Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Top 5 Most Excellent Food-Related Thingamajigs This Christmas

  1. Not Cooking - The Boyfriend and I went to a local bistro that our friend Miss Narn works at for a traditional Christmas lunch.  So we got the usual turkey, ham, prawns, oysters, plum pudding, etc, but didn't have to lift a finger.  Except to get more food from the buffet.
  2. TARDIS Cookie Jar - A present from The Boyfriend.  So now every time I take a cookie, it sounds like a Timelord is about to touch down.  Complete with flashing lights!
  3. Korean Barbecue At Home - Korean barbecue has got to be the easiest dinner party set-up ever.  Get your meat, preferably 2 types.  Beef rib and bacon-cut (bacon cut, not actual bacon!) pork work well.  Marinade the beef for a few hours.
    Chop a head of lettuce into quarters, removing the white core.  Slice up about 5 cloves of garlic (I suggest 5 because garlic rocks, but you could get away with 3) into fine slivers.  Grab a tub of big ol' tub of kimchi - kimchi in Melbourne is readily available at Asian grocers in two sizes - big or bigger.  Take your pick.
    Cook some rice (in a rice cooker because it's easier that way, that's how we mysterious Orientals make rice), we made enough for 4-6 people.
    Lastly, prep two dipping sauces - the first is just salt and sesame oil in a 1:5 ratio, the second being my easy lazy version of ssam jang using white miso paste and ready-made ssam jang past in a 1:3 ratio.
    Then, take all of the above items and put in on your dining table.  Get some manly man-guest to grill the meat at table; the very same manly man can even snip it into bite-sized bits with kitchen shears just like they do in restaurants.  You can also place some garlic slivers on the grill, or heck, eat 'em raw if you'd like.  The meat can be eaten however you want - with rice and kimchi, or wrapped in lettuce along with the garlic slivers or whatnot, ssam style.
    I know my explanation of Korean barbecue awesomeness is rudimentary at best, but this ain't a post specifically about Korean barbecue.  If you'd like to know more, this is useful.  So is this.
  4. Other People's Husbands - No, not like that, you filthy buffoon! *SLAP* Let me explain.  Miss Narn got married this year, to a sweet and gentle Vietnamese lad who is a chef.  His English still needs work, but damn the boy can cook.  So when he and Miss Narn came over on Christmas night, he brought over *drum roll* black sticky rice with coconut yoghurt and toasted coconut.  As well as fresh sardine fillets.  All of which made me like this:

    They are SO not allowed to get divorced.  Ever.
  5. Eating With Friends - It was great to have a few friends over and eat a very non-traditional, no-pressure meal with them.  Miss Narn was tired from working all day, and our friends Siv and Heath had just come back from their big family Christmas in the country.  So to have them all around our table, casually knocking back a few beers whilst The Boyfriend and Vietnamese Chef Lad grilled the meat was really, really nice.  Sure, kimchi and marinated beef isn't Christmassy, per se, but I think the good feeling of hanging out with great friends is.  
After a terrible 2011, Christmas turned out a lot nicer than I expected.
Sure, we didn't plan anything big, but we got to eat good food in excellent company - and for that I am grateful.

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