Tuesday 31 August 2010

Back to basics

The kitchen's being replaced today, so it's been all about unnerving thumps and bangs, tradesmen's radio full blast, anxious old pets prowling around not being able to relax, and having to fill the kettle from the bath tap and boil it in the bedroom. Lunch at 4pm: tea and biscuits, except I've no idea where the biscuits actually are, so it was dry cereal instead. But takeaways for dinner tonight, yay!

Over the weekend I pretty much emptied all the cupboards and drawers and it was kind of quaint to open a drawer and find three knives and forks, a handful of teaspoons and a tin opener. I liked being so basic, free of the tyranny of lemon zester, garlic press, ladle and sieve. If the weather were better, and we were allowed to here in suburbia, I'd really rather like to build myself a fire down in the henrun and cook a simple meal there, of the sort that I've enjoyed on various back-country outings.
Most recently that was in the Northern Territory, where I ate a roasted roo tail. That was really basic, I thought, though Craig who did the cooking made allowances for us wussy city types and after he'd singed off all the hair, he wrapped it in foil before throwing it into the embers. It wasn't bad, actually, quite like very tender lamb shanks, but we were fastidious about picking the meat out from the sinews and fat. Craig ate the lot.

More conventionally palatable was the meal Bob cooked for us the next day. Also Aboriginal, he'd worked as a chef, and whipped us up a very succulent feast, all cooked over the mulga wood campfire while we sat around and drank wine: bush dukkah, barbecued kangaroo fillet and white chocolate and wattle-seed steamed puddings. We don't eat that well here even with a proper kitchen.

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