Posts Tagged ‘Onions’

Man with a Coke and 5 KM a day

May 11, 2021

 

IMG_1711Onion soup

Onion soup (almost)

To try and make the day as fruitful as possible I usually go and shop daily. If not to Aldi’s Supermarket then to a Food-mall. Today’s visit to Aldi delivered the usual reward which often goes together with being alert.  I had filled my bag with some smoked sliced Tuna, two bananas, two boxes of paper tissues and a packet of green snappy beans. Today, I also went to the food hall and treated myself on a take away garlic, soya beef with rice.

But sticking to the Aldi shop and the satisfying experience. As I queued up near the shopping conveyer belt, I noticed a strange event involving a rather forbidden looking male. Most ‘forbidden’ looking people are often males. He was wearing a helmet, a scarf around his neck, sunglasses and a face mask. He was obvious very worried about getting contaminated by other shoppers. One could not see much of his face. He was tall and of normal build and carrying a backpack. If anything he looked almost athletic. So far so good, all is normal and still within the range of acceptance! However his total purchase was a medium bottle of Coke for which he was queuing. To my overt critical mind it looked a bit odd.

Why does a man so cloaked and in obvious deliberate incognito garb go through the trouble just to buy a Coke? He looked fit. Do fit people drink Coke? Anyway, as he reached the end of the queue the cashier asked him to open his backpack. The masked man obliged and there was nothing to worry about. No stolen goods nor a hand grenade. He paid by card! As I finished paying for my goods, I went outside and noticed the incognito male jump on a bicycle. Normal! Still, a bottle of Coke? Fitness. It doesn’t add up.

After that experience I walked to the food court to get a lunch which I often buy from a Chinese take away. His food includes a very generous supply of half raw pan fried vegetables. I chose beef with fried rice with the vegetables. So, really a good deal. I eat half and refrigerate the rest for next day or sometimes have it for dinner. Sadly, as the years go by, I notice the stealthy rise of bigger and large people and alarmingly, including now young overweight people, even children in those food halls. Fat shaming doesn’t do much but neither does ignoring. Many countries more progressive than Australia at least try and tackle the problem by education and taxing sugar, ban TV advertisements promoting unhealthy foods. Those food malls give a good idea of where we are heading when nothing gets done. More and more end up in wheelchairs. Diabetes and amputations. Not a cheerful prospect. Coke has a lot to answer for!

IMG_1893

Mussels

Any possible adverse results from my habit of take away Chinese food I alleviate by aiming to walk at least 5 Kms daily. If by about 9 PM I haven’t made the 5 Km I just walk around my generously sized lounge, dining and kitchen areas which gives me 48  meters each round. I keep walking till I have reached a bit over 5 kms recognizing that a step might be somewhat less than a meter.

My Jack Russell, ‘Milo’ looks worried.

  

 

French Onion Soup.

March 23, 2021

IMG_1711Onion soup

These are real onions.

Before anyone thinks about making this soup I would like to stress that the main ingredients are onions. Without them I cannot see how a genuine French onion soup can be made. Going around the shops I have noticed that increasingly foods are being substituted by artificial ingredients. Manufacturers are  following demands, often by the newly-wedded, for instant foods that preferably can be put into squeezable tubes, not unlike toothpaste. Cheeses, some vegetables such as carrots, cauliflowers and herbs are now available in tubes that can be squeezed onto plates making for instant meals. I have yet to see onions in tubes but no doubt scientifically bent manufacturers are feverously working on that.

The secret apart from using real onions is in the stock and the art of caramelizing the sliced real onions. I peeled and sliced 6 brown onions and in a heavy red coloured cast iron French pot slowly cooked them with about 60 gram of unsalted butter for about 40 minutes, till the onions got that golden brown colour. I then added sliced garlic and thyme. (not from a tube!) My first attempt then by adding a Campbell 1 litre of beef stock and cooking it slowly for another hour was a bad mistake. It tasted too salty.

