Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Shame about the split infinitive...

Spice of the Month - Cardamom

Cardamom is an interesting spice from Asia. Cardamom comes from a plant in the ginger family.

Cardamom is said to have grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and in olden times was used as a perfume, digestive aid and breath freshener.

Cardamom is very expensive - only saffron and vanilla are more expensive.  It is known as The Queen of Spices

Cardamom is included in garam masala.

Cardamom comes in green white or brown - buy the pods and extract the seeds and grind as required - the best cardamom is green, the white have lost most of their flavour through bleaching. Brown cardamom has a different flavour.

Its very distinctive – almost medicinal - flavour – has been described as like eucalypt.  It is best to remove the pods from around the seeds before cooking.  You can grind the seeds to intensify the flavour.

In Arab countries cardamom is used in sweet and savoury dishes and also to flavour coffee.  It is also common in Scandinavian countries – for instance in Danish pastries.  Cardamom is a
very important ingredient in curry powders.

Idea – try including a bruised cardamom pod or two when you are poaching fruit.

Posts about Recipes using cardamom - spiced glazed baby carrots, Butter Chicken, Slow Cooker Beef Curry

BIBLIOGRAPHY - with thanks to Auckland Libraries

Cook's Encyclopaedia of Spices by Sallie Morris & Lesley Mackley
Discovering Vegetables, Herbs & Spices by Susanna Lyle
Spice Market by Jane Lawson
Spicery by Ian & Elizabeth Hemphill
Spices & Natural Flavourings by Jennifer Mulherin
Spices by Sophie Grigson
Spices Condiments and Seasonings by Kenneth T Farrell
Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen by Elizabeth David
The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander

Monday, 26 January 2015

Nostalgia alert!

Petticoat Junction

Do you remember Bobby Jo, Billie Jo and  Bettie Jo who all lived at the Shady Rest Hotel in Hooterville?  This ran on TV originally between 1963 and 1970.

I guess it would not be seen as any good through modern eyes – but we enjoyed it in its day!

This Month's Fun Quiz for you – made up by moi!

It's the last Monday of the month so it's Quiz time.

It's very low tech – there are just the questions and then underneath each one is the answer – but you shouldn't be able to see it until you highlight that line. 
I hope you find the quiz fun.

So here are January's 10 questions for you

1      Which country's flag is this?

 2      Who said this?

Oprah Winfrey

3      Which country does the singer Lorde come from? 

        New Zealand

4      How many songs with a city in their title can you name? Try for 5 or more.  Did you think of ones that I missed?
Amarillo (Tony Christie), Baltimore (Randy Newman), Budapest (George Ezra), By the Time I Get to Phoenix (Glen Campbell), Do You Know the Way to San Jose (Dionne Warwick), First We Take Manhattan (Leonard Cohen), Galveston (Glen Campbell), Goodnight Saigon (Billy Joel), Harlem Shuffle (Rolling Stones), I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Tony Bennett), I Love New York (Madonna), If You Ever Go to Houston (Bob Dylan), Kokomo (Beach Boys), Last Train to Clarksville (Monkees), London Calling (The Clash), Marrakesh Express (Crosby, Stills & Nash), Montego Bay (Bobby Bloom), Nashville Cats (The Lovin' Spoonful), New York Minute (Don Henley), New York State of Mind (Billy Joel), New York, New York (Frank Sinatra), Streets of London (Ralph McTell), 24 hours from Tulsa (Gene Pitney), Viva Las Vegas (Elvis), Walking in Memphis (Marc Cohn), Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon), Wichita Linemen (Glen Campbell)

5      What do you call this style of art?  


6      Name as many spices starting with the letter 'c' as you can – try for 8
Coriander seed, cumin, cardamom, caraway seed, cayenne pepper, chilli pepper, Chinese 5 spice, cinnamon, clove.  Herbs like chervil and cilantro do not count!

7      Who wrote the fab book The Martian? 

        Andy Weir – this is a must read book – for anyone whether you usually read sci fi or not!
8      Which city is further North – Phoenix or Memphis?

9      Marilyn Monroe appeared in just over 30 movies.  How many of them can you name?   ( any more than 5 and you are a genius!)
Scudda Hoo!; Scudda Hay!; Ladies of the Chorus; Love Happy; A Ticket to Tomahawk; The Asphalt Jungle; All About Eve; Right Cross; The Fireball; Hometown Story; As Young As You Feel; Love Nest; Let's Make It Legal; Clash by Night; We're Not Married; Don't Bother to Knock; Monkey Business; O. Henry's Full House; Niagara; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; How to Marry a Millionaire; River of No Return; There's No Business Like Show Business; The Seven Year Itch; Bus Stop; The Prince and the Showgirl; Some Like it Hot; Let's Make Love; The Misfits
10     In what year did the Berlin Wall fall?