Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yes, I Cook.

Yesterday I was lamenting the lack of any decent gluten free roti (Indian flat bread). I know there is a good range of gluten free products available these days, but if anyone knows where to get wraps that are free from gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, and added sugar, which neither fall apart nor resemble card board in any way, well, I'd really like to hear from you.

Anyway back on track. So hear I was, wishing I had decent wraps to eat my aloo saag with, when I decided I would try to make some, so with no recipe and nothing in mind other then the notion that there couldn't be much to it, after all the base for roti is just flour and water right? So out came the gluten free plain flour, the sifter, and the mixing bowls. I started by combining flour and water until I had something the consistency of a good pancake mix (which turned out to be roughly half and half), then I added a bit of oil and salt and beat it all into submission, before cooking it like a pancake. The end result wasn't too bad, a little bland, but no more so then any of the options commercially available to me. The main thing was it held together well and was suitably pliable for the purpose of picking up curry.

Today I decided to give it another go, this time I replaced the oil with melted [dairy free] margarine, and I threw a handful of cumin seeds in the pan while it was heating up. Once they started popping I added them to the mix and started cooking. This time the end result was a bit thicker and stickier, but better tasting and still well suited to its intended purpose.

I intend to experiment further with this, I'd like to try it with different flours (chickpea for example), and also I'm going to try it with rice milk.

Whether or not I make this when I am also cooking the main meal (which I do from scratch) rather then just having leftovers will probably hinge on whether I have time to do it in advance, since [a] the stove can't accommodate that many pots and pans and [b] most Indian recipes require very close attention in the initial stages or the spices will burn.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dollars and sense

Ok so in all fairness I have tried to blog a couple of times and had my posts swallowed by the Internets, but mostly I just haven't felt like, or had time to, post. I've been sick, had a death in the family, all that fun stuff. Also had good stuff, like games nights, movies, an afternoon at fed square listening to the jazz festival, and a night out dancing to Frankie Wants Out at their first weekend gig in ages.

The latest news is that I put my car in for a service and repairs yesterday, and found out today that she could cost in the area of $2500, and will take a week. The work is badly needed, and she's otherwise a good car which once fixed up should last me a good long while. The head gasket has been leaking for a while, which I knew I would eventually have to get fixed but had hoped it would last until I was ready to get a new car. There are some other problems, which the mechanic will suss out and fix up as he comes across them when he rips the engine out. I had to get her in for repairs quickly because in addition to getting more sluggish lately I also had a 100km drop per tank in fuel efficiency between one tank full and the next, despite brand new tyres. We are talking about a small tank so that's a very significant amount. At least my mechanic knows I'm not overly wealthy and has said he will absorb costs where he can.

After Chris and I dropped the car off yesterday we caught a bus to Knox to do some much needed clothes shopping, and I also bought a wheelie suitcase which I need for going to sunny Queensland next month. Thankfully we managed to get a quite good one which should last years, on sale for $80 (loose change compared to other prices we'd seen). After we got home I went to wash the jeans we'd bought (2 pairs each @$100 for 2), only to discover that they had given me 2 pairs the same instead of the 2 different pairs I'd tried on. A shop assistant had gotten me a pair from out the back as my size wasn't on the shelf, and as I'd tried on a different colourway of the same cut I didn't try them on. The woman had gotten me the wrong pair. We caught the bus back to Knox, exchanged the offending pair of jeans, and decided to see what was on at the movies. We ended up seeing 'Iron Man', which was quite good, different from your average comic book movie, then caught a late bus home. Obviously we are going to have to watch the expenses for a while, but apart from the movie we didn't buy anything we didn't need. At least our holiday shouldn't cost excessively much as far as such things go.

That's it for now