Category: Dip

Walnut and Avocado Salad, Seeing Double & Mysteries Solved

When is a salad not a salad?  When it comes from The A-Z of Cooking.  There is no way in the world that I would call this a salad.  It’s much more of a dip.  But The A-Z calls it a salad so, Walnut and Avocado Salad it is.  Even if we all secretly know it’s a dip.  

Walnut and Avocado SaladThis was kind of….meh.  And you know what?  I strongly recommend that you make guac instead.  Because a good guac is awesome!  But first, there is an elephant in the room and it needs to be addressed.  You may be thinking that because we have labelled something a salad when it is quite clearly a dip that we have reached S.  Not so fast there Speedy.  We’re actually still at R.  How so?  Refreshing Salads.  Yeah,  I know I should  have ceased to be surprised at the randomness of The A-Z by now.  But it’s ONE letter..it’s at the back of the Chapter, right next to the start of the S’s. Couldn’t they have?  Shouldn’t they have? Why didn’t they?

Walnut and Avocado Salad2But wait, there’s  more.   When I turned the page over to “Refreshing Salads” my eye was caught by the words Greek Salata.  Now, I LOVE a Greek Salad.  Feta, olives, tomatoes….bring it on!  My mouth was already watering as I contemplated making eating one. In my mind, a Greek Salad should look exactly like this one from the Food Network:

So imagine my horror when my eyes were what can only be described as assaulted by this disgrace:

Oh. My. Lord.  Have you ever seen anything quite so hideous in your life?  Sadly, I have.  Because even as I was recoiling in horror, I realised I had seen something quite so hideous before.  In fact I had seen something exactly as fugly before because I had not only seen but posted on that very picture.  Right here.

WTF?  To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, to use this picture in one book may be regarded as misfortune; to use it in two looks like a blatant disregard for the eyes of one’s readers.  But then I was intrigued.  So, I went back to The Hot Weather Cookbook and flicked through it and there were six other photos IDENTICAL to those in The A-Z of Cooking!  They share a publisher, Octopus Books but neither book acknowledges that content previously appeared in the other. 

Now, it also just so happens that one of the photos that was replicated in both books was the mysterious Mango Mousse which I spoke about here.

Mango MousseNow I know that the mystery of what that is a picture of, seeing as it is quite clearly NOT a mango mousse has been keeping all of us awake since I first posted it back in March of 2015 (and yikes, has it really taken me over two years to cook through this book?).  And who knew that I had the key to the mystery within my grasp the entire time?  Because, if you look at page 113 of the Hot Weather Cookbook where the same recipe for Mango Mousse appears, there is a reference at the bottom of the page to the pictures contained overleaf  – Orange Soufflé (page 114).  Which is our mango mousse picture.

And, if we flick back to the recipe of Orange Soufflé?  Oranges, passionfruit, cream eggs….I’m totally ignoring the random bananas but  I think we have a contender!

Orange SouffleMystery solved.  I feel like a culinary Mulder and Scully.  I have been tossing up as to whether I should take up one of those Hunt A Killer subscriptions I keep hearing about on all my podcasts.  After this bit of sleuthing I am a step closer to putting my detective skills to the test.  It’s damn expensive to get it shipped to Australia though!  Is anyone else doing it? If you are, please let me know!

BTW, just to take us back to the Avocado and Walnut Salad?  The bread shown with it is the Cheddar and Apple Foccacia from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez.  And it was delicious!  This is a wonderful book too!

Have a wonderful week!  Next up, I’m taking a bit of a break from The A-Z and making some lovely old-fashioned biscuits, perfect for afternoon tea!  Why not pour yourself an Earl Grey and join me?

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Retro Food For Modern Times – Not Eating My Way To Love and Beauty

Can you believe I’ve been doing this for nearly a year?

And as the anniversary approaches, I’ve been thinking about how to celebrate.  Somehow my normal process of pulling one of the many vintage cookbooks from the pile under my bed at random doesn’t seem quite joyful enough.  Primarily because this invariably involves me knocking the pile over, uttering some sustained invective as I pile it all back up then muttering “I really should Hoover under there one day”.  That is not the stuff of celebration!

I had planned to sift through the pile to find something special.  However, when I found “Eat your Way To Love and Beauty” by Swami Sarasvati in my local charity shop I thought I had found my birthday book!  Who doesn’t want to be loved and beautiful?  Especially on their birthday? And, why not eat my way there?  It beats getting there by the other “e” word.  You know, the one we try very hard not to mention here.  Hint:  it rhymes with…mexercising.  Yes, I know that’s not a word.  If you’re so smart, you try coming up with a word that rhymes with exercising.  Anyway, it’s obviously working for The Swami.  She’s cute.  And limber!

Eat For Love and Beauty 001

The caption to this photo says

“Swami Sarasvati, her youth and vitality living proof of her cooking, exercises among her health dishes”

Please note: Retro Food For Modern Times in no way condones its readers exercising among their health dishes.  Nor will I bear any responsibility for damages incurred if you decide to do so.  To put it bluntly, if you end up with a pineapple up your clacker by engaging in this you’re on your own.  And be aware that hospital staff will mock you behind your back.  “Of course you slipped over whilst exercising among your health dishes… that’s what all the deviants say.”  You have been warned.

Swami Sarasvati was a tv icon on Australia in the 1970’s, where she taught a generation of early morning tv watchers the art of yoga and the delights of a vegetarian lifestyle.  I wish she was on the telly now.  I would totally watch her.  Well, I probably wouldn’t get up that early but  I would record her shows, meaning to get around to doing some sun salutations one day…right after I vacuum under that bed!  She also still runs a yoga retreat in New South Wales.  It is currently ranked the number one hotel in Kenthurst on Trip Advisor.  That it is the only hotel in town is by the by.

http://www.swami.com.au/

Speaking as someone who has been on a yoga retreat, the Swami’s looks pretty good.  I had a miserable time the last one I was on.  It was freezing and in lieu of heating, my room came equipped with a massive spider.  I thought it would be not in keeping with the yoga/vegan/hippie vibe of the place to beat the ugly fucker to death with my shoe.  This meant I was too scared to sleep for the entire time I was there in case, during my slumber, the spider decided to break our unspoken entente cordiale to crawl into my hair or lay eggs in my face.

You will be disappointed, though if you click through the link.  Eat Your Way To Love and Beauty is no longer on the list of the Swami’s books available for purchase.  We’re about to find out why.

Some of the sensibilities of the book feel very modern.  Take for instance the Swami’s response to the question:

“What is healthy food?”

“It is food as fresh as possible and eaten as soon as possible.  Refining, preserving, canning or colouring food should be avoided wherever possible”

That doesn’t last long…we descend into the land of the loony almost immediately.

Q – “How can food make me more loving?”

“A well nourished woman will have the strength to be patient and understanding and loving even when life seems impossible.  Your children won’t turn to drugs”.

Q  – “My Husband won’t eat health foods”

“Girls, to keep your marriage fresh and exciting, you must keep yourself and your husband youthful and vital….there are enough tangy gourmet health dishes in this book to tempt your husband.  Before long he will be better at business and sport.

You know what Swami?   You had me at love and beauty…let’s not bring my husband and non-existent children into it.

But despite all this…despite dooming Mark to bankruptcy and failure on the sporting field (by which I mean his PS3 breaking) and the poor dogs to having to sell themselves to strangers for Schmackos…I will not be celebrating this birthday by eating my way to love and beauty.  Eating for hatred and ugliness has got me thus far, I guess I can continue for another week or so!

I  have made a few recipes from “Eat Your Way To Love And Beauty” being  a celery soup, an eggplant bhurta and a carrot halva.

Here they are:

Celery Soup

???????????????????????????????

Celery Soup 001

Eggplant Bhurta

Eggplant Bhurta
Eggplant Bhurta

eggplant bhurta 001

Carrot Halva

Carrot Halva
Carrot Halva

Carrot Halva recipe 001

These all tasted ok.  Actually, the carrot halva was really good once I added a bucketload of brown sugar – kind of like carrot cake without the cake.  And the eggplant was also pretty good.  The celery soup was average.  There was nothing wrong with any of them. They were just a bit drab.  Look at them.  They’re not screaming party are they?  They look, earnest, well-meaning, brown.  The food version of Coldplay. Worthy but kind of boring…

Which brings me to the second reason, we will not be celebrating Retro Food For Modern Times first birthday by eating our way to love and beauty.

Here is a the Swami’s recipe for a Gimlet:

Lime Gimlet

Now, for those of you who are not au fait with the gimlet, it is defined by the fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, as:

“A cocktail made of gin and lime juice”

Two ingredients.  One of which is missing from the Swami’s recipe.

Never mind, I thought, the next recipe is called Singapore Gin.  Maybe I’ll make that as my birthday cocktail.

Singapore Gin

Or maybe I wont…we like our booze here at Retro Food For Modern Times, celebrating anything without booze is anathema.

No wonder this book isn’t for sale anymore, it was probably banned for false advertising.  I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to call a cocktail Singapore “Gin” when it contains not the slightest whiff of a juniper berry!

Next week we’ll party like it’s 1969. I won’t give too much away but there will be gin and there will be gelatine; if I can get sufficiently organised there maybe something else starting with a “g” to make up a full three course meal…cocktail and dessert count as 2 courses don’t they?

I’ll be spending my week frantically trying to think of that third course…

Grapes?

Grapefruit?

Gorgonzola?

Have a fabulous week whatever you do!

Signature 1

Retro Food For Modern Times – Liptauer: Lunch, Lunacy and Death By Cheese

Let’s face it, cottage cheese exists for one reason and one reason only.  I call it “The Posts” as in post-Christmas, post-New Year, post holidays, birthdays, Easter, you get my drift.   Pretty much post anything that is fun (i.e. involves large volumes of eating and drinking).  Mondays feature strongly.

The symptoms of The Posts are a glance in the mirror that is quickly averted, followed by a groan of “I really need to go on a diet”. The effect of The Posts is a lightening of the wallet as you race down to the supermarket and fill your trolley with carrots, celery and the aforementioned cottage cheese.  Which will be thrown into the rubbish about three months past its use by date.  Sometimes, it may have even been opened. It’s not so much the lack of taste it’s that curdy texture which is just…ewwww….And yet, I keep buying it.

Liptauer Dip
Liptauer Dip

I have, in the past, resorted to other methods of getting rid of The Posts. One such event saw me popping down to the local health food shop to pick up some magic thinness bullets a.k.a diet pills.  Of course, they were hidden so I had to ask the weightlifter type who was stacking shelves where I might find them.

He was one of those muscle-bound creatures with prominent veins, a shaved head and a tattoo on his neck.  I have nothing against tattoos in general.  I have one myself.  Neck tattoos, however, are generally skanky.  No one looks good with a neck tattoo.  Except maybe George Clooney in from Dusk til Dawn.  His was kind of hot.

Clooney

Most other people look like trailer trash or like they just got out of prison.

 “WHAT DO YOU WANT DIET PILLS FOR?” the possible ex-convict snarled back at me. And he didn’t ask it in a “Because you’re so svelte you don’t need them” tone either.  He started off belligerent.  And it went downhill from there.

Why do you think I want diet pills, idiot?  Because I read on the internet that if I shoved them up my arse the alien rectal probes couldn’t get me? What kind stupid question is that?  It’s the equivalent of asking an adolescent boy why he’s buying condoms.  There is pretty much only one reason.  To be asked to explain that reason out loud, in a crowded shop, is just humiliating.  Actually, I take that back.  It’s worse than questioning a boy buying condoms.  At least in that instance he could snap back “To fuck your mother.”  I had nothing.

