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Speaker: Dancing with Dingoes, Part II

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  • Jacqui Dunn,

    With haricot beans I prefer a Greek recipe, Fasolatha, which is vegetarian

    Would so love to have that recipe. We're mostly vego here, so pork is out. Care to share?

    My mother was hopeless at making pav. She'd give it a go every Christmas, and present us with a piece of toffee, half an inch high, with lots of whipped cream on top. My auntie, on the other hand, made pavs that were sheer delight, all marshmallow and a good six inches high. But Mum made a baked cheese cake once that I still remember - it had nine eggs in it, was marbled with chocolate, and I swear, a square inch of the thing would sustain a grown man for a day, it was so rich. And Mum was really good at scones, and a loaf called Bermaline. Anyone had that?

    Actually, I've got to stop rewinding and reading what you women (and men) are writing. I swear I'm putting on weight by devouring the words!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Mrs Jolley rushed at the oven, to bake a cake, although it was not a day of celebration, but she liked to bake, a pink cake for choice, with non-parelles, and something written on it. With the Mothers' Union and the Ladies' Guild, with the Fellowships, Senior and Junior, pink was always popular, and what is popular is safe.

    Mrs Jolley sang and baked. She loved to sing the pinker hymns. She would even sing those of which she did not know the words. She sang and baked. And saw pink. She loved the Jesus Christ of long pink face and languid curls, in words and windows. All was right then. All the homes and kiddies saved. All was sanctified by cake.

    Patrick White, Riders in the Chariot

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3557 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Would so love to have that recipe. We’re mostly vego here, so pork is out. Care to share?

    This is exactly what I make exceopt I would never put a whole cup of olive oil in this amount - I use 1/4 cup. Other than that, it's the same - it's an extremely y simple recipe. It sure goes well with fried haloumi cheese, you can make up for the missing olive oil there.

    Fasolatha Recipe

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    This is exactly what I make

    Quoi? Have I missed a link? Wha?

    Ah, I get it! Invisible writing!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Externally, definitely not.

    Intriguing, Joe, especially the 'definitely'. They do say it's not what's on the outside that counts, but surely they can't be talking about men, in that case?

    Yes, I remember that blancmange, quivering. But the sisters weren’t arguing with Kate, they were old tabbies terrified of Kate the bad tempered young maid, afraid to ask for jam.

    Dyan, all that cake-baking (and eating) must have sharpened your faculties. Alas I fear in my case the reverse is true. I only remember the terrified blancmange, classic tunnel vision.

    you take a bottle of vodka ...

    This should be the start of all recipes.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Jeez! I'll never make light of the lake's dangers again :(

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    All was sanctified by cake

    What a delightful piece by PW. Love "the pinker hymns". Very evocative. My mother tends to "see pink", a good colour to see.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    My mother was hopeless at making pav

    Mine was pretty good but largely because she had been given a pav plate with the recipe on it that you followed then cooked the pav on. Every pav we ever ate was cooked on that plate. Various toppings, of course, but somehow a dreary sameness to them. I once had dinner guests refuse my chocolate mousse pav because as a child one of them had been fed too much pav and of so many varieties that he swore never to eat another mouthful of pav for the rest of his life.
    No harm done, of course. All the more chocolate mousse pav for me :)

    But now I gotta go get ready for Kaeo. Ciao

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Quoi? Have I missed a link? Wha?

    Ah, I get it! Invisible writing!

    Eeeek, well the failed link was fortunate, because on close inspection it's not quite exactly what I make - the linked recipe didn't use fresh tomatoes. Here goes the real one:

    Fasolatha (ancient Greek recipe)

    4 cups dried haricot beans (also known as "navy beans").

    Put beans in a dish with water and cover, overnight. Drain and rinse well in colander. Add beans to cold fresh water (enough water to well submerge, about 6 cups) and bring to rolling boil.

    Once boiling, reduce to fairly active simmer, until beans are tender - about 1 hour. Do not add salt, at this stage, as this makes the skins of the beans tough if added while cooking. Do not add baking soda (as some suggest) to the beans soaking overnight - this does speed up the softening, but can destroy some of the nice B vitamins contained in the beans).

    So, starting with your cooked beans:

    4 C. (they were 4C dried anyway!) haricot beans, cooked, boiled, drained and rinsed
    1 spanish onion (plain brown) diced
    4 - 5 cloves garlic, chopped
    3 stalks celery (and a few leaves) diced
    3 carrots, diced
    4 -8 (depending on size) very ripe tomatoes - chopped or just processed smooth, skins and all.
    2 - 3 Tbsp tomato paste
    1/4 to 1/2 C. good quality extra virgin olive oil (as you are not going to fry/heat this directly, you can use the very dark green well flavoured type you'd use for salad - not the lighter coloured stuff meant for roasting & frying
    3 - 4 C fresh water
    1/4 tsp or ground pepper to taste

    You can top up with a little water during cooking - to make whatever texture you prefer. Traditionally it is not quite as thick as chili, but almost. Some people prefer it as a more soupy texture.

    Bring all these ingredients to a boil. Reduce to a simmer & cook at least 1 & 1/2 hours. During cooking (at least an hour in or so) you can add the salt - at least 1/2 tsp. - more can be added later to taste.

