Meals for the homeless – summer ice tea, and Mr J’s first night as a rough sleeper

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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.

The street corner John once occupied.
The street corner J once occupied.

‘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.

Summer ice tea, with chilled lychee flavored Chinese tea, lychee fruit, pineapple, cranberry, orange, lime, honey and mint

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Meals for the homeless – Indian spiced chicken drumstick fillets

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A nearby butcher sells chicken drumstick fillets at an unbelievable price. This is gold – I reckon the drumstick is the best part of a poultry – juicy, tender and full of flavors.

This week, I made some Indian spiced chicken drumstick fillets for our homies.

So easy, with 3-4 simple steps:

  • Cut the chicken drumstick fillets into chunky pieces
  • Marinate the meat with garlic and ginger paste,  natural yogurt, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, mustard oil, sesame oil, salt, and black pepper 
  • Pan fry in small batches with a little cooking oil  
  • Optional garnish – sliced fresh mint, fresh chili and toasted sesame seeds.

Tasted pretty good.

Pan fried spiced chicken fillets

 

Salted duck egg, with sweet and spicy vegetables (FODMAP friendly)

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A lovely Italian man at my husband’s work keeps a few ducks in his back yard. He gave us some fresh eggs again.  We are so blessed.

I salted the eggs in brine for two weeks, using 3 tbsp of salt for 1 liter of water. The yolks were just turning golden, and the egg white was not overly salty.  For a bit of fun, I steamed the eggs in small cups, rather than a simple semi-hard boil.

I saute some diced red capsicum, cherry tomatoes and diced cucumbers with some cooking oil, tomato sauce, chili sauce. I added a dash of sesame oil, and garnished the vegetables with some chopped coriander and toasted sesame seeds.

Looked mouth watering and tasted delicious.

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Chicken giblet with cucumber (sustainable living #3)

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Chicken giblets need to be cook quickly to avoid over cooking. So I blanch the giblets in hot water quickly before slicing and pan frying.  Once blanched, I cook the giblets the same way as the chicken liver.

Here are the easy steps:

  • Blanch the giblets quickly in hot water; transfer to a plate to cool
  • Thinly slice the giblets
  • In a frying pan, add some cooking oil, bring it to very hot temperature; add sliced ginger, minced garlic, and sliced chili;  add sliced giblets, a little sugar, toss; splash a little dark soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, toss; remove from heat
  • Add some sliced shallot / scallion, toss
  • Add some sliced cucumber, toss
  • Garnish with chopped coriander

The giblets taste better the next day, served chilled as a salad (‘liang-ban’).

Chicken giblet with cucumber

Chicken liver with oyster sauce (sustainable living #2)

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My favorite chicken liver recipe calls for a quick stir fry in a very hot wok.

It is super simple:

  • In a frying pan, add some cooking oil, bring it to very hot temperature
  • Add sliced ginger, minced garlic,  sliced chili, and sliced shallot / scallion (white part only),  toss lightly
  • Add chicken liver pieces (cleaned and trimmed in advance);  splash in a little sugar and toss (for aroma), splash in some dark soy sauce (for color), oyster sauce, white pepper, stir fry till cooked
  • Add some sliced shallot/scallion (green part), toss
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and toasted sesame seeds

Chicken liver with chili, garlic and ginger

 

Stir fry Pig tongue with leek (sustainable living #1)

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Our family talked about sustainable living from time to time.  We achieved very little – the house is unsuitable for solar panels, and we are too busy to run a productive veggie patch or to keep a coup of chickens.

One thing we do well as a half-Asian family, is to use “fifth quarter” cuts such as offal.

Here is a stir fry pig tongue dish this week:

Stir fry pig tongue with soy and chili sauce

 

Stir fry pig tongue with soy and chili sauce

Simple cooking steps are as follows:

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Wonton ‘salad’ with XO Sauce

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Some beautiful people at my husband’s work organised a picnic lunch last weekend.  It was a diverse mix of people – Australians, Germans, Chinese and a few Indian families. A father brought his son and some yummy curry cooked by his wife’s friend.

“Why your wife’s friend cooked for us, a bunch of strangers?” we asked.

“Our Indians always help each other out in the community”, he smiled, ‘my son, for example, lived with his aunt for a few years; and our neighbor had picked him up from school for many years, unpaid of course”.

That sounds lovely, and a dream for many of us.

I live in a suburb in Sydney.  I like the area because it has lots of big trees and the community was warm and welcoming.  Things changed over the past few years with skyrocket housing prices. Moms are now working more hours and the stress spreading in the air.

How I wish we could have a closely knit community who can help each other, or simply having the time to ask each other, “are you ok?”

Wonton salad with XO Sauce

Here is a large wonton ‘salad’ I prepared for the picnic, a dish perfect for sharing.

The dish is somehow Cantonese, spiced with a Hong Kong style XO sauce made with scallop, fish, garlic and chili; yet it is not quite Cantonese as it was served lightly chilled, a cooking style used frequently by Northern China called the ‘liang ban’ (cool-mix).

A video on how to wrap wontons is also attached below.

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »