Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Steamed Eggs (ไข่ตุ๋น)

This is so good (and easy) when you need soft food like I did last week – post dental surgery.

You will need:
3 eggs
300 mil chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons chopped spring onion
White Pepper
Fried Garlic in oil (optional)

Beat eggs in a bowl with fork, add stock and soy sauce. Pass the mixture through sieve into a jug and divided into 4 ramekins. Cover the ramekins loosely with foil and steam on medium heat for 15-20 minutes (stick a skewer in the egg to test – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked). Sprinkle with chopped spring onion, garlic and a dash of pepper. My dad would have added cooked pork mince and sprinkled with crispy fried dried prawns – but it would have been over the top and too difficult to eat for me.

Edit: You can also use electric steamer - about 12 minutes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Creature Comforts

When we found out that Spike had an infected war wound 3 weeks ago, there was a small chance that we could take him to the vet, so Bob had to consult on-line sources. Bob is on prescribed anti-biotic and he had to switch to another kind recently so we have a bit of Amoxicillin left in the fridge so Bob administered that to Spike. Bob also cleaned the big wound and applied Hydrogen Peroxide cream from our first aid kit. If he did not get better we would have to find the way to get him to the clinic. However, after 10 days of anti-biotic Spike is now on the mend. His wound is clean and healed and hardly noticeable.

He likes to come in to the house after his dinner and lingers around for a while, either on Bob’s lap or mine. He is still tentative with Pipi and Bonnie, although the other two tend to avoid him and give him wide berth. If Bob gets up to do something, he will leave (now through the cat door that we have propped open for him to get used to it).

He will come back again later at night to spend ‘quality time’ with Bob when Pipi and Bonnie have gone to bed. He is unpredictable from time to time but not as much as he used to be but we are quite cool with it as when he paws (if he paws, that is) there are no claws involved. The facts that he is neutered and keeps his claws in add to our theory of him being owned once but then was treated badly later on either by humans or animals. We hope that he will be mellow and become fully domesticated again with our TLC (and food, of course).

Friday, March 22, 2013

After Dental Surgery

I need a new dental bridge as one of the pontic teeth was beyond repair so I had to have that tooth extracted last week and could not eat anything solid for the first few days. I have lived on soft or liquid food like soup, rice porridge, yogurt, dairy pudding, steamed eggs and etc. The above chocolate pudding and Petit Maim are delicious (I remember the pottle size in Europe is much smaller than here but that might have changed over the years).

I had to be careful with the socket and stitches to avoid dry socket and other complications. I saw Bob in agony because of dry socket last year and it made me quite scared. Although the after-care instructions were given both in verbal and written forms after the surgery, there are two other websites that I have also found very helpful here  and here.  For the foodies out there, you don't have to use mineral salt to rinse your mouth, the humble table salt will do!

I will talk about soup and steamed eggs later.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Southern-ish Style Fried Chicken

When I was studying in the US, the town where I lived then did not have the fabulous Church’s Chicken  (now they do). The nearest Church’s was about 30 miles away. Anyway, I had a friend in the college in another town closer to this Church’s. He was not very fond of foreign food and to barter for a (not that good in those days) home cooked Thai meal; he would buy a box of Church’s Chicken for us (my roommates and I) whenever he came to visit.

I have made the southern style fried chicken at home (of course, years and years later – not enough fingers to count) and it’s quite OK. I have not eaten Church’s Chicken for decades hence cannot remember the taste fresh enough to compare – so I don’t feel much let down with my own cooking.

500-600 grams of thigh and breast chicken meat (dark meat is far more delish)
2 tablespoons of good quality mayonnaise
½ cup of buttermilk or plain yogurt
Salt & pepper
A bit of flaky sea salt
Paprika (optional)
Chicken stock powder (optional)
¾ cup of plain flour
Oil for deep frying

Remove excess fat from chicken but leave skin on – cut into pieces (7-8 cm). Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, salt or chicken powder and pepper together in a bowl. Marinate the chicken pieces in yogurt mixture and leave in the fridge for a few hours.

In the deep pan, heat the oil on the medium high heat. Place flour in a bowl and dredge the chicken pieces in the flour - shake off excess flour and fry in batch. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Sprinkle with sea salt and paprika. Serve hot with fries.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Waihi Gold Mine – Martha Mine

On the way from Auckland to Bay of Plenty via State Highway 2, you will pass Waihi. Almost in the town centre, there is an open cast gold mine called Martha Mine which is part of the operations of Newmont Waihi Gold.

This (modern) Martha Mine has been producing silver and gold for years and years since the late 1980’s.  Many mines in New Zealand exist alongside controversies. This one is no exception. When they are not their livelihood, people may go against them and vice versa.

By the way, I do not have much knowledge about this mine so I will not go into pros and cons or rights and wrongs.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ford Mustang

Our neighbour on the other side is Heather and Charlie.  They own this first generation Ford Mustang in this nice, bright metallic teal.  It is obviously their pride and joy given the endless hours Charlie works on it and keeps it in pristine condition. It won many prizes last year and may win many more this year. Not for long they will have to have a dedicated cupboard for the trophies and plaques!