Thursday, February 26, 2009

Again with the disappearing.

Well, I am busy making head visions for things to come.

Contacting City of Melbourne, applications, applications and fraud.


So, as I crunch on salads and drink too much coffee and see art and attempt to make art, I will leave you with the first thing I ever got published...which is what I found the other day wedged in my wall. And hey, it is relevant.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm tired

This is ugly, but tasty.

For some reason, after it all, my excitement has been diverted and I have little care for the appearance of this dish. I made this because I kind of have to get rid of zucchinis and I have a lot of cheese.

Go figure.

It's light and is good.

Oh, and vegetarian.

Me thinks the heat is shying me away from meat.
Meh.

Zucchini Lasagne.

3 zucchinis, medium sized, cut lengthways into 1/2 cm strips.
salt
200g ricotta
1 egg
2 pieces of grainy bread, pulsed to crumbs
1/3 cup of milk
1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
black pepper
3 balls of bocconcini
3 fresh lasagne sheets, or dry/instant from a box

Boil a pot of salted water and dump the zucchini in there till it is just a little undercooked. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, 3/4 of the breadcrumbs, the milk and parsley. Season generously with salt and a fuckload of black pepper.

In a dish (yes, I am aware that I did it in a loaf pan, but I couldn't be bothered finding my lasagne dish) grease the tray place a single layer of the zucchini with the ricotta mixture, top with a lasagne sheet. Do the next layer the same way, tearing up a round of bocconcini before placing over another sheet of pasta.
When you get to the top, crumble the rest of the bread crumbs over the top, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.


It should look something like this...or even better if you had cared about your presentation.

Then, cook uncovered for 10 minutes.


And it should look something like this.

Serve with a salad. It should feed about 4 of you for a light meal.

The intelligent dirty.

My house had a party on the Friday night, which I sadly could not be a part of due to three other parties.

Though, I stopped in for an hour.

We have a fridge with dirty poetry magnets and these are the ones made by my friends Milosh and Shak.

Milosh's. How pretty.


I am so impressed at how not dirty this one is.
In fact it is almost beautiful.
But still a little dirty.

Go Shak.

Retrieved

Good friends come through with the goods.

It appears that I left my camera at my friend's place and they returned it to me. I am so lucky that this is actually a friend and not some dirty hipster claiming to be my friend who would steal it or try to swap it for drugs.

I'm just saying...


So, with collaboration with my sister's photos...here is the damn birthday banquet that was actually good. My crazy grandfather who is also a gambling addict must have come through with a good week, because when we finished the meal, he just threw a few hundred dollars on the table and hobbled down the stairs. Oh, he's 95 and on a pension, I sat there, swapping looks with my sister because we've seen him throw two hundred dollars down on a table and loose it in one game, and rejoin us.

He's a strange man.

We ended up going to No 1 Cafe, on Carrington st in Box Hill. They recently bought out a place called No 1 cafe and changed them name in Chinese but kept the English name so they wouldn't have to pay legal fees.
They specialize in seafood and are a true sign of being dodgy Asians...the ones I like to cook for me.

Oh, yeah....

We ordered the six person banquet because my grandfather wanted crab.
Yeah, he's crazy and amazing.

I also learnt during this dinner that he was a butcher in HK. I want to take him meat shopping with me and he's become so much more valuable.

It explains why he always catches pigeons on his window sill, kills them and then cooks them...


The waitress serving the first course. A gingery soup with pigs intestine, bean curd roll and gingko nuts. The broth was made from the pork bones being stewed for hours and it was amazing.

I would say the best dish of the night...if you could call this a dish.


Soup lined up on the lazy Susan.

I am still confused about why it is called that.

Gingko nut. I have never encountered a whole stewed one before, it is incredibly rich and has the texture of egg yolk.
I am addicted.


Next up, the steamed oysters, served two ways. One with garlic and the other with a ginger and spring onion mush.

I loved the garlic one, but I found the ginger and spring onion with oil overpowered the oyster, which was very fucking good. The oil in it was also a little much.
I remember my brother-in-law's mother buying great oysters from Box Hill market...so, woot.

Then, the crab dish. Crab cooked in a ginger sauce and served on top of fresh egg noodles. Always a winner, and it was perfectly cooked.
I deliberately didn't eat that much crab though and fought for more of the crab roe in the head of the crab. It is my favourite part.
My only complaint with this dish is that they put too much corn flour in the sauce and made it too gluggy. Not good when your dish cools down a little and you're facing a starchy road ahead.