    That's it! You can remove a small amount of the soup (20% or so) and process till smooth, and add back to soup, giving it that nice, rich opaque sauce to the beans and vegetable chunks.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Dyan, all that cake-baking (and eating) must have sharpened your faculties. Alas I fear in my case the reverse is true. I only remember the terrified blancmange, classic tunnel vision.

    There are some stories I have read so many times I can recite passages - and The Daughters of the Late Colonel is one of them! I love Katherine Mansfield for her slightly demented sense of humour. That story is so sad and so funny at the same time.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    ) you can add the salt – at least 1/2 tsp. – more can be added later to taste.

    Arrgh, I left it too late to edit... you probably want to start at only 1/4 tsp and start tasting from there - 1/2 tsp is looking like a lot at the moment.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to dyan campbell,

    That looks so lovely. Thank you Dyan. But really, though, 1/4 teaspoon of salt for 4 cups of beans? Doesn't sound like enough. Mind you, I did a very quick skim of the recipe.....

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to sally jones,

    Sally - good metaphor- the pohutukawa (& rata) are the summer trees for their blossom (and they have so many other virtues - try reading Simpson's "The Iron-Hearted Trees") -as do the eucalypts (Murray Ball has an excellent novel about them.) But - they are extraordinarily different, from v. different environments...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to dyan campbell,

    dyan - you're on! I hope I will come equipped with my formidable youngest redhaired sister , and I will happily munch upon everything you both cook...ahh the prospective joy!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Islander,

    -as do the eucalypts (Murray Ball has an excellent novel about them.)

    Although Murray Ball is reputedly still on deck, he’s chiefly remembered for a comic strip largely narrated by a mute dog, about a crumbling tenement where the inhabitants slowly perish from something like an advanced form of tinea. I know it’s an easily made typo, but this is surely the guy you meant.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3557 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    O geez-that's the THIRD time I've made that mistake! (You dont want to know about the other occaisions.)
    Thanks Joe Wylie- it is indeed Murray BAIL who wrote "Eucalyptus" - which is an excellent novel...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Are we still on cakes?

    Has this been reported in our media? Haven't seen it as yet.

    We won the Pav! Hooray for us!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to recordari,

    We won the Pav! Hooray for us!

    Damn! If only Her Ditziness the Parkeress had been informed of that before she took the plunge and had her upper cranium replaced with a steamed pudding.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3557 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    her upper cranium replaced with a steamed pudding.

    Blanc-mange?

    ETA: I know it's unseemly to laugh at one's own jokes, but this seemed apposite.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to recordari,

    I know it’s unseemly to laugh at one’s own jokes . . .

    Ah well, only because it's Friday . . .

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3557 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Lol. But I think it looks more like caramel custard.

    Reminds me of when I was 18 and was talked into going red. My friend the (amateur) hairdresser had this theory that she should bleach it first, and then put a red rinse through. Came out about the colour of Her Ladyship's, but at least I had the pale colouring that went with it (sort of).

    Hey! Maybe my friend moved to Christchurch and is still theorizing?

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to dyan campbell,

    I love Katherine Mansfield for her slightly demented sense of humour. That story is so sad and so funny at the same time.

    Yes indeed. But I fear that in our enthusiastic recollections of the blanc-mange last week we may have done a dreadful disservice to the meringue.

    Having decided to take KM to Kaeo on our recent trip, upon rereading this story I found it was the meringue, and Cyril's excruciating cringe having to tell his grandfather - the take-no-prisoners (eat-no-meringue) Colonel - of his father's ongoing appetite for meringue, that brought on the wheeze that wouldn't leave. If only I were that demented.

    But a recipe for soup? When I left we'd been having a perfectly decent discussion about cake that led quite seamlessly, I thought, into a promising recipe (for something) involving a bottle of vodka.

    Don't get me wrong, I like soup. There's nothing to beat it when you're hungry and thirsty and haven't the time to satisfy both urges separately. But please, if it's not already too late, before I launch my next post on a subject (pubic grooming) that is somewhat less likely to spawn talk of cake than the present one on ballet in the Australian Outback, let's return the discussion to that most laudable of all subjects worthy of discussion: CAKE (acceptably stretched to accommodate hilarious meringues and vodka).

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones,

    So I am talking to myself. Probably just as well.

    In the spirit of returning the thread to talk of cake, I today succumbed to a neenish tart. It was delicious and light, the icing not too thick, the filling not too fatty. But it had a lemony flavour that I couldn't remember (from previous neenish). Some say lemon is the most soothing scent for women to smell and taste, perhaps that's why I liked it so much.

    In other cake news, my daughter and I have baked a large batch of Christmas cake to last for the whole season. Some of it will even find its way down to the South Island, all being well. Three kilos of fruit and plenty nuts too. We took about a quarter of it up to Kaeo and it all went the first day. We gave half a loaf to the neighbour who looked after the cats while we were away. It's a very dense cake, half is okay, yes? I hope so.
    Can't think of any more cake news for now. Think I might have to go grab a bit more fruit cake :)

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to sally jones,

    So I am talking to myself. Probably just as well.

    Maybe people are having their cake, and eating it?

    Love a good fruit cake. Half seems generous. ;-)

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

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