Thursday, July 06, 2006

Blog feast

It was blog dinner party time at Chez Duck last night. I'm kicking myself for not taking a single photo, but you'll understand why as I progress. I thought I'd give you a cooking photo nonetheless, so here's Bumblebee making meatballs with Mr Pooter a few weeks ago:*

Cooking cat

The dinner party attendees were:
-- Naomi (my sister-in-law and LP regular), her partner (BB's big brother) and son;
-- Liam (also an LP writer and his partner;
-- Zoe (the newly mainstream print-published crazybrave) and her partner and son,
-- and myself, BB and Bumblebee.

The out-of-towners (Naomi and Liam et al) were in Canberra for a history conference at the ANU.

I decided to cook an Indian feast, so spent all of tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon cooking. Late Tuesday night, stirring the Kheer, all I could think was why I hadn't suggested going to a restaurant...

And the answer is... because sitting around the table together while the kids ate pizza and played with Duplo in the corner was really pleasant, and much merriment was made.


Freshly salted pistachios and tomato & basil pretzels

Kuruma Iraichchi (Sri Lankan beef pepper curry)
Ooroomas Rathu Curry (Sri Lankan pork red curry)
Gobi Foogath (spicy fried cabbage)
Tamarind Chick Peas
Steamed basmati rice
Various condiments, including lime pickle, yogurt and garlic pickle.

Kheer (Indian rice pudding, spiced with cardamon and bay)
Cumquat brandy & coffee

Yum! The first three mains are from The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon, the chick peas were from a low-fat Indian cookbook I picked up cheap somewhere, and the Kheer recipe is an old favorite from a free Hari Krishna recipe book they used to hand out on the streets of Sydney when I was a lot younger. The pistachios are done by an old Polish guy called Zivko who has a deli in Queanbeyan and comes to the local Farmers Markets. They are just delicious.

The company was excellent. Liam really does wear a black beret! Naomi regaled us with tales of teaching drama, and Best Beloved and his brother M kept us in stitches with family tales of prank phone calls and other merry japes. Much wine flowed, and we all stuffed ourselves to the gills while the kids got faster as they wearied.

Zoe and I fantasised about winning a sum in the lottery and what we'd do with the small but ample windfall: plan a dinner party and fly our chosen participants in. A-la Judy Chicago, we would lay a table for a host of interesting Australian women bloggers: Pavlov's Cat, Laura, Kate,Georg, Thirdcat, dogpossum, and many more. What a feast of conversation we'd have! But what to feed them?

If I get the chance tomorrow, I'll post again. I've got a list of posts that I've been trying to write, including a review of a marvellous exhibition up at the Manuka Contemporary Art Space until July 9. Run! Go see it! Don't delay! Only two more days to go. Unfortunately (or, rather, for my sanity, fortunately) tomorrow I go away for a week to visit the in-laws at the Blue Mountains (and to try and catch a bit of the Sydney Biennale), and there won't be a computer within cooee unless Naomi lets me near hers. So this may be it for a week, or if I can get organised quickly tomorrow, it may not be.

* I must reassure you, to allay hygienic concerns, that no cat touched any of the food in the photo or at the dinner party :)


Chriswab said...

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lucy tartan said...

Well, I would travel a lot further than to Canberra for company like that...and a feast like that...and I wish I'd actually tried a bit harder to get to that conference! It did cross my mind momentarily.

Cats on the bench don't bother me a bit. I guess nobody will want to eat with me now. Too bad.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Yes please.

As for cat attendants -- I'd be honoured to socialise with those two black beauties.

Zoe said...

You won't have a choice, PavCat, they're not exactly shy.

It was a fabulous dinner, with truly excellent company.

Liam said...

I hereby echo Zoe. Fabulous, excellent. And it was delicious: I'm just sorry I had no room for dessert.

Ampersand Duck said...

And that's why you'll always be thin! [mother's tut tut]
At least you ate your vegetables.

Thanks dudes, it *was* fun.

Ampersand Duck said...

And Laura, they don't bother me either. But they do bother my nicely-brought-up man. I blame his mother.

ThirdCat said...

What's the point of having a cat if it doesn't help with the cooking?

I would never refuse the dessert.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh and that is a wonderful photograph. Classic. I wonder when the legal system will have the good sense to start accepting shots of people's pets, kids and kitchens as character references. Far more reliable than the current system. 'May it please Your Honour, my kid is happy, my cat is healthy (and vice versa), and my kitchen is full of incredibly classy cookware and tasteful oven mitts. I could not possibly have committed this, or indeed any, heinous crime.'

Ampersand Duck said...

PC, I'm absolutely touched. That's a lovely thought. And I guess why Laura let me stay in her house without meeting me (yet)! I must exude respectability...

(heh. my plan is working)

Oops, did I say that out loud?

[scuttles out to pick up child from school and start holiday]

Mummy/Crit said...

Have a ripper of a holiday Duck. we're off in the morning. I love that photo of Pooter and B, they're both having such fun, and it sounds like quite a feast you created. Have you tried making the 'raan' (kashmiri leg of lamb) in the complete asian? we call it Lamb of God in my house. Sounds like ther may need to be a major curry feast in the future...

I kinda like the German blog-spam at the top of the comments.

Anonymous said...

I eat just about anything provided it doesn't contain green peas, so that's fairly simple. Have a good holiday -- there should be a parcel awaiting you on your return!

Boysenberry said...

Sounds like a great evening was had...

Care to share the Kheer recipe?

Georg Hibberd said...

Wow. What an honour to have been considered as a guest a such a possible feast! (And the sound of that menu makes it doubly enticing).

When in Canberra again would love to organise a catch up with the Duck and TEH Zoe and any other Nash Cap bloggers.

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Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

mummy/crit, thanks for the tip about Lamb of God. I had a look at it in the Complete Etc last night and it sounds divine.

Ron said...

You either have to put up a new post to push this one down the page, or else I will have to make sure I visit just after eating lunch or dinner.

The hunger dribbles produced are ruining my keyboard! :-)

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a fabulous meal! We make indian feast a fair bit here for guests, but no one ever makes it for me!

I think I need the recipes. Shall we arrange a swap? I will endeavour to post my favourite indian feast recipes soon(ish). We are quite keen on an orange sweet potato salad with sesame seeds and stuff, and a carrot salad.

I'd love to come to dinner - so long as I stock up on antihistamines first I'd be right with the cats (I'm massively allergic - which frustrates my affectionate half burmese (and aging) cat who lives with my Ps - he loves cuddle).

Man, you need to get Galaxy in on this action - she is the queen of indian vegie dishes! I once made her take my painfully print-only Madhur Jaffrey cook book for a month or two to find me good recipes.

...there's a lindy exchange (Canberrang on this weekend in Canberra... maybe I should go, and be sure to crash on all the lovely Canberrans I know...? And it's a sad indication of my dance-fandom if the thought of a good dinner and company is more appealing than a weekend of topnotch music and dancing.... :D

Ampersand Duck said...

Canberrang sounds amazing! I may lurk, but as I have a partner who Does Not Dance, I may be a sad ghosty lurker.

Happy to do recipe swap! I love sweet potato. I'll keep my eyes skinned for your post. Or just email me and we can start swapping.