My second favourite for the night. This is the mixed mushrooms on bak choi. Abalone mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, straw mushrooms and shittake mushrooms cooked till they kept their bite in a savoury oyster-sauce based gravy. Perfectly textured with the steamed rice.

This is basically a whole deep fried chicken rubbed in five-spice, chopped up for a heart attack.

Because I don't normally eat fried things, I found this really heavy and difficult to get through, if not tasty. My sister ended up finishing off my chicken skin.
It wasn't greasy, and was good, but my insides weren't used to it.
It also seemed a little dry when eaten with the rice.

And finally, a steamed barramundi with spring onion and ginger in soy sauce, which has had hot oil poured over it. One of my favourites, and very easy to make. It can never go wrong, especially when they fish it out of a tank in the front window.

And I took it apart for everyone to eat the flesh. I had given up way before this, but my sister persevered with my father.
I wanted to take a photo of its skeleton, fins and head all attached, but my grandfather grabbed the head before I could take a photo and started eating it.
My father sucked all the flesh off the bones.

Yeah, we're uber-Asian.

No 1 Cafe
1 Carrington St
Box Hill, 3128

(03) 9898 9680

Hahahahahahahaahahahahahaha

Well, I was going to post a mega on the banquet that we had for my father's birthday, but to top off a wonderful weekend which has seen me in tears and running from a cab driver trying to rape me, it appears that I have lost my camera.


And I am still severely unemployed.





I can only laugh and stop crawling on my hands and knees, convinced that it is hidden in my hole called Room.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

When with sister,

two desserts.

You should always remember that equation. So, after my coin stacking incident, I also had to factor in enough for a Zone 1+2 2hr concession. Yeah, outrageous. This is for a train ticket to Mitcham.

I would like to now say I FUCKING HATE PUBLIC TRANSPORT. I guess I can rationalize living so close to the city because my rent more than makes up for all the public transport I would be catching otherwise.

But yesterday was heinous. I changed trains three times for the same line from Melbourne Central, going back and forth from Flinders and Richmond, only to finally leave the loop thirty minutes later.

It is an OUTRAGE: Tony Harrison style.

I would now like to say that my sister's eating habits are totally different from mine, and with my life going the way it is right now, I thrive on small victories. I managed to get her and her husband to eat an entirely vegetarian meal, despite that it definitely isn't the healthiest. But I figure she can afford it when I am cooking and she goes to kickboxing.

My sister also started a Hospitality course a couple of weeks ago, which is the exact same one I did when I was 14/15 and hearing her stories of people burning pasta into the bottom of pots and taking 30 minutes to fillet a fish makes me all nostalgic. Only, she is doing it at Box Hill Tafe, and therefore is doing it with the Fifteen crew and everything is Jamie Oliver (Tefal) branded.

They are also burnt the shit out of.

Me making baked, herbed mushrooms. Later served on the only bread she had in the house with caramelized onions and blue cheese. She hates blue cheese, so...relish.

I made really sad felafels with canned chickpeas. Spiced with cumin, fennel and caraway seeds found in her pantry, heated in a pan till fragrant with black pepper and ground it in a mortar and pestle. Threw in a chili, parsley and mint as well as some stale bread.

Wizz wizz wizz.
Fry Fry Fry.

Oh yeah, I also did this because I wanted to see her beloved deep fryer in action. Her husband got it for her last Valentines and they spent the night making fish and chips together.

The most unphotogenic mushroom ever.

Dishy, dishy, dishy. They weren't greasy at all. Go team deep fryer.

Oh, and I also made a Tzatziki to serve with.

She really also wanted to make a mud cake with me. So, this is the naked boy. Erm, we over baked it by about fifteen minutes because we were walking her dog.

Look. I put clothes on him.
And the blur of my sister in the background.

Then, we gave the boy an enema, or...a colonic irrigation.

You get it. It was tasty, but sadly the sides were overcooked. Stupidly dense and moist.

But before we ate the cake, she wanted a different dessert. I caramelized peeled and cored apples in a pan, made a cake batter and baked the bitches in the oven. Her husband doesn't like cakey things, but he ate this madly...

with cream.

Is it a wonder that I missed the last train home and spent the night on the smallest couch in the world, watching bad TV, crunching sleeping tablets, switching to season two of Twin Peaks and then flicking cockroaches off myself till I finally passed out at half five in the morning?

Only to reawake at half six...


I'm tired.
And I have 3 parties to go to. See you on the flipside.

Calling backup.

Did I mention that I am stacking coins right now so I can pay rent?

*Shakes fist at recession*

So, with our possible party-theme for tonight, sans me as I will be in an Austrian farewell. Hell, we will just say I am going to be in Austria. Wait, I am all with the fragmented sentences right now, and colloquial language...eugh.

