Wednesday, August 16, 2006

not an ordinary day

this morning i thought i'd cook a chicken curry for dinner. nothing especially outrageous about this.

i got the recipe out, mr oliver's book, the first one, where he's in a blue shirt on the cover. from way back when, before he became jamie DOT com. i still have a soft spot for him.

so i turn to fragrant green chicken curry, which begins on page 122 and crosses to the next page.

page 123.

this is where fluffy's meme comes in. not that i knew it at the time.

look here.

so following the instructions here is my meme response:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people*

let me confess, i did pick up one of the two closest books, which is "getting started with microsoft frontpage". i turned to page 123 and saw it was a really boring corporate web page blurb.

so then i reached for the other closest book, just next to my computer. it was already open. to page 123.

if you think i'm fucking with you, get your copy out and check. or call whoever it is you know who has this book. you will find the second half of the fragrant green chicken curry on page 123.

and THEN, when i find the fifth sentence [3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil] i think to myself, huh, how weird would it have been if it had been about the limes? [see previous mini-post]

well fuck me dead, i have just had another bizzarro world coincidence.

look at instruction 4 above.

i have to post the text of the next four sentences...

here they are:

zest and juice of 4 limes

Put all the green curry paste ingredients in a food processor and whizz to a smooth green paste. Marinate the chicken in a little of the paste for 30 minutes, then add a little oil and the chicken pieces to a hot casserole-type pan or wok. Fry for 4 minutes, then add the remainder of the marinade - it will sizzle and spit.

but that's not all, folks**

before i realised all this weird meme stuff, i went and did my food shopping. i went to safeway. i bought the ingredients. while shopping, and getting lemon grass stalks, fresh coriander etc. i was thinking to myself, this is fairly blogworthy. comparing how much it would cost to make a curry from scratch, to getting a ready-made jar of curry stuff.

so what i did when i got home was add up the ingredients for the curry. i got to limes and saw that i was charged $16.98 a kilo. do you know how many limes i got? 4. do you know how much they cost? $9.90.

$9.90 for 4 limes

so i went back up there with my limes and my receipt and got my money back.

i came back home and got lemons off the tree.

i did the mini-post about the cost of limes. i'm not craig and fluffy kindly responded.

i sat down and read fluffy's blog.

i marvelled at the weirdness of the meme and the recipe being on page 123.

but that's not all.

i went into the kitchen. i chopped up the curry paste ingredients. then i tried to whizz them with my bamix. no good. then i tried to pound them in my seriously large mortar with my seriously large pestle. no good. i knew i needed a food processor.

i have never had a food processor.

there, it's out. i've said it.

a few years ago i bought one for my mum, and have had long borrowings of it when i needed to. i used it more than she does.

yesterday a myer catalogue came and it had a nice beville food processor in it. i liked the idea of something that is just a food processor. not with a milk shake maker. not with a cake mixer. just a food processor.

so i went to good guys and bought one. they're pretty good, those guys. and you know what? there was a woman there, and she bought exactly the same one as i did. she had all her research written down on the back of an old envelope. i think we affirmed each other's choice.

so all up, even factoring in returning the $10 limes, i figure this curry has cost us:

four freerange chicken breasts - $24.93

bits and pieces for curry paste (spring onions; basil; coriander; ginger; lemongrass; lime leaves; green chilli) - $13.11

handful of pistacchio nuts, i don't know how much, but i got a bag for $8.92

i got some roti to go with it, 2 packets @ $3.67 each = $7.34

food processor - $235 (they undercut the myer price by $4, down from their own price of $269.95)

so, this curry has cost $280.38 without the pistacchio nuts.

and i figure a jar of ready-made would cost about $4 something?

tell me you have moments like this as well.

* i tag whoever wants to do it.

** i bought some steak knives today as well. i really did.


fluffy said...

That is FREAKIN FREAKY FREAK! Some freaky shit right there.


arun said...

Honey dont you have any work?

groverjones said...

Since you're back on food, I have to add my 2c worth.

1) There's a quite cheap brand of lime juice you can get at Coles that is all lime juice and no sugar/MSG/whatever. Unfortunately it costs me twice as much per bottle because the bottle is quite slippery and tapered and I am an expert at dropping it on the floor. I call my recipe 'ground glass and sticky lime juice.'

2) The fresh stuff might cost more, but it will save your soul. That's probably a little melodromatic, but it really is heaps better. (However, in East Gippsland, you take what you can get. I am now eating my hat for telling my GF it was a waste of money buying heaps of lemon grass to freeze as we haven't seen any for months down here. We need a Red Cross parcel of asian veg {and if you want to slip in some fermented soy beans in chilli paste that would be cool cos we ran out of that too.})

MelbourneGirl said...

fluffy. oh yes indeedy.

hey arun. my life is one fucking big mess of hard work, for a "lady of leisure" there aint a lot of leisure in my day. but i guess the way i cook i make it harder on myself. instead of reaching for the jar, i do what i did yesterday. but it tasted very very nice.

groverjones. he of the "i choose to only comment on food posts" fame. [this is a gentle tease. not being mean. no siree.] i have bought lemon juice in a bottle but plastic not glass. i will look out for lime juice but there's something very not right about getting lime juice (and lemon juice) out of a bottle.

Dxxxx said...

Don't forget to factor in the cost of Jamie's book too, lovely.

I hope it tasted fabulous after all that effort!


And hope you're feeling better by now. sick sux.

groverjones said...

Excuuuuuuuuse me! I think I have in recent weeks raised a very serious point on the letters from the middle east! I've also commented on undies! Next you'll be getting stuck in to me for only commenting on other people's blogs and making a harf-arsed effort of my own. Harrumph!

MelbourneGirl said...

i'm sorry. i was getting my period. happier now. but it really was just a tease, groverjones. you're right, you have been a goodly commenter of late.

hey dxxxx lovey. yes, tasted nice. but i must remember never to cook with chicken breasts again. i hate them with a passion. dry, stringy. i've always known it, but stupidly because the recipe called for breasts, i got breasts. not the preferred thigh.

mmmm.... thigh.

and the cost of the book. i didn't factor that in because i bought it years ago, and not for the specific purpose of that one recipe. unlike the food processor.

Suse said...

I don't have a food processor either. I think I'm now the only person who doesn't.

(You need to buy a lime tree.)

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