Prisoner 845 had one volume.  Annoyingly loud.   “DIET PILLS DON”T WORK”

You really don’t understand the nature of retail do you Sunshine? It’s probably why you got sent to prison in the first place.  So, here’s how it should work:

  • I ask for diet pills.
  • You give them to me.
  • I give you money. (That bit’s important.  It’s probably the part you forgot last time)
  • I leave happy.
  • Your shop stays in business
Liptauer Lunch
Liptauer Lunch

YOU DONT NEED DIET PILLS. YOU NEED TO EXERCISE”

Really?  I never realised that steroids made you stupid as well as shrinking your penis.  If I was that way inclined I wouldn’t be here asking for diet pills would I?  I’d be out…skipping… or whatever it is that people do when they exercise.

I didn’t say that.

He was big. And mean looking.  And one of the veins in his neck was starting to throb alarmingly.  I started to back away from him because he was quite clearly suffering from some sort of ‘roid rage.  I didn‘t even understand why he was there.   Health food shops should be run by aging hippies not steroid abusing, serial killers.

Eventually I was backed into a shelf of herbal tea. He then leant over me and said in the most threatening voice I have ever heard. “YOU EAT DAIRY DON’T YOU?”

Yes I do and whilst we’re on the subject of dietary habits you should probably lay off the red meat.  There’s a box of Sleepytime Tea digging into my left shoulder.  Maybe you should try a cup.

I didn’t say that either.

Liptaur Ingredients

He then leant down so he was about a centimetre away from my face.  He was all red and his eyes were bulging out; he looked like he might be about to have some sort of apoplexy.  He was also one of those people who spit when they talk and he was so close it was getting all over my face which was….I give up…there are no words to describe how utterly, utterly repulsive that was.

And then, as I was trying to surreptitiously wipe my face he bellowed (and spat) at me:

“CHEESE… IS… DEATH.”

Nothing in my life had prepared me on how to deal with a spitting neck-tattooed lunatic in my face and screaming about how dairy products would kill me.  I was also slightly more concerned about my impending death at the hands of the psychopath in front of me than any damage a camembert could inflict.  So, I did what I usually do when I don’t know whether to shit or go blind.  I started to giggle.  Then I ran.  As fast as my chubby little legs could carry me.  All the way down the street to the next health food shop where a lovely aging hippy had absolutely no qualms about selling me some piece of crap, expensive diet pills that didn’t work.

Liptaur Recipe 001

An easier way to get rid of The Posts and to thus avoid health food shop sociopaths would be to make Mary Meredith’s recipe for Liptauer (or as she calls it Liptaur).

This was good.  Really good.  Both as a dip and as a healthy lunch.

However, I don’t understand the point of mixing cottage cheese and butter.  Next time I make it I’ll use a low-fat cream cheese instead.  This will also remove the cottage cheese curdiness which was the only downside of the recipe.

Mary Meredith mentions that the Liptauer is also really good with baked potatoes.  I wasn’t about to bake a potato as we were having bangers and mash for dinner.   Hang on…potato is potato right?  Should I?  Dare I?  I’ve put cheese, chives and mustard into mash before – maybe not all at the same time but they all worked.  Anchovies are mostly salt.  What could go wrong?

Liptaur Close Up

Yeah, ok, you can all stop facepalming.

The gherkin.  The gherkin could go wrong.  I know that….

Now.

I put it down to temporary insanity caused by finding a delicious use for cottage cheese.

Here is a picture of the Liptauer mash.  Don’t try this at home.  It was revolting.

Liptauer Mash
Liptauer Mash

So, I ask you.  Is cheese death?

And if so, outside of the Liptauer Mash debacle of 2013, could there be a better way to go?

Have a great week!
Signature 1

Follow
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE
%d bloggers like this: