The dog’s breakfast

Lucy wrote a beautiful post recently about cooking for her dog. Another way to feed the dog something fancy is to get a new job that, while fabulous, leaves a lot less time and mental energy for cooking. Then the dog gets a bowl of stinking goat shoulder that would have been a curry had you remembered you bought it last week.

Coming soon, posts on “nutritious dinners the kids will love, and in only 15 minutes!” Just as soon as I work out how to do that.

On the benefits of being a good cook

I’m fasting today in preparation for a colonoscopy tomorrow. Ew, I know. No symptoms, (thanks for asking!) it’s just a preventative measure given my family history.

Anyhow, if you are a really good cook, and all you’re allowed to eat for a day is “clear salty soup”, you can still have a really nice lunch made from your light Chinese stock which you infused with a shiitake, some more chicken and herbs last night.

I just thought I’d share that.

Very Pleasant

Remember that little craze of peering into each other’s fridges a while back? Even the fancypants architectural mags are getting into it now:

Among other things, the couple’s refrigerator contains garlic scapes, Meyer lemon preserves, Araucana chicken eggs from Chelsea’s grandfather’s farm, juneberry jam, fresh El Popo tortillas, a ginger beer starter, pickled sour cherries (used in the salad), Tortuga hot sauce, Sriracha, homemade chili relish, and a kombucha mushroom.

(Photo: Matthew Williams; Dwell, March 2010)

Unlike much design and architectural photography, Dwell always features the people who live in the spaces. As my friend Nigel points out, the lighting necessary for the architecture pron angle doesn’t really suit the humans. Fortunately for us all, the brilliant site Unhappy Hipsters takes images from Dwell and other similar mags, and adds a little touch of humanity:

Their relationship was based on preparing absurdly complicated recipes using overpriced ingredients.

(Photo: Matthew Williams; Dwell, March 2010)

Don’t miss the full slideshow of this particular food-nerd Chicago apartment and the full article in Dwell. The owners, Chef Art and Writer/Editor Chelsea have a blog called The Pleasant House.

And here are a few more cookery and kitchen-related Unhappy Hipsters for your amusement:

Sunrise, and still no flame. He didn’t even have to look; he knew his guests had gone home.

(via Unhapy Hipsters, Photo: Darcy Hemley; Dwell, September 2004)

The sad truth was that the divide was rooted in the disappearance of a rare Marimekko maxi dress.

(via Unhappy Hipsters. Photo: Prue Ruscoe; Dwell, March 09)

With the shelves finally ordered by size, function, and smell, he got to work separating the pine needles from the sawdust on the terrace.

(via Unhappy Hipsters, photo: Misha Gravenor, Dwell, May 2007)

Qualifications for the Second Series of Masterchef Australia

Behold!

fingers

I burnt myself cooking, didn’t I? While I love a good sore, both my boss and my partner have been turned into squirming schoolgirls at the sight of my horrid blisters. If you’re made of stronger stuff, there’s a picture under the fold.

Despite the obvious qualification of my ability to look marvellous in finger bandages and the earnest protestations of my niece and nephew, I will not be applying to be on the next series of Masterchef. I think it’s highly unlikely that a fat 38 year old mother of young sons who derives great personal joy from cooking and who lives in a suburban regional area will win two years on the trot. If you’ve got a zingier profile, you can apply here.

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You know you’ve been watching too much Master Chef when…

You get home from work and start rushing to get the dinner on and you suddenly imagine George Columbaris at your elbow. “How are you going there? You’ve got TWENTY MORE MINUTES! Those SPUDS SHOULD BE PEELED by now!!!”

You find yourself thinking “Which Masterchef contestant would I be?” (Just because I identify with her in some ways, her cooking choices are not like mine at all. “Aussie”? “Baked dinner”? erp!)

You say “You eediot! Not that way!” at the TV.

Your twelve-year-old starts insisting on helping with the dinner (Can I say W00t!), and comes out with stuff like, “The onions are caramelising nicely while the sausage has taken on a whole new dimension of flavour.”

You yell “Booooo!” whenever Hat Man Chris “Boris” Badenough appears

You’re watching a cookie-cutter Fremantle Media reality show with a cast of characters who are holed up in a house and one is voted off each week, crying and the word “journey” mandatory – in other words, a massive yawning cliche – and although you’re feeling a bit dirty, you can’t look away.

Who else has been watching Masterchef? What are your impressions? Triumphs, disasters, heroes, villains? Has it changed any kitchen routines in your household? Anyone suddenly taken to wearing cravats?

Op Shop Idol

I would like to publicly thank all those people who buy cast iron skillets, don’t find out how to look after them, use them once and give them to the op shop whereupon I buy them for a dollar each, clean them with steel wool and hot water, season them and happily cook with them forever after.

Bless them all. The little one I bought this week, the big one about six months ago. We don’t bother to put them away. They just live on the hotplates and get used every day.

I found a couple of other treasures today –

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