Chicken roasted with 40 cloves of garlic and Merguez sausages

I must tell you my chicken and garlic story.  It was 1982 and we were in Singapore.  We were on our way home after a year in Europe and we weren’t staying at the flashest hotel in town.

We decided to eat at the hotel restaurant and I ordered chicken and garlic.  Well, I certainly got my money’s worth in story currency.  You see, there were 51 cloves of garlic and about three pieces of chicken.  When it arrived, we laughed and laughed and laughed.  I ate the three pieces of chicken and counted the garlic.  We were not as familiar with garlic then as we are now. Continue reading

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb

Firstly, I must apologise for the photo.  It was the best that I could do. 😦  And it took me ages to finalise.  I was determined to write a post on this dish but when I looked at the photos I took, there was nothing that looked remotely enticing.

Friends often say they like my photos and I explain to them that I usually take lots and lots of exactly the same thing and the one that appears in the blog is the best of the lot. Also, I do spend an inordinate amount of time in Photoshop correcting the composition, lighting, colour, focus, etc.  But there is only so much you can do.  If the photo is bad, bad, bad, you only end up with a well lit, well focused, bad photo. So it was with the head photo. Continue reading

Yoghurt, cucumber and rose petal dip

When I was in Iran, I really wanted to buy a cookbook.  I can think of no better souvenir from a country than a nice thick tome on their fare.  But alas, the only English written cookbook I found was the Australian Women’s Weekly More Slow Cooking.  I am afraid that wasn’t what I had in mind.

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Too many leeks, anyone?

Leeks are a bug bear of mine.  The problem is, they are so easy to grow, I just can’t resist throwing a few seeds into the vegie patch each autumn.  Then, come spring, when they have all grown and are ready for picking on the same day, I have absolutely no idea what to do with them all.

I have tried staggering my planting like all the books advocate but, from my experience, the plants you put in late just catch up to the earlier plants so they still all ripen on the same day. Continue reading

The last of the holiday pics and a recipe …

Hello, again.  This is the last of my foodie holiday posts.  I do appreciate that other people’s holiday shots can be really hard to suffer through.  Next post, I swear, will be back to normal.

We have now moved on from Armenia to Georgia and things are a bit more cheery.   I mentioned in my previous post that Armenia made a sweet meat similar to the Georgian Churchkhela.  In Armenia, we only saw them at the GUM market but, in Georgia, they were everywhere. Continue reading

The women of Iran

I still intend to do one more foodie holiday post but I have been prompted to write this post because of the comments I have been receiving when I tell people I have been to Iran.  I have been asked time and time again, questions like “Was it safe?”,  “Were there police/soldiers/guards everywhere?”  I was chatting with my hairdresser the other day and I don’t think she believed me when I said I did not see one woman wearing a burkah – ie, the full face covering garment. Continue reading

More foodie holiday shots – this time, Armenia

If I had to sum up Armenia in one word, I think it would be “miserable“.

I don’t want to be unfair or to offend any Armenians out there but …

To be fair, Armenia has had a shit history, to say the least.  The people have been massacred.  They have lost territory to Turkey and, on the face of it, are sitting ducks.  It is a poor nation which would have suffered financially when the Soviets left.  Yes, they got their culture and religion back but … at what cost?  There are half-finished Soviet hotels left to rot and towns that used to have 20,000 people now have little more than 1,000.  Everywhere, buildings are deserted, left to decay. The landscape is further tarnished with horrid Soviet concrete blocks of flats that the government doesn’t have the money to renovate. Public squares and public gardens in regional towns have been overtaken by weeds and ornamental ponds are covered in slime.  In rural areas, there was barely a young person to be seen.

OK, this is only one side of the story.  Armenians are very religious people. They are rightly proud of their faith and traditions. Yerevan, the capital, did have a positive vibe.  Public buildings were well maintained and there were young people out and about.

The first of many “churches on a hill” – Tatev Monastery

So what does Armenia have going for it?

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