Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What a pity we can't talk about Marky Mark every day

Mate, I am just going to talk about non-vegetarian things for a minute or two, I hope it doesn't gross you out too much.

So you know how some cookbooks recommend forming a relationship with your local fishmonger/butcher/green grocer so you can learn more about your produce and get them to do special things for you like clean, gut and descale your fish right in front of you or debone a joint of meat for you or do something special with your fruit and veggies that I cant really think of right now? Well I am totally making this happen for myself with the fishmonger and butcher on Nicholson Street. The fruit shop people are also very nice, but there are fewer opportunities for meaningful interaction at a fruit shop. "Do you have any Dill? I couldn't see any with the other herbs." You can only take things so far in a fruit shop

Anyway, I had a very enjoyable encounter at the butcher last night and I think our relationship really turned a corner. First of all, let me say that I love this particular butcher because they make hot salami that is out of this world and the men who work there are nice old Italian men or young enthusiastic boys. So lovable.

So I arrived just as they were packing up, but they let me in anyway because they are very nice. The young fellas were busily packing away all the meat and one of the older guys asked me what I was looking for. I said steak. I was planning on having Aussie meal you see. But as I was saying it I thought gee, it would be kind of good if I had something leftover that I could have for dinner tomorrow night too. The butcher sensed I was faltering. He said "how many people are you cooking for?" and I told him it was just me and then he said "how many meals do you want to get out of it" and I thought YES, this dude is totally on my wavelength. Anyway, he went out the back and brought out this lovely big bit of rump and told me that it was nice and tender and would be delicious roasted. I don't remember what else he said because I was already diving into my bag for money, because he had me at "how many meals do you want to get out of it?". While he was wrapping it up for we talked about Easter and holidays and I told him about NYC and he was excited for me. When I left he said "good luck to you!" and I thought yes! good luck to me and good luck to you too old timer.

I rushed home to make my reconceptualised Aussie meal. As you well know Mate, for me an Aussie meal usually consists of steak, iceberg lettuce salad and oven fries with a little houses of parliament on the side. Last night it consisted of rare roast beef, roast potatoes, beetroot and goats cheese salad and a horseradish and rocket sauce on the side. I would love to show you a photograph but I was so busy having my mind blown by it that I forgot to take one! Sorry.

It really was super delicious. AND I got to use two of my favourite kitchen items when making it. First, my beloved red griddle pan.

I love you, red griddle pan. You are made from cast iron and you are heavy in a pleasing way. I have cooked many steaks on you and chargrilled many vegetables on you. Last night, I used you to sear the beef so that it had nice grill lines on the outside and stayed juicy and delicious on the inside when roasted.
Which brings me to another beloved item.
My heavy based roasting tin with removable roasting rack.

You make roasting so very enjoyable and I love you very much. I like your rack. It allows me to make delicious roast potatoes, because the fat from the meat drips on to the potatoes underneath and basically makes them delicious. I took you with me to Mum and Dad's house on Christmas day so I could cook the pork shoulder inside you. My Mum loved you so much she bought one of your cousins to make her very own.

I really love both of those things, and it was great to use them when making fancy Aussie meal last night.
While I'm on the topic, perhaps I will introduce you to a couple of my other favorite (kitchen) things. While I didn't use them last night, I love them a lot and would like my love to go on the record.

Say hello to small saucepan.

This little guy used to belong to my Mum and has been around since the year dot. It is the perfect size for: soft boiling an egg; making pasta sauce for one person, melting butter, frying onion and garlic, etc. etc. etc. Such a handy little guy.

And let me introduce you to this lovely pot.

Isn't she a beauty? This is the pot in which I make all my chutney. It has also been around for yonks, and in fact was acquired in the 1980's via Coles New World in Elsternwick. Back in the day they had a system where you would get tokens when you bought at Coles New World. They looked like little stamps. Once you had collected enough, you could exchange them for things. This pot was one of those things. The whole collecting tokens and exchanging them for nice pots with flowers on the side captured my young imagination in that way things do when you are little. It was such a great thing! You collect tokens (which in itself is awesome fun when you are little) and then you swap them for a pretty thing! What an awesome idea!

Da, my Mum's mum, cottoned on to the fact that I was captivated by this concept and collected tokens for me whenever she could. I'm pretty sure she invented reason to go to Coles New World because in fact, her house was closer to Tuckerbag, and yet her collection of tokens grew and grew. Eventually we had enough to get the pot and OMG Mate, OMG was that an awesome day. My whole childhood I look at the pot and thought Wow! look what you can get if you just collect enough tokens! Now I look at it just think about how much I love it.

This final item is brand new. It's actually never been used. It's a whistling kettle.

Isn't it lovely? Midbro and Mrs. Midbro gave it to me for my birthday this year and I love it so much I don't want to bust it out until I move in to my little flat later in the year. It's not that I worry my housies will disrespect it, it's just that I love it and want to keep it all to myself. That's normal, right?

How nice are all of my things?!

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