Since I resume my higher learning on Monday, I thought it only appropriate to begin with a Shakespearian quote. Having said that though, enrolling was a complete and utter mission. Tim is rather smug as he got fully enrolled on like, the first day, while I dithered about which classes I was going to do. Which meant that yesterday I had to run around the campus getting papers signed. And then I had to dash into a campus in town…and then back…up fifty million staircases and hilly inclines (I am barely exaggerating.) Words don’t really do my 3-hour turmoil justice though. Instead, say it with doodles.
Above: The A-B line represents what the Uni enrollment office told me I would have to do. Go from A to B, get my paper signed, and get out. The line below represents what actually happened. Once I’d finished stumbling blindly about the hinterland, sweating madly in the midday sun and growing ever more panicked and horribly aged…I had just enough energy to make dinner.
And yes, I know, I should have been more organised, but the uni system really is dreadful.
Above: Tim arrived safely back from Napier…with a very burnt nose. I am extremely annoyed, especially as I see a lot of terrifying information at work about the effects of sunburn. I really like Tim’s nose, (it is indeed a fine example of that particular facial organ) and don’t want to see it being gouged off his face by melanoma. Off soapbox, but long story short – wear your sunscreen!
I was so hot and bothered after the day’s exploits that I felt like eating something temperature-appropriate. So, I decided to make home-spun kebabs. Not like the pork satay ones I made the other night – as you can see in the below post – but the sort you might perhaps ill-advisedly consume after a night getting trolleyed. I can’t exactly say this is an original idea – surely everyone knows that marinating lamb in yoghurt makes it deliciously tender – but it goes as follows. It is very simple – mostly a bit of chopping. Sobriety is probably recommended while making these.
Homemade Lamb Kebabs:
200g diced lamb
125mls thick plain yoghurt
1 T cumin seeds
1 t ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
– In a shallow container, mix the above ingredients, cover, and leave to marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight (but I only did it for three hours because I got home so late and it still tasted fine!)
Place 1/3 cup burghal wheat in a bowl (I used this great organic stuff I got for Christmas) and cover with boiling water. Leave to sit while you get on with other things: grating carrot, dicing cucumber, chopping up tomato if you like.
Once the burghal wheat has absorbed the water, (drain off any if necessary), heat a non-stick pan. You don’t want much yoghurt going into the pan, but I haven’t figured out a good way to do this yet – I suppose you could wipe the meat on some Handy towel or something. Sear the lamb and let it cook through.
Now, assemble your kebab – lay a soft wrap/tortilla on a plate, spoon over a little burghal, some diced cucumber, some carrot, the meat, and finally spoon over some garlic yoghurt sauce, made by mixing 125mls thick plain yoghurt with plenty of chopped garlic and coriander. Wrap it up as you like, although I always find mine falls to pieces after a few bites anyway…This serves two, by the way. I go by 100g meat per person, the rest is fairly obvious. If you have some ground sumac handy, try adding a teaspoonful to the yoghurt sauce.
Above: I made this recipe from a Jill Dupleix book I got out of the public library. She calls it Double Happiness Beans, frankly…I don’t know why. But they taste great and also I finally got to use some of that Black Bean Sauce that had been languishing on the shelf.
Above: This is another something I cooked up out of my head; I got Paul, Emma, and of course, Tim, to try it out. I told them to be harsh, critical, judgemental, but the feedback was surprisingly rapturous. Needless to say, I was super-happy about this. You be the judge, if you like:
Miso-Honey Roasted Parsnips (thought this one up just as I was drifting off to sleep the other night)
2 teaspoons white miso paste
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Heat oven to 200 C. Chop the parsnips in half, and then chop each half into quarters. Place in a small roasting dish. Mix the following three ingredients in a small bowl and spoon over the parsnips. It will be quite a thick mixture, you will be smearing, more than drizzling. Roast for 30 minutes. To serve, shake over a couple of drops of sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Finally – this really is the day for recipes, isn’t it – the Cinnamon-Date Icecream. I would be seriously appreciative of anyone who tried to make this and gives me feedback, at least so I know it wasn’t some crazy fluke that it worked in my kitchen.
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup water
500mls (2 cups) cream
1 tin sweetended condensed milk
Full cream milk (sorry about all the dairy by the way, but if it’s any consolation dates are very cheap!)
Thoroughly chop the dates – a mezzaluna is very useful here – and check for any errant stones or woody bits. (Judging from flatmate feedback, woody bits in the teeth aren’t really appreciated.)
Melt the butter in a pot, add the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and stir over a low heat.
Tip in the dates, and let them become covered in the caramelly butter. Pour in the water, stirring constantly till the dates soften. Add another 1/4 cup water if it needs more, and let it simmer for a bit, till a lumpily amalgamated sauce is formed. Don’t worry – this won’t take long.
Remove from the heat, and pour in the cream, stirring thoroughly, followed by the tin of condensed milk. Fill the now-empty tin with full cream milk, and tip into the pot. Finally add the second teaspoon of cinnamon, and stir everything to combine. Taste the mixture at this stage – if it needs more cinnamon, feel free. Pour this into a freezer-safe bowl, and, well, freeze. Stir occasionally if you want, during the freezing process. This ice cream melts very easily but more than makes up for this fact with its ridiculously good flavour. I hope…I guess I have talked this up a bit.
By the way, as I type, we are having a Back To The Future marathon…oh sweet Micheal J Fox! (Although I do have a soft spot for George McFly.)