Category Archives: Food

Nigella Lawson and my kitchen

Ah, Nigella, how I love your cooking shows. It’s like cooking in my kitchen, only cleaner, tidier, glossier, and a whole heap more fun. (Dare I say, sexier?) I wish I had your glossy hair and beautiful eyes and your dear way of talking while effortlessly creating delicious dishes. Sigh.

I read a piece from The Telegraph today about her book from 2000 and had to giggle a bit at the idea that it really is a feminist tract.

Speaking of baking (whence the feminist tract comment), Nigella said

There’s something intrinsically misogynistic about decrying a tradition [i.e. baking] because it has always been female.

Good point.

In my family, being able to cook, whether baking, making a roast or stir frying vegies, is an essential life skill. No ‘reclaiming the kitchen from mean chefs who are usually guys’, no ‘worrying about what people will think of your cooking’. No, instead it’s a simple fact that you’ll save money and eat far better by being able to plan a menu from seasonal foods, cook it yourself, and save some in the freezer. You’ll know what’s in your dishes, you can be in control of fat and salt, adapt recipes to what suits you and be in charge of your nutritional health. Better still, you can share what you’ve cooked with your family and friends. Actually, you can make friends through sharing food. Not a bad idea, eh?

Easy scones

2 cups SR flour
1 cup cream
Pinch of salt (optional)

Sift SR flour with salt. Mix flour and cream together in a bowl until it forms a dough. Don’t over-stir it or the scones will go flat. Put the dough onto a floured board and pat it flat – but gently! You don’t want flat scones (How many times can I say that without sounding nuts?). Make the dough as thick or thin as you like. If it’s really thick, you’ll get fewer scones and they’ll take longer to cook and they might end up sticky in the middle and not taste very nice.

Cut scones with a knife or a scone cutter. Place on tray. Glaze with milk. Place in a hot oven, at least 180 degrees Celsius (fan forced oven) or 190 degrees Celsius if not a fan forced oven. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the tops of the scones are a golden brown and use one scone as a tester to open up and see if it’s cooked all the way through.

ETA: Scones are perfect with home-made apricot jam or raspberry jam. Don’t alert kids to the fact that you’re cooking scones or you won’t have enough to share with your friends at afternoon tea. Alternatively, make a double batch and let the little tackers make their own.


Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Food


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Bookmarks on your internet browser – good or not?

I admit that I have a lot of bookmarks for internet browsers, usually methodically filed under various headings (e.g. Education, Journals, Children, Psychology, etc.) I also bookmark things which I come across while doing research for lecturers, not necessarily what they wanted but things I’d found serendipitously.

The drawback is, of course, that I find the bookmarks later when I think “How on earth did I get to that one?” Or worse still, “Why did I take the effort to bookmark that?”

My treat today is from the American Association of Wine Economists, the AAWE Working Paper No. 36, .

After ranking the samples on the basis
of taste, subjects were challenged to identify which of the five was dog food. Although
72% of subjects ranked the dog food as the worst of the five samples in terms of taste
(Newell and MacFarlane multiple comparison, P<0.05), subjects were not better than
random at correctly identifying the dog food.

Best bit:

44% (8) of subjects incorrectly chose liverwurst (sample E) as the dog food.

We conclude that, although human beings do not enjoy eating dog food, they are
also not able to distinguish its flavor profile from other meat-based products that are
intended for human consumption.

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Academia, Article, Food, Odd stuff


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Our ancient tabby cat seems fine after worrying me about her eye. So what was going on? Who knows.

Our builders have left for the day. We now have a back deck that looks rather nice and the front deck, well, it is a work in progress. Things have been rather delayed due to the builder having an accident. Anyway, here’s hoping that he will continue to have good health and that he will have an uneventful time now.

DD and I made a butter cake and it has been extravagantly decorated with cachoux and pink and white sprinkles.

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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Food, House


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Wusses and wimps, I tell you!

How else can one explain the new Vegemite?

This baby Vegemite has a lower salt content (although if you’r worried about that, you should eschew those yeasty spreads altogether) and added B vitamins for kids aged from 1 to 3.

