A selection of the finest pieces of English composition ever crafted... if you don't come and read, expect the hit men within 15 minutes.
bear with me while I blog
Published on August 9, 2005 By Teegstar In Writing
I'm feeling a little uninspired this week about what to write for an editorial. Almost as if I know some sort of inspriration will come, but that it just hasn't come yet. Well, I figured I'd do a bit of writing anyway and if something cool came out of it, great. If not, I still have tomorrow to draw something together.
I've been searching the web for cool recipes today. On the weekend I came across those fresh pasta packages they sell in the supermarket of pre-made ravioli. Now there are things you make from scratch and there are things you thank the Lord someone else has done and buy pre-made. Ravioli has to fall into the latter category. But pasta sauce is of the former (or at least my husband-to-be would think so), so I've been searching for some inspiration on how to sauce up pre-made ravioli.
I'm not even married yet, but there are some things I'm already learning about Matthew (and maybe most men in general). One of the most important of these is that dinner isn't dinner unless it includes meat. It's like he's physically unable to feel satisfied after a meal unless it includes some sort of meat. So far all the yummy ravioli sauces I've found are of the vegetable-based variety and my preference in pasta pockets is definately for ricotta, spinach and pumpkin. Not meat. Again, there are some things you just have to process and cook yourself.
Anyway, I'm sure we'll find a happy medium. Until then, what's a little frustrating is that I don't really cook at my house. Not the experimental type of cooking anyway. For one thing, our kitchen isn't really set up for it. Mum does most of her cooking in our microwave/convection oven and the only stovetop we have is a gas one which is outside on the barbeque. There's not a lot of benchspace and Mum doesn't have much patience for experimentation. (Even though I truly do always clean up after myself) I'm very much looking forward to having my own kitchen and my own domain and a shopping list that I buy with my own money. And while it's kind of sad Matthew and I won't have Saturdays off together because of his work, at least I'll have a home day for myself each week that I can play house. I think I'm going to need that space to find my wifely niche. I'll be able to do my cleaning and cooking, find a routine, hone my housekeeping skills. (Maybe he'll never know how incapable I currently am around the home! At least when it comes to the kitchen.)
Speaking of kitchens and the like, it's been a full week in the homewares department. Last Friday Matthew and I went to Myer, ostensibly to finish off our gift registry. Well, I'm not sure if we're completely finished, but we're most of the way there. Now I just really hope people do give us the things on the registry because I'm picturing them in my house! Is that a very mercenary attitude?
Well, after our expedition of shopping with other people's money, as I like to put it, I had a Tupperware party as my bridal shower. The idea was people came along and bought stuff for themselves and I benefited from the sales. If people wanted, they could also put some money in a Tupperware fund for me to choose what I wanted from the catalogue. Well. The sales of the night added up to more than $1300 and I am now rolling in Tupperware. I received all sorts of stackable containers that will keep my pantry very organised from the sales and hostess gifts. With the money the ladies gave me, I bought a can opener, beetroot strainer, fridge Tupperware, lunchbox/microwaveable Tupperware and little snacky Tupperware. Oh and I also received free labels for my pantry stuff. Hooray!
Back to cooking. We had a lovely dinner last night with friends of ours that was so dinner-party-ish and grown up. We talked about all sorts of things our parents would have talked about and I would have thought were boring when I was a kid, but we just had the best time. It's wonderful having friends we can talk so openly with about such a broad range of topics. But the cuisine made me realise how much I have to learn about cooking. And it seems to me that so much of being a good cook is having experience. My job last night was to bring along dessert, and I was determined to do more than just buy a nice icecream and a frozen danish, even though that would have been delicious. So I thought I'd goa bit classier that that and make mini custard tarts. I was still using bought ingredients, such as the custard and the tart bases, but somehow it was going to be much cooler. Well they were nice, but even just one test run of the ``recipe'' would have ironed out most of the problems. I would have cooked the tart bases until they were still soft, not crisp. I would have made the custard or bought it in a tub instead of buying pouring custard, which was too runny. But then who cares? They tasted nice and looked good, and we had fun.
Yet in all my culinary ineptitude, I found myself casting a slightly superior eye over my friend's cooking. Frozen roast potato mix? Why not just cut up potatoes? (Because they don't cook as quickly, silly.) Why buy sachet sauces? Why not just knock one up on the stove? Because she didn't know how. And that's just it. We don't know how to cook yet. But we will eventually. And until then, Continental, McCain's and Mrs Crocker are going to help us fake it really well.
Hm, that last sentence sounded like a great end to an editorial. I'll have to punch this around a bit and see if I can get it editorial sized.
Recipe: editorial.
Method: Take about 70cms of aimless warbling, simmer in the back of mind overnight to reduce. Stir, adding well-crafted sentences, until smooth. Shape into a 20cm block. Add byline, proofread and serve.


