Captain Drongo sets up the studio for David to let rip on a new style of improv for him playing double bass and singing his wee heart oot.
The Hungry Hallion
This is a little blog recording some of the food that I eat and the things that I cook. I like cooking almost as much as I like eating and I like to explore flavours whilst still coming back to my favourites.
This blog isn’t going to be too detailed but hopefully it will have enough information for a beginner cook to follow. I mostly improvise my cooking unless I hear something from someone who I know knows how to cook then I’ll take their direction but I find recipes as exciting as homework after a long day and rarely read any except for some ratios if I don’t know anything about the meal or if I am hungry and don’t have any good food and know that I’ll be eating a few spoonfuls of peanut butter instead of a real meal, strangely a good recipe evokes the flavour so if you eat something afterwards the two things seem to join together.
When cooking I find the following pieces of equipment very useful.
1/. A knife, a good balanced one that can be sharpened for chopping and such, this is a personal thing and a blunt knife is maybe more dangerous that a very sharp one. My sister got me one for Christmas a few years back and I use it, I also don’t have a tin opener so I sometimes use a smaller knife to open tins, this is not ideal and not recommended.
2/. Pot – a metal pot with out any plastic means you can put the whole thing in the oven but one with a solid base will save lots of time cleaning of burnt bits (which can be intentional – sometimes).
3/. A bowl – I like a big bowl and one that is droppable so stainless steal one with a plastic base is my preferred option, I have two that I use for all sorts of things and I keep them out on the side board so that I feel like a real chef clinging and clanging things together. Cooking is fun and it should be a wild experience, the perfect meal is often more of a memory than an every day occurrence, at least for me but knowing exactly what I want to eat then getting it simply is a very rewarding activity.
4/. A pan – I ruin all my pans but I don’t spend a lot of money on them and I probably don’t look after them that well. They are made of metal so at least they are recyclable. One day I will meet the pan for me.
5/. Chopping board – a good chopping board is like a comfortable chair, you just enjoy. I would avoid glass or metal, they do exist, wood is a good choice and one that is reasonable thick and easy to keep a hold off as some things are easier to chop that others and if you are working with a knife then safety first.
6/. A bowl or basket to put your fruit and veg in. Either will do but you need something that looks like they are on display so you can see how delicious they can be and also stop you from ignoring them if they go off or go past their best, which doesn’t take long at all.
7/. Fat, Salt, Herbs, Sugar, Flour – these are fairly core to cooking so a base is good. For fat there are a lot of options, I like olive oil and irish butter, almost opposites but tasty. If you put them together it raises the temperature that they burn which can be handy for flash frying. Salt, there are a few types of salt, the regular table salt is good for most things but a few others can be useful, rock salt I like to add to my cooking but also you can get salt that has come from dried sea water and is delicious and actually quite light, maybe even good for you. Herbs, I like oregano, a lot. I use it on most things, it’s not that cheap but it is also good for you and tasty, other than that I have black pepper, paprika, cinnamon, vegemite, saffron, turmeric, cumin, chilli powder, bicarbonate of soda, English mustard, lots of different types of vinegars, balsamic, raw cider vinegar is very nice, I even bought sushi rice vinegar but I haven’t opened it yet. Sugar I try and avoid as it is a bit disruptive for me but I do keep the brownest thickest type of sugar and use it for different things and sometimes in my coffee. Flour, this is handy, I have spelt flour, regular cheapo white flour and half fancy white flour and some wholegrain regular as well. I don’t like self-raising flour as for me it doesn’t make sense to have an active agent in the flour before using it so it seems like it might be counterproductive and my aim with cooking is to be as healthy as possible to help me feel as good as I can without scrimping on what I like so I want all the rules to apply, but just to other people, this isn’t a health blog, this is about eating which I am very passionate about.
8/. The rest is as you can manage it, I like a big fork and knife to eat with and I like bowls and a few nice glasses but other than that I am ready to use anything that looks like it would work.
Thinks I would like in my kitchen include a can opener, a grater, more of the nice spoon I bought in a charity shop in Switzerland to eat honey with, it’s a very good spoon and then maybe a copper roasting tray but that is way down the list.
I'll just be putting up random food that I make, there won't be much rhyme or reason to it but hopefully it will give you an insight into how I eat, how I live and what sort of culinary challenges I come across.