Category Archives: Savory Nosh

Roughing It

A five star tent -- one common room, two bedrooms, but no kitchen!

This post was written on Thursday evening, 12 August, scribbled in the dusk…

I really have had an underpriviledged childhood.  Tonight will be the first night ever that I will sleep in a tent. Shy-Boy cannot believe that I have lived to the ripe old age of mumble mumble without ever having experienced the sublime nirvana that is tent dwelling.

You see, yonks ago when I went camping, we didn’t have tents.  We slumbered in sleeping bags under the trees, in the rain, on desert sands, by the seashore, always under the open sky.  We didn’t have a need for tents, we were roughing it.  We cooked over open fires, letting the chicken pieces fall into the mud, the ash, the dirt, and using the Three Second Rule, just tossing the food back on the fire.  It was delicious!

Ju-Boy and Shy-Boy go camping each summer, leaving me behind in the blissful air-conditioning, watching reruns of House or Doctor Who in wonderful solitude.  Tonight I have joined them, because, I have been told, I cannot go through life without roughing it at least once in a tent.

The boys work hard while Miriyummy documents the process

You should have heard me earlier today making fun of the Love of My Life and his youngest progeny.  They set up a tent with two bedrooms opening out of a central entranceway.  We have blow-up mattresses!  We have a portable barbeque!  I have brought my BlackBerry to check emails!  Shy-Boy is playing games on Ju-Boy’s iPhone while Ju-Boy grills entrecote steaks and is making a salad.  No dirt encrusted chicken for the likes of us!

Gourmet roughing it

With all of this luxury, we are still roughing it.  We are the poor neighbors at this campground.  The family two tents away have brought a television and home cinema.  Another family has brought a generator and a huge chest freezer.  The teens a few meters away are bopping along to Middle Eastern disco on a huge sound system complete with strobe lights.  People are cooking spaghetti on electric hobs.  A little further away I can see a state-of-the-art plasma television, hooked up to a karaoke machine!  You wouldn’t want to go camping and miss out on who gets eliminated from Kochav Nolad (Israeli Idol).

One family shlepped out a huge television and spent the whole night screening their sons' Bar Mitzvah videos, complete with belly dancers and ulalations!

Huge chest freezer connected to its own generator -- are they camping out or moving in?

Teen camp with sound system and strobe lights -- they actually turned out to be the quietest group that sleepless night...

Okay, it’s getting dark and as we have neglected to bring a sound and light show with us, scribbling all this down is getting more and more difficult.  I suppose I could tap this all into my BlackBerry, but, hey, I’m roughing it!

One confession — tonight we’re going to be treated to the Perseids meteor shower, and Shy-Boy has brought his telescope.  There is definitely something to be said about smoothing out the rough edges.

Tent city the morning after

Shy-Boy made us smoked tuna sandwiches for breakfast!

Smoked Tuna

  • 1 can tuna packed in oil (not water!)
  • 1 paper towel
  • 1 match

Smoking the tuna will take about 10 minutes until the flames die down

  1. Open the can of tuna, but do not drain the oil.  Fold a paper towel into 4 and place on top of the can, pressing down into the oil.  Turn and do likewise with the other side, so that the entire paper towel is saturated in tuna oil.  Place the can on a flame-proof surface.  Strike the match and ignite the paper towel.  Stand back and watch.  Take pictures if this is the first time you are doing this and your friends won’t believe what you had for breakfast that morning. 
  2. Let the flames die down of their own accord.  This can take anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes depending on the oil in the can.  In the meantime, you can prepare a roll with cheese, scallions, whatever you like in your tuna sandwich.  No mayo is necessary.
  3. Once the flames have died down, the tuna will be nice and smokey.  There really is no need for draining now, all the oil has been burned away, leaving behind a wonderful barbequey flavor.  Enjoy!

Not exactly gourmet, but who needs gourmet when you're roughing it? Delicious!

Cheddar Salvation

Life can be good, even with danger lurking behind you

It’s a good thing I hang out with Ju-Boy, because he always sees the glass as half-full.  I tend to be a bit more pessimistic, having been disappointed on many occasions.  I was recently reminded of a joke I heard back in a university psych 101 class:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith have twin boys, Billy and Bobby.  Billy goes through life crying over every little thing, while Bobby is irritatingly optimistic.  They take the twins to a pediatric psychologist who asks that they leave the kids with him for 24 hours and he promises overnight success. 

The next evening they meet the psychologist at the door and he looks like he’s been through hell.  “I don’t know what I was thinking,” he tells the parents, “but your kids have broken the mold.  I put Billy in a room full of toys, thinking that would cheer him up, but…”

As they walk down the corridor they hear the sound of a little boy weeping.  They enter the room and there is Billy, sitting in the middle of as many toys as a boy would want, and he’s crying his eyes out.  “Billy, sweetie, what’s the matter?” asks his mother.  “Look at all these wonderful toys, why are you crying?  Why don’t you play with them?”

“Because if I play with the toys, I’ll break them!” came Billy’s answer.

“You think that’s strange, wait until you see Bobby,” said the psychologist.  As they walk down the corridor to Bobby’s room they are assailed by the most horrible smell of horse manure, and as they get closer to the room, the see that the door is open.  They can hear Bobby whistling while he flings handful after handful of horse manure into the corridor.  “I put your son in a room full of horse poo to try to get him down a little off his permanent high, but it doesn’t seems to be working.”

“Bobby, sweetie,” cried his mother, “why are you so happy playing in all this horse manure?”  Bobby’s answer?  “Because somewhere under all this horse poo, there’s got to be a pony!”

And that sums up my husband.  He’s always looking for the pony.  God loves him, how can life be bad, even when it looks bad?  Me?  I’m not crying, I just like to call myself realistic.  When things are going well, I want them to always be like that.  I don’t want the glass to be half-full if I’m enjoying the wine, I WANT A FULL GLASS OF WINE!!!!!!!!!!!

Lately I’ve come across a blog that I enjoy reading — Pancakes and French Fries.  It seems that the blogger, Jules, was having a bad month.  A month full of ill children, supermarket mishaps, balded dogs and finally, what can only be the epitome of bad experiences, and here I quote Jules verbatim, “Shortly before we left for the store I slipped in a puddle of urine, and it wasn’t mine.”

Okay, I’ve been having a bad month.  Actually, a bad summer.  Come to think of it, it’s been a bad year.  But then I start to think about Ju-Boy’s conviction that God loves him, and maybe I should hitch a ride on his star.  And while I’m not slipping around in someone else’s wee, I can take a leaf from Jules, at least I can comfort myself with these amazing chewy cheesy cookies.

Cheddar Salvation

The original recipe as per Jules can be found in her blog entry.  She calls them Cheddar Pecan Crisps.  But my version has no pecans, and I’ve played around with it a bit more, but they’ve made this day a glass half-full.

 

 

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (8 ounces, 225 grams) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon za’atar (or oregano)
  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) pine nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (325 degrees F).
  2. In a mixer, combine the butter and cheddar cheese.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.  Do not overmix.
  4. With wet hands (to prevent sticking), pinch off some of the dough, about a heaping teaspoon’s worth, and roll into a ball.  Place the balls about an inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Flatten down the balls with the tines of a fork.  It helps to dip the fork in flour because the dough is very sticky.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes until brown.  Remove to cool.
  6. As Jules claims, these little cheddary bites of salvation are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.  Serve with a full glass of wine. 

     

     

Cheddar Salvation -- is the glass half-empty or half-full?

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