Archive for August, 2011

Books and Things

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

An update on my book Cooking With Beer – it is in short supply unfortunately because the whole run was ordered up. In fact the initial print run of 15 000 books has gone because a total of 28 000 books have been sold/ordered around the world. The publisher is already doing a reprint to cover orders for Australia and England!!!! Pretty good if you ask me!

The only down side is that a lot of book stores I have popped in to see if they have my book dont have it or only have one or two copies. This is good as they have sold all the rest but it is not so good that in the week leading to Fathers day which should be a high sales week we dont have the book out there to be sold! Obviously we would all like to sell 100 000 copies and more but first you have to have them on the shelf. The sales figures are great and all the more encouraging that the book should push on into Xmas with strong sales!

Fingers crossed.

As for other things – life goes on!

I am between gigs and staying positive. It has been a little quiet which I havent minded but dont want the quiet to linger too long. I have book PR commitments coming up and some nice cooking demo stuff coming up also.

The best thing coming up is roast pork day!!!! Yes it was local market day today and I went down first thing to get another piece of the free range pork that I have cooked badly the last two times. It sits in my freezer taunting me – I can hear it now saying cook me if you dare – well I am going to cook you you darn piece of free range pork but I am not, repeat am not going to overcook you like I did your poor siblings!

Wish me luck.

a confession to make

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Desperate to make right the wrongs of my roast pork dish from the other week I decided to get the other piece of pork out of the freezer and roast it up but this time – properly!

I must disclaim at this point the pork in question was from a little farmer who breeds his own free range pigs and sells the meat – fresh cuts, sausages, ham and bacon at the local market near my home. So it is not your usual mass farmed pig that you would buy at the local supermarket. It is beautiful looking meat and very lean for pork.

Anyway I did my famous (famous cos I say it is) sichuan pepper spice rub on the meat, dried the skin and lovelingly massaged it with damn fine olive oil and sea salt crystals and chucked it in the oven. Mindful about not over doing it I blasted it for 20 min on 230 degrees c then turned it down to 160 fan forced cooked it for half an hour then threw in the spuds and carrots and cooked it for another 25 -30 mins. Took it out and rested it for 10 minutes while I prepared the beans then plated and served it up to the wife.

It was delicious – the flavour of the pork was really lovely – free range fresh flavour and very yummy spice mix – the veg were excellent, the beans sweet with a slightly crisp bite but again the meat was dry and slightly tough!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo! What the………..

Okay it was a small piece so I could have cooked it for a shorter time SO I must take the blame, shoulder the responsibility, put my hand up and be counted, take it like a man BUT it has to be the meat not my cooking!!!! Actually I reckon because the meat is so lean it needs lesser cooking than what you would normally do so I must confess it beat me again!

I cannot wait until the next market day as I am going straight to the free range pork stall buying a couple of pieces and going straight home to cook them and get it right!

Wish me luck.

Next market day is in two weeks!

3 weeks and ready to eat

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Very happy with this batch – Elise and I reckon it is the best batch we have made so far. Good consistency and great flavour!!

Happy Birthday Dad

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

When Dad was alive I could never remember when his birthday was – in fact I was never sure of the date of his birth. I knew it was early August somewhere. I would often send a card early August knowing that on arrival it would be just before, just after or maybe luckily on the actual day. It is strange that now dad is dead I have been acutely aware that his birthday was coming up and acutely aware of what day it would fall on. Perhaps the fact that he is no longer here makes the sense of loss larger, the idea of missed moments, empty opportunities, changed identity – all loom like storm clouds over head.

Life has changed and it hasnt. I now remember the date of my Dads birthday.

Happy Birthday Dad.