Wait, I didn't even say what I intended to say.
We were debating about party themes and the one I think is the best is the Global Financial Crisis party.

I am my worst nightmare.

See???


SEE???

*Shakes fist at recession*

Okay, well, with my bullshit aside this is what I picked up from the market yesterday as filler for my existing ingredients so I can actually make meals. I usually wouldn't post this but I am especially proud of the fact that I bought this all with coins.

Funny that I returned with groceries, but feeling lighter.



So, in case you need it spelled out for you:

-1/2 dozen free range eggs
-1 punnet blueberries
-1 punnet cherry tomatoes
-3 white peaches
-2 blood plums, yeah, I ate one. Give me a break.
-2 zucchinis
-1 bag of carrots
-200g ricotta
-1/2 kilo of natural muesli with flaked almonds and other dried fruits

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Clearing it out.

I felt a sense of sadness and victory when I made this.

Sadness because I had no staples to actually make this properly and victory because I made it to the end of my Kewpie mayo.

No, that was a little sad too.

With all the nothing I had in the fridge, I had to somehow make food. Edible food. The problem with this is that I didn't know at the time that I had only a few eggs and no flour.

Actually, that is a lie. I had organic buckwheat and spelt flour from the market. And I guess that had to make do.

You see, I have the ingredients to make a curry or a really rockin' pasta, or even pizza if I work my flours right, but this is lunch. No, this is an after work-out lunch and all the above spells effort. I do have to say though, this just reinforces the fact that cabbage is such an underrated vegetable.



Look how sad and deflated that okonomiyaki is. I blame it on the flour and lack of eggs.

Hell, this was such a sad throw-together, I don't think I can really call it okonomiyaki. Now, that is true sadness. Funnily enough, I had dashi. I know, I know...I'm a fool, and I need to do a shop.

The saddest lunch in the world.


1 onion, halved and finely sliced
1/2 a head of cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, grated
a handful of bean shoots
a few spring onions, finely sliced

1/4 cup of dashi stock
buckwheat flour to bind. I did this by sight, but I am guessing something like 1/2 a cup
3 eggs
salt
ground red pepper

okonomiyaki sauce
kewpie mayo

Saute off the onion for a few minutes, so the raw taste doesn't kill you before adding to the other vegetables. Stir together.
Add the dashi stock and flour till you have a cake like batter, cracking the eggs in one at a time and stirring in to combine. You'd probably, ideally achieve a better result than me if you used plain flour, or had enough flour...or something.
Season with the salt, and ground red pepper.
Fry off, one at a time in a very hot pan and cover with a lid to allow the vegetables to steam through with their own moisture. Take off the lid and flip the damn thing and cook the other side. Brush the side now facing you with the okonomiyaki sauce and transfer to a plate.
Squeeze the last drops of mayo on your pancake and if you were not destitute like me, you'd be able to add bonito flakes and aonori (shredded, almost powdery seaweed) over the top.

Funnily enough I didn't consider that the buckwheat flour would make this a lot more filling than usual due to the fiber and protein content and I only made one. So, I have no idea how many this makes.

When you are

severely unemployed, it is thirty one degrees, your mother and her mother have driven you insane, you


a) watch them eat lunch
b) call your wife
c) cause havoc at David Jones
d) wear only a swimsuit out in public with Docs
e) drink ridiculously priced booze on a roof
f) all of the above, there are too many options, for fuck's sake.

If you guessed f, you actually read all of the options, and you should take a photo of yourself at this moment for posterity.

But really, when I see my father's side of the family, it is great, calm, relaxed and makes some sort of deaf sense. With my mother, all I hear are inaccuracies, uncalled for injustices, bitching and aggression.
Oh, and bullshit.
Things get lost in translation and all of a sudden I am an awful daughter who is overweight and talking only perpetuates my feeling that I am in a slapstick.

Thankfully, after calling my wife to regain my brain and watching two old women eat three dishes, I arrange to meet her at Rooftop Bar.
I look at homewares for thirty minutes because I am secretly a hundred-and-twelve and then make the slightly evil people of David Jones panic for a while by not-really-but-kind-of setting off an alarm by ripping the tag off a dry-food and slapping it on a tray of witlof that got bought by a suit.
That sated me.
But let me get this straight, I hate Rooftop.
I hate the hipsters.
I hate the crepes (they have a peking duck crepe where they list the ingredients of peking duck along with the duck, calling the duck itself "peking duck" (how fucking inaccurate), as well as serving a bolognese crepe. Um, gross).
I hate that they overcharge. Who the fuck pays $9.50 for a pint of Coopers PALE (let along sparkling)???
I hate their inattentive staff.
I hate that their inattentive staff short-changed me in my dirt-poor (literally coin stacking now) state and didn't squeeze the lime in my vodka soda.
I hate that they serve everything in plastic.

