Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Son, take your Tomato Sauce or you wont get any pudding !!


Now I cook for and place dinner on the table for tens of thousands of people each year and so given one Mr 8 year old boy,  you would think it would be easy to get him to eat 1 teaspoon of medicine so that it would make him feel better after a very sever bout of the animal flu kind.  Day one of medicine was compulsory as beloved eight year old was on death bed and anything was better than nothing as far as he was concerned – by day two, now feeling better (must have been the Jelly and ice-cream) the attitude of because I am feeling better,  I am no longer sick,  so therefore do not have to take my medicine,  has now settled in
Mr Eight year is now refusing to take anything, to the point of having sacrificed his toys, computer time, TV time and any other special privileges that Mum and Dad can think of.    2 hours later and time out  (for Mum and Dad) has resulted in the family getting in the car and threatening to take Mr eight year old  to the hospital so that the Doctor can inject him with his medicine if he is not going to take it orally.  Everything is fine until we pull up outside the emergency entrance,  and then the tears start, the promises and the pleading of “ I will take my medicine”.   Marching up to the doors Mr Eight year old is making as much noise as the building team demolishing the old hospital and with out further ado we are soon in the waiting room with tension building ever second and minute.   Within tens minutes a male nurse has shown Mr Eight Year old the largest needle he can find and measured his bottom to see if it will fit there.  Wide eye and eager to prove that he could indeed take his medicine when told to with no commotion or dramas  Mum and Dad are able to breath a sigh of relief as taking medicine is like feeding tomato sauce to him now.
In the  1930s, tomato sauce in American was the medicine of the future, reputed to cure anything from baldness to athletes  foot, and all points in between. Famous today, the H.J. Heinz company rooted out scientific studies which claimed that tomatoes had antioxidants which were beneficial in preventing cancers. While that is true, the carotenoid known as lycopene, occurs in such small quantities, that even when applied liberally to your lunch, the benefits are pretty much nil.  I wonder if you can inject Tomato sauce  then ?

Five other uses for Tomato Sauce
Shine your copper
Whether you have copper-bottomed cooking pans, architectural detailing, or shiny knick-knacks, forget mucking about with costly and potentially toxic metal polish pastes
Get those auto parts gleaming
The condiment does a good job cutting tarnish, but not so well in removing dirt 
Fight Skunk Odours
Many people still swear by tomato juice as a way to remove potent skunk odour – handy !


Get back prettier hair from chlorine damage
How? Restore your normal hair colour -- or at least the one you paid dearly for -- by applying full strength ketchup to your hair. Smoosh it in, let it linger for about 20 minutes and then wash it out thoroughly.
Soothe wounds
Unused ketchup packets on children's "small booboos and bumps.    "  The kids  LOVE them." Apparently even the mere appearance of the packets often makes their hurts go away

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chris Fortune prepare his auction item of a dinner for 10

What does it feel like to be in the middle of nowhere with a shark scratching its nose on the underside of your kayak?
The two Australians who were the first to kayak across the Tasman, James Castrission and Justin Jones, will speak about motivation and achieving goals at the Project K Marlborough charity auction next month.
Project K Marlborough manager Chris Shaw said their discussion was suited to the aims of the programme, which is to help build confidence and achieve goals.
Marlborough businesses had been generous to help with charity items in such hard economic times, and he hoped people would get along for a fun night and a good cause.
The Project K students will be waiting at the event and will help Blenheim chef Chris Fortune prepare his auction item of a dinner for 10 cooked by him in the winning bidder's home.
Harcourts Marlborough real estate agent Aaron Davis will be the auctioneer and Project K founder and mountaineer Graeme Dingle will explain the programme.
The event will be at The Marlborough Convention Centre on August 19 at 7pm. Tickets cost $35 which includes wine and finger food.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

