How To Cook

(I might write a book)

Open your wine; make sure its enough; check the label; must be a good wine, not a great wine, but a good wine – 13% minimum; 14% is obviously better.

Always cook with red wine, taking care not to spill any on the food.

Peel and cut a potato into four; Peel and cut an onion into four; Rotate them in a microwave.

Cut a pork chop into small cubes. Be guided by your superstitions here, use another animal or tofu or soya or kale if you have to, but for best results, stick to what I say: Cut a pork chop into small cubes.

Cubes into a pan with yesterdays pan fat; fry till browning.

Add salt. Gulp some wine.

Add potato and onion and brown. Brown the stuffin the pan, nê.

Add some cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped.

Add salt.

Put a lid on it. I often say that when people are gaan’ing aan like this: Put a lid on it. Another favourite saying when my gast is flabbered: Dis my gat se deksel.

Chop up some spinach and green beans. The spinach I bought off the back of a bakkie downtown. R10 a bunch, dark green, delicious, did wonders for me – whatever dark green leaf vegetables are meant to do for you? It did it for me. Mainly, leaves me (geddit? leaves me . . ) with lots, cos the kids turn up they noses.

Did I mention this is a recipe for one bachelor whose kids would rather die of hunger than eat this stuff?

Steadily add wine and I find it helps to imagine your favourite TV chef while cookin’.

So imagine your favourite chef . . . No, its Nigella.

Which reminds me of the inimitable Barks who every holiday would cackle Haw Haw Haw Haw! After asking the question (again) and providing the answer:
Where is Friderichs going these holidays, hey, hey? He’s going to Nigel. Haw Haw Haw Haw!

So Naai-Gella Awesome it is.

Keep lifting the lid and then at the right time toss in the chopped up spinach and green beans, never forgetting to keep steadily adding wine. Careful not to slosh any onto the food.

Add salt and a big knob of butter for the last round. Put a lid on it. The right amount of salt is the amount that makes it taste best. Did I mention this is health food? It is. Mental health.

Then eat it accompanied by sufficient more red wine. I actually licked the plate.

The 1812 overture was belting out in the background with real cannons. I hope they scared the neighbour’s incessantly-barking mongrels.

~~~oo0oo~~~

gaan’ing aan – blah blah; fit a cork

dis my gat se deksel – literally, that’s my arsehole’s lid; blow me down

bakkie – small pickup truck

~~~oo0oo~~~

Other domestic chores included cutting down a big Australian Bottlebrush tree

. . and putting its flowers in one of Aitch’s old vases as a requiem:

– who is A Kirk? She made the vase –

~~~oo0oo~~~

Can’t Stand Prosperity

Trader Horn spoke of a fellow down-and-out in the Joburg doss house – a traveller who “made good money but couldn’t stand prosperity”. Whenever he made a commission, he’d go and get foolishly inebriated.

My TomTom has a problem with prosperity. Jess will hoard her pocket money but Tom must spend his with urgency. But how lucky am I that his idea of a splurge is to take his Monday pocket money and walk to the shops and return with a thick steak, fresh herbs and rocket, a brick of butter and coarse salt? He’ll hurry home with his loot, cook up a storm and sit down and eat it happily. He may not finish it and he definitely won’t eat our supper after that, but he’s as happy as larry.

This time it was pasta with a freshly-made herb and tomato sauce.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
– Tom and the pasta packet –

~~~oo0oo~~~

Home Brew, Bru

Aitch had lots of stuff. She had two huge clear glass vases containing coffee beans and golden spirally sticks with bronze woven balls stuck into them, sticking up about a metre tall in all. I dunno. It’s a mystery. Inferior decorating, I guess.

I hadn’t looked at them for ages, and when I saw Tom up a ladder in the study I vaguely thought ‘what the . . ‘ but I knew I’d find out sooner or later.

Home brew, bru (3)

Sooner. He had the beans between two layers of the tablecloth and was hammering them with a silver ladle, a wooden rolling pin and a cast-iron pot.

Home brew, bru (1)

Rather crude? I questioned him.

Jamie Oliver does it like this, Dad. Watch, it’ll be the best coffee you’ve ever had!

I’m looking forward to tasting it, fella (grabbing the camera to record another instalment of living with a short chef).

Postscript: Dad, it’s not so good, he says a few days later. The beans are stale.

True, fella, they’ve been out in the open air for about five years, and you really need fresh beans, sealed airtight. We’ll get some and you can do your Jamie thing with them, OK?

‘Kay

~~~oo0oo~~~

Culinary Tour de Force

Ndumo – Camping aloneExtract from my diary:
Tonight I decide to cook rice, lentils, green beans, potatoes and chicken washed down with a fine claret in a silver goblet. Mug. OK, it’s actually stainless steel.
YUM!!!

If you must know, the meal was actually a KOO tin (chicken biryani), but you can read the label, all those ingredients are there. But I added the green beans as an inspirational touch. From a separate KOO can.
Delicious!

And the better news: There was two whole litres in that fine claret box.

ndumo-alone-3

~~~oo0oo~~~

footnote:
Soon after, KOO wins South Africa’s Best Brand Award. Coincidence? I think not.

Brand_Koo 2
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My Pasta Chef

Dragging the juicer out of the pantry, TomTom looked at me.

And now?

I want to mix some pasta dough, Dad.

That’s the juicer, boy, here’s the Kenwood chef.

OK

Mixes the stuff, whips it up, then kneads it by hand;

Next thing he has a pasta machine clamped to the kitchen table. It has never been used before. Or not that I have seen, anyway! Rolls out the dough, puts it through the machine to cut tagliatelli or penne strips.

Tom pasta1

I need to dry these out now, Dad, where can I put them?

On the granite, fella, and we’ll cover them with a dry cloth.

All gleaned by his own self from the “Techniques” chapter in one of Aitch’s books “Pasta & Pizza Presto”. He’s going to cook it for lunch after school tomorrow, he informs me. I’ll taste it, fella.

He did, I did, It was delicious!