Comments
on Aug 09, 2005
Interesting article, and it sounds remarkably like a good excuse to assault your message board with recipes. I shall start with a recipe I made up myself a couple of weeks ago:

Kenny’s Psuedo-chinese Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

Salt to taste
Pepper A generous quantity or to taste
Cumin powder 1 Tbsp
Mixed Spice 1 Tbsp
Aussie Rainforest Herb Blend 1 Tbsp (don't worry too much if you can't find this ingredient)
Basil 1 Tbsp
Oregano 1 Tbsp
Curry Powder 1 Tbsp
Chilli Powder 1 Tbsp or to taste
Sesame Seed Oil A dash
Olive Oil 2 Tbsp
Tapioca starch (or corn flour) enough to thicken
Beef stock cubes 2 cubes added to 4 cups of water
De-boned chicken thighs 1 kg
Cooking oil enough to stir fry with

Directions

Cut chicken into approximately 5cm chunks. Add seasoning and spices to chicken in a mixing bowl rub in with hands. Add both sesame (you won’t need much of this since it has a strong flavour) and olive oil and toss through chicken with hands. Allow it to marinate for an hour (optional).

Add enough cooking oil to wok to stir-fry with properly. Cook the chicken just enough to cook the surface and seal in the juices, be careful not to over-cook. Once this is done add beef stock immediately (it should cover the chicken almost entirely). Turn down heat so that it is simmering. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes (enough to cook the chicken through) stirring regularly, don’t let it boil. Near the end add some tapioca starch (or corn flour) to thicken the sauce and let it thicken by letting the mixture reduce (let the water boil off a bit). The sauce shouldn’t be too thick just not watery.

Serve with steamed vegetables and rice or alternatively serve with noodles. Serve with white wine (Australian, of course).

Notes:

Make sure the chicken doesn’t dry out; the meat needs to be tender for the dish to work well.

Pour sauce over rice and vegetables.

This dish tastes even better after sitting in the fridge overnight, a good reason to make enough to have left overs the next day.

