie that I make a lot in Winter, and since the weather was jarringly cold and wet the other day I decided to have another go at it. Basically it is a can of tuna stirred into white sauce with anything else you have in the fridge - in my case, frozen peas and beans - and topped with breadcrumbs made from crushing toasted bread in your hands. It was inspired by a recipe in the NZ Cookbook, which uses a splash of sherry in the white sauce. I used the sherry Mum gave me recently - its first outing! - and the sauce smelled divine, all winey and warming and delicious. We had this with rice too, some Basmati that Mum sent us (and yes, it does taste a lot nicer than Budget Long Grain.)

Above: Lentil and Potato Pie...you may or may not know that I have a slight obsession with lentils, I think it's just because they are so good for you that I find their very presence in my meal soothing. This was such an easy dish to make, and came from the NZ Cookbook also. Just layers of onion, potatoes, and brown lentils (I biffed a handful of red lentils in too just for kicks) and then pour in some stock and bake for an hour. I used the Knorr porcini stock cubes (that Nigella uses!) that my aunt brought back for me from Italy, which are so intensely savoury and almost fudgily dense with flavour that they make any bland combination of flavours taste wonderful. This was even better the next day, cold for breakfast, as unappetising as it sounds.

Above: I served the potato-lentil amalgam with mince. Just mince. Sometimes I try so hard to make mince exciting and different to what we had the night before (ie, Bobotie, anyone?) that I forget how nice it can be on it's own, just fried with some onion and a splash of soy sauce (for Alison Holst Chic!) It reminds me of this time when I was much younger and Mum was away for the week somewhere. Dad cooked us mince and mashed potatoes, (and no doubt some veges too, knowing Dad) plain as anything, and suggested that the two were nice mixed together. It was so delicious I can remember this meal over ten years later. So, simple can be your friend.

I didn't post last night (Mum, I'm talking to you, here) because of the stonkering fabulous Friday night line up on UKTV. After America's Next Top Model on 3, there is the genius Green Wing on UKTV, followed by Little Britain, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Shameless. The only thing missing is the old Men Behaving Badly, which I always had a soft spot for. But for real, what a night! How is anyone supposed to move from the telly to go out and do Friday night-type things?
Anyway had better go and cobble together a meal before Tim gets home from making syrup-cinos, so...

Good Bive!

Above: I know, I said no more kittens and music and non-food stuff but...I didn't mean it. Got this photo off a colleague of mine who was also at the game and could nay resist.


  1. Green wing is totally the best show isn't it, its like Scrubs on acid! Love it!
    I'm with you on the lentil front, have rekindled my love of them and can't think why it faded now that I am eating them again.
    Also, we need to find out how to get those porcini stock cubes in NZ!!!!! They sound fab!!!

  2. Oh, they are seriously good, Linda! Everytime I find something that Nigella actually namechecks I get such a nerdy kick out of it.

    Green Wing is one of my few "appointment viewing" shows...I just wish the series DVD was cheaper!

  3. Have been on the great porcini hunt through google this morning LOL because THOSE cubes were bought in ITALY!!! Have found Zarbo (google it) who has porcini powder for under $10 and mushrooms 30gms for $13.95 or thereabouts. They do mail order. I think that is where Nana got aniseed powder to make her aniseed biscuits (very yummy). Glad to see you back on line, had thought you might be fading away to a shadow LOL. Am eating out my cupboards and freezer so do not have to carry much with me - makes for interesting meals. Have been having a chocolate trumpet or two a night as I work my way through left overs from the last In Weekend. Down to the last two!

  4. Saaaaaave a trumpet for meeeeeeeee... *vain hope fading into the distance*
    I love the not-so-subtle gift list suggestions you are making. Still, it means I can confidently remove margarine and low-fat cream off your Xmas prezzie list. You may want to research some camp cuisine as I'm sure your readership will be keen to learn of your intense (read as in tents) experiences over Christmas. When you describe something as tasting "earthy" it could well be literally..... Perhaps you could call it,
    "MOSQUITO Bites" (Apologies to Nigella's Bites). I own up to about 5 "hits" per day unless you have posted earlier in the day. Good luck with the BSC hunt ...*regrets giving away 20 copies about 9 years ago*

  5. Lynn - will definitely have to google Zarbo, I've heard good things about it in Cuisine magazine...why are all the good things in Auckland? Good luck with your cupboard clearing, hope to see you at Christmas!
    Mum - Not-so-subtle? Moi? Can't wait to do camping cuisine! Nice puns - can see where I get it from. XO