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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


The omnivore's 100

I came across a link to the omnivore's 100 - a list/challenge for omnivores. 100 things to consume.

Since I'm pressed for time (work is nuts), you're not going to get much innovative writingt out of me in the next few days (I'm also off to the Electric Picnic). So here's the list, with what I've eaten in bold.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Ok, so there's still some eating left to do. Not sure I'll ever be keen on the intestinal ones though...

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Turns out that it's not much more expensive to fly-around-the-world then it is to fly just to Auckland.

So we are.

Leaving on Christmas Eve, we're flying to Tokyo to see Mark, Reiko & Emilie, then to Auckland, then Sydney, then Vancouver (for Laura's work), then back here.

We'll be in Auckland from Dec 30 until Jan 18, so please don't take all your holidays in Jan or we might not see you.

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Gefilte fish

Already hands down our favourite supermarket Laura found gefilte fish at the M&S on Grafton St yesterday! As they were about to expire, I had to eat them all yesterday - with generous helpings of horseradish. (They're nowhere near as good as Auntie Mavis's).

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America has too many guns

From Sideswipe.



Deliciousness: Laura's rhubarb jam

I have longed for rhubarb jam for a long time.

Back in the olden days, we went to a lovely cafe (the name of which escapes me right now, but it was Natalia Schamroth's food) for brunch. And every time, without fail, I'd get the toast and jam, and avocado.

The jam was rhubarb & vanilla jam, and it was amazing. So amazing that I'd get the jam every single time.

How happy was I that I'd been given a rough approximation of the recipe when they sold the business and moved on? Very.

I did nothing for several years - getting married, moving, all that kind of stuff got in the way. But on Saturday, I spotted rhubarb bunches. I managed to find a nice-looking bunch, have its niceness verified by someone who'd bought rhubarb before, and buy it. David contributed a find of jam sugar (pectin included), and I got some vanilla beans.

Without boring you with the intimate details of the recipe, I will say that it was very easy, and resulted in delicious jam that is equally as good on ice cream as it is on toast. (Not with peanut butter, that was an unfortunate combo.)

It's also a lovely, sophisticated dusky pink colour, with teensy black flecks from the vanilla bean (and no visible effects from the cinnamon stick).

If you're interested, you can see photos from The Great Rhubarb Jam Experiment here.

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Reading and the domestic arts

During my blogging hiatus, I kept busy with a variety of things - amongst them, reading.

Being a librarian's daughter, I'm somewhat predisposed to reading - everything, everywhere, all the time. Nothing stresses me more than the perceived lack of reading material (two fat books for a 2-hour plane ride, anyone?).

One of the books that particularly grabbed me was Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

If you haven't read it (and you really should), it details a year in which her family ate almost entirely locally produced food. (Yes, it's non-fiction, and no thank you, I don't care to read any more of her novels, nor discuss them.) It's very engaging and well-written, and even includes recipes, although some of them are rather unusual (I have a date with the zucchini chocolae chip cookies).

As my paternal grandmother's granddaughter, gardening (for food or flowers) is no alien concept. Gran could - and did - grow anything, in abundant quantities. If other people had a green thumb, her hands and entire arms were green, so prolific was her garden. And while the over-abundance of broccoli and cauliflower never pleased me, I can certainly respect the sheer volume of product that came from her fairly small garden.

Having lived in apartments for the last 7 or so years, I've been reduced to indoor plants and pots on balconies. Some have been more successful than others. Plants that like to suck up the nasties from electronics, like spider plants and peace lilies, have done very well. Our rubber plant lasted fairly well. The puka was less successful.

When it comes to food-yielding plants, we've had terrible failures with herbs, moderate success with citrus (no real fruit but the plants grew and lived), and one spectacular cherry tomato plant that produced and produced for nearly 3 months.

Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle reminded me how much I like to grow food, albeit in a limited and pot-bound way. So when I returned from a work trip to Vancouver, I set about convincing David that it was time to get started.

George the wonder-plant, and the (unnamed but fairly beloved) aubergine and capsicum plants are the result. Thanks to the book, I now have grand plans for the empty pot - I'm thinking garlic - and I yearn for the space to try my hand at onions, carrots, and the odd pumpkin or two (for the purposes of making pumpkin pie only). Our situation (limited greenhouse-like space in the stairwell up to the rood terrace, and the terrace itself, which is large but exposed) mean I'm unlikely to realise all these goals, though I'm fairly set on the garlic.

It's also made me even more aware of eating locally, and in season. Eating locally is more difficult in Dublin than Auckland, and our mild addiction to M&S (as a substitute for the healthy takeaways we seem unable to find here) means we do eat a lot of imported stuff. But we're working on it.

Today, my steps towards local eating were to move George back to his favourite sunny spot, in view of his vege siblings; and to buy some delicious Irish rhubarb so I could make jam. Small steps perhaps, but delicious ones. And every step in the right direction counts.

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