Marco will be on nightshift later, so I'll be handing out treats for the neighbourhood kids all on my own tonight. I am also determined to somehow make it through the traditional scary-movie-viewing without a strong man to hide behind. I will keep popcporn close for sustenance and make the cats sit with me for some emotional support. I haven't yet decided on what to watch, any suggestions?
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Friday, 26 October 2012
Thursday, 25 October 2012
The things-I-did-this-summer catch-up continues. The thing in this post is my trip to Manchester, which mainly happened so Marco and I could catch both Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen in concert on consecutive nights. It was the 5th time of Pearl Jam for me, and the 4th time for Bruce. Both never fail to blow me away. I'm happy these musicians brought me to Manchester, too. It's a city I liked from the word go. A beautiful mix of architecture, old and new. Super friendly people (we had chats with absolutely everybody, which I am not used to, living in London). A lot of rain, but I like proper weather, and got a bargain new rain jacket out of it.
We stayed for two days and went discovering on each one. We had the most delicious dim sum lunch at Yang Sing in Chinatown, and lovely Eggs Benedict at Home Sweet Home for breakfast. We also took a few hours of shelter from the rain in the beautiful John Rylands Library, where I went to the loo in a Victorian bathroom.
I loved the city so much that I bought a souvenir bag. It says I ❤ MCR, and I have had a few comments on it from Mancunians back here in London.
After leaving Manchester, we drove back through the Peak District, where we went hiking in the same lot of rain. Hopefully I'll get the pictures from that up here soon, too. But for now, let me show you MCR!
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Usually, when I watch Man V Food, it just makes me feel like I want to move to the States and stuff my face with ridiculously high stacks of ridiculously bad-for-me food. Sometimes, it inspires me to recreate said food in my own kitchen. (If you have never heard of this show, I encourage you to spend a little time watching these videos before you read on...)
Like the time when I watched the episode in which Adam Richman goes to The Black Sheep in Richmond, VA. There, he eats a 2-foot-long sandwich with jerk chicken, cole slaw and banana ketchup.
Hang on. BANANA ketchup? I had never heard of that before. Sounds interesting. Adam describes it as a mixture of bananas, brown sugar, soy sauce, rum and jerk seasoning. I want it. And I just so happen to have a bunch of lovely brown bananas in the fruit bowl that realistically will probably not be eaten by anybody anymore in the state they are in.
So, a quick googling spree for banana ketchup inspiration later, I have moved from my sofa to my kitchen and am standing over a hot pot, stirring a spicy fragrant banana mush.
The end result turned out really tasty. It is indeed good on a chicken sandwich, as well as with grilled meats or as a fiery partner to homemade fries. You can control the level of spiciness by choosing chillies that are the right hotness for your taste buds. Here is my recipe:
BANANA KETCHUP (makes about 500 ml)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 red chillies, roughly chopped
thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp allspice, ground
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup dark rum
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
5 overripe bananas, mashed
1 lemon, juice & zest
1 lime, juice & zest
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leave
Heat the oil in a medium pot. Add the onions and a little bit of salt and sweat them over a medium heat until they turn soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chillies, ginger and dried spices and fry over a low heat for about a minute, stirring all the time, until the mix starts to give off a fragrant smell.
Add sugar, vinegar, rum, soy sauce, bananas and the citrus and herbs. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer over a low heat for about an hour. Stir from time to time to check nothing is burning.
Remove from heat. Fish out the cinnamon stick and the bay leave and discard . Blend the rest of the liquid to a fine sauce. I used my immersion blender for this directly in the pot, but you could also transfer the ketchup to a blender with a glass jug. Be very careful, though, as the liquid will be very hot.
Fill your ketchup into a suitable vessel using a funnel (I re-used a squeezy ketchup bottle that I cleaned with hot water and soap) and let cool. The ketchup will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.