Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daddy's Boots

Number one clothing obsession - Daddy's boots. Workboots, gumboots, whatever. This obsession usually leads to disasters involving crashing on the floor, but he just won't give up on his desire to wear the big boots :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Love Dalk-Galbi!

I found the most wonderful Korean grocer in Palmerston North. It is near impossible to get anything resembling Korean food here in our small town, the occasional Shin Ramyen noodles are about as good as it gets. 

Anyhow, I went crazy. I bought a humongous 3kg bucket of gochujang (a wonderful hot pepper bean paste concoction...) and a swag of other wonderful ingredients that nobody except me can identify as there's no English writing on any of the packets. I got chatting with the guy who runs the shop, who's from Busan (an hour or so from Ulsan, where I used to live) - he was lovely and very happy to be able to talk about his home town with me (a great city, one of the lingering memories is the huge fish market right in the middle of town!). 

My favourite thing to do with a giant tub of gochujang is to make Dalk Galbi. Over the years I've mutated the recipe so much it probably isn't actually dalk galbi any more, but I still name it so and it's very popular indeed in this house. Jarvis hasn't had the pleasure of partaking in it just yet, as it's so hot he may spontaneously combust if he were to eat any. I'm very lucky I married well - to a lovely man who isn't afraid of my firey fare. 

A Recipe for Mutant Dalk Galbi!

500g or so boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized pieces
Ddok (korean rice cake thingees)
A kumara, thinly sliced
A bit of thinly sliced cabbage if you're in the mood
3 Tablespoons gochujang
2 Tablespoons chilli powder or chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5cm ginger, chopped
A tablespoon or so dried ginger
1 Tablespoon rice wine (shaoxing is good!)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Chicken stock or water to thin.

I mix everything but the chicken & the stock/water together (in the food processor if I'm feeling like cleaning it), then mix it with the chicken, ddok, cabbage and kumara til it's wonderfully coated and throw it into a frying pan. Fry it for a few minutes, then pour in a bit of stock or water to thin the sauce down to your desired consistency. Let it bubble away gently until everything's cooked! 

Serve with rice, and a large bowl of kimchi. 

My next mission, incidentally, is going to be a bit of Kimchi making. Goodness knows how this will turn out, but my friend in the Korean grocery store offered me a few hints from his wife. Hopefully I'll be making kimchi like an ajumma in no time at all ;) 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Palmerston North Part One - Toot Toot!

We spent last week in the big city of Palmerston North (our city is very small, Palmerston North qualifies as a super metropolis!). It was fantastic - Jarvis got to hang with Nana & Grandad, which meant many extra people to pursue him on his many adventures and catch him if any of his daredevil stunts go wrong. 

Trains (or Toot Toot's as he likes to call them) are pretty popular right now, and the miniature train at the esplanade is fun even for us big folks. It winds through the park, through gorgeous native bush (man there's a lot of kawakawa growing down there!), past ducks and across several miniature level crossings - plenty of opportunity to wave to everyone and admire every dog with an enthusiastic 'woof woof!'. 

Wonderful :)

Playdough/Virulent Blue Roti

Our first exciting foray into playdough was most successful! 

We made it without a traditional playdough recipe as such (mainly because we didn't have enough salt!), it's a mutation on the recipe I use for making roti - if we'd rolled it out flat & thrown it in the frying pan we could have had a virulent blue accompaniment to a nice dal ;)  

I half expected Jarvis to eat the whole blob of dough right away, but was pleasantly surprised. Maybe we're moving past the whole 'everything may be food so I'd better check' stage? He tentatively poked at it, and was overtaken by giggles when it bounced back at him (maybe a side effect of my unconventional recipe? I don't remember normal playdough ever behaving quite like that).  Using the glass coffee table as a playdough surface was a pretty fantastic idea, I have to say. 

It was really fabulous when he realised that by bashing his giant lego into the dough, he left a lego shaped hole for a moment or two. Jarvis is a fan of bashing things on tables, so to be able to do it without being redirected made him very happy indeed. 

The smile says it all. And the dough lasted for about a week (in the fridge in a sealed container) before it went a little yucky & had to get thrown out! 

Jarvis's Playdough Recipe...
A cup of so of flour
Boiling water 
A little food colouring (next time I'm thinking I may be outrageous & try turmeric for a natural alternative?) 

Mix the boiling water & food colouring in with a wooden spoon til the dough comes together. Knead it for five minutes or so (or until it's the texture you want it to be). Be sure to store it in the fridge in an airtight container, the salt in regular playdough acts as a preservative so this won't last as long :)