After almost two hours of stirring, cooking and not having Annette to console me, this disappointment was not easy to bear but I reared up and got an inspiration which you readers might remember if you too are making a faulty French onion soup. I took a colander and drained the salty liquide into the garden thereby saving the cooked onions.  No doubt the salvia will benefit from this added real fertilizer. I then rushed over to the Farmers Market in Bowral through storms, flooded roads and severe tempest and bought a Maggie Beer beef stock. Maggie Beer is an Australian food Ikon well known for her stocks and brilliant recipes. I added this new stock to the caramelized onions and added some bay leaves and this time it was perfect.

of flooded plains

Of flooded plains

Of course on hindsight, it would have been better to make own stock by slow cooking a piece of cow with herbs and spices. Anyway, I put the French onion soup in the fridge together with a dozen rock oysters and a bottle of French champagne and now feverishly hope for the weather to turn sunny and thus enabling my darling Annette come and drive here, to sidle up next to me sampling the soup with gruyere cheese on toasted French bread, sip champagne while sliding the oysters down. And then some more!

It will be heaven on earth!

 

 

 

 

 

Terms of endearment for the fungi.

May 14, 2019

IMG_0094 a funghi

Fungi.

As I was trying to get into my car I noticed what I thought was a bag on onions lying in the patch of land next to ours. Have the neighbours come good and made a sign of contrition? You might remember the episode of the stolen cyclamen some years back now. Are they in a kind of mood for reconciliation by giving us a bag of onions? I rushed inside to tell Helvi about this bag of onions lying about. She, in her usual calm way, said’ ‘are you mad?’ Why would anyone leave onions for us as a gift? I said; ‘have a look.’ Which we duly did.

And the above photo is what we found on closer inspection. No onions but something just as beautiful, but I suspect, less edible.

https://www.anbg.gov.au/fungi/classification-names-identification.html

After establishing they were not onions I tried to identify this lovely group of fungi. Nothing is ever simple, and if you click on above link you will find out why. It is a world on its own. I bet there are people dedicated enough to spend their entire life studying fungi.

It really is an amazing world out there!

For those interested in onions, here is a picture of what they really look like.

Image result for onions

 

 

Mexican Boiled Bull’s head taco, yummy.

March 31, 2018

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I thought I would tear myself away from cricket and yellow plastic tape. We know what our PM Turnbull said about it all. “We all work … “We’re very quick to damn nations that cheat in any way or go beyond the rules. “It’s black and white. This clearly is against the laws of the game and we’ve just had our national captain admit they sat down, premeditated, pre-planned a way to cheat. “I’m not going to accept behaviour that is dishonest. “It needs condemnation”. ” A shocking error of judgement.”

Now with the thirtieth poll out soon with 29 of those polls negative to the present Government and in favour of the opposition, we shall see if Father Turnbull will also stick to his mantra of honour, respect etc., and resign. After all, that was the reason given by Turnbull why the previous PM had to step down. Mr Abbot had lost 30 polls. It will be untenable if Turnbull does not step down. The present furore over the cricket will be nothing compared if Turnbull does not step down.

Here is something that will restore calm and serenity to our nation. During times of disquiet and tension, eating a nice meal is always welcome.

I was surprised and much relieved about this lovely recipe of boiled bull’s head food, wrapped inside a taco shell. The recipe comes complements of the well know author Lily Brett.

  1. Get a nice large, virile, and proud looking bull’s head (preferably from a bull reared on the plains of central NSW and having covered at least 150 heifers),  and boil it in a large container. The horns must be kept on.

2. Have at least one kilo of brown onions and garlic to taste, mixed in.

3. Some salt, lots of dry coriander and chillies.

Travelling through Mexico most boiled bull’s heads look much the same, but taste can vary enormously. Most people queue up at their favourite stalls. The boiled head is stripped bare including its eyes, cheeks, tongue, brain and outer skin. The resulting bits and pieces are wrapped in the tortillas or taco shells.

One can also order the tortillas with specific parts of the bull. You can order bull’s head eye tortilla, or just tongue taco. The choices are really endless but it is a much favoured dish by the Mexicans. They eat it with side dishes of lemon wedges, chilli, tomatoes cucumber. At the end there is nothing left of the bull’s head except some white bones, teeth and perhaps the horn.

Try it.