When I say add a "dash" of sesame seed oil I mean drizzle a little bit on all the chicken pieces with emphasis on the "little"
on Aug 27, 2005
right, so where to start........
Tegan, you amaze me how much you have changed. inspiration comes from the heart. You can't expect it to just pop up randomly each day.
Has this "lovely man" actually said to you that he wants meat at every dinner???i'm sure the heart foundation would have something to say about this. it is said that a lasting marriage is all about communication, even about the small things, like meat, how you fold his socks and whether or not you iron his jocks.
As a pointer though, creativity shows that even a vegetarian pasta sauce, can be spruced up with a little thing we like to call, cooked mince. it's not that hard. or bacon, or ham, the list continues.
What is the deal with obsessing over being the "good little house wife"??if you don't do this stuff now, what's to say that a)you will continue doing it, or that it's not going to change the person you are.
If he doesn't already know how little you believe you are capable of doing, and how little you are currently doing, then why are you getting married??
To be entirely honest, i am amazingly surprised how materialistic and self-centered you have become.
It is one thing to hope that you will receive gifts, but it is quite another to only invite those who you are almost certain would purchase gifts for you. If that doesn't scream materialistic, i don't know what does.
Now to be fair, this information that i, the Tooth Fairy holds, may not be entriely 100% accurate. The "grape vine", as you would expect, often bends and breaks.
Although you were only cooking for "friends", anyone in their right mind would have trialed a recipe first. Common sense tells us, that this is the best method to avoid embarassment and humiliation. I wouldn't be so quick to bag out your friends cooking, some of the most simplist and devine meals come from a packet. Can i ask you, are you sure you're old enough to get married, it's a big step after all. so unless you want to become one of the rapidly growing Divorce statistics, i suggest you think deep.
on Aug 27, 2005
right, so where to start........
Tegan, you amaze me how much you have changed. inspiration comes from the heart. You can't expect it to just pop up randomly each day.
Has this "lovely man" actually said to you that he wants meat at every dinner???i'm sure the heart foundation would have something to say about this. it is said that a lasting marriage is all about communication, even about the small things, like meat, how you fold his socks and whether or not you iron his jocks.
As a pointer though, creativity shows that even a vegetarian pasta sauce, can be spruced up with a little thing we like to call, cooked mince. it's not that hard. or bacon, or ham, the list continues.
What is the deal with obsessing over being the "good little house wife"??if you don't do this stuff now, what's to say that a)you will continue doing it, or that it's not going to change the person you are.
If he doesn't already know how little you believe you are capable of doing, and how little you are currently doing, then why are you getting married??
To be entirely honest, i am amazingly surprised how materialistic and self-centered you have become.
It is one thing to hope that you will receive gifts, but it is quite another to only invite those who you are almost certain would purchase gifts for you. If that doesn't scream materialistic, i don't know what does.
Now to be fair, this information that i, the Tooth Fairy holds, may not be entriely 100% accurate. The "grape vine", as you would expect, often bends and breaks.
Although you were only cooking for "friends", anyone in their right mind would have trialed a recipe first. Common sense tells us, that this is the best method to avoid embarassment and humiliation. I wouldn't be so quick to bag out your friends cooking, some of the most simplist and devine meals come from a packet. Can i ask you, are you sure you're old enough to get married, it's a big step after all. so unless you want to become one of the rapidly growing Divorce statistics, i suggest you think deep.
on Aug 27, 2005
right, so where to start........
Tegan, you amaze me how much you have changed. inspiration comes from the heart. You can't expect it to just pop up randomly each day.
Has this "lovely man" actually said to you that he wants meat at every dinner???i'm sure the heart foundation would have something to say about this. it is said that a lasting marriage is all about communication, even about the small things, like meat, how you fold his socks and whether or not you iron his jocks.
As a pointer though, creativity shows that even a vegetarian pasta sauce, can be spruced up with a little thing we like to call, cooked mince. it's not that hard. or bacon, or ham, the list continues.
What is the deal with obsessing over being the "good little house wife"??if you don't do this stuff now, what's to say that a)you will continue doing it, or that it's not going to change the person you are.
If he doesn't already know how little you believe you are capable of doing, and how little you are currently doing, then why are you getting married??
To be entirely honest, i am amazingly surprised how materialistic and self-centered you have become.
It is one thing to hope that you will receive gifts, but it is quite another to only invite those who you are almost certain would purchase gifts for you. If that doesn't scream materialistic, i don't know what does.
Now to be fair, this information that i, the Tooth Fairy holds, may not be entriely 100% accurate. The "grape vine", as you would expect, often bends and breaks.
Although you were only cooking for "friends", anyone in their right mind would have trialed a recipe first. Common sense tells us, that this is the best method to avoid embarassment and humiliation. I wouldn't be so quick to bag out your friends cooking, some of the most simplist and devine meals come from a packet. Can i ask you, are you sure you're old enough to get married, it's a big step after all. so unless you want to become one of the rapidly growing Divorce statistics, i suggest you think deep.
on Aug 29, 2005
hi

i reread my article. you're right -- it came across as remarkably self-centred and materialistic and for that i'm sorry. i didn't intend it to come across that way. i didn't mean it to. i find the prospect of setting up a house from scratch a bit overwhelming, although not so much now as i did when i wrote the article. but i didn't mean for it to sound like i was just using my family and friends as an excuse to get stuff. on the contrary, i have been so amazed at just how generous everyone has been. people have just lavished on us and it almost seems unfair. i'm grateful to them.

that's the only apology i'm going to make about the post. everything else you criticised was written tongue in cheek or i was talking about the way i felt before learning a lesson -- like my friend with the meal she cooked. it was great -- that was the point. i realised it didn't matter how it was made.

when you're a journo, inspiration has to come every day.

meat in meals (big deal, by the way) is something matthew and i have talked about. thanks for the lesson in communication.

i'm not sure what you meant about only inviting people who would give gifts. the tupperware party was organised for me, i had very little part in it. and our wedding invitation list was quite small -- we limited ourselves to family members and a small group of people we are close to.

lastly, i don't know who wrote the above comment. i really don't. but words cannot describe how hurt and angry i am that you suggest matthew and i could become another divorce statistic. there's really nothing i can say that will convey it. like i said, i don't know who you are, but i'm pretty sure you don't know matthew and i and our relationship well enough to have any idea what you are talking about. how dare you.
on Sep 09, 2005
Who knew the tooth fairy could bite so hard? I wouldn't stress teegs.

My main reason for this is to confirm that if you can truly understand the importance of meat you'll be fine for life. We're omni not herbi.
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