Food, Photography and Blogging Lately

Good morning everyone out there! Weather today – cloudy with a chance of meatballs! Oh maybe not, a chance of soyballs… sorry, that didn’t sound right.

Lately I’ve been wondering about the purpose of my blog and blogging as a whole. I cannot help but compare myself to the beautifully designed blogs out there with picture perfect photography. Suffice to say mine isn’t up there on top of the popular list. I’m not sure who would want to read my rantings about it but I’ve come down to the need to re-evaluate my blog and the purpose of it all. Why, what for and what do I get out of it. I shouldn’t make it about others but what it does for me personally.

Think it’s time I look to the purpose of my blog – bringing together the fusions of the world – maybe it’s time to change it for me, maybe it’s time for a change… and maybe in the meantime, enjoy my passion I give to you, here’s hoping that they are worth a try or two.

Since reading about pressed frozen tofu, I’ve come to the land of soy! Pure pleasure and joy when I decided to experiment on it myself. The fascination and excitement of trying something new, I couldn’t wait. The texture, feel, taste and consistency just blew my mind. I didn’t realise that tofu could turn out that way purely from being frozen. The block came out like a big block of sponge, with millions of holes when you squeeze out the water. Blogs have mentioned to press it down with heavy plates and books, I went one over that and just squeezed it with my bare hands! I just had to! I squeezed the juices out of the block and dried the sucker out as best I could. But if you’re wanting to make a steak dish then press it down by all means to keep the shape, but I just crumbled it up in a bowl to create my fake rice and mix in minced garlic, ginger and fermented soy bean paste. Formed a well in the middle and filled it with beansprouts, coriander and in the steamer for 5min.

The other half of the crumbled tofu spongy went on top of a roast.  To be more specific, teriyaki pork roast with honey and sesame (marinated for 24hrs) and cubed sweet potatoes. Omit the pork or substitute with seitan for vegetarian but my husband expressed his love for teriyaki and missing teriyaki chicken, I decided to make this beautiful dish. His favourite being pork and sweet potatoes, I picked up a bottle of teriyaki sauce from Emart, and down to work I went.

Into the oven covered for 40min and then uncovered for 20min.

Tasted amazing! Looks amazing too – but it was a little dry. I think the trick is to baste it every 20min? To moisten the meat but I don’t like disturbing a roast incase it doesn’t cook through. The worse thing is to serve up raw meat to the judge (Mr Hubby) – did I mention I love Masterchef Australia? The meal was a saviour on a cold winter-ish night that’s for sure.

And for a dash of colour, beautiful strawberries from our local Organic Farm grocers. I love visiting our local Organic Farm grocer (we named Green Grocer before finding out it’s real name just because it had a green facade!), the family that owns the shop are fantastic and so friendly. They talk to me as if I understand them so all I do is smile and nod now and then. We are familiar faces to them now considering we visit at least once every 2days for our produce and fruits. We can’t get enough of them. Oh and did I mention I am a full supporter of local farmers?

Speaking of which, this country is amazing. I’m so happy to be able to enjoy new things, new produce, people, new smells, sights and sounds. Mostly new tastes from traditional cooking. This country prides itself of local, home cooked meals and most importantly traditional cooking. The years of history of this country is amazing and the techniques and ingredients used to create simple, delicious meals to share is just wonderful. I just love how they try to teach you how to eat the meal, one time we had a guy put together a wrap for us with his bare hands and we had to eat it, he stood there waiting! Oh dear. That’s a moment we will never forget… but still wondering if his hands were clean! Don’t remember suffering from tummyache so I guess they were clean.

The produce here is so seasonal unlike Dubai where you can get everything all year round. For me, the biggest miss was green apples. They came out in Autumn, then disappeared again and have not been seen ever since. I’m waiting for Autumn to come around again so I can enjoy them but the green apples here are just unripe red apples. They don’t have granny smiths here but something’s better than nothing I guess. Red apples are available all year round, me thinks it’s a type of Fuji Apple as well as Braeburn like apple, not sure but I know how to pick the crunchy from the powdery ones. Sometimes I get it wrong as well. Just remember, bright red with little brownish spots.

On my recent visit to the Organic Grocers, I found some new herbs/greens I’ve never seen before. I decided to try a few of them, leaving the rest for another day’s adventure. I will try and guess (clockwise from left) – Swiss Chard, think it’s called Lamb’s Ears?, Parsley Leaves, Sesame Leaves and this big lump in the front, I have no clue. It didn’t smell familiar nor did it taste familiar.

But it was definitely damn delicious! Pan fried for 2min, covered and taken off the heat. Just wanted to wilt it, not kill it. Wasn’t sure if I could eat them raw.

So, in addition to that, we had our home made Ssam spread. I wanted to showcase nature’s beautiful bounty so I panfried them all in their natural state without oil or seasoning.

Except for the pork which was seasoned with mum’s Chinese 5-spice powder, few grinds of salt and lots of pepper.

Side dishes were fresh white button mushrooms, ginger, garlic, onion rings, bean sprouts, wilted herbs, gochuejang sauce and fresh green chillies.

To wrap, sesame leaves and swiss chard. Utterly delicious – without-A-doubt. Please come again!

I had to put this one in as well, it’s so beautiful, isn’t nature beautiful? Isn’t God beautiful? The onions here I have to say are very tricky to slice, they are kind of slimy and they kept on slipping and sliding off. I do not need another bloody incident thank you very much!

And for my closing – I GOT THIS BOOK! O.M.G! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this on the shelf. I nearly fell over! I had this in my wish list on Amazon since I first heard of it in the making (a few months ago), so you can imagine my excitement and joy when I noticed it. It was Christmas for me. I took it in my hands, sat down and flicked through the pages with eyes wide open at every image – oh and the recipe as well… think that’s the important bit right? Haha… I only crave the design and images of a cookbook. I am in love.

I’ve re-written this blog so many times since I first started it and now I am feeling slightly better about it. So here’s to me, my blog and a wonderful future ahead with my beautiful blog, beautiful photography and writing. Take me as I am, weird and wonderful, blue plates and tartan table cloths.

First change – like my new theme?

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