The Delightful Dutch Dish

How one can cook oneself back into local reality

Two cook-ups, one save December 9, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,cooking,dessert,side dish — orangepumpkin @ 18:24

At least, that’s what I think.

Yesterday for dinner I decided to get wild on the avocados I bought last week. Errr… no I didn’t. I just checked my supplies and wondered would could be in the brown paper bag surrounded by other fruits. I felt it and it felt squishy. And I remembered the avocados that were in there. And my heart sank (I typed sang, but that’s just wishful typing). Because squishy avocados usually are bad. A little squishy, yes, too much squishy and you’re doomed. You spent all this money on import fruit and then you go and let it rot because you forgot. I didn’t exactly forget, I just figured that it would take at least two weeks for my avocados to be squishy enough for consumption. But they did it in about 5 days.
So here I was, with two very soft avocados that gave in easily under any pressure I applied. I dug out the big old Knife, the biggest knife on the block in fact. I cut one delicious green fruit of paradise open, all the while noticing it’s extreme softness. And my heart sank some more. But then I did the magic trick, i opened the avocado and I actually saw what it looked like from the inside. I’m used to really soft and ripe avocados to be, well, spoiled. they’re brown. The brown might taste alright, but I’ve never tried it, I only eat the green. And those two halves looked majestically green to me. Not a spot of brown to be seen. Not one spot! I immediately dug in with my spoon to check the rest of the fruit. Green as any avocado should be! Wow. Amazing.
On to the next avocado. I was afraid that to pay for my neglect this one would be completely spoilt. But again, it wasn’t. Miraculously unspoilt avocados were at my disposal. So I squeezed a lemon. One whole lemon. While I added the juice I thought: “Hmm, that might be a bit much…”. And you know what I did? I shrugged. I shrugged at my own insightfulness. No! But yes, I did. I have a theory that it might not have been too bad, had it not been an organic lemon of which the juice was now totally masking the avocado flavour of two most delicious avocados on earth, but I guess I’ll never know. (The theory is that in my opinion (supported by all taste buds I have available) all organic produce is tastier than their non-organic counterparts. Apparently including the lemons…). I had only one option: add a whole lot of other stuff to conceal the sour lemon (it was a great lemon, don’t get me wrong, but it totally ruined the greatest of great avocados). I thought I had nailed it, so I spread it on my bread and ate it. But upon finishing my super spoilt me said: no. This was not a real save. This wasn’t good. This sucked actually. Unless you prefer lemons over avocados, but who would do that? Is there anyone in their right minds who would? (Lemons are nice, but come on, avocados win hands down!) I’ll write down the recipe sometime, because with a little less lemon this is just perfect!

Yesterday I made porridge, because I had milk left that was in real need of someone to save it, before it went sour. I like porridge. Not everyday, but usually it’s real nice. It’s not really complicated, anyone can make porridge, but the thing is, once you think it’s easy peasy, you risk ruining it. I did’nt ruin it. I stood by the pot and I watched the milk’s every move. I stirred it constantly and I did not get distracted by textmessages (ok, I did once, but I regained focus quickly and in the time I was texting, no horrible milk disasters ensued, and I still stood next to the stove, with the actual milk in view). You should know that there’s no real secret to making porridge. The burning is the big non-secret. The secret to the non-burning is a watchful eye. Turn down the heat the minute you see water evaporating. Because that is your clue that the milk is hot, and depending on what kind of stove you have (mine is electric), it will warm some more. Leaving the heat on is disastrous. Secondly, you need space where you can quickly move your hot pan of boiling milk should it go wrong despite your watchfulness. Thirdly: you need to stir like a madman. Constantly. Even when you’re not feeling like it, or don’t see the need. There is always a need for stirring with porridge. So that’s what I was doing when I was texting: stirring. With my left hand. Which was quite disastrous, except nothing went wrong. I’m a great multi-tasker when nothing goes wrong. It happens every once in a while. I can enjoy that. When the milk is close to boiling you rest your stirring for a second to throw in a few spoons of oats. Then you stir vigorously. Or not exactly vigorously, as long as you keep stirring. And make sure you touch the bottom. That way, you can feel when the porridge is starting to go wrong in all the wrong places. Because it first forms a thick layer of hard porridge on the bottom of the pot. When you leave that for too long and you keep the heat on… that’s when it gets burned. And when it gets burned you ruin all the porridge. Not just the bit stuck at the bottom. No, you’ll have this delicious burnt taste in every bit of porridge you have. So stirring is in order. Porridge hardly ever fails when I’m making it. It only fails when I’m not just texting, but I decide to check my e-mail. That’s exactly when I know I shouldn’t be making porridge. I deserve starving to death in those cases.

Anyway, the porridge wasn’t the save either, because it was great. No, the save was when I decided to make wentelteefjes. I only had about 300ml of my milk left, I had some old bread and I had eggs and cinnamon. I checked the bread for mold, because that’s something you don’t want to eat, right? Examination did not reveal any mold. So I mixed one egg with 250ml of milk, added cinnamon and started getting the bread ready. I checked again for any suspicious specks. And sure enough, there were. So, no wentelteefjes. But what do you do with milk mixed with egg and cinnamon? I checked the freezer for another bread. There wasn’t one. Oh. Porridge for breakfast again? Sure, but I had only a little bit of milk left, and the milk mixture. So I did something that probably is a great sin against all things culinary: I made porridge with cinnamon-egg-milk. There is a ponit in life when you just don’t care. I figured cinnamon would be good with porridge. I was a bit worried about the egg, though. Wouldn’t that totally screw up anything porridge-related? I’ll keep it short: it didn’t. And I saved the day. Well, my day anyway. It feels good when you can undo a bit of a cook-up. I know now that I should have scrutinized every slice of bread before starting on the real deal of mixing ingredients. You can call me really stupid, but once there’s something moldy with the bread, I’m not going to eat any of it. I probably still could, but I won’t risk it. It’s like the burnt porridge, I’m afraid the rest of the bread will be bad too. I probably wouldn’t die of eating some moldy bread, but still. I do draw the line there. Not really on expiry dates. The milk was two days past its expiry date and it was great. Those dates don’t mean your food is instantly completely inedible. And it also doesn’t mean it’s always completely edible before such a date. I know, because I’ve been there (well, I didn’t eat it, of course, I threw it out).

So, some other time for the wentelteefjes, promise. Oh, and the good recipe (with some good measures on avocado vs. lemon juice) for the avocados. But I’m sure I don’t need to supply a recipe for porridge, now, do I? Just boil milk, throw in a few spoons of rolled oats. Stir, wait until it thickens (at least two minutes, keep the milk close to its boiling point), if it doesn’t add some more oats. I’m not good with measures. I guess a lot (and that’s why I guessed one lemon would be really good on two avocados… so I do guess wrong sometimes, haha!).