Thursday, 13 August 2009

Fast chicken dinner

Yesterday I didn't do any posting here. It was a busy day. I left home before the sun was up. The really tiny baby lambs didn't seem to mind the wasn't below freezing, and they were leaping and jumping. I did notice that the ewes were eating nonstop (I suppose my empathy comes from having been a seriously breastfeeding mother in a past life!) The sun rose as I drove to the Gawler Central train station, where I left my car and transferred to the train.
Arrived in Adelaide and walked, as you do, to the LGA in Hutt St.
The day was really good... an update on the climate change data (scary) and information in mitigation and adaptation and strategies for dealing with a council that is inhabited by climate change deniers... I'll probably write a whole blog on this , though I'm loathe to get into political and disaster scenarios...
My big mistake, after a really hectic day, was to have a cup of coffee on the way to the train station. I was seriously worried about not being able to drive home... so tired and I was worried about the drive after an hour on the train.
As I left Adelaide station, the sky was pink and the sun setting.
I turned the heel (knitting) on a sock (the second of a pair) on the train on the way back to Gawler Central, and by the time that I was back to my car, I was wide awake. The coffee had kicked in. The coffee kept me awake most of the night! I am used to sleeping for at least 8 or 10 hours (since none of my children wake me at night)... I have even suggested to friends that I am making up for twenty something years of preschoolers, not to mention a few years of older stressful friday or saturday nights!
By this morning, I had l slept little, I was really tired and I got my first phone call at 7.30. Oh well!

Today has been a wierd day... though lots of good things have happened also. I have my campervan home again and going. I haven't paid the bill yet, but it is home and going ok. (I haven't driven it since we broke down and were rescued from Gilgandra on the way back from Woodford last summer. I would love to get back there this summer, but I don't think that the money is there.... next year....

Now back to the real world... so tired and still ther eis dinner to prepare... and we had an instant dinner (chicken curry.) This is our version of fast food! Every so often I buy a "Greenslades chicken" from the local butcher and have it cut into 16 pieces. (This is the KFC strategy apparently!) This means that I can freeze it in about 4 plastic bags, and these are my "fast food chicken dinners."
Tonight we have a curry... and this is the plan.

Fast chicken curry (not super hot, but yummy.)
First chop about 8 or 10 decent sized logs for the fire and get that going. Dinner here always begins with the chainsaw!
Put the saucepan on the stove and when it is hot, add about a third of a cup of ghee. When that is hot, add a big chopped onion, a few chopped cloves of garlic and a nice big spoonful of a curry powder mix. (I usually make my own mixture, but when it's fast food, this is the way to go!) I use one big teaspoon of "mild" and one big teaspoon of "hot" but it probably depends on your supplier. I also add one quarter of a teaspoon of asafoetida... in case I decide to add some lentils later (to thicken the sauce) an if you have anyone with a "flakey" tummy it's a good addition. (Tonight I didn't add lentils, but the asafoetida is still good for anyone with precarious digestion.) Add some extra turmeric if anyone has any stomach troubles... can't hurt, and calms tummies.
Once the spices are cooked I added a jar of bottled tomatoes. If you have a can of tomatoes, that would do, or if all else fails, add water, though you'll need salt if you don't have salted canned vegetables.
Put the lid on and cook this for about half an hour.
Add green stuff. Tonight this was a mixture of parsley and coriander (lots) as we all need leafy green vegetation daily. You could also add spinach or silver beet, or beetroot leaves here too.
Cook for another 20 minutes or so... until the chicken pieces are done.
Meanwhile prepare basmati rice. (Start this when the onions are cooking.)
Wash the rice three times, then cover the rice grains with water and 1 inch extra. (This has always worked for me no matter which saucepan I use.) Bring to the boil. Loosen from the bottom of the saucepan with a fork... it needs to be on a low heat now... at the edge of the stove for me, or turn the heat down if you have a dial.) Add a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or so. Lift the lid and add a sprinkling of aniseed seeds. Cover and leave to cook for 10 more minutes. This needs to be timed with the curry, though the curry is probably more flexible at this stage.
Stir the aniseed through the rice and put it into a serving bowl. It's ready... and it probably didn't take as long as getting the money together and driving to the KFC shop, even with the wood chopping!
This is truly fast food... 45 minutes total.

This afternoon in the yard...
Fiona's swing swamped by the weeds! omg!

A rescued pear tree....
This poor little tree has been ther for two years. It struggled during the first summer and I decided that any tree that didn't make it would be a sacrifice... there was no spare water.
This tree looked precarious and eventually, last summer, it ended up bending over to one side... crippled! But it didn't die. And so this year I have cut it off, much shorter, and tied it straight... and it has produced lots of buds. It is a Beurre bosc (an old Belgian variety) and if it survives I'll be delighted... here it is with a guy rope to hold it straight and clipped back to a baby size again... hopefully the roots have done something.

And here are the weeds flowering near the gate... oxalis has beautiful flowers, the bees love them, and there is not a lot else around at this time.
This weed was introduced at the beginning of white settlement... and according to the story, bulbs cost 2/6 each in those days. It's a pity that no one looked at the local flora and skipped the introduction of this weed... too late... and I'm not pulling them all out! They won't last long. They die as soon as the weather turns warm. I might as well enjoy them while they last... along with the bees!


Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

boy, fiona would love all those sour sobs.
sorry abotu the 20 years of sleepless nights.
glad to know that you are catching up...fiona was in our bed last night. Devon slept well in hers.

Jane said...

You'll catch up on the sleep eventually too...
...and then you won't be able to get her out of bed to go to school when she's a teenager!

Oh well... we live and learn... and life's good.