It is impossible to imagine that winter is starting back home in Auckland. We are finally acclimatising to the the heat of Thailand but due to fly home to the start of winter very soon. Even though it is warm here, I’m glad that I’ve been pondering my winter to do list for quite some time.
These are 10 things that I’ve always wanted to eat, cook or experience.
1. Make Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
A dish to get promiscuous with. This quick, fiery dish is reputed to be named after the ladies of the night (ie. Whore Pasta). I tasted it for the first time for breakfast in Thailand (of all places) after a night on the turps.
It is made using ingredients from the pantry and is a tasty pasta to serve to any sluts in your life. Perhaps wait until after you have all eaten to tell your friends they have just eaten Whore Pasta. They’ll either think it’s funny or hold a grudge.
2. Cook curry goat
I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall’s curry goat episode on River Cottage some years back and ever since, I’ve been hankering to try goat in a curry. Goat isn’t popular here in New Zealand, but makes an appearance every now and then. I have tried goat only a handful of times and it is largely shunned by the Cantonese, who consider goat (and even lamb) to be too smelly or pungent.
I tried a delicious Carribean curry goat over the summer at Splore Festival. The food stall was run by catering company Jamaican Me Hungry and the goat was divine. I can’t wait another 2 years to eat curry goat so I’ll try and make my own version this winter.
3. Tame an ugly root
Celeriac. I have no idea what to do with this ugly root, but I look forward to finding out.
4. Make French Onion Soup
I have never eaten French Onion soup, but I approve of all its ingredients.
5. Host a dumpling wrapping party
Because you can never have too many dumplings.
6. Make pork roast with crackling
What a sham.
In high school, I worked at my parents roast dinner shop in Bayswater and the very first commercial logo I ever designed was for that roast dinner shop. I always order pork when we get roast dinner takeaways because it comes with free crackling. I even order extra crackling, which due to it’s rigidity, I suspect is actually deep fried. It resembles the shape, size and hue of a slice of toast.
Roast pork is held very close to my heart, so I’m very embarrassed to admit, I’ve never made pork roast with crackling.
7. Have a fondue party
Fondue is retro enough to be cool again. Cheese or chocolate?
8. Make biryani
The second most popular dish I order when we get Indian takeaways (after butter chicken of course). I think it’s time to try to make my own.
I want my kitchen to smell like butterscotch.
10. Go to a Korean BBQ
It’s been far too long since I’ve indulged at a Koren BBQ restaurant. They do beef so well. There is something about cooking each morsel of food as you eat it that is both entertaining and makes you more appreciative of each bite.
So there you have it. What are you looking forward to eating this season? Have you got any exciting plans for edible adventures? Is it coming up to summer in your part of the world? Maybe you have picnics and outdoor feasts planned, salads and sushi rolls on your mind?
For my new readers, the aim of these to lists is to tend to a growing edge. Your growing edge is the part of you that is still learning, trying new things and experimenting. It’s the area of your life that you are improving and working on. It’s often too easy to keep cooking your favourite tried and true dishes over and over again. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel like there’s so many delicious things to eat and and so little time so I need to push forward to get anywhere. I first started writing a seasonal to do list last winter. Not only will you learn new things, but the unfamiliar or things that you shrink away from can become familiar to you with practice. It’s the initial leap that is the hardest.