i think that the coolest tv chef ever must surely be geoff jansz.
Monthly Archives: September 2004
what better way to start the week than plunder the magazine cupboard for another stack of old magazines to cast upon the steadily growing pile by the door. after a lengthy bout of procrastination, the cull finally began in earnest mid-last week.
started off with the “wallpaper”s and “the face”s, which were easier than i expected. and then a stack of those trendy, purposeless magazines out of LA or new york — easy. then the “esquire”s, which were a bit harder because there are actual articles in there that i found myself re-reading, including a trio of david sedaris stories, and a 1999 interview with osama bin ladin, and a bunch of randomness by ted from “queer eye”, like the one where he gets a fragrance made up especially for him, called “ted” . still, nothing i couldn’t add to the pile by the door.
this morning though, i have unearthed a couple boxes of ten year old “spin”s. the stacks of pulpy paper covered in grainy grungy photographs of kurt, the stories about river phoenix dying on the sidewalk, the introduction of alanis, the reviews of “pulp fiction” and “bakesale”. so now i’ve got “bakesale” on the CD player as i speedread courtney love’s lollapalooza diary and bloody hell it’s like a trip down memory lane.
a few days ago the boy was mocking “all those memories” but he has little idea of what’s tied up in these boxes of “spin”s. it’s all about the waking up in the middle of the night to pearl jam songs on the radio, the university work experience at a pop (culture) magazine, the design school major projects about rock music and junk food, the graduating and getting a job at the pop (culture) magazine, the shameless ripping off of other magazines for design tips… the design award, the gradual boredom and disillusionment with working on a magazine, the exiting the industry, the occasional yearning to be moving those slabs of words and pretty pictures around a page again…
oh happy day. because i only had $7 in my wallet yesterday, and wanted to get some DVDs and a chicken kebab for dinner, and didn’t want to walk all the way to the ATM in the dark, i ended up standing in line at the supermarket with a large paper bag of mushrooms (and two punnets of strawberries and a bar of chocolate), just so i could get some cash out at the register.
which meant that not only am i now halfway through “bowling for columbine”, which is much less hysterical and boorish than i thought it would be, and that flush with cash i was able to splash out on a bottle of turkish sour cherry juice to accompany my extremely succulent chicken kebab, but also that when i woke up this morning, there was a large bag of mushrooms in the fridge ready to be fried up into my favourite breakfast of all: mushrooms on toast. mmm…
hem. yesterday, after years of gazing up at the maple syrup shelf in the supermarket, i finally decided to spend $6.99 on 250ml of real canadian maple syrup rather than $3.99 on half a litre of made in australia maple-flavoured syrup. and the thing is, i think i might prefer the cheap stuff; it tastes more mapley.
still, the french toast and boysenberry yoghurt didn’t seem to mind being drenched in it this morning.
yoghurt-buying conversation, sunday
me: mmm… that passionfruit yoghurt is so pretty [indeed it had a golden swirl throughout, and was studded with beady black seeds], but the boysenberry looks tasty [i like the look of a thick layer of pulpilicious purple berry pooled at the bottom of the container].
boy: get the boysenberry. it’s always a tasty berry.
me: i don’t think there are any berries that are not good and tasty.
boy: well. there’s poisonberry.
during what was akin to an archaeological dig, i unearthed a small pink carton in the pantry the other day. i think i bought it in a supermarket in singapore at the start of the year, but really, your guess is as good as mine. it was only just past its use-by date so i boiled up the requisite litre of water, dissolved the pink powder and some refrigeration time later… guava pudding!
so light and tangy. so agreeably pink.
it’s good to have a plan, because then you can be quietly pleased when everything falls into place. in this case, tuesday, the nori rolls were a perfect balance of salty and sour and sweet and umami (there is no place for bitterness in my life), “donnie darko” (apart from the arty digi-montages) was still good, and the coco loco mocha freezer (while too damn watery and ice chippy in texture) was a powerful chocolatey force. for about ten minutes into the film, the number of people in the cinema was one — me, and then sadly four teenagers arrived and took out the back row, and giggled when cherita chen gets told “go back to china, bitch”, and received phone calls on their mobiles, and giggled some more.