Am I done?

You're asking me how I can be unhappy with that view, and sun, and booze, and free afternoon on a Tuesday, aren't you?


Well, it is simple. I am a wench. I am a poor, poor, wench.

And I am sick of being unemployed.
The only good thing about Rooftop are the people that I run into that buy me beers in return for my mothering them in their states of poverty.


My wife got hungry so she ordered a salami Piadina. I think it was $8.50, but I could be lying. She was still hungry after this, if that is any indication of the size.

And her housemate (the random dude with the giant 'tasche, whose name I cannot reveal) ordered one with olive tapenade and then chugged half a pint to get back to work on time.

He is a champion, even though he doesn't know it is no longer November.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Still uninspired.

So, my variation of raw vegetables have now turned into chopped up vegetables with other shit in a bowl.

I can only blame these concoctions on my hours at the gym. I am convinced my body craves these things, the way that your brain says you want sweet things when you're actually thirsty. If it is any consolation, it is pretty damn tasty.

So, where has my enthusiasm gone? I know for sure that it isn't escaping out of my toes, because I don't wear thongs. It's not draining from my fingertips either, they have always been uncovered. Hell, I am so unenthused that I didn't bother really taking a photo.

And why did I chop everything so small? I don't know, for some reason I felt like eating with a spoon.

Would anyone like to pass me a beer?



Some salad thing
Serves 2-3 people

1/2 a spanish onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 handfuls of mungbean sprouts
1 handful of almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
1 large can of tuna in chili, oil drained, flaked, chilies reserved
1/2 a lemon
3 hard boiled eggs
1 head of cos lettuce
hummus

When dicing all the vegetables, make sure they're the same size. Mix together with the nuts, sprouts and the tuna. Finely chop the reserved chilies and add them to the mix. Season with salt and pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Stir and serve in bowls.
Peel and quarter the eggs, lengthways and allow an egg per person, and arrange on top of the salad. Dollop with hummus.
Take the leaves of the lettuce and use them as spoons to eat the salad with.

If you haven't just spent a couple of hours counting the calories you have just burnt, or have balls, add some oil to finish. It didn't really need it. Same goes with crusty bread/toast.

And to quote my housemate, "Eat the shit out of it."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A short Q and A

This is in the backlogs of things we do as a share house that I feel I should share with you all.


It goes a little like this when we clear out the fridge. Well, when we condense 4 into 2.




Question: Do you think we can flush ice?



Lute- Let's see!!!


















Answer: YES

Makes a champion.

When you refuse to acknowledge the day that is February 14, or are young, or have housemates which are you best friends... on Valentines day, you get fucked up.

How fucked up?

Well...

You know you are loved when your housemate takes you from a party in the early morning and say, "Wow, Jessica, we have to go. You're partied out and this can only end in you getting raped. Home time."

Thanks, Lute.

Cut to us struggling with both our keys to open the front door.

I wake up with my boots next to my head, still half wrapped in the metallic, pink, spandex dress from the night and I smell a little like a worn out hag.

It's half seven in the morning and I can't sleep anymore. Insomnia loves me. When all my friends left me, insomnia was there to cuddle me through it. When Germany left me, insomnia stayed. When everything breaks down, insomnia sticks to its guns.

Insomnia's a bitch.

So, when Lute forced himself out of bed at midday, you both decided that pho would be the only good option, seeing you both through the day and returning you to normal human status.

Totally the plate of add-ons.

Lute and I have a wonderful understanding with this plate. We halve everything, but he takes all the beanshoots and I take all the chilis.

I don't like how the beanshoots make the broth cold. I know you can ask them to steam them for you to prevent that, but I also like my beanshoots raw.
I know, I'm fussy.

The Small Special Beef. This translates to spare parts. See that wonderful tendon at the bottom and the tentacle of tripe swimming out?

Lute- I don't know how you do it.
Me- It's the treasure you dig for in the animal. Nomnomnomnomnom.

My chili tower is almost complete. I didn't feel it was right asking them for another bowl of chili. I have done it before and they look at me like I am trying to kill myself.


And, my dipping station. You see, Lute adds every single condiment he can to the bowl, and well, I don't. I have a friend that does that and she just ends up with sludge water and knows to not do it, but falls into the trap every time.


The thing with food that each thing that I eat regularly reminds me of a time or an emotion. Unfortunately with pho, it means I am either hungover or depressed.

