Coffee With Cook Republic – April 2019

Autumn Mornings In Sydney - photo, Sneh Roy. Coffee With Cook Republic.

Autumn is here, although not well and truly. We still have the late summer hot and wet spells every week which has made the lawn go berserk but other than that and a billion cobwebs, our gardens aren’t growing anything at the moment. When we went away to India and Singapore at the peak of summer, everything edible or of value in our veggie patches decided to die. So my patches are bare and crying out for herbs (because that is all I am capable of growing lately). But the light has shifted and it is my favourite time of the year for photography of all sorts.

Autumn Garden - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh RoyAutumn Garden - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh Roy

CHICKENS AND MUSINGS

We successfully built a fowl house for the four new chicks we got a few weeks ago. They are enjoying the leg room to move and grove. But today was special as we started the process of inducing our little chicks with the three older hens. As we watched them with bated breaths, it became quite clear that the older hens were probably more afraid of the younger chicks and kept their distance for a while. Occasionally there was the odd kerfuffle followed by a lot of crowing, flapping wings and cheeps when pecking order was being established. But things seemed to be on track for a harmonious eventuality. Will keep you posted. By the way, our new chicks are called Olive (Olive Egger), Ginger (Golden Laced Wyandotte), Miso (Blue Australorp) and Gnocchi (Splash Wyandotte). The older hens are called Mango, Sushi and Heather.

Speaking of chickens, I watched this video a few weeks ago about a company called JUST that is pioneering CLEAN MEAT production and the way we will eat in the future and it blew my mind. It blew my mind like properly and then got me thinking and then I had so many questions. Follow this link to watch this amazing video and tell me, it didn’t impress you and yet fill your brain with a million questions about how it is possible to do this and whether it pushes boundaries of acceptability. Just watch it!

One of my recipes was recently posted to a huge Facebook page and it garnered a few hundred comments. Amongst them, there were people complaining about how annoying it is when bloggers prattle on and on about things before finally giving the recipe. Some suggested, it was so more ads could be included. I feel a recipe is more than instructions and providing background and story is what makes it more approachable. In fact, one of the reasons why I ramble on a fair bit before providing a recipe in my blog posts is to share my knowledge and findings while cooking that recipe. I feel you can learn so much more as a cook from the headnotes and stories behind the food rather than simply following the recipe. In saying that, I am providing a link to directly hop to the recipe at the start of my blog posts for these naysayers who don’t care about the history or story but just want the recipe. If you are a food blogger or writer or an avid home cook who likes to journal recipes, then these articles about context when it comes to writing recipes and cooking from them is really thought-provoking.

Why Food Writing And Recipes Benefit From Context?

Recipe Introductions Matter: Here’s Why.

New chickens - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh Roy

 

HEALTH

For two years now, I have been showing symptoms of endometriosis. The symptoms started gradually, the cramps going from bad to unbearable every month. I underwent examinations, tests and invasive scans. They all came back normal but with a side note – I could have endometriosis but it might not appear on any scans. See, endometriosis is a debilitating condition that takes nearly 7-8 years to properly diagnose via invasive surgery. It is when abnormal tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterine wall causing severe pain. Hysterectomy is one of the solutions. My family going back a few generations has a history of hysterectomy with women in their early to mid-forties undergoing surgery. I am roughly that age.

Apart from lifestyle changes, food is said to be a huge factor in managing symptoms of endometriosis to a small extent. Eating the right foods to balance your hormones, is a key to less painful periods and a smoother ride on to menopause. If you or anyone you know, suffers from this; I thought these articles about hormone levels and what to eat during each phase of your menstrual cycle might be helpful. Alternatively, if you have any insights regarding this issue; I’d greatly appreciate if you could share. It is very new territory for me. But I am encouraged by the news of a recent new blood test that has been developed to detect this in the UK.

How To Tell If Your Estrogen And Progesterone Levels Are Off.

The Hormone Balance Diet – What To Eat During Each Phase Of Your Cycle.

 

 

French Linen Pinafore Aprons - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh Roy

KITCHEN LIFE

After cooking and spending half of my life in the kitchen for more than 25 years, I have finally trained myself to wear an apron every time I cook or wash up. I am already counting the countless black tee shirts (my uniform of choice!) I will be saving in the process. The reason for this being, I have finally found an apron that was tailored for my short torso (I am barely 5 feet tall). So naturally, I bought it in two colours. It is this divine cross back linen apron I found at the Tara Dennis Store, that I can just slide into (no waist ties, no adjusting or shortening straps, thank God!).

With more pots and pans that will fit in my double garage, I keep coming back to the IKEA Sensuell range. I bought a couple of pans about two years ago and loved them so much, that I bought the entire range! They are truly my best friends in the kitchen. They are induction friendly, heat up quickly, behave in the oven, are gorgeous to look at, won’t kill you shoulders wrists and back (like the Dutch ovens!) and clean up like a dream (the most important bit!). Try the frying pan, it puts every other frying pan to shame (and I have at least 10 different brands!).

And coming back to food….

 

 

Fruit And Shadow - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh Roy

What’s in Season?

As I scramble to use up the last of the stone fruit and mango, here is a quick look at what’s in season in April in Australia and some recipes from my blog you could try

Fruit – Apple, Avocado, Banana, Mandarin, Pear, Passionfruit, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Quince.

Veggies – Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Capsicum, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Fennel, Leek, Kale, Mushroom, Potato, Pumpkin, Spinach.

 

15 RECIPES TO TRY IN APRIL

broccoli steaks with garlic and chilli

mandarin polenta and macadamia cake

slow cooked apple tart overnight oats

avocado and lime margarita

banana raspberry chocolate bread

sexy brussels sprouts in french mustard butter

5-minute Keralan cabbage stir fry

roasted red capsicum hummus

roasted cauliflower and ricotta grandma pie

sour cream tart

vegan miso glazed eggplant

kale turmeric and freekeh soup

vegan mushroom and lentil bolognese

rainbow veggie coconut daal

spinach and feta gozleme

 

 

Rustic Autumn Garden - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh Roy Curry Leaf - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh Roy Indian Guavas - Cook Republic / photo, Sneh Roy

The established trees in the garden are thriving with all the rain and humidity despite our absence and neglect. I am most excited about the Indian Guavas. This is the third year of fruiting and the tree is covered with about 40 guavas at the moment that we can’t wait to harvest. The curry leaf trees are small but thriving. I will make a small batch of this curry leaf oil and freeze a lot of the leaves when I prune it. The olive trees that we planted two years ago are nearly 6 meters tall and fruiting this year. Will definitely need to get a ladder to access the fruit.

 

I shall be back next month with more pictures from around the garden and an update on my veggie patch if I plant new things. That’s it from me for now. I’d love to hear what you have been up to – reading, cooking, watching, doing. Give me the goss. Until our next catch up, be well. x