Monday, 16 April 2007

cooking lots and eating less.

Another mildly unsuccessful cooking weekend! Maybe I should rename this blog to reflect the frequency of this. (It would contrast to all those blogs raving about the amazing food people manage to concoct - am I really that bad, or are they lying?). Maybe I should rename my life. Pictures because this place was starting to look dull.

On Saturday I made:

- a risotto with the World's Biggest Mushrooms,
- this chocolate gelato,
- this red velvet cake,
- a made-up salad of rocket, trevicchio, pear, pancetta and parmesan with a white balsamic dressing.
- Sunday I tried this pad thai.

Of it all, the salad was excellent, and so was the gelati (but I knew it would be because I'd made that one before).

The risotto was decent, but not my best (I think the secret is to use lots of dried fancy mushrooms, and for this I recommend chopped shitakes from the Asian grocer, because they're way cheaper than porcini at the continental grocer and seem to do as good a job if not better, although this may just be because you can afford to use more). Re., the picture - my hand is stretched out as far as possible, and I have really big hands for a girl. Kind of goes with the bassoon turf. They are BIG OLD MUSHROOMS.

The red velvet cake was ok but not mind blowing unless you count in colour (fyi: 6 tablespoons of red food colouring = 1 and a half bottles). The icing was very good and I may use it again on other cakes. I thought I was being really fancy making this cake which I'd never heard of, until Dad told me you can get them at Woolies.

The pad thai approximated restaurant pad thai, but was not as good as the recipe promised, being kind of grey, gluey and generally gross. Grrr. gLuckily, gI gonly gmade gone gserve.

On the basis of this, we have two new maxims:

Emily's cooking maxim #3
Learning to cook is less about finding the good recipes as it is weeding out the bad ones.

Emily's cooking maxim #4:
A recipe you've pulled from your proverbial has as much chance of being tasty as one from a book, the internet, etc.

At the asian grocer, I also found these excellent guavas, and some cute little (100% natural food) rosebuds going for a song, and some fujis that look like they were grown in someone's GARDEN. Yum-O! I also took Mum to this pho place (don't know its name, but it's a couple of doors south of the Lucky asian grocer on Prospect road) because she'd never had Vietnamese beef noodle soup before. I'm pleased to say the place was very standard (read: pretty darn good food with plastic tablecloths and cutlery), and the people very friendly, and she liked it!

And finally, here is a gratuitous picture of some presents I wrapped for a friend who is having her wisdom teeth out, using said rosebuds Rowan Atkinson style, included here because I'm a bit vain and smug about my present wrapping (fyi: it looks better than my poor photography illustrates). And ok, vain and smug are not so good, but I think good wrapping is important. It shows you mean it, and you didn't just buy a gift because you felt obliged. I still haven't quite figured out what I'm supposed to do with my life, but sometimes I think maybe I should open a wrapping shop. I think I could do quite well around Christmas, Valentines, etc. It seems like a better bet than the world's most unpredictable cafe anyway.


Margie said...

the cake looks yummo. you can buy chocolate cake at woolies too but you wouldn't want to eat it. i'm sure you wouldn't want to eat their red velvet cake either.

my mum used to suggest to me that i become a personal shopper for christmas gifts. i seem to have a knack for picking good gifts out for her when she can't think of what to get someone.

i could do the shopping and you could do the wrapping.

m∃ said...

Excellent! ABN here we come.

Anonymous said...

Hey Em,

I don't think everyone else's cooking comes out better than yours. I think you just have higher standards. Everything of yours that I've eaten has always been scrumptious. And when I say that the food I've cooked is good, its never exactly restaurant fantastic, just Elsie fantastic.

So don't despair!


PS Thanks for keeping me entertained over here!