Friday, August 20, 2010

Study company

When you're sitting at a desk all day reading and analysing stuff, and occasionally writing, it's nice to have something keep you company. I like a bit of music now and then - preferably not things that you've performed or studied, because then you focus on that instead - and of course, a hot-water-based beverage.

It's better to stick to one coffee and/or one or two cups of tea a day, because that feels better than more. But I still want a hot drink. One day I just put cinnamon in boiling water. It was good - simple, and better than many herbal 'teas,' or 'infusions' as the French more honestly call them.

And then there was a ripe pear. Overripe for my taste: soft. 
Apple green tea
The best fruit tea/infusion ever:

Cut off some juicy pear over a cup (you don't want to miss the juice that will drip out) and pour hot water over it. Sprinkle cinnamon over if you like. Put the pear aside for later.
Leave until drinkable temperature, and stir if you want the pear to come through sooner.

And you get to eat the fruit at the bottom :)

Also excellent with green tea, especially if you like green tea weak and can therefore get two cups or more out of a green tea bag.
Apple is good too.
Also, cinnamon and orange peel.. what else could you do?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Days like this

I'm sure that at least some of the people reading this blog would know what I'm talking about.

Food, eating, problem, thinking. Exercising perhaps.. and just consuming a bit less.

Fine for many, many people in the world.

For many others, less so.

If someone ever recovers from an 'eating disorder,' which at its core is less about eating than other, maybe more vital things inside - the kind that make life worth living -
If total recovery is possible, what does it look like?

I'm writing to say, if you ever eat two normal lunches' worth of lunch or dinners' worth of dinner and then feel guilty, and then feel guilty for feeling guilty because you're meant to be over that, and because it's indulging yourself in a weird torment, and you consider then eating more (as if that would help)
it will pass. Don't overcompensate. There are better ways to spend the day.

And there are so many people doing exactly the same thing, right now. Let them do the worry. You just get on with life; it will forgive us all if we let it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A good holiday. 2: Indonesia

We went to Bali, Lembongan and Java.
The coffee is good everywhere, although at Lembongan they also had Nescafé. As the kids say these days, fail.
Java had the best pisang goreng. As I mentioned in a previous post, their bananas taste brightly coloured - in fact, they look brightly coloured - and are almost sour.Indonesia has tiny bananas!
We had fresh guava juice.. my life is changed for the better. I also discovered manggis (mangosteen). Wow.

My favourite place was this little village in Java.They farm cassava and corn, among other things. I didn't know until we went there that tapioca is made from cassava! We saw how they make cassava crackers (like prawn crackers). It's a highly manual, labour-intensive process.This is the bank, apparently. Why aren't Australian bankers as cute?That lady with the basket of cassava isn't wearing shoes.

It was nice to be somewhere people don't have Internet. Or running water, I think.. -to wash her hands, our host got the water from a well.
One of my best holidays in a while. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lazy bakey cakey

So. I collected 3.6 smallish (for Australian) bananas to sit on the table.

Made a chocolate cake using two of my housemate's eggs. That she bought from the supermarket. Chook eggs. And some of her cream for the icing (about 2tbsp worth, because it was a ganache that I wanted to set but not be straight chocolate that would fall off when you try to eat it). And a college neighbour's loaf tin.

The 3.6 bananas were now the perfect spottiness.

What would you do?
I know you can freeze peeled bananas, but they're sort of weird when you thaw them. All the water comes out and they look, well, strange.

I wasn't going to steal any more eggs - in fact, didn't really want to use them because they are evil cage eggs.

The solution, of course, was to make another cake: marvellous, amazing, incredible eggless banana bread, courtesy of Archana's Kitchen.

Deliciously ugly.

It's not quite like anything else. Quite dense, strong/bright sort of flavour, slightly chewy crust with a slight sticky date flavour. Excellent warm. Probably not for the faint-hearted sponge lovers (don't get me wrong, I like a good sponge) or those who don't like banana.
Actually, what I mean by calling it a 'bright' flavour is that it's got character to it, a bit of bite. Bold flavour, that's the word. It reminds me thus of pisang goreng in Java, where the bananas are sweet and a little bit sour, like a still-firm mango.

So recipe for eggless bananana bread, based on Archana's:
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar of some description (I used raw)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (~60g)
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1 cup yoghurt (I used milk mixed with vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup rough-chopped nuts, seeds, or weapons of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (I had none :( )
You know what to do! Mix it all together
Combine melted butter with sugar, mix till smooth.
Add the sloppy ingredients (banana, yoghurt, vanilla), mix around a bit.
Add the other stuff and mix through, trying not to overmix unless you feel like a rubbery cake.)and bake in a prepared vessel at 180C/350F until cooked. Depending on the tin, probably 35-50 minutes or so. Be aware that it's quite moist, so will leave evidence of itself on any testing implement, but not huge amounts of thickened batter.