Wednesday, 18 July 2018

More Kitchen Adventures

Well this week I got out the black eyed beans I had bought, relieved to be cooking something I knew to be straight forward, poured them into a pot and noticed that they all had tiny little holes in them. For some reason the origin of the holes didn't immediately strike me but after I covered them in water and the bodies of many tiny critters floated out, I knew I had a weevil attack on my hands. Sigh.
A lot of rinsing later, I thought we might have got rid of the majority of the beasties but after cooking I realised that there were a lot of beans with small black bodies inside. You can't see them too much when the beans are cooked in a thick curry sauce.

I haven't been able to get photos of the ducks at work but I have seen evidence of their presence around the swimming pool. The gardener is deeply displeased by the little calling cards and the property manager has assured him that the pool man uses "duck away"
You learn something new some days, don't you? Duck away changes the water so the ducks struggle to float and fly away. Young ducks aren't so great at detecting danger and can drown in a "duck away" treated pool. The property manager remarked that dead ducks are not a good look. Even less good for the duck, I thought. Then I remembered that ducks (drakes at least) are rapey bullies and felt a tiny bit better about the potentially duck killing swimming pool.

Talking of bullies, my colleague with the canned soup making personal chef has some characteristics I associate with bullies and I'm pleased I have seen the signs. My last boss was near sociopathic. Six years on I still shudder to think of her. Then I imagine keying her car. On both sides. And pouring paint on the top. I might dream up different methods for Ms Personal Chef who let slip her great love for beetroot and fig chutney, which is so good she can eat jars of it despite the way it plays havoc with her gut. Mwahahaha!

You might remember that my daughter takes me for coffee every week. We go to the same place every time and have never been given any kind of freebie. A few weeks ago I got myself a walking stick (it's black with pink flowers on it) and the first time I went for coffee with the stick we were given a free muffin. I said to my kids "I bet it's the stick"
Yesterday they bagged up a muffin and gave it to me as I paid. My daughter reached for the bag and was smilingly reprimanded "That's for your mum!"
Yep, it's the stick. Do you think I could get free coffee if I had two sticks?

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Kitchen Adventures

I have cooked beans on and off for years: borlotti beans, chickpeas, split peas, lentils, kidney beans and white beans have all been cooked in my kitchen.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a bean I had never seen before, lupini beans. I liked the squarish shape of the beans and bought a pack. I expected them to be like all the other beans but a cuter shape. (My kids have mocked me mercilessly for buying beans on the basis of shape so if you think it's odd, you are not alone)
On Friday night I soaked the whole pack (a kilo pack) and on Saturday I started boiling them. Like I said, I expected them to be the same as all the others: soak, boil, strain, add to recipe and eat.
After simmering for an hour or so they weren't even close to softening. "Hmmm, these beans need a bit more cooking than I expected"
I decided on a quick google search. Lucky I did.
Lupini beans are full of alkaloids and are poisonous if not prepared correctly.
Soak, boil, soak in brine, change brine daily, repeat for fifteen days.

Apparently they are loved in Europe and eaten as a snack with a beer (think a handful rather than a bowl full or a little goes a long way).

I now have what was a kilo of beans, rehydrated it's more like five or six, sitting on my kitchen bench in brine. In twelve more days I'll have more brined beans than I know what to do with.

If I didn't laugh I would cry.

If you like lupinis and are in Sydney, you are welcome to a jar (or six)

Saturday, 7 July 2018

First Class Mail

I had an oddly up and down day on Wednesday. I was on an even keel when I went to my seniors group but then I didn't have enough money on me to pay for morning tea. It's only a couple of dollars and I had it at home but not with me. A bit embarrassing for the leader of the group.
One of the ladies was looking pale and mentioned an off tummy. It was on her second trip to the loo that she yelled out for help. Mrs Hungary is 90+ and becoming quite frail but tough as old boots in the mental department. Glasgow born and a former nurse, I don't think much bothers her but this time her panic was palpable.
She was white and dripping with sweat, unable to hold herself up so I called an ambulance. Paramedics agreed that her blood pressure was extremely low and ran a saline drip before they would even consider transporting her. I haven't heard any more about her condition but I don't imagine it's good.
After that I had a very late lunch, my daughter Caitlin has been waiting for a chance to take me to a new favourite sushi restaurant. It was delicious.
Toward the end of the day I checked the mail to find this package from Linda of Practical Parsimony. Linda had told me she was sending something and it had been delayed in the mail. We were both starting to wonder if it would ever arrive!
Someday soon I'm going to be dining on Mesquite marinaded something (chicken? beef?) and it will remind me not just of a thoughtful lady in Alabama but all of my friends met through blogging.

Thanks Linda!