American Pie

Pumpkin Pie all the way from Marlborough


In a America the recipe would say take 1 can of pumpkin puree,  but then again a country who grows pumpkins for stock feed, carving lanterns and turning into oversweet sickly pie is certainly not one that has a high standard of culinary  taste.  Canned Glop is another name for American pumpkin and so fresh pumpkin is the vegetable  of choice and the ingredient  of the season
My favourite products besides the flesh from the pumpkins is the seeds and the oil which add a whole new dimension to the overcooked and stewed pumpkin that we were forced to eat as children – yes even pumpkin sandwiches  were on the menu if we did not eat if from the previous nights dinner.  The  Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are small, flat, green, edible seeds from the inside of the melon, they are a best once they have been roasted and are good source of protein, zinc, and other vitamins, and are even said to lower cholesterol.   One gram of pumpkin seed protein contains as much tryptophan as a full glass of milk (Tryptophan is  a essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesize the proteins it needs, especially those related to relaxation, restfulness, and sleep and we can all do with more of that).
Pumpkin seed oil is another favourite and it is used mainly in cooking in central and eastern Europe. It is considered a delicacy in Austria where a little is often added in traditional local cuisine on pumpkin soup and on potato salad.   Pumpkin seed oil is dark and rich in flavour and only a little will go along way as it is intense in flavour and aroma
What ever your favourite part of the pumpkin is, if it is roasted, steamed, boiled or grated raw, in your sandwiches or as dessert – the key with pumpkins is to enjoy it now as a comfort food, at it is best eaten in the cooler months of the year, and it is not going to get much colder than this !
Abbeys Mums’ Pumpkin Pie Recipe
2 cups cooked pumpkin
2 T Golden syrup
1 Can of condensed milk
2 T Butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
¼ t ginger
¼ t cloves
2 eggs

Sieve the cooked pumpkin, blend all ingredients, pour into 7 cooked individual sweet pastry cases.   Bake at 170 degrees for 10 – 14 mins  or until golden brown, serve with whipped cream and lashings of icing sugar

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Cost of food ? Is it expensive ?

So you think that food is expensive
Food is expensive, compared to what ?
If you compare bottle water against red bull or V then k then yes water is expensive
If you compare healthy milk against Coke or Lemonade then yes milk is expensive
If you compare Apples against Lollies then yes apples are expensive
If you compare cauliflower and carrots to deep-fried chips and potatoes crips then yes cauliflower and carrots are more expensive
This issue is not that food is expensive; the issue is the bad food is too cheap. Food that is not healthy or good for us is often cheaper than real food, it is dressed up in bright and colourful packaging, it has a million dollar marketing campaign behind it, and we are sold light and fluffy products that they tell us is food. This is not NZ food or European food, this is American food that we are being sold, much like the American pasteurised TV that we are force feed as part of our weekly entertainment diet. Just like TV, food is about moderation, too much of anything alters the balance of what reality is, it alters the balance of what the real cost of food is
I want food that I can tell what it is by looking at it. I want food that has one part, not a conglomeration of a hundred ingredients. I want vegetables that still look like plants, meat that still looks like bloody muscle. I want a meal that does not leave me wondering what I just ate.
I want to consume the sustenance of my being that was not liquidized, transformed into a paste, and re-solidified with a spin of a magician’s wand into something palatable. Or so I am lead to believe is palatable. I want food that does not have a cartoon characters endorsing it, or a free toy which would taste better than that substance it was delivered with. I want to be able to choose what I purchase, transparent and accountable.
The USA has master the art of taking food an turning it into a plastic, then taking this plastic and convincing the world that it is food. Processed food is the cheapest food in the country. To eat an old fashioned meal that is the sum of its obvious parts means that you need to fork out the money: you must pay to know what you eat. In European countries, eating cheap food means fresh vegetables and meat sold in an open air market; in the USA, cheap food means pre-packaged, never dying, mysteriously created, perfect looking, cryogenically preserved “stuff.”
Here I am ranting and raving, off on a tangent, pushing a my own barrow, spinning my own spin, but when you are immersed in the food world you get to see the whole, you get to see the direction we are going in, the direction is that good food is more expensive than bad food, you tell me what is wrong with this picture. Everything in moderation including moderation