I met J at the homeless feed. He was a regular volunteer. He loves to help out at the weekly street buffet. A warm and witty man, J was a lawyer at a major bank before he became a rough sleeper. Newly settled in social housing, J cooks delicious desserts and muffins for his friends on the streets.
‘That was my sleeping spot,’ J pointed to a corner next to a shop front.
‘My first night on the street,’ J smiled, ‘Hunter gave me her bedding. She slept on the concrete floor that night.‘
‘For many years I had felt that I didn’t fit in, even though I had everything I needed, until the guys here accepted me unconditionally.’
‘Guys here, so many of them are willing to pull their shirts off their backs and offer it to you.’
‘Many think homeless people are drug addicts, alcoholics or have mental illnesses. I don’t smoke or drink. A car accident and circumstances put me on the streets among these guys.’ J said humbly.
Inspired by the story, I made a delicious ice tea to bring smiles and cheerfulness.
Perfect for the hot summer days – chilled lychee flavored Chinese tea, with lychee fruit, pineapple, cranberry, orange, lime, honey and mint. They loved it so much, they asked for it the next week, and the week after. I have been making it for weeks.
With that, I wish for a simple world of kindness and acceptance for all souls, especially those quirky one.
Meals for the homeless – chicken and apricot terrine, with ham fat, raisin, strawberry jam, thyme and bay leaf
Last Saturday my 10 year old boy bought a ham for the homeless feed out of his own pocket money. He and his dad sliced up the ham and left a pile of ham fat behind.
This Saturday was the Christmas dinner for our homeless friends. So I made this colorful chicken terrine with left over ham fat. I also added apricot, raisin, saute onion, corn kennel, cumin powder, cinnamon powder, thyme, bay leaf, strawberry jam, salt and black pepper.
Looks and tasted great, and so easy and cheap to make.
A few days ago, my neighbor’s girl dropped by in the late afternoon. We made some simple noodles together. Her mum had been unwell for a few weeks. So it was nice for the keen 11 year old to learn to cook a meal for the family.
When she popped over again today, she brought me a few lemons from their trees. So I made this simple, gentle and aromatic tea with the lemons – perfect to enjoy on a rainy autumn afternoon.
Method is as follows:
Winter is (nearly) coming to Sydney and it is getting cold for some Sydneysiders. Don’t laugh – today is 12-16 degree Celsius and many of us were shivering.
So I made a tummy friendly lamb shank soup with potato, carrot and quinoa. To spice it up a little, I added clove, bay leaves, cumin, paprika, chili flake and black pepper. I cooked it in a pressure cooker so it was an easy one-pot meal.
Recipe is as follows:
On the weekend a few friends dropped by for lunch. I cooked a simple roast cattleman’s beef using the blasting method.
I learnt the blasting method by accident. A few years ago I picked up a round beef roast from the supermarket. I then realized that the meat was so lean, it was one of the most difficult roast to cook. Reportedly the only way to cook it was to blast it in a at 240°C/ 460°F in an oven, then turned off the heat and cooked it with the remaining heat for a few hours. I fell in love with the blasting – the smoke, the aroma and the juicy and tender meat we enjoyed.
For lunch I bought a 2kg cattleman’s cut from our local butcher. I rubbed the meat with oil, salt, 2 tsp of cumin and 2 tsp of turmeric. I then laid the meat on a rack over a drip tray. I preheated the oven for 30 minutes at 240°C/ 460°F, then cooked the meat for 15 minutes before turning off the oven. The roast was cooked for further 2 hours with the remaining heat. The smell was unbelievable and it made me so hungry!
I served the beef with some roast vegetables which I first cooked in microwave to 90%, then finished cooking under a grill with some oil, salt and rosemary. For FODMAPers, carrots, Japanese pumpkins and potatoes are good options for roasting as it contains no FODMAP.
Last Saturday we had a few families over for lunch. I was busy all week and didn’t have time to prepare a cake. I decided to make one of my easiest cake – layered cheese cake with Nutella hazelnut cocoa.
So simple, you don’t even need a recipe.
First, I prepared the cake mix with 2 packs of Betty Crocker vanilla cake, boosted with a cup of almond meal and a cup of desiccated coconut to make it more dense and moist. I baked the cakes in 2 rectangle trays so the cakes were nice and flat. I then freeze the cakes overnight before I cut then into 1cm thickness slices, lengthwise.
The next day I used a mixer to combine 4 x 250g packages of Philadelphia cream cheese (at room temperature), 3-4 tablespoonful of Nutella, 4-5 tablespoonful of sugar and a dash of kumquat juice. Then I assembled the layered cake – a layer of cake, a layer of Nutella cream cheese mixture. Then I covered the sides with more Nutella cream cheese. I shaved some dark chocolate on top as decoration. I returned the cake to fridge for a few hours before serving.
I love this cake – easy to make, not as heavy as a cheese cake, but still moist, dense and satisfying.