Sunday, May 19, 2013

Noticed in dispatches this week

1.       ‘We like football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars’...because we are forced fed this rubbish and block any attempt from anyone who wants to offer alternatives. This on top of tv channels pulling the Greenpeace anti coke ad continues to show that it’s money that matters.

2.       Time for some non violent agrarian disobedience I reckon.  Get those guerrilla gardeners knocking up some Monsanto seed bombs and tossing them out rail carriage windows deep into rural Oz.

3.       Revenge is a dish best eaten cold when it comes to cockroaches. I think I have somewhere an article about how much insect material we eat unknowingly already and I never met a grasshoppper I did’nt think would look better grilled, salted and chillied and crunching between my teeth, legs protruding tellingly from my lips.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Goan Lime Pickle

I made this once a long time ago and thought I had lost the recipe. It's an excellent Goan Lime Pickle courtesy of Jennifer Fernandes from 100 Easy-to-Make Goan Dishes, published Vikas Publishing House in New Delhi. I picked it up on one of my trips to India along with other local cookbooks that I find are usually so much better than those done for foreign custom.

30 limes
a good handful or two of salt (I like rock or sea salt flakes)
4 tbsp dried red chillies
2 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp mustard seed (black)
a handful of curry leaves
2 1/2 cups white vinegar

4 cloves garlic
5 cm ginger
10 green chillies
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp salt
2 1/2 cups oil (I used half sesame and half vegetable)

Cut the limes into quarters, salt them, put them on a tray or plate with the flesh side up, and leave them to dry in the sun or a warm place for 3-4 days or longer depending on the weather. You want them still a little fleshy but heading toward dry.

Powder the dry chillies, turmeric, cumin and mustard seed. Chop the curry leaves, garlic and ginger fine.

Put the oil in a frying pan and when hot add the curry leaves, garlic and ginger and saute for a few minutes being careful not to get the garlic burnt.

Chop the green chillies fine and add them and the ground spices to the frypan and fry for a few minutes again. The ground spices may stick to the bottom of the pan so keep stirring the mix, scraping the bottom of the pan from time to time.

Take the limes and put them into a bowl with the vinegar and wash off the salt.

Put the limes, the salty vinegar and the sugar into the frypan and keep frying for 15 minutes till the gravy is thick and the limes are quite soft but still intact.

Cool the mixture and bottle it.

You can eat the pickle straight away.

Here's a picture of my pickle.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Musician 'rider' meals

Exactly what the title says - masterful photos.

Femivore Furore

  “Avakian, for one, is tired of hearing people moralize about the joy of slow cooking. “There’s this romanticization of the family in which women do the nurturing, and Pollan is terrible about this,” she says. “Because it’s a very scary world, people want things to be the way they were. Or the way they never were.”...The historically inaccurate blaming of feminism for today’s food failings implies that women were, are, and should be responsible for cooking and family health. And, unsurprisingly, women are the ones who feel responsible. 

The title of the Emily Matchar article from which this quote comes - Is Michael Pollan a sexist pig?  - and the context in which the question is raised in the article will certainly have me looking at his new book through a different lens. I had no idea he had said such manifestly sexist things about women and feminism, nor that his was only one of a number of voices, both male and female, that have been raised blaming feminists for everything from obesity to agribusiness. The stupefying reductionism of this line of invective is, well, stupefying.
But the article is about more than Pollan. It's a response to an 2010 article by Peggy Orenstein The Femivore's Dilemma  which put forward the term 'femivore'  to describe women who have 'left the work force to care for kith and kin' turning back to home and 'feeding their families clean, flavorful food; reducing their carbon footprints; producing sustainably instead of consuming rampantly'.

Matchar, and others - like Brittany Shoot - are highly critical of this article and others that romanticise domestic labour - and let's face it, anyone who has raised chooks or made jam knows that it is laborious - as empowering of women.

Not surprisingly, I have great sympathy with these critics.