I say they’re wusses. Vegemite is a spread. If you’re a little kid, you get a thin spreading of Vegemite on your toast. If you’re a big bloke like my darling hubby, you get some toast with your Vegemite. The end.

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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Article, Food, News


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No, or not much, spending

I should re-do my tags. It is more honest to say it’s Not Much Spending September. 🙂

Yesterday I had to fork out $28 for a prescription and also spent $7 at the supermarket. Definitely not a NO spend.

I found a card from a local supermarket that apologises for the mess involved in renovations and offers 5% off a bill total of more than $30. Considering that I have to buy toilet paper at some point (and honestly, I’m fussy to the point of neurotic about the type of TP we have and what the plumbing will cope with), I will now start a shopping list of what are supermarket only goods.

One friend suggested that I buy some things in bulk from wholesale places. The plan had more merits when there were 3 of us in this house. I can see the sense in buying a box of paper towels (still go through these steadily), but we simply don’t go through much soap, for example, or butter or cheese. Our grocery bills have decreased a fair bit since DH died.

I am leery of buying too much of perishable stuff that will go off. We have a small freezer in the refrigerator so that limits how much I will make in pre-prepared meals. I suppose we could buy a small freezer, but it would have to pay its way to make it worth (a) the initial outlay and (b) the ongoing electricity costs. Hmmm …

To do:
1. Find out if it’s worth getting paper towels in bulk. No sense in getting scrappy stuff that falls to pieces. And how much is ‘bulk’? 48 rolls? Where would I store them?
2. Find out the electricity costs of running a small freezer.

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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Budget, Food


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“7 Mummy Sins”, but not apparently the ones done by Daddy or Aunty or Uncle …

Seriously, the title of this article stinks. On the surface, it looks like one of those tee-hee, look at me, I do some daft things as a mummy and maybe some of them are ill-advised, so hey, let’s get some so-called experts give their take on it, and voila, here is an article with a snappy headline. And blow me down if I didn’t get caught in the trap of reading the darn thing.

Let me save you time. Basically you aren’t a bad mum if you feed your kid the occasional dinner of baked beans instead of a gourmet meal of pureed organic vegies and a teeny bit of steak from a named cow, or if your kid goes through a phase of only eating one or two things. Things are getting questionable if you use tv all the time to babysit your kids, or if they’re drinking from a baby bottle when they’re old enough to go to preschool. It’s inadvisable to give kids sweets every day – keep them as a “sometime” treat.

WHY is it necessary to make the mother the sinner, the evil one who has to cut corners to get things done, who does things sloppily or holds onto old habits because she doesn’t have time to work on new habits or behaviours? How about coming up with “7 Daddy Sins”? Let me start the list, thinking of some men I have known in the past.

“I leave my kid watching TV all afternoon while I sneak off to my study to play wargames.”

“I take my kid to fastfood restaurants because I couldn’t be stuffed cooking a proper meal for myself and my kid, and besides, I don’t really like vegies and I love hamburgers.”

“I do everything to get out of looking after my kid and I call it babysitting when I do look after him.”

Go on, make your own list!


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Vegies Redux

For a while it looked like we were winning the vegie war. In early 2008 I had some success in getting DD to eat vegies after praying the Vegie Prayer. Then there was considerable backsliding for months.

A few months ago, DD would eat some things out of a meat and vegie stir fry, e.g. some “trees” (small pieces of broccoli), some “branches” (green beans) and maybe some carrot or corn, plus some fluffy rice and perhaps a few small pieces of meat.

That sweet period is over. NONONONONONONONO is the response when presented with anything that could be related to vegies. True, this started when she had a sore throat after having her tonsils removed. A lot of poor eating behaviour dates to that time. Sure, she’s cut back on the biscuits, no more juice except maybe one or two small cups on the weekend, ice cream once a week, custard a couple of times a week. The fresh fruit situation is cool – varied, delicious, eagerly eaten on most occasions.

It’s just that the vegies stump me, even when processed, hidden, dressed up and disguised. OK, she’s not going to starve. She has adequate vitamins and minerals and protein and carbs and all that. She drinks water. She eats a variety of foods. But oh boy, I wish she’d eat vegies sometimes.


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