Sigh.

Pho Dzung
The corner of Lonsdale and Russell St, Melbourne...next to that strange Mai Tai place that has been open for longer than I have been alive but NO ONE has ever been there.
Otherwise known by the round-eye friends of mine as "Cow and Chicken."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hijacked by life.

Where the hell have I been? Usually, I feel the need to blog about the things I consume, but I have been feeling a little unmoved.

No, uninspired.

Un-wowed.

Un- every word that expresses enthusiasm.

It appears that I have lost track of the week, the time and possibly people in my life. My diet since the schnitzel night has pretty much been toast, raw vegetables and dip.

And to add shame, not dip that I have made, but dip bought from the market.

Boring, plain Tzatziki. That really isn't that hard to make, at all.

It isn't that I am avoiding eating interesting things or blogging about it. On Wednesday I even went to the night market, but I only watched my friend eat a burrito, while I guzzled sangria and beer.

And really, it isn't worth taking a photo of because sangria is sangria, even if it is served to you in a plastic cup and watered down to shit with lemonade.

Hell, I did a market-shop yesterday and what have I been doing with my produce?
Nothing.
Absolutely nothing.

I rip out a rib of celery or a carrot and chew on it.
I have gotten to the point of laziness where I will toast some bread, but not bother to wash a utensil, so I just salt my bread without adding oil or butter.

My housemate asked me why I didn't at least add vegemite, and other than the fact that I prefer promite, I told him it was because I can't be fucked even using a knife, don't even talk to me about washing it.

What the hell is wrong with me?

It isn't that I am lazy, hell, I have been going to the gym every day, and on a couple of days, twice.
It isn't hormones, for those of you with your heads up your chauvinist arses.
It isn't that I am so busy I have no time for food.
It isn't that I am stressed, I am unemployed for fuck's sake.

Hmm, I am just going to blame it on me being hijacked by life.

So, I will leave you with a photo which I love because it gives you such a wrong impression simply because of perspective. It was taken a few years ago by the man who gave me the line on my rib.




But really, it isn't that bad.



That is also kind of what he reminded me of with that line he gave me, too.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday's the night.


A dear and widely loved Austrian woman is about to leave our shores. It upsets everyone involved, but consolation comes in the form of fried meats and traditional Austrian food.

Only, the thing she says is that you never really eat all of this at once, which is why everyone left clutching their stomachs or, if you're like me, still full at half two in the afternoon.

We talked about having a schnitzel night, and since the idea was planted, she decided to do it. The only problem though, is that in the end, there were 17 people and we were down many chairs and plates. Who cares though, enlist the guests as help (true dinner party style) and have rounds, or tag-teams on dishes or let those who share food normally share plates. We're all convivial here, and that is what family is for.

This is the knudel before it gets cooked. Torn bread, parmesan, onions that have previously been soaked in oil, spinach. Boiled and served with melted butter over the top and/or parmesan.

Rolled into balls by the wonderful Suzie Q.


The Austrian cooking off the first batch of schnitzel. Oh, veal...vealy goodness. I put people off outside when they asked me what veal actually was. Thankfully they're not to moral to not eat it.

Pre the cooking of the little fuckers.

This kid knows how to have fun.

Who would have known that he would be the son of these people?

Um, in case you didn't notice, it got kind of cold outside. So, when you have seventeen people in your house, you give them ANYTHING to keep warm. Not that I am complaining, I am the queen of onesies. Although, wearing this makes me feel like I should be fighting the fires in the bush.
The funniest thing though, it looks like it fits well, but I have 2 jackets, a bodysuit, jeans and a scarf on underneath.

Oh, and it fit over my boots. DaVa took a photo of me readjusting my crotch, like a real man...but I think I will spare you. The most wonderful thing was when people accidentally took photos with a flash with me in the frame. Blind much?

Kaiserschmarren/ Kaiserschmarr'n.

Read also: dessert.
Read also: The emperor's pancakes.
Read also: (In our fair Austrian's pronounciation) Err, it translates to the emperoooooor's Mish-Maaaaaarsh, or nonsense.
Read also: very fucking delicious.

Basically, we were ordered to separate 16 eggs, beat the egg whites manually till stiff, fold it into the egg yolks with sugar and sour cream and whisk in flour till it was a little thicker than cream. Add saltanas and fold in the egg whites.

Then, it was cooked like pancakes, filling up each pan, being flipped and cut up, kept warm in the oven and dusted with icing sugar and served with an apple sauce which was made the day before.


And for your viewing pleasure:




Oh, and just to show you how ridiculous the night was in the end of it all:


video