My my. I’ve been tagged.
The delightful Sume wishes to know what my top ten foods are – now I’ll never shut up… until my mouth is full!
Counting backwards (but I can’t quite say that this is the true order…) –
10. A good meaty hamburger after a day-long bushwalk, the burger must be covered in barbecue sauce, loads of fresh vegies and accompanied by crispy (hopefully beer battered) chips. Not to be eaten delicately – only to be ravished.
9. Haloumi. Grilled, laid on a bed of lettuce, with a wedge of lemon and a slice of red onion. For breakfast. With sleepy partner and fresh bread.
8. Hunk of spicy Hungarian salami, slab of strong cheddar, a load of gherkins and a handful of olives. Plus sour-dough bread. Tear everything with your teeth – no knives allowed. I ain’t no plough-man (for obvious reasons) but I sure do love the ploughman’s lunch – when he finds out I’ve been stealing it all these years, I’m going to get one big smack.
7. Pho. Do I have to explain more or will that do?
6. Tofu – the silken kind. All those tofu haters out there: come to my house. Eat my tofu. You will grovel and beg forgiveness for your erstwhile ignorance. I have converted many an anti-tofu’er and I will convert many more.
5. Slowly oven roasted garlic, still in its papery skin. I just love squeezing out the sweet mush and smearing over sourdough bread. If doing a roast, throw plenty of garlic in and – ta da – the best garlic butter in the whole wide world. Yes, no hyperbole.
4. Goi cuon – transparent rice wraps with my mother’s special sauce (hoi sin, plus loads of garlic and plenty of lemongrass). You can do this with all kinds of ingredients – the only mainstays are the rice paper itself, vermicelli and fresh herbs such as mint, coriander and chives. And it is loads of fun as easy dinner party food.
3. Moroccan tajines: wonderful winter food, aromatic spices, chunks of meat or root vegetables (pumpkin and sweet potato being the best), must have okra or eggplant and be eaten with mountains of perfect cous-cous and crusty bread.
2. My mum’s caramelised prawns. Dark soy, loads of sugar, partially peeled prawns (head and tail intact of course). She’s cooks this one just for me. Yep, I’m the favourite and the baby.
1. My dad’s stir fried crab in ginger and shallots – cua xao. Mum is not allowed to make this dish. Only Ba. When I was a vegetarian, this was the only meat dish I continued to eat, with some lame excuse about it being a family tradition: Ba would tell Um to phone us kids, who’d then phone just one of us and make that one phone the rest of us. We’d all descend from our respective parts of Brisbane, partner and kids (if any) in tow, and the house would flow with laughter and the sound of chopsticks clacking on dishes.
And you know, the list does not end. I love food. I love cooking for people.
Y’all want to come to my place for dinner? (I’ll ask Ba to buy some crabs…)
If you had a boring sandwich for lunch today, you’re tagged. Tell me what would you rather be eating …