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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

a simple soul

DID YOU know – when referring to mortar and pestle, the pestle is the stick and the mortar is the bowl? It’s not such an interesting fact, really. But we discussed it this evening, and I found out, and this is the answer. Just so you know.

I made curry paste, this evening. In a mortar and pestle. That’s how it came about. It was good, but not great. I’ll report when I create something worth sharing. Have a photo, though.

curry in the making, originally uploaded by urbn pirate.

So, also, I got an award.

Blogtoberfest Spirit Award

You want to hear something sad? It’s my first ever award! Woooooo. I get such a buzz every time people link to my blog (all, what, 5 times now?), or comment, or want to read it… why would you? It’s really very exciting for me. Simple thrills. Anyway, I got my award, all because I copped-out and didn’t want to write a post. It was a little bit because, y’know, posting every day is hard, but it was also a general comment on life, which is a bit of a challenge, in all. Yeah, bla bla, people don’t want to know the personal stuff, right? Blogging’s actually really hard for me. Sitting and writing something on a computer. I can’t really explain it. I don’t even know what I’m trying to say. I’ll go with, thanks, Big Cat. This means more to me than you probably realise. Cheers.

In other small excitements, someone favorited my first photo on Flickr. And I didn’t even take it! It was the one of the cat with the balloon. It is an awfully good photo, I agree. Anyway, this dude has an awesome favorites collection, mostly of great cat photos. So you might like to take a look.

cheers, y’all.

p.s. – for some reason, I can’t link to non-flickr pictures. So I have gone back and edited last post with the new book I gots. Any hints for me? Why won’t they show up??

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Good Friday. What is? What is to non-Christians? Who, really, knows what it all means? Catherine Deveney does (oh, mine hero). What does it mean to you? To me, you ask? To me, it means a public holiday to hang out with wonderful people who aren’t at work, it means most of the shops are shut (but not in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, pack of wonderful heathens), it means traffic jams outside the Maronite centre down the road, and it means peeling the X off hot cross buns and eating them first.

On the other hand, my wheat allergy means eating store-bought hot cross buns will make me mighty unhappy. So, I taught myself to make them. Being non-religious (although, could cooking be considered a religion?), I am justifying this by using them to mark the coinciding pagan tradition recognising the Vernal Equinox (which I am, in turn, justifying because I like the stars and the moon and the passing of the seasons why not,). Apparently too, by making them on Good Friday, I am protecting my family from rats, fires, accidents and shipwrecks. And who doesn’t need a little extra protection from shipwrecks? I’m certainly not about to turn it down.

I made two rounds, happily mixed and kneaded and proven while watching Firefly, thereby injecting a little more love and fun and bounty hunting spirit into the dough. I made the first round with spelt flour (to cater for me) and choc chips instead of fruit (to cater for Anna and Sal). Apparently choc chips in hot cross buns is popular only in Australia, thankyou Wikipedia. The second ones were made with all gluten-free ingredients (to cater for Jules), including some miscellaneous flour that Jules produced, possibly white buckwheat, judging by the smell. Yum! yum!!

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RECIPE: Hot Cross Buns
(source: ABC)

Serves 12
Preparation Time: 2 hours

You need:
450g flour of your choice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Mixed spice (i used Garam Masala)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
50g margarine
1 sachet easy blend dried yeast
150g chocolate (i used cooking chocolate, chopped small)
50g sugar
225ml milk
1 egg, beaten
For crosses – 1 tbsp flour and 1.5 tbsp water

Method:
Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl and rub in butter. Mix in the yeast, chocolate and sugar. Heat milk to hand temp. and whisk into egg before adding to flour mixture, and mix well. This part is very sticky.

Turn dough on to a floured surface and knead for 10 mins or mix in electric mixer with dough hook for 5 mins. The flours I used were, as mentioned, mighty sticky and I ended up adding lots more flour gradually to get the damn dough off my hands. The second lot was particularly irritating. Durn sticky dough.

Divide dough into 12 even pieces of about 75g (3oz) and form into balls. Arrange on an oiled tray leaving space for spreading (although they will join up during baking). Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about one and a half hours till doubled in size. Look at them grow!

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To make crosses mix the flour with about one and a half tbsp. water to make a thick batter. I made mine too runny on the first round and they just merged. On the second I cut striped in, in two parallel lines. Apparently that’s what happens in countries where people don’t approve of the cross. Thanks Wikipedia.

If you have a piping bag (with a round nozzle), then pipe a neat cross on each bun. If you don’t, which I don’t, paint it on with a spoon. or be lazy and cut it into the bun.

Bake at 200 C / 400F / Gas 6 for 25 minutes. When cooked, pull buns apart, split them, toast them if you like, smother them in margarine and eat them until you’re full and sick and can’t even think about making dinner. ENJOYPANTS.

THE END OF MY FIRST RECIPE.

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The gluten-free un-cross version

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The gluten-y, spelty pale cross version, or what little is left.

In other news, happy 50th birthday, Gary Oldman. Live long and prosper.

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