STIRRING THE POT
So much has happened this past week that I don’t know whether to laugh in disbelief or cry in despair, but what I will say is that I am absolutely disgusted at the scenes taking place in Melbourne re the shut down of building sites. Protesters throwing bottles of urine and hurling full cans of drink at police and reporters, and trashing streets and businesses, all in the name of freedom, runs deeper than a person’s right to refuse a Covid-19 vaccination. Such hate, such wanton destruction unleashed with total disregard for the safety of others, only cowered temporarily with capsicum spray and rubber bullets … what kind of hell is this? And now, today, an earthquake adds further stress and worry to the city’s residents.
In Auckland we have moved down a level, to the relief of many, to the worry of some and to complaining by others who want it to drop even lower. Our country is doing its best and making a bloody good job of it. The death rate from Covid-19 is very low. If someone gets ill, there is space in a modern hospital. We have been shielded from much of the ravages of Covid-19. Let’s not turn into a country of complainers.
If you have been following Shared Kitchen for a while you may recall that I have a little housette under construction. I should have been living in it weeks ago and by now I would have had a flourishing vegetable garden bringing me joy. But I wait. It’s a small thing. You’ll never hear me moan about it (I’ve got a roof over my head. I’m warm, I can feed myself … ). My heart truly does go out to those who are really doing it hard, desperate to see loved ones, or cooped up with fractious kids in small houses with money running low. There is no quick answer but I am sure that letting rage build up in your heart or head is unhealthy and potentially explosive. I come back to believing in this country and to thinking how lucky we are to live here.
KEEP YOUR HATS ON
A bag of small yellow peppers going for a song proved irresistible the other day. Had they heard me sing I think I would have been thrown out of the shop. Let’s say, it’s not one of my talents. The peppers were so cute that I decided to stuff them. They turned out really well. That was a relief. It’s always good when something works out. I added walnuts and preserved lemon for crunch and zing, and dosed them up with ground chipotle. Have a go! They’re an easy dish if you are back at work after Covid-19 Lockdown.
STEPPIN’ ON THE GAS
If only I had it – gas that is. I ran out during Lockdown Level 4, so pan-fried these chicken breasts, though they’d crackle along nicely if you do have a barbecue ready to go. Start them on the hot plate, then finish with a quick sear over the grill. Lovely.
BASIL CASHEW SAUCE
Is it a dip, is it a sauce? Both. It’s scrumptious with a platter of crisp vegetables to dunk into its pale green depths, but it also adds creamy crunch to sandwiches, wraps and burgers. I’ve dolloped it over sandwiches with sliced pan-fried chicken. Nice.
ASPARAGUS IS COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU
That’s if you are in New Zealand. Up north – the States and Europe – you’ve gobbled up your 2021 quota. Now it’s our turn. Simple is best. Once I got the gas hooked up, I couldn’t resist singeing a bunch of spears on the barbie. Trim them, rub with oil and black pepper, grill to the ends are crispy, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and eat. No recipe required. No plate either – just eat them straight off the barbecue. Glass of Savvie is the best accompaniment and the 2021 releases will be popping out of the blocks any day soon. Yip!! Yip! You can read up on everything you didn’t need to know about asparagus here. Actually, it’s quite a good read!
LOOK FOR THE LITTLIES
Pencil-thin asparagus can be disappointing if you are after a thick meaty spear for dunking in sauce or rolling in melted butter, but they are perfect for frittata. AND remember a frittata should be thin not a great fat ‘wodge’ of an egg cake. Oops. I’ll stop as I feel the heat rising in my chest … Make these anyway, for lunch, to stuff into bread rolls or whatever. And in case you are thinking wodge should be wedge, no it shouldn’t. A wodge is a bulky lump of something. I think it perfectly describes those horrible eggy wobbly slice things sold as ‘frittata’. Next topic …