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:Read the rest of this entry »
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.
I can’t say I am an expert of smoking – I only learned about it a year ago from ‘A Food Blog by a Old Fat Guy’. I love this blog from the far away land – as I read, I could smell the forest from the mountains in Canada.
Dreaming of the forests, l bough the closest thing I could find – apple wood chips from Tasmania. I have only a small bag, but it lasted a while. I did 4 lots of smoking with this – rainbow trout fillets, American ribs, salmon and pork belly. OMG, so very delicious!
I don’t have a smoker, but I have a super heavy duty 16-quart stainless steel stock pot that can cook ‘waterless’. It has a adjustable small hole in the lid which is perfect for checking out how much smoke has built up in the pot. I only used a small amount of wood chips which is sufficient for the size of the pot. Fish fillets can be cooked in about 20-30 minutes; meat requires further cooking after 30-40 minutes of smoking, which can be finished off on the BBQ.
I am quite time poor so I don’t use brine. For fish, I rubbed a little sea salt, a little sugar and some oil prior to cooking. For meat, I rubbed my favorite spices, salt and oil.
I like smoked salmon the best – rich, smoky and satisfying, with deliciousness lingering in your month for many hours after the meal.
I served the smoked salmon with a fennel, carrot and rocket salad, drizzle over a dressing with lemon juice, strawberry jam and sesame oil. I will post the recipe shortly.
Here is a quick write up of the very simple process: