FRUIT FOR THE DRAGONS OR DRANGONS FOR THE FRUIT? NEW
we saw some "some dragon fruit" size larger than a good baseball ball today for sale at the Parkmore fruit and veggies market. one question I bet no one can answer: - are they the fruit that the dragons eat (apart from their normal diet) or - they are the fruit that eat the dragons? (we assume the latter is a valid question when such possibility exists of course: example - the dragon wonders around and looses his attention and does not notice the dragon tree)? or - (worse!) it works BOTH ways!!!! I tend to choose the first answer but who knows - these fruit look so wild I have no doubt the plant that carries them can be violent...
THE LEGEND... The legend of the dragon fruitWhen you look at a dragon fruit the origins of its common name may appear obvious.But despite the fact that they are now grown in suitable climates all over the world – dragon fruit are actually native to Central and South America. Not necessarily the land of dragons you may think. Pitaya or Pitahaya, as they were always known in their native land, are one of the most widely distributed members of the cactaceae family. Genus Hylocereus has three species of dragon fruit and there is one additional species in the genus Selenicereus. The most widespread varieties of Hylocereus in commercial cultivation are Hylocereus guatemalensis, Hylocereus polyrhizus, and Hylocereus undatus together with theirhybrids.Selenicereus megalanthus is grown commercially on a much smaller scale in South America and is especially popular in Columbia. The colour of dragon fruit flesh varies in variety from white, to red, or deep magenta. Like tomatoes, the red fleshed varieties contain lycopene – a natural antioxidant known to fight cancer, heart disease, and lower blood pressure. Lycopene is the focus of much recent research for its connection with anti ageing and UV skin protection. Despite the health and beauty benefits from this exotic fruit – it has been largely ignored until relatively recently and is still not something that is familiar to western consumers. Today dragon fruit are the leading fruit export of Vietnam and clever Asian marketing may have had something to do with the emergence of the fruit from obscurity.A legend has emerged around the dragon fruit which only serves to enhance its exotic and colourful characteristics. According to the legend the fruit was created thousands of years ago by fire breathing dragons. During a battle when the dragon breathed fire the last thing to emerge would be the fruit. When the dragon was slain the fruit was collected by the victorious soldiers and presented to the Emperor as a coveted treasure. The soldiers would then butcher the dragon and eat the flesh. It was believed that those who feasted on the flesh would be endowed with the strength and ferocity of the dragon and that they too would be coveted by the Emperor. It could be that the story came into popular folklore when the pitaya was first introduced into Asia from South America as a way of making this new and strange looking fruit their own.However it happened the legend of the dragon fruit certainly adds to the marketing story of this amazing natural ingredient.
IT'S HIM - TEA NEW
OMG, Anna Berger, you do not know what you have done!!!! Yoshi Lis said that you are probably psychic as you guessed that the currency in this house was measured by the TEA, (secretly) mostly EVERYTHING in the Russian kitchen is happening around the tea and everything is about the tea, may be even everything IS tea (the latter is un-pronounced!)... Alex even remembered that poem I wrote a while ago about Tea... https://stihi.ru/2009/08/25/1352 that was my bad but quite close translation: it's such a nice feeling – to make tea with your friends to talk and to argue – it’s such a nice feeling… to braid a conversation like a silky thread in the candle light, to braid th e concepts, the theories of full volumes and discuss our still waters and our white waters; to laugh at the limits of our minds and understand, that the rivers and the roads all belong to your heart that shows - YOU are the way… the crystal seed of the moon’s eye looks at the earth with no blinking… oh how life is green and tender how it is sculptured and winged how its essence is not seen and how our past is innocent as a saint how can we fit into our trembling, happiness and pain how we choose the things that happen how there is an abundence of stars in the sky and how they surround us… vertually. and how… like this mirror that faces the window the Time sword made us as we are in one instant and so precise like a spindle from nothing-ness, from light with no beginning; and life is like a chariot in heaven will stop its horses at the cross-over… …and there is You – your eyes are full of love – and you look at the sun through your open palms… Thank you Anna for this Joy you brought today into our house! With Love, Tasha and Lis
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS AT MISHA AND JESSICA-LEE'S HOUSE NEW
one of the best Christmas party we had in the last couple of years at Jessica-lee Murphy and Michael's house with a beautifully decorated festive table, amazing hospitality from the happy host and the gorgeous hostess, warmhearted party full of so many amazing people and their stories! We had a super fun time - thank you guys!
Brunetti with a small X-mas tree? I also was excited to discover that they sell almond wheat free cakes: very similar to the ones that we used to eat at Uni in Moscow
well, before going to Star Wars, we are celebrating our official marriage (10 years officially together and 12 years unofficially from our first online meeting on poetry site) with darling Lesha at our fav place in South Yarra: Hunky Dory Fish & Chips / Hunky Dory Fish & Chips #myhunkydory#ilovefishwithworldflavors
I AM BREAD-TOPPING ALEX NEW
MASHA'S BIRTHDAY NEW there is no birthday celebration without the European Bazaar Shop cakes: you see sour cream cake (smetannik) and honeycomb cake (medovik) - simply divine but hurry up: last week more than 50 cakes were sold and the shelves are almost empty till this Thursday - they will also disappear in a blink of an eye... so don't blink - just go and buy!
I LOVE MY NEW TASSIE DISCOVERY NEW
i am set up for X-mas, my birthday and NY at The Salmon Shop Kew - all products are direct from Tassal Tasmanian Salmon - in Tasmania it is - and deliciously fresh... even the kitty gets excited with the size and the color of that fish. .. and who is hiding under your X-mas tree this year?
THIRD WAVE CAFE PRAHRAN: ICED COFF, HOT CHOCOLATE ANF CAPUCCHINO NEW
MARKET LANE COFFEE ON THERRY STREET WITH MISHA NEW
KINO PALACE COFFEE NEW
THIRD WAVE CAFE PRAHRAN NEW
Third Wave Cafe / Third Wave Prahran There are not that many good authentic places that cook and serve American barbecue dishes the way they should be cooked and served. If you try the #AmericanBBQ style meat at one of the Third Wave restaurants in Melbourne (Third Wave Cafe Port Melbourne or Third Wave Cafe Prahran) you would understand what I mean as they are the the best of not many in Melbourne who do it the right way and if you ever tried a good BBQ meat treats in some best places in States (like North Carolina for example) you will know what I mean. Our choice fell on the BBQ chicken wings and two sides: fries and coleslaw salad. The serve came on our table in a blink of an eye: all fresh from the oven, the wings were sprinkled with sesame seeds and topped with a very yummy home made sauce. One portion was enough for two people - they are very large so please consider this when you are ordering and they are enough even if you came to the cafe hungry. The coleslaw was so good we wished we never ran out of it: crispy and fresh it was made in the European best traditions with the right mayo that only improved the taste of two color cabbages and carrots in the salad. The fries got our best compliments too: they have some special and distinctive (probably also secret) spice on them which made our experience in this place so special and interesting. Add to this like in States the table service is not complete if the two bottles of in-house-hand-made sauce was not mountained on our table: one of them with apples was likable in particular and went extremely good with potato chips. The wings all disappeared in about 20 minutes from the start. We also noticed that the tables were all reserved and the groups of people were arriving one after another to take their places (family or friends celebrations) and create joy all around this place. If you are ever in the area (Port Melbourne or Prahran) and hungry in the evening they are the places unmissable for gourmet food lovers.
HACHETTE PIBLISHING: THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF COMPANION BY WORLDWIDE BBC NEW website
I have a lovely The Great Australian Bake Off Companion book in front of me and I think with approaching festive season there are several reasons to buy this print. First of all it is a fabulous present no matter where you go: your friends and family will love you for this gift. They have nothing else to complain about: such books satisfy everyone's desire for a good present: we all love to cook and we always want to have many cookbooks at home. When I cook I do not like searching the screen on my laptop afraid that I can splash some water on it or drop an egg or sprinkle some extra flour on my keyboard: the book is a safe device in the kitchen: you open it and here we go - you read the recipe and you start cooking. One page might have some extra carrot juice on it but next time you cook from the other page - so turn it over and forget about it - you can not do the same with the computer screen. BAKE BAKE AND BAKE again! The second reason to buy this book is baking itself of course: it is two in one - he present and how you can apply it to life. The book contains more than 90 recipes from a famous BBC TV show-program with splendid illustrations to accompany every recipe on each page. Will you discover something new? I did - and almost on every page. Will you discover new ways of baking? Of course! Will you find out about new ingredients? I am more than sure about it! there are new flavours on every page. the recipes are sweet and savory so you will never get tired of exploring! I also think that such books are good for every household: no matter what age woman or man is cooking. But what I like the most: there are recipes from all over the world. It is a multicultural book. But wait as there is more! The book is suitable for all the occasions: celebrations with family and friends and just your casual dinner or snack at home with your children and your husband. I would start with Wild Mushrooms Pies and finish with Nan's Very Berry Pie or will go with Celeriac and Haloumi Gozleme and Chocolate And Mint Cake. I love Australia for its diverse cuisine: there is everything for everyone. for every taste and every appetite! Cover yourself with honey, sugar and flour and bake, bake and bake!.. and one more thing: when you buy the book for yourself please do not forget to invite me at your table: I hope you will remember that it was my recommendation to buy the cook to create divine dishes that kings and queens will love and thank you for! But also keep in mind that your best judges are your family members: if the cooking is nice you will not find this dish the nest day in the fridge in the Tupperware container! The book is onlu 39.95 from the publisher's oven!
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK Extract from The GreatAustralianBakeOffCompanion (Hachette Australia, November 2016)
· Chocolate and Raspberry Tart · Satay Pork Pies
Chocolate Raspberry Tart Description A romantic tart of dark chocolate and raspberries, bring this one out next anniversary! How to Make
Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan forced. Grease a 23cm round fluted tart tin with removable base.
Process flour, icing sugar mixture and butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs; add egg yolk and water, process until ingredients just come together. Gently knead pastry on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes.
Roll pastry out between 2 sheets of baking paper until large enough to line tin. Ease pastry into tin; press into base and sides. Trim excess. Prick base all over with a fork. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Place tin on oven tray; cover pastry with baking paper, fill with dried beans or uncooked rice, bake 10 minutes, carefully remove paper and beans/rice from pastry case, bake a further 10 minutes. Cool.
Spread raspberry jam evenly over base of pastry case. Using fingertips, gently break three quarters of the raspberries in half (reserve remaining whole raspberries for serving); arrange raspberries broken side up and cover base of pastry case -make sure raspberries are packed tight and pressed down gently.
Combine NESTLÉ Dark Melts, cream and butter in heatproof bowl; microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM (50%) for 1 minute; stir; repeat in 30 second intervals until melted.
Pour chocolate mixture over raspberries. Refrigerate tart 2-3 hours or until chocolate is firm.
Satay Pork Pies These delicious pies are made with pork mince, coconut cream, peanut butter and chilli.
3 ¾ cups plain flour
340g unsalted butter, cubed
¾ tsp table salt
5 tbsp tap water, chilled
1½ brown onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
3cm fresh ginger
3 tsp fresh coriander root
1½ tbs smooth peanut butter
4 ½ tbs crushed peanuts
1 small long red chilli
2 tbs soy sauce
4 tbs peanut oil
3 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced
300g pork mince
¼ cup plain flour
½ carrot, finely diced
1½ cups chicken stock
½ cup coconut cream
4½ tbs finely chopped fresh coriander
¼ cup crushed peanuts
1 egg, beaten
1 tbs finely chopped fresh coriander
6x individual pie dishes; circular ceramic bowl with a diameter of 18cm and another smaller bowl with a diameter of 12cm
To make the pastry, pulse the butter, salt and flour together in a food processor until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
With the motor running, add the water until the dough forms into a ball.
Remove from the processor and knead a little before wrapping in plastic film and placing in the fridge to chill and rest for about half an hour. Try not to overwork the dough as this will make it tough and difficult to work with.
