Day 115: Boozy Comfort Food and an OTT Dream

It finally happened! I made the Boozy Jack Daniels Mac and Cheese that I’ve been hinting at in a previous post here, and here. Oh. My. Word. It was delicious!

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Day 110 (I Think): K’Ching Cheddar

There I was, merrily typing away when poof, off went the computer and the deafening silence that only loadshedding brings, set in. We were supposed to be on stage one, but apparently a half hour before 14h00, they upped the ante. I had a number of consequential four-letter words that I silently screamed at Eskom. Aside from work that gets behind, I am worried about the fridge. It has taken to making a loud knocking sound every now and then. I hope it isn’t on it’s way out. Anyhow, I caught up some of the lost hours, with a delicious treat-coffee.

Given that I couldn’t work, I decided to go to the shop for the missing ingredients for the boozy mac and cheese that I keep seeing in my saved FB items.. Holy crap! Dinkum hard cheese is pricey. I’m talking R420 a kilo expensive. To add insult to injury, it is better travelled than I am! Made in Poland, matured in Italy. Pfffffffft!

As I stood with a mere 148 grams of it in my hand, uhm’ing and ah’ing about if I really wanted to try the recipe that much, the Cookery Goddess, Penelope (who has been on hiatus) emerged and said, “For crying in a pot of minestrone soup, you’re willing to toss half a cup of Old No.7 in this dish. Buy the effing cheese!” I knew best not to argue – people tend to look at me funny when I have a conversation with Pen in the middle of the dairy aisle.

I am going to make the mac and cheese tomorrow, assuming Eskom doesn’t put the power off in the early afternoon. Lord knows, this mac and cheese better live up to all the anticipation I have built up and the money I’ve spent on ingredients. Penelope had better come up with other recipes to use this cheese because I’ll be damned if I’m letting it turn into a penicillin-based science experiment in the (possibly retiring) fridge. On the flip-side I got paprika for almost R12 less than the local grocery shop here. The brown sugar was on special too. Penny best be clever there too. Last time she had me buy castor sugar for something and when I eventually wanted to use it, the ants had built slopes in the box and were donning skis.

It is less cold than yesterday, for which I am grateful. Even though there isn’t much warmth in the sun, the light is bright and the sky is blue. The alien tapeworm is also dormant – another thing for which I give thanks. I’ve only had a cup of coffee, my Herbalife shake, and two apples today. Tonight I shall most likely have some fish and roast vegetables.

I tried to wear my ankle boots that have a slight heel. I lasted all of ten minutes walking with them. My ankle did not appreciate being bent at an awkward angle. I very quickly put on the spare pair I had in the boot of my car. The Toppie is always on me about my car being like a travelling wardrobe, but today it was a blessing. My ankle is sore, but without a change of shoes the pain would be worse.

Before lockdown was implemented a hundred and whatever days ago, a few friends and I celebrated a friend’s birthday. There we joked about driving around ever weekend in search of the perfect carrot cake. We even joked about having a van, with WortelKoeke on the outside – the blokes being the wortels and the gals being the koeke. In this spirit, I want to do the same kind of thing, but for the perfect savoury pie, preferably pepper steak.

This may be #TMI, but after shitting through the eye of a needle for four days earlier this month thanks to a dodgy chicken mayo vetkoek sarmie, I’m averse to the idea of eating anything chickeny unless I’ve cooked it myself or seen it being prepared. I don’t wish diarrhoea for days on anyone.

Many South Africans are sad because Nestle is discontinuing Chocolate Log bars. They’ve been around since 1969, but in all my life if I’ve eaten one a year, it’s a lot.

I’m not big on marshmallowy chocolates, except Sweetie Pies; if it has peanut butter in it I will devour it, but failing that anything wafery is good, as is a Peppermint Crisp, Flake or anything by Cadbury. I swear I can taste the glass and a half of milk in every block. When I came back from my holiday to Singapore in 2004, I bought a Cadbury Black Forest slab at the airport. It was deliciously indulgent. I broke off a single block every so often and savoured it. That slab must have lasted at least three months which is a record for chocolate when I’m around.

While infections continue to rise, recoveries go unmentioned, and Eskom continues to freeze us out of the warmth and light many of us pay for, life is good – Rachel the Rocket continues to grow, work chugs along, and I’ve not yet acted on murderous impulses – but, it is only Wednesday…

Una Grande Serata

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

In our case (that’s Eleanor and I), it was gnocchi…

Contrary to popular belief, I love cooking, and for the most part (barring one night I served a burnt offering to Charlie), I do it well.  The reason I don’t cook often is because I don’t have a proper stove.  I have a mini-kitchen, which is two plates and a small oven, which doesn’t heat evenly at the best of times.

Last night though, I outdid myself.  Nathan was away from home yesterday for work, so I told Eleanor I’d cook for her, if she saw to the boys.  I gave her a choice:  Moroccan or Italian.  She opted for the latter.

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Granted, I didn’t make everything from scratch, and know that traditional Italian pasta sauce is usually tomato-based, but I do love bacon and cream and I had to factor in the time of preparing everything, in an unfamiliar kitchen.  I did make up for everything non-Italian with a bottle of imported Prosecco of which I had a taste.

Prosecco

The menu was as follows:

Starter (Antipasto)

Charcuterie Board:

Salami, Pastrami, Ham, Blackberries, Raspberries, Almonds, Pears, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Cheddar, Bread sticks, Yoghurt & Caramelized Onion Dip, Salmon & Feta Terrine, and Tomato & Olive Bruschetta

Charceturie Board

Main Course (Primo Piatto)

Gnocchi with Butternut and Peas, served in a Bacon & Cheese Sauce from this blog

Gnocchi

Gnocchi Served

Dessert (Dolce)

Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries (which I concede isn’t authentic Italian, but I couldn’t find Tiramisu or Panna Cotta anywhere).Dolce

Coffee (Caffé)

Cappuccino with Chocolate, Cranberry & Almond Biscotti

Cappucino & Biscotti

All in all, I think I fared well.  Eleanor was pleasantly surprised, and we had a lovely evening, just us girls.

We decided that travelling round the world, right at the dinner table will become a regular thing.  Here’s to the next destination!  Any suggestions?