Wednesday, December 29, 2010

COASTAL YARNS by NEIL COLEMAN

Wow--- twice in one day?  What's going on? Well, for starters---- I'm on holiday. I have been playing around with my blog and trying to make it more interesting. Hopefully you will see the improvements as I go along. I may even become courageous enough to put my picture on soon. Then there are all the other additions that I can add.

Another theme of mine is food. Maybe that's why I haven't put my picture on yet---- it will tell a tale or two on its own. Look out for some of my favourite recipes. I love experimenting with recipes. My partner always laughs because I don't follow recipes. OK, the first time I see a recipe, I sort of follow it, but if  I haven't carefully purchased all of the ingredients, I am one of those people who refuse to take another trip to the shops to stay true to the original recipe. Damn it--- I say--- IMPROVISE. That's what our brains are for. If  the recipe says pineapple for a sweet and sour--- what the hell-- just chuck in another fruit--- apple for example. I have had some magnificent results by doing just that. I have to admit that such a course of action can result in less satisfying outcomes too. Here's one.

I remember many years ago I had a dinner party. I started off with the idea of cooking a casserole. That's the way it started, but I kept adding things. After browning the onions, beef and adding vegetables, I decided that the colour was a little unappealing. I also thought it was all a bit bland. My brain screamed at me to add 'things'. I did. Twenty minutes before I served it, I tested again for taste and colour. Well--- it was a grey mass of indiscriminate gunge. Luckily for me, many of my guests had partaken generously in the nibbles. You know the ones--- cheese, crackers and dips. In those days I couldn't afford olives and delectable sun-dried tomatoes in virgin olive oil, or smoked Salmon on hand crafted bread. The guests had also hit the wine nicely. Of course it was cask wine  then, not the  beautiful  New Zealand Chardonnays and Pinot |Noirs of this century.

I served the casserole on a bed of rice (cooked in the microwave). My friends were very polite and only the more drunken ones actually continued to eat the grey yucky porridge-like mess. One guy was so enthusiastic, or extra drunk that he even took home a generous amount  in a plastic container. I never did hear as to whether he ate it when he awoke from his hangover.
Oh well-- --- we live and learn. I will describe some of my more successful gastronomical experiences on future blogs
 Cheers
  Neil