Place the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander root, peanut butter, deseeded chilli, half the crushed peanuts, soy sauce and peanut oil into a food processor and pulse until you achieve a course paste. Add the remaining crushed peanuts and the kaffir lime leaves and stir through.
Heat the frying pan with no oil and cook off the paste until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the pork mince and carrot and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the flour and stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Stir in the coconut cream and coriander and allow to cool. If the mix is too thick, add more stock. You want there to be a sauce but not too much as it will make the pastry soggy.
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other.
Roll out to about 0.4cm thick and cut out the rounds for the bottom of the pies, about 18cm in diameter.
Place into the pie tins and chill.
Roll out the remaining dough to the same thickness as the bases and cut out the tops of the pies, about 13cm in diameter.
Remove the cold bases and fill with the chilled filling. Pack fairly tightly, ensuring there is adequate filling in each. Top with the pre-cut pastry rounds and seal by crimping the edges.
Brush the pies with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the remaining chopped peanuts.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Ensure the peanuts do not burn.
Serve out of the molds, sprinkled with fresh coriander and serve.
Notes The Great Australian Bake Off Companion cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $39.99
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK SPECIAL: BRANDON HOTEL NEW BEST PLACE OF THE MONTH FOR DINNER
I feel sorry now as we always gave this place on offer in the Entertainment Book a miss in the past but also feel happy as we discovered a new place. it was a really random choice to go out for lunch and we were passing Carlton North by with Tosha and Dasha: Brandon Hotel was on our way, but as we arrived to the street that carried the building we were hesitating first - the place looked a bit like it was yelling "a-makeover's-required" from the outside and "the-refurbishment-will-start-tomorrow" on the inside... and how wrong we were as the chef was singing in the kitchen cooking our lunch in 10 minutes - two nostalgic porchini-covered-like-in-russia-steaks with humble-i-look-but-try-me-first-cos-i-am-dressed-well-on-the-inside salad and the-chef-was-singing-potato-wedges. Alex would give the food 12 out of 10 when he started biting from his meal but then there were not enough numbers in his iPhone calculator so he stopped counting. the place suddenly turned into cozy and warm. honestly we do not know who the chef was but he is a valuable asset at this place and I think the locals know about it very well. please have a look at this dish and let me know if we were wrong: to get your Entertainment Book 2016-17 visit https://www.entertainmentbook.com.au/orderbooks/182v887 and enjoy half price off your bill at this place
COOL SAN CHURRO CHADSTONE NEW BEST PLACE OF THE MONTH FOR COFFEE
this was the time when things went San Churro at San Churro Chadstone cos our undercover meeting place with Diana Russ, Jones the Grocer, Chadstone got shut down . I guess it's less jones' and more churros everywhere now so we joined what was on offer... I think Alex liked the white chocolate however I never saw albino cacao beans growing on the trees. could that be a secret GM cacao beans with the polar bear genes?.. I am just running out of versions...
COOKED CHICKEN AND RAW ROSES NEW
my cooked chicken and raw roses salad got a 'wow' from Alex... or may be it was me who said that! who cares? it is not there anymore. no salad - no 'wow' - all gone!
OASIS NEW BEST PLACE OF THE MONTH FOR DESERTS
at Oasis Bakery with Rudolf Ladyzhenskii, Yoshi Lis and Marina Vexler tasting some incredible Lebanese sweets <3 a perfect example of business and pleasure... if only I can eat more I would definitely mmmm ... eat more... if you have not seen yet a refurbished Oasis - just leave your washing for Sunday and go there tomorrow - your jaw will drop down from this interior design beauty... I guess Brunetti Carlton is having a rest now compared to Oasis ... I have no pictured there but they are sill in my mind!
COMO STABLES NEW
perfect iced coffee on a very hot day
BASILICO WINDSOR BEST PLACE OF THE MONTH FOR LUNCH
MY YEAR WITHOUT MEAT BOOK REVIEW MUP MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PUBLISHING website
I bet you all tried it once in a while or many times before - to live without meat. For some of us it was way too easy and natural but for some this transformation did not come as straightforward. For some people meat eating is like smoking - it is an addiction. In the old times men would not have meat on a daily basis. In the country for example the villagers eat chicken once in two weeks only, lamb - rarely, pig - in cold winters to warm up and cow meat - only occasionally and it is divided between the many villagers. Nowadays meat is easy to get: we pop into the market and help ourselves once a day at least. Richard Cornish is a food journalist. He writes about his complications and his "addiction" to meat. His challenge was to stop eating meat in order to understand his own patterns. Richard's book is not only about meat though, it is generally about philosophy of food consuming; respect to your food and our connection and relationship with food. On the pages of My Year Without Meat Richard talks with leading Australian chefs, farmers ad local growers in order to understand these relationship. Richard writes what he felt and experienced while being on the 12 months journey without meat. I have noticed that if I do not eat with everyone at the restaurant people start hating me; if I do not drink alcohol with everyone at the table people hate me. "It is a horrible thing that people can do to others – identify them as the outsider. You’re not us – you can bugger off" People would not like vegetarians either. vegetarians just would not fit into the society where everyone should behave the certain way. I believe it might be a fear of unknown also - we usually do not like what we do not know. Well some people are open minded and they want to try something different but generally the reaction is the same: you get opposed if you behave differently. Apparently we should all be the same. My personal experience with meat was more complicated. I went to do 3, 7, 10 14, 20, 21 22, 24, 28 an 33 and 40 days of fasting (no food just water )many times. I think my friends who saw e doing that were of course trying to convince e to come back to "normal" eating . When I was doing vegetarian food only many times for 8 or for less months in a row they weer just happy that I was eating at all. No one can teach you how to go vegetarian, no one can teach you how to fast as well as no one can teach you how not t consume alcohol - there are no rules, everything s learnt on your own experience which is unique. Each experience is like an entity - it haunts you, it either stays with you or it betrays you. It is complicated. This only works if you have changed your food consumption habits once. Then you know. If you go on vegetarian twice, the second time will be not the same as your first one. Richard's book contains recipes how to cook vegetarian so you enjoy it the most. There is one sentence in the book that strikes : "If meat is cheap, there's a reason, and it's not a good one. Richard gives a balanced view of the many issues with meat and dairy production and explains why it is the way it is now. Richard's journey without meat finishes in Spain, the country that can not be imagined without certain types (and best in the world for that reason) meats. His temptation is beyond his will power but possibly it is just the time to finish the experiment. I think the book is simply the work of art: it is written by the person who understands food more than we understand anything on this planet. He lives the topic who talks about. Food is his life and his passion. You will have some wonderful time on this journey though the book together with Richard. There are corners that you have never been to in your life: the corners of taste and aroma. For me not a big lover of meat the book was a reflection and a new and very exciting discovery all at the same time. The book is not about "without" it is more about "within and 'with" - a simple bliss, not an author but an expert! You will love it! ...and next time you have cravings for meat - eat THIS book!
"The fat seemed to draw the heat from my tongue, like a tablet of excellent chocolate. The aroma was subtle yet complex, like perfume applied in the morning worn well into the afternoon. Faded roses, forest floor, champignons, a punch of pork, aged pork and oak, something decayed but in the best possible way. This was held together by a backbone of salt, a clean lactic tang, and round and lingering savouriness. It was possibly the best piece of flesh I had ever eaten. In a rapid piece of self-reconciliation I knew that my time of penance and reflection was over. That jamon was a work of art. I had crossed a threshold and there was no going back. My Year Without Meat closed with a single loncha of jamon iberico de bellota."
Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4 by Richard Brautigan 1. Get enough food to eat, and eat it.2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there. 3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it. 4.
"California Native Flowers" by Richard Brautigan In this spring of 1968 with the last third of the Twentieth Century traveling like a dream toward its end, it is the time to plant books, to pass them into the ground, so that flowers and vegetables may grow from these pages.
"Shasta Daisy" by Richard Brautigan I pray that in thirty-two years passing that flowers and vegetables will water the Twenty-First Cent- ury with their voices telling that they were once a book turned by loving hands into life.
"Lettuce" by Richard Brautigan The only hope we have is our children and the seeds we give them and the gardens we plant together.