Friday, 29 August 2008


So where has the kitchen been recently? I’m still working my way through Ovid; I’ve managed to get past the part where he suddenly takes a detour into incest and female homosexuality. Interesting to note that in Ovid’s world it is OK for boys to love each other and gods to marry their sisters but it is wrong for women to love each other or desire their brothers! However the way that this world view does not sit comfortably with our own more “enlightened” 21st century views has been good for me as at it has prompted me to question my own blithe assumptions on a range of subjects about what is right, wrong or socially acceptable in this world.

When theoretical philosophy hasn’t been claiming my attention I have been in the kitchen. We did manage to steal a BBQ last Saturday. It was excellent to still get one more chance to eat out as the year wanes before us. Indeed our lucky and opportunistic al fresco dining was balanced by a Sunday indoors watching the rain come down. We cooked some steak, some pork skewers and some prawns. The pork was marinated in some soy, garlic and chili and worked very well. The meal was topped off with corn which is a staple at our BBQ’s as the Boss is very fond of it.

I seem to be drifting towards voluntary quasi-vegetarianism which is an unusual place for a lover of meat. I only ever order my steak rare or blue and see no problem with killing an animal in order to eat it. If that is what it takes I can do that. Meat is meat there is nothing wrong with being willing to kill the animal you want to eat. However having set up that straw man we can return to my growing vegetarianism. It should be clear by now that it isn’t ethically driven, it is more to widen how I see food and what I want to cook. I make no claims for any systematic exploration either, I am afloat in the stream and going with the flow, my journey is no more than that.

So what have we been cooking? We seem to be working towards a cycle of pasta, potato, pulses and rice which gives us a variety of things to play with. This week we have enjoyed vegetable moussaka and a fine miso soup using home made dashi stock and some carrots from the garden that needed thinning out. I’ve commented before on how soups can make excellent quick evening meals as they can be as chunky or as light as you want them to be. We made so much Moussaka that it was good enough to eat two nights on the trot and then we played with some sweet potatoes and lentils as detailed below.

Although last night was movie night and I did want to start going again we never made it to as the weather was atrocious and by the time I had finished work, been drowned riding my bicycle home and dried myself out I just wasn’t motivated enough to go out to the cinema.

So despite all I’ve said about not eating meat above this is what we pulled together the following elements to make a satisfying dinner for 2.

*2 small baked sweet potatoes
*About 150ml of red and green lentils cooked and seasoned with salt, pepper and butter
*A small frying pan of mushrooms and bacon sautéed with some chili, cayenne pepper and oil.
I think we will have a lazy weekend, I’m certainly feeling the need for it. Although there are plans afoot to try and make some duck spring rolls or something along similar lines.

By the way one thing I discovered last week was triangular tofu. It is of course just a case of cutting up a normal block of tofu in a clever way but it adds something to appearance of the dish and that is also good for the soul. If it looks good you will think it is good and it will be good. Positive claptrap as the boss would say.

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