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~~~

Jess Cooks a Curry

Petrea said to Jess, Cook a curry for your Dad. Jess said, ‘I’ve never done that before.’ Don’ worry, says Petrea and delivers a box. Leaves it at the gate.

All you have to buy is chicken, Jess. On the day, Jess marches into my office, ‘Dad! There’s no recipe!’ Petrea says read the back of the spices. Oh.

It was delicious! Tom specially came in and gave his sis a big hug and kiss and said ‘Jess! Best curry ever!’

~~~oo0oo~~~

My Vegetarians

2013/12/27 Meals: We usually have a vegetarian meal a week. If I have my way its phutu, mfino and speckled beans. Wonderful stuff. The kids love it, but feel obliged to rev me throughout “WHAT!? No meat!? Are we too poor, Dad? This is dodge, Dad! Kinda homeless, Dad!”

Ja Ja! Eat up, I say.

Little shits.

This xmas I picked Tobias’ cabbage and spinach fresh from the garden, boiled it with onions, then drained and added olive oil and simmered with garlic, salt and barbecue spices. Big knobs of butter when served. They gobbled it up after the usual wrinkle-nosed high-pitched HMMMM!? Tom reserves for anything “dodge”. Sometimes I’ll add potato for a sort-of bubble n squeak.

I have to add the occasional green just in case Aitch does peek down from the clouds. Wouldn’t want to get into trouble . . .

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puthu – dry mealie meal (maize or corn) porridge;

mfino – spinach or other dark green leaves; in the Free State growing up we called it meroho, Sesotho for ‘vegetable’;

Faithful Apprentice

I am not known for braai’ing. Anything but. I avoid it if I can.

If God had wanted men to ‘barbecue’ he would not have invented ovens. Or some such excuse.

I am quite good at watching okes braai.

But living in primitive country it’s inevitable that I have to set fire to something every now and then and cook something on it. Tom does it for me now, and does it well, but I remember the first time he assisted me. When it came time to present the offerings he stood up for me:

He said: “The meat’s not burnt, it’s just the way we cooked it”

Carnivorous Salad Dodger

21 Dec 2014: Dad! The supper last night was the BEST! says my off-ritalin TomTom breathlessly. The Xmas ham was SO good, and the steak was great, and the roast chicken was tasty, Dad!! I had some of everything except salad, he says proudly. My salad-dodger hates it when his appetite is suppressed by the muti. The meal was Michelle & Craig’s slap-up pre-Xmas supper to which we’d been invited.

The next day Tom bought two hams, one roast chicken, bacon and a huge matured rump steak. I made sure only the bacon and steak were raw. Tomorrow is Xmas and we are going to be cavemen! Oh, he also got some Haagen Das ice cream . .

Xmas 2014 Jess selfie

Xmas day:

I picked Tobias’ cabbage and spinach fresh from the garden, boiled it with onions, then drained and added olive oil and simmered and braised with garlic, salt and barbecue spices. Served with big knobs of butter. They gobbled it up after the usual wrinkle-nosed high-pitched HMMMM!? Tom reserves for anything “dodge”. I had to add a green just in case Aitch does peek down from the clouds. Wouldn’t want to get into trouble . . .

~~~oo0oo~~~

Actually, we have one vegetarian meal a week. If I have my way its putu, mfino & speckled beans. Wonderful stuff. The kids love it, but feel obliged to rev me throughout: “WHAT!? No meat!!? Are we too poor, Dad? This is dodge, Dad! Kinda homeless, Dad! etc etc .” Little shits.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Urgent phone call at work

I’ve left the kids alone at home, so when an urgent call comes I take it.
It’s Tom.
Dad! We need to get a lamb roast and rosemary and garlic and small-cut vegetables to roast. It’s a slow roast and we don’t have any rice or lamb stock in the pantry!
OK Tom, we’ll do that.
He’s been watching a cooking show on the box.

Image

Janet Humphrey wrote:
I Love it !
Question is – did he do it?
.

Oh, yes. The girls (Jess plus 2 visitors Sat night) had fish n chips take-away and Tom made a lamb shank each for the boys (me and him). Delish. I had the last of mine (and Jon & Dizzi had a piece) last night.

He did clean forget to roast the veges, mind you!

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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!