Archive for April, 2014

Bonus time

April 29, 2014

unorthodox church

After 10 (it felt like 10 – maybe only 8 or 9) carless weeks, I finally bought one. I could have managed without for longer, but the pressure from D was mounting: he will not ride a bicycle.

This meant we could leave town for the ANZAC weekend. We went up to Merriwa (via Broke) on the first night, and spent the second night outside Bylong. The above is a little bit of what probably counts as bush humour at a decommissioned church.

On the way back we looked into the Widden Valley – the name sounds like nursery talk to me. There is some serious private wealth there associated with horses. We came home via the Putty Road.

Whilst we were away, I turned 54. The next day I reached the age when my mother died. I have now outlived her.

My elder sister and I agree that we count time after this as a bonus.

April Fool?

April 13, 2014

I am trying to extend my cooking repertoire. Even if I kill myself rather than keep working until 70, there are too many meals left before the occasion is likely to arise to keep eating just the same stuff, however delicious.

But it is all such a lot of trouble. Sometimes it takes me a while to get going.

I saw a recipe for Romesco Sauce. I was intrigued. I didn’t have all the ingredients. One of them was sherry.

There is no longer any Australian sherry: it is all (in fine print) “Fortified wine” and (in large print) “Cream” “Dry” “Sweet” etc. The real stuff starts at about $27: I’m not going to cook with that. I bought a local tipple.

It turned out I was wrong. Esoterically, sherry vinegar, rather than sherry, was called for. I’m not going to make a special trip to DJs or The Expensive Ingredient for that: doubtless it will be priced commensurately with sherry. I see other recipes call for red wine vinegar and that’s what I shall use.

I went back on the net and found the recipe. It has been adapted by Richard Cornish from a recipe by the man from El Bulli. There is a note at the end:

CORRECTION: The recipe for romesco sauce from Ferran Adria’s The Family Meal Family Cooking reprinted by Good Food on April 1 seems to contain an error. The original recipe calls for 420ml of sherry vinegar. We recommend a more suitable amount to be 40ml. This has been changed in the text.

420/”about 40″ looks suspiciously like one-and-a-half ounces. What’s the bet that Richard Cornish’s adaptation was mostly simply a matter of converting the measurements to metric which came out wrong by a factor of 10?

That would be pretty disappointing if you’d roasted a few capsicums and a tomato, processed them together with hazelnuts (which you’d also cooked) and some breadcrumbs and some fresh thyme and finally splashed out on/with 420 mls of sherry vinegar.

Lucky I was a bit slow on the uptake.

In the meantime, I confess we have drunk the “sherry.”