This is a photo essay of my last week, which I spent on the road. The trip took me from Perth to Port Headland then back again with significant time spent in Roebourne. Along the way, my brother-in-law and I stopped and ate some local delicacies. This included a Hawaiian Quiche (a first for me) with chunks of pineapple mixed in with the ham, a Maxibon at a roadhouse, then a chicken and kale salad the night we camped. After this, we put away a bain marie breakfast at a roadhouse then bumped into friends who had just been out hunting. We also managed to have some bagels and native berries before finding a true delicacy in 'culinary cream' at the supermarket. It was a gastronomic delight. We cooked at home a lot too, and, were even hosted by JC for dinner as well. All in all it was a good trip, and, I am a little chilly now that I have returned to Perth. Enjoy the pics and more soon!
To date, this blog has focused on restaurant reviews. There have been a couple of exceptions to that, including posts about Thanksgiving and chicken curry. But for the most part, I have been interested in meals I have eaten outside of home. It has been about the joys of going out, of finding hidden gems, of discovering new things in old neighbourhoods, or simply embracing the suburbs with all that it has to offer, from New York to Margaret River. This is going to change. Now, I am also going to include dishes I like to make at home if only because my readers are spread all over the place. You all though have kitchens that you can cook in, and, it might be easier than coming to Western Australia for a gelato.
I was also prompted to do this after seeing friends’ reactions to an article I shared about what makes breakfast in Kerala so great. A couple of them recalled the putu I used to make when we were students in Canberra. And, I thought of the joy I get from cooking for other people. It also did not hurt that I watched Julie and Julia for the first time the other night, which features a blogger making the full complement of dishes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I will continue to write about restaurants, but I will also pepper this with dishes that I make at home, which might be fun for other people to try as well, no matter where they happen to be.
This brings me to a lunchtime classic that I recently shared with M. (a friend of mine who I met through a trade union). M is a beekeeper and a barbeque master who comes from California. He has spent time in Texas and Japan, which makes his palate and sensibility unique. M. likes to pickle and jam, and, he really knows his way around the kitchen. We were talking, as you do, and he mentioned he had recently made a batch of kimchi at home. And so, I asked him what he does with it? Noodles, rice, meat, by itself, and all the other usual assortment of ways to eat it.
And this was when I confessed that I had been through a kimchi phase where I was eating a lot of it. My favourite way to eat it though is in a toasted cheese sandwich – two slices of sourdough bread, a vintage cheddar, and kimchi in their with it. Butter it up, put it in a sandwich press, and you have a funky, salty, sweet, yummy delicious sandwich. It goes well with beer and can easily be vegan. Nothing is better when you want to mix up the sandwich option. And M. seems to agree, from what I gather, he is hooked on this way of eating kimchi. And I for one, think that this is a great way to mix and match the best of different cultures.
* I also don't mind an apricot jam, walnut, blue cheese toastie; or, a black olive, pickled Japanese ginger, and gruyere number.
Tonight I had two serendipitous food wins (and that is even without counting a sublime mulberry granita topped with cream that I snuck in before an afternoon meeting). The first was an impulse buy that involved no food at all, but a little keyring charm made by two enterprising twelve year olds who were hustling counterside at the local pizzeria. You can see the merch below and you can find out more at Craft Freaks. All power to them. It made me reflect on the fact that I had a few of my own hustles before I began my first job, which was at Pizza Hut when I was 13. Before that, I would wash cars in the neighbourhood, sell the occasional lemonade, mow lawn; exactly what you would expect growing up in the suburbs. I had a close friend who always sold eggs, and, street parking on the weekends in football season. He always had the most cash amongst us, and, this was before he got into dealing basketball cards.
The second food win was actually about food, and, for that I have to thank Mosman Park Seafoods. K and I have recently moved into the neighbourhood and are housesitting a place with river views for the summer. We are getting used to the lifestyle of the rich and anonymous, which includes the restaurants on offer. The other day we enjoyed some good lunchtime tacos down the road at Piggy in North Fremantle (photograph included as evidence). They were $5 each, which is about the right price for us. And, truth be told, we do not go out that much. I like to cook and host at home, and, we have great lemon trees, a healthy herb garden, and plenty of greens that go into big salads. For regular readers, you might have the wrong idea if you read this regularly, and could think that I have an unbalanced diet without enough veggies. And, my many vegan friends would be truly, and rightfully, appalled if they saw Food Blog as representative of what I ate as a whole. My home cooking is not like this, which brings me to point out that eating out means eating things you cannot cook at home, which brings me to Mosman Park Seafoods, which is the local fish and chip shop in between the IGA and the BWS.
The décor is wonderful, the family who own and run it are friendly, and the serves are generous. It is well priced and very quick. On a busy Sunday night, we got our food within ten minutes, and, for under $20 that meant minimum chips, two pieces of fish, two prawns, two squid rings, two scallops, two mussels, two hash browns, and a serve of tartar sauce. They had it billed as a ‘fisherman’s dinner for one’, but I thought it would be better to think of it as a seafood sampler for two. It was that big. The batter was golden and crunchy, not too thick or thin, the fish was fresh, and the prawns were perhaps the best I have had at this kind of establishment. When I reflected on it, with a full belly, I could not help but feel warm inside. I was happier for it, and, I imagined what might come next from Mosman Park Seafoods. Here, I thought of simply ordering fish so I could make my own tacos instead, with slaw and samphire and fingerlime; or, maybe just a cheeky $4 of chips to share with friends when we walk down to the jetty. The possibilities are endless, especially if you feel like contributing to the meal, meeting take away halfway with home cooking. And, perhaps, that is all you can ask of anything, or anyone, that you meet them in the middle so that everyone is better for it.