having a plan with a bit of leeway on either side is especially good, because then you can duck into kmart before for a pair of new underwear, and pop into harris farm after for beans and asparagus and a tub of raspberry yoghurt.
completely unplanned was the sudden waking at 2.30 this morning, the lying awake for an hour before rolling out of bed and the resigned heading downstairs with a handful of pillows and “the new yorker” food issue. having over the last couple of days already read about the struggles to develop a superior ketchup and some guy’s obsession with pasta, 3am seemed a perfectly alright time to learn about the commercial production of salad greens.
it took … until 1989 … to mass produce the first retail bagged salads. salad spinners were perfected, shredding knives sharpened, battalions of chemists subcontracted to create the perfect polymers. today’s bags are a triumph of practical ingenuity. their plastic is made up of five to ten layers, each with a different function. some are designed to make the package shiny or crinkly, others to carry print well. together, they have to be just permeable enough to keepthe bag’s artificial atmosphere in balance — the wrong ink alone can suffocate a salad. as the lettuce sits on the shelf, the gases in the bag are constantly consumed, released and replaced. oxygen, nitrogen and carbon-dioxide molecules bond with the polymers on one side of the plastic and are released on the other, diffusing from high concentrations to low. every type of salad requires a different type of bag, tailored to its respiration rate by gas chromatography and computer analysis. every bag is a miniature biosphere.
from salad days: how a lowly leaf became a high-end delicacy
by burkhard bilger
yesterday, at a luncheon in which everyone at the table turned out to be with child (way to go, my fertile friends!), what i ordered off the specials board was a grilled haloumi salad. it wasn’t just slabs of grilled salty cheese; there were lightly dressed baby rocket and mint leaves, cucumber ribbons, fresh beetroot, roasted eggplant, and on top, a dollop of herby yoghurt. there were also two bits of bread which in the end were used to wipe the plate clean.
oh cook + archie’s, i am privileged to be fed by you.
ok, shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but in two hours i’m gonna skive off werk, and walk out into the blue and sunshine down to broadway, where i will procure two nori rolls — one beef teriyaki (or maybe eel) and the other most likely some sort of vegetarian option (the one with the pickles and shredded inari tofu is pretty tasty) — and perhaps a raspberry mocha frappucino, and settle myself into the cool and dark of “donnie darko: the director’s cut”. yeah.
breakfast time, when you can’t be arsed doing mushrooms on toast (and there are no mushrooms in the house anyway), and when you haven’t the time to go up the street for pancakes, and when you’ve already had chocolate sprinkles on bread-and-butter twice this week already, and when the kitchen is devoid of sweet pastries, it is perfectly acceptable to open up a tin of beans. mmm… beans.
the first day of spring brought such bad things as:
1. the lovely and amazing cafe zoe up the road having black bean and spinach soup on the menu, but no longer in the kitchen, because although the winter menu had changed to the spring menu, they hadn’t printed them up yet. in truth, this was only a bit sad for a little while because the ensuing second breakfast of a spinach and poached egg english muffin with grilled-in-butter mushrooms and a mesclun salad more than redeemed the situation.
2. nellie flying back to new york, which was such a sad bad thing that we began saying “ok… well…” and “goodbye” yesterday afternoon so that we’d be used to it by the time today came around. in addition we had to have first breakfasts (actually the second course of first breakfast) of ice cream sundaes to cheer ourselves up.
the sundaes were composed of a perfunctory layer of tim tam ice cream, strawberries, vanilla ice cream, strawberries, more vanilla ice cream and strawberries, crushed lebanese date biscuits, vanilla ice cream, shaved chocolate and strawberries.
3. coming out of two and a half hours of birth class to discover that it is raining, and arriving home to find all the laundry that was oh so close to sundried is now close to sopping wet. at least now i know how to swaddle a baby.
4. my sister not being here.