Friday, July 16, 2010

More from Grandma's cookbooks

WOW! I'll say it again, WOW!

I now know how to make pastry - and who knew it was that friggen easy?!?!
This is the best book from the lot of cookbooks I was given (the scary thing is mine isn't in colour!)

One of the most notable things about this book is that it is made to be a complete book of every recipe you need to know to feed your family and make whatever you want - but there's a catch!

Something that I have been pondering on with our confusion about food, in Australia we don't stick to cooking from one culture.

We dabble in English, Australian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, French, Thai, get my drift?

No wonder our cupboards are filled to bursting point with 'jars of this' and 'packets of that', are we trying to do too much?
My thoughts are, for everyday family cooking - pick a culture and stick to it! One thing I noticed from this cookbook is the continuity of ingredients from one dish to the next. They are just rearranged in varying techniques depending on what you are making.
While this would have been an English based cookbook, there are basic curries (probably because of England's occupation of India) and pasta (which really made its way into *everywhere*)
What it does not try to capture, like many modern cookbooks, is the nuances of the region's cooking, like the more complex curries and dishes from India.

Is this where we have gone wrong? Are we trying to do too much?

We are so time poor these days why do we try to cook Thai food like a home grown Thai person would? I know Thai food is delicious but does having your pantry 'bulging' at the hinges to the point that when you come to cook Thai food next time the ingredients you bought are out of date make it worthwhile to keep 80 different cultures in your pantry?

While reflecting on this I was thinking about Indian and Chinese foods - have you noticed that they utilise similar ingredients for every recipe? The same spices, sauces, vegetables and dry goods come up recipe after recipe - we are trying to do to much - the turnover in the pantry is too slow and we are wasting food just because we have too much choice in food cultures

If you want to feed your family wholefoods (vegetables, grains and meats) then I for one are going to 'pare back' on the different cultural foods - it is NOT because I don't like them, but because it is costing this family too much because it is expensive to waste food.
We should know how to do our own culture's food well, you only have to go to Italy, China, or India to see that they DO their foods with expertise and ease

Keep it simple - pick a culture and stick to it! Branch out to differring cultures by dining out or on special occasions, borrowing ingredients from a non-savvy friend ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grandma's recipe books

I was quizzing my 86 year old grandmother (who is/was the queen of kitchen management and cooking) about how she used to make her gorgeous lamb curry - but being an old lady (and actually knowing how to cook) she told me that she can't remember exactly and besides "it used to change depending on the ingredients I had available", Urgh!

Damn you people who can cook!

All was not lost though...because she doesn't cook very much anymore she said she probably has a couple of cookbooks in the cupboard that I can have....there's me thinking "yeah whatever probably crap ones, I have tonnes of cookbooks each one having 'one' good recipe!"
So about a week later I am there for her birthday and suddenly remember the promise of cookbooks! On hands and knees trawling through the back of the cupboard I come across some *uuuuuuugly!* looking cookbooks, "thanks grandma" I say with as much excitement as I can muster and take them home


They are *faaaaantastic*!!!!!! Needless to say grandma got a much more excited telephone call to say "thank you VERY much"!

They are filled with 'normal' recipes, using stuff from the cupboard and no 'one teaspoon' from a large jar of processed condiments! Oh relief - this is *exactly* what I have been looking for!

Be prepared for many, many more recipes to feed your family!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adelaide Showgrounds Farmer's Market

Well, what can I say?!? I have died and gone to food shopping heaven!
My sister our friend and our babies all ventured out one fine sunday morning to this market that I had heard about on the grapevine but had never visited (right down to the strange fact that I have been on their mailing list for over a year!)
What we found was a beautifully organised food shopping experience.
The entrance area served breakfasts/lunches and coffee with families and friends eating together and chatting - wow I couldn't wait to get in the door, this place is popular! so it *must* be good!

The first stall I encounter is selling Australian native bush flavoured ice cream, flavours like macadamia and lemon myrtle mmmmmmmmmmm *drool*
The next is selling organic wines....yes we got to taste them all! Next is homemade cordial with the *exact* same ingredients as my recipe (click on condiment recipes)
The entire market *is* wholefoods - some organic others just homegrown and homemade with ingredients you would find in a human's pantry :)

I did my weekly shopping and it was surprisingly cheap! One of the big benefits of heading out to a farmers market - especially as a family - it you have the ability to share bulk purchases
Crystal and I went halves in a 30 tray of organic eggs with worked out to about $3.50 for 15 eggs, now for organic eggs that *is* a bargain!

Us girls returned home to watch a scary movie and polish off out latest organic wine purchases


Monday, July 12, 2010

sorry for the delay

So sorry for the hiatus I have been finishing a minor thesis for uni and ment all my computer time was spent not blogging!
I apologise and will be much more regular now I am on holidays!!!
Please enjoy some new recipes.....