April 1, 2006

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From Kathy: Capybara night

Ladies and gentlemen, I present my sister, the cook. <grin>

Happy April Fools! :)

I hope you weren’t victim to some completely masterminded prank
today. Shame you guys are just too far away *sigh* It would have been
great to celebrate (Although Tor, your frog still gets me every time,
so yeah… we have sporadic April fools each time I accidentally find
it…). April 1 should be a national holiday. Normal people should
get a chance to do crazy stuff at least once a year.

We had our first-ever Capybara night, called such because I was in
need of a few guinea pigs for recipe testing/ food critique. (We need
more willing victims *oops* critics, any volunteers). Guests were
somewhat wary before coming, realizing that it WAS April fools. Shame
it fell on a Saturday, the office people weren’t here, and I had a few
things planned too!

USELESS TRIVIA: Did you know that Argentinians love Capybara meat so
much that they’ve petitioned for the Vatican to consider it as fish
so they could have it during the lenten season. The Vatican approved
the petition. Although Capybaras are large rodents that can swim, I
can’t see how they might resemble Flounder or Halibut.

Anyway, it was a completely respectable dinner (with Zucchini Curry
soup and garlic pappadums to start). First time in 11 years that I
actually hosted a dinner where I got to sit and talk to the guests
while they were eating. *YAY* and where I’d actually read a cookbook
*double yay*

Looks like it might be a mainstay event like Carnivore Night (all
occasion meat fest -similar to a Braai/ Barbecue). Crucial because
it’s actually this night which determines whether I should serve a
particular dish at CN. (Tired of steak, plus I’d like to sit down and
see my guests before dinner is over). )

Anyway Chicken Beaujolais was a smashing success. Not a scrap of food
left… Thought I’d share the recipe with you. Baie lekker! Schmeckt
gut! It’s easy enough to do alone (or have your [mom, cook,
significant other] make it for you…).

Chicken Beaujolais :)

It’s well… chicken stuffed with chevre and grated veggies

Mix 12 oz (about 360g) Chevre or natural cream cheese with

  • 1 egg and
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, hard monterey jack, or parmesan

Saute

  • 1cup white onion minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic (I put a bit more, but we’re Filipino)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper in
  • 3 tbsp olive oil until onions translucent

Grate 1 1/3 cups zucchini, eggplants and/or mushrooms (or a combination of) and add to the onions

put in a strainer and drain for an hour. Squeeze off as much excess
liquid as you can and add to cheese mixture. Mix well. Put in a
piping bag and refrigerate for an hour.

Meanwhile, take a chicken and remove the backbone (the spineless
chicken!!!) loosen skin around breast area with your fingers (this is
where you’ll put the cheese). (Not in the recipe, but I rubbed a bit
of salt and pepper on the chicken and in the cavity.

After an hour pipe cheese under the skin until chicken is absolutely
stuffed. Put in a baking pan and bake at 375ºF (around 180ºC <- the
closest setting I could get in my oven) for 70 minutes or until
brown. Leave standing for 15 minutes and voila! Lovely dinner for 4
people. (Two if you're South African or Australian ;) )

Hope you like it! :)

P.S. Chicken Beaujolais nearly became Poulet Dêsastre… nearly set
the kitchen on fire. Mental note, keep plastic utensils FAR FAR away
from pan. ;)

Photos up soon.

Love to all… write soon. Must dash. Shoot starts in 3 hours (at the
god-unholy hour of 3:30 am on a SUNDAY!)

*Mwah!*

E-Mail from Kathy Chua

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Random Japanese sentence: その猫は飛びかかろうとして低く身構えた。 The cat crouched down ready to jump. Sono neko wa tobikakarou toshite hiku migamaeta.

Triscuit

I _have_ to stop eating these. They’re nice, they’re crunchy, they
remind me of granola bars… But I _really_ have to stop eating them!
They’re… ARGH!

Uh oh. I have a new hacker food.

Random Japanese sentence: 彼はネコにトムとジェリーとなづけた。 They named their cats Tom and Jerry.

Graduate House

I went to the common room to study, and I heard someone playing “Speak
Softly, Love” from The Godfather. It turned out to be Joe, whom I’ve
seen at coffee night before. He’s an oido: he plays things by ear, so
his rendition of it was in a different key and was slightly different
from how I remembered it.

I showed him the opening notes of “Speak Softly, Love” based on the
arrangement my sister learned when we were kids. I knew the opening
part because I annotated the notes with letters for her. We had a lot
of fun chatting about his piano teacher’s style. I thought the
emphasis on learning the feel of the music made much more sense than
the exercises my piano teacher made me do when I took lessons, and I
wish my piano teacher had been like his. Still, maybe I can work on my
ear, just as I’ve worked on my coordination and grace. <laugh>

We talked about computers, too. It turned out to be the first
computer-related conversation he’d had in a long time, and he enjoyed
being able to rant about the brokenness of Java and other geeky
topics.

I didn’t end up reading any more papers, though. <laugh>
Tomorrow, I’m really going to have to work on my questions for the
class and my summary paper. After my FIS requirements are done, I can
throw myself into the reading paper…

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Random Japanese sentence: ところが今度は、あっちにもう一匹茶色と黄色のしまの虎の子ようなねこがいます。 And now, over there, he saw a cat which had brown and yellow stripes like a baby tiger.

Salmon and mashed potatoes with Steve and Mike

Steve’s out on a weekend pass, so we celebrated with an impromptu
cooking party. I defrosted and panfried some salmon steak. I
microwaved and mashed potatoes with a bit of butter, sprinkling
rosemary on top. It wasn’t a perfect combination, but it wasn’t bad
for something I just threw together. =) CookOrDie to the rescue!

Mike brought some of the stuff from his Good Food Box, so we used up
half the cabbage in that soy sauce and onion cabbage thing. We also
used totally random vegetables in soup, which turned out quite well.

We had tons of fun cooking and catching up with each other. =)

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Random Japanese sentence: 猫がネズミを追いかけた。 A cat ran after a mouse. Neko ga nezumi o oikaketa.