The best time to go on holiday depends on the seasons and the reasons. To escape from a dreadful climate. To escape from a task that you don’t want to do. To escape from boredom. To escape from the drudgery of an office job. To escape from a heartbreak. I don’t know about you. But I go on holiday to escape. Period.
Over the years I realized that the best pasta dishes I’ve made were the ones where I didn’t have to use a recipe. Once I’ve learned the 4 basic steps, it becomes easy to experiment with different kinds of ingredients and flavours.
I was staring at this photo of the pasta dish I made using fennel and leeks and I knew, even if it looked perfect, that something was not quite right but couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. Then it finally dawned on me that I should have used the fennel fronds I set aside as garnish instead of parsley! It would have made sense. It was a fennel sauce after all. If I didn’t forget my fennel fronds, this photo would have been absolutely perfect. Perhaps I should do it again tomorrow? I still have some sauce left. I just have to set everything up again, find that perfect light, shoot from that perfect angle, and make sure I have my perfect garnish. But why always strive for perfection? Isn’t good enough enough?
Vinegar is undoubtedly my favorite condiment. I have it in different colors (white, brown, black) and different varieties (you name it, I have it!) Have you tried dipping fried tofu in vinegar mixed with chopped onions? Heaven!
This wonderful pair of recipes came out in the April 2014 issue of FishHead magazine under Delaney Mes‘ My Kitchen column. She creates recipes, I cook and shoot for her. She lives in Auckland and I live in Wellington but in this day and age of email and DropBox, distance doesn’t matter.
THE VERY FIRST DISH that came to mind when I was contemplating to become a vegetarian for the sake of love was kare-kare. It would be very difficult to give up. But love prevailed and I never had kare-kare since then. This was two decades ago. As fate would have it, the love was eventually lost and I had since gone back to eating meat (poultry, yes. four-legged animals, no.)
About two weeks ago, I met an American from Michigan who moved to New Zealand and unexpectedly became a Kiwi farmer. In 2009, he started a WordPress blog called Moon Over Martinborough to chronicle their life in the farm which eventually led to a best-selling book of the same title. Carrot cake everyone wants is the most enticing story behind a recipe that I’ve ever read. It teaches you a lesson about sharing your most beloved recipes, unless you want an angry mob of pitchfork-carrying farmers at your door.
I had fun in the kitchen today – I dismembered a squid. I pulled out its cartilage, carefully removed and set aside the sac of ink from its guts, decapitated it and chopped its tentacles into tiny little pieces. Then I cooked it.
I wish I was blogging about passionfruit cheesecake and eating one right now. Wishing is one thing, making it happen is another. Perhaps another time! For now I just marvel at the thought and sight of these wonderful, wrinkly, sour and sweet little things called passionfruit.