central is not eastern europe

so picture this. hannah writes story about hungarian cultural centre and notices that they're having a cabbage roll and bake sale. hannah: "rad. i dig cabbage rolls, i'll come back on friday, get some last minute interviews and pick some up."

so picture this. hannah, biking 25 minutes downhill on her dinky folding bike, one hand on the handlebars, the other holding a styrofoam container of cabbage rolls, trying to avoid the splatters cabbage roll juice (which got everywhere).

i smelled like my baba.

but when i opened the container, i was a little disappointed. these weren't my baba's cabbage rolls. instead of being small and full of rice, they were stinky sausage stuffed monoliths. but i'd worked hard for those suckers, so i heated them up and, well...

they didn't look all too appealing. a-hem. (in fact, they looked kinda gross)
BUT, with a bit of salt and pepper they were pretty darn tasty. i just had to eat with my eyes closed.

hungary is NOT ukraine. and my baba's cabbage rolls are still better.
don't start with me, cobber

so i go to the market this morning right? and the fish dude, herr mück or whatever, has barramundi on show right? and so i wait in line while all the pensioners get their mid-morning fish snacks (read: seven years) and then finally get up front and say guten morgen usw., can i please have some of your luverly looking barramundi fillets (i suppress the 'mate')? and the dude is all like barra-mundi? ach soooo, barra-MOONDI. and so i'm all like dude! ich bin eine australierin, kay? we say barramundi... mate. seriously, the cheek of these freakin' fishmongers. anyways, barramundi with szechuan eggplant and a little gruvi = heaven. the recipe is from ms skye gyngell, who is a goddess in the kitchen. i will forward the details i promise (check the comments for a recipe). right now though, i'm off to bed. love!
my stomach is always right

it is. i swear. today when we were having our usual conversation about what we would like to have for dinner, it was very insistent. and, as usual, my doubts were completely unfounded.


yum. yum. yum. really, the only compromise the stomach was offering was spaghetti and meatballs, and so i figured this was the better option.

ps - i did put some salad down next to it. but this was as far as i could get before i absolutely had to put it in my mouth. a premature picture is better than none.
footnote to the rabbit

what to do with the rest of the rabbit once you've run out of polenta?

rabbit pie! genius!

and just for texas, who says i never share my recipes, here is an excerpt from the angelo pellegrini book, from which the bunny came:

"Choose an older animal; cut him in small pieces and brown them. Salt and pepper to taste, add a large can of tomatoes, a cup of stock, and let the whole simmer until nearly done. During the last half-hour add a generous cup of red wine, two cups of black olives and the following condiment:
Mince six capers and enough parsley, rosemary, thyme, and sage to make a teaspoonful of each. Brown two cups of mushrooms in butter with two cloves of garlic and an onion chopped fine. Add the herbs and cook a minute longer. Add the whole to the stew, stir well, and complete the cooking. Remember that the herbs should cook no longer than about half an hour; so time the processes accordingly."
here we go again

if it seems like my posts come in spurts, it's because i keep making promises to blog every dinner i eat, and at first i'm super excited about it and good at it and then i get busy or forget or my batteries die. so bin ich eben.

but tonight adam was in need of some comfort food. and for me that always means...

tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

for the tomato soup, i roasted some tomatoes with garlic and onion and thyme and then mashed it all up in the food processor with some chicken stock and sugar and sea salt and pepper.

the grilled cheese was a lovely jalapeno havarti on mixed rye. but for those of you who did not have the awesome experience of being a child in north america in the eighties i give you this.

somewhat different from my variety. but probably more comforting.
ramble alert

sometimes i really miss germany. lately i've been missing it a lot. there are, however, some things that i don't miss. like unemployed elderly men who drink schnapps in front of the grocery store and make remarks to me in a dialect that i, quite frankly, find frightening. or like the fact that the stores are never, ever open.
so when i got up to go to the monstrosity that is the 24-hour grocery kingdom down the street from me this morning only to find it closed (closed?!) for thanksgiving monday, i had to smile a bit.

and do the "what can i rustle up from the crumbs in the cupboard" that i was so familiar with on the other side. so i came up with this:

baked pumpkin risotto with pancetta.

which isn't too bad. i'm not a giant fan of risotto, but i've never been one to turn down pancetta.

1. put one cup of arborio rice, two and a half cups of chicken stock, half a pound of diced pumpkin, some butter in a pan and cover it and bake it at 400 f for 30 mins.
2. take it out and stir that mother. oh and add some salt and pepper and parmesan (or bread crumbs if you are me and have no parmesan)
3. make pancetta crispy.
4. eat.

i'd never baked a risotto before, and was pretty delighted with the results. mostly because it gave me more time to look at this

after running all over the country last week, i was all about a little home cookin' action. luckily everything had already been thought of and shopped for by the time i arrived and alls i had to do was roll up my sleeves and play sous-chef. this is what we gobbled down:

1. breakfast = fresh figs and greek yoghurt with walnuts and honeycomb. my favourite way to start a sunday. copious quantities of cafe latte of course, of course.

2. lunch = prosciutto with leafy goodness, pomegranate seeds and a wonderful new zealand sauvignon blanc to toast our fellow rugby (ahem) losers.
3. dinner = slow-cooked rabbit with olives, soft creamy polenta and a very lovely côte du rhône (in honour of those cheese-eatin' winner types).

he is clever, no?

it's thanksgiving here, and all of my thanksgiving plans fell through due to a) too much work and b) too much work. so i decided to stay in tonight and rearrange my books. it was situation critical. and seeing as i was a) at home and b) for a while, i thought i would cook myself something a bit more fun. in the spirit of the season, pumpkin gnocchi.

1. buy pumpkin. pour first glass of wine. (yes, there is a sticker on the pumpkin. yes, it gives you cooking instructions that involve a microwave)

2. stop to admire how wonderful gourds are at this time of year. hooray.

3. (insert actual important steps here). and enjoy.


(and here's the part where i ask abi technical questions. abi, i totally cropped those stinkers so that you wouldn't see the camera cord - lame - but it didn't work. any idea why?)