Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cooking With Tim

As you all know, not only am I a blogger extraordinaire, but I can do lots and lots of other things as well: like cook, for instance. No, really! Recently, I had a go at this.

It's been described variously as 'Minced Purple People Eater', 'Dramatization of a meal - not actual photo.' and 'radioactive'.
The recipe, which you can find here, had some weird ingredients. '1 Cup Boiled Water, Chilled', for instance. What on earth did they mean by that? I called up Mum. She suggested in a tired, quiet voice that they probably meant water. I hung up the phone, perplexed. Just to be on the safe side, I boiled a jug of water and then put it in the fridge in the morning.
To get ready for the meal, I made three visits to the supermarket, and then one more, just for good measure. In my defence, I'd just come back from Newcastle the day before; I didn't have any food at all.
The central ingredient of the soup is beetroot. Never having bought beetroots before, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was a little afraid that the Coburg Woolworth's wouldn't stock beetroot. I had visions of myself paying exhorbitant prices for imported Arabic beetroots in a small deli on Sydney Road.
I needn't have worried. Actually, the beetroots came in bunches of four, two more than I needed for this recipe. They also came with leaves. I wasn't sure what to do with the leaves, so I called up Mum.

'You put them in a salad' she said. 'What are you doing with the beetroots?'
'Boiling them,' I said.
'Well, you'll be able to tell the beetroots are done when the leaves pull off easily.'

Having received that handy tip, I put a pot of water (of the unchilled variety) on the stove and waited until it was boiling before putting two of the beetroots in. The leaves were very long, reaching almost halfway to the ceiling, and they drooped, so that they kept on falling in the flames and catching alight, and I had to keep rearranging them. The water turned a strange purple colour. Occasionally, I'd pull at the leaves experimentally, but they didn't come off.

The recipe also called for boiled egg whites to be mashed up with scallions or chives. I didn't have either, so I substituted some garlic. When this was done - and it looked like the beetroots were almost ready to be grated - I took out a big bowl and filled it with four cups of buttermilk, and the chilled boiled water. I was surprised there was so much of it. I mixed this up with the egg yolk, and sour cream, diced cucumbers, garlic, salt, and finally, grated beetroot. It looks more pink than purple, I said to myself, but kept on mixing.

Actually, it was quite delicious. When I was done, I came back into the kitchen, took the bowl of soup, and poured the remainder into two medium-sized cooking pans, and put them in the fridge. It was gradually dawning on me that I had cooked more beetroot soup than I had bargained for. I suspected I would be eating beetroot soup for several days, perhaps forever.
I left the plates in the sink and went into the living room.


Two days later when I walked into the kitchen, ants were swarming all over the purple-stained plates, and the amount of soup in the fridge had not diminished considerably. After some moments thinking, I took the pans in the fridge out the back and poured them into the compost. That night, I think I had bacon and mushrooms for dinner.

Beetroot soup is alright for a change, but I suspect if I had been forced to eat any more of it, my skin would have developed an odd purple glow, and people would have thought I was a Martian ...

UPDATE! - As you can see, I also did a little blogging on the side while cooking. I'm not exactly the most attentive chef.

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE! - Anyone want two betroots (unboiled)?


rachy said...

I think it's brave that you even endeavoured to cook the whole thing, let alone eat it. I absolutely love the stuff. In fact, I'm going to have some made tomorrow... can you have those beets couriered* to my house, thanks?

*I totally fucked up the spelling for that didn't I?

TimT said...

The spelling looks fine. Can I send the beets by email? That works, doesn't it?

Email: timhtrain - at -

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