Cobblestone Cooking Music XXXV – Basics: Curry

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Up here, it would have been nice with a picture of the dish, wouldn’t it? Something digitally bad happened to it, though – and the leftovers aren’t really photogenic. So, no. Instead, you’re having a picture of fenugreek seeds – hoping that I got the translation of those done right 🙂

  • Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Mighty Quinn
  • Coldplay, Everglow

This story actually starts a little less than a year ago. Or, if you will, in the early 90s…

The 90s version of the story starts with me, in my first commercial job, starting to travel on a regular basis to the UK – more specifically, to the general Glasgow area. As a side effect to that, I soon spoke a decent Glaswegian and to this day loves that accent – I can watch Taggart just to listen to it. But more to the point, the quality and level of Chinese and Indian restaurants were – and probably still are – way better than anything in Copenhagen.

As for the more recent developments, my dear kids gave me a cooking class gift certificate last year for my birthday – at an Indian restaurant.

So – finally – today it was time for trying out curry in the kitchen.

  • New Radicals, You Get What You Give,
  • 5 Seconds Of Summer, She’s Kinda Hot

Curry base: Onions, Tomato, Ginger, Garlic – roughly 10:4:2:1. The tomatoes can easily be the peeled, canned version. Better if they’re somewhat acidic.

Peel and slice things thinly. Get the onions on the pan with oil – they need to get clear and not brown, so stir! When they’re there – add the ginger. Then the garlic, frying well and stirring until it all turns soft and nice and ever so slowly yellow, light brown.

Once things have come that far, add the tomatoes. And continue over medium heat, stirring, until the oil sort starts separating – then it’s time to similarly stir in some plain yoghurt, to the acidic side if you have a choice. And, when that is absorbed and well and ready, blend (optional, I am told).

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That altogether took maybe an hour or so. And here is a good place for a break in the procedure – you can actually make up a decent amount and freeze in portions at this stage.

For the meal itself, I got Basmati rice cooking, then cubed up some chicken breast, added salt & pepper and got that frying. For the curry, I heated up oil on a pan, added cumin, dried chili, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds (?!), all freshly ground together in the mortar. Carom seeds are apparently essential – didn’t have any – and I forgot the turmeric. Oh well.

  • Wild Cherry, Play That Funky Music
  • R.E.M., Everybody Hurts

Put the spices on the hot pan in the oil and fry – take care not to burn! Add the curry base and heat/stir until it once again starts separating the oil. At this time, some fresh spices can go in – I added a touch of chili and some fresh ginger – garlic could have been an option, too.

  • Dire Straits, Money For Nothing
  • ZZ Top, Tush

Whenever both parts are ready, add the curry to the chicken and serve with the rice. Yum! We had a 75 cl Leffe Blonde in the refrigerator – went well with the food.

Happy cooking!

Photos by me. Fenugreek seeds photo by Sanjay Acharya.

 

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Monday Motorway Musicℱ, February 13 – Winter And Advanced Rocketry

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Finally – someone might say unfortunately or even €%&/€!!§%&%/ – we had some snow and proper winter. It’s white outside and the thermometer clocked -8°C at home this morning.

dsc_7583I believe I may have said this before – I’m the kind of guy wo likes living in a place with four distinct seasons, so I’m good with this! And it is beautiful, too. More so when the sun is shining – even if high clear skies typically also means low temperatures.

What is the rocketry stuff about, then?

Something I have also mentioned in passing before (ok, admittedly, bragged about before) is that I sometimes manage to win a game of Civilization VI. And yesterday – on the verge of it being today, actually, I squeezed my way through to my first Science Victory playing as Egypt with my Cleopatra getting her (well, our!) rockets to lift off not too much ahead of Arabia and the Aztecs 😀

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If Leaving Me Is Easy – Phil Collins
Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera, Pink et al
– and then, due to the sad news of Al Jarreau passing away in the weekend –
Since I Fell For You – Bob JAmes / David Sanborn / Al Jarreau

Photo by me. Civ VI screenshots from iMac.
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Cobblestone Cooking Music XXXIV – Another One On The Light End

 

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I swear, we haven’t been doing this “light” thing religiously – whether since Christmas or just since post XXXIII. It just so happened…

Anyway, today ended up being light fare with a salad based on what was on the supermarket shelves and a few thoughts in my head – along with some Parma ham and (which is another story) a rosĂ© Cremant de Bourgogne…

  • Celine Dