I am over here in Oz visiting relatives at the moment and like my profile, I have no fixed abode, which means I flit from one family member to the other, sleeping wherever there is space and testing out their fridges and cupboards. Over the Christmas period these vessels for food fill up with all the lovely things we deny ourselves of throughout the year. Although my brothers would like to think it's Christmas everyday at their houses (no rationing there). I lived in Turkey for the last two years and I guess out of respect for my fellow man, I have denied myself the pleasures of ham, bacon and other piggy bits (no offense to vegetarians out there but you don't know what you are missing). So whilst in Oz I am determined oink my way through a years supply during my short visit. Lovely thick lashings of sliced ham off the bone on toast for example for breakfast. Yum Yum! Last night was also time to indulge and we ventured to the local butchers and went for a gorgeously tender slab of rib eye fillet beef. When I sliced it into thick steaks, my mouth watering as the knife sliced through it like butter. We had the ubiquitous BBQ of course and I was instructed to cook the steaks all to different desires. Well Done for Barry - he likes the flavour totally extruded from the succulent meat, although meat this tender despite having the consistency of cardboard was still delicious to taste. Mum went for medium to well but i sneaked it onto her plate at just medium with the faintest of pink at its heart. She was most pleased. I opted for the running around on the plate rare which is my favourite - no seasoning so the flavour is all rib eye in all its glory. Big thick cut too so the centre has only been warmed to the BBQ and not fully introduced. Mum also wanted to know what to do with aubergine so we BBQ'd it whole til its skin was black and then I cooled it and peeled the skin, leaving the soft velvety flesh underneath. Mash that with some lemon juice and olive oil and crush a couple of garlic cloves in salt on the chopping board (to stop you getting garlic breath I hear) and mix the lot up. Then I toss that in a normal salad of lettuce leaves, tomato and onion and the gluttonous mixture coats everything like a salad dressing and turns boring salad into an extravaganza. You could also just finely chop an onion and a tomato and add some parsley and mild to hot paprika into the aubergine gloop and you have a rather interesting mediteranean dip. Delightful.
What will today bring - well I have a box full of wine and people to visit so anything is possible. Last night I introduced Mum to Oomoo a Hardy's wine from the Maclaran Vale area. Oomoo is an aboriginal word meaning 'attractive' and I could not think of another word that most aptly describes this smooth Cab Sav. I am addicted and at only $14.99 its affordable enough to be a regular at my table whilst in Oz.
Weather is a bit overcast today despite being warm so beach not so enticing, but nice enough breeze to encourage a sit on a balcony somewhere enjoying a view and a glass of Monkey Bay Savignon Blanc, from New Zealand - another drop I am quickly getting addicted to as well.
See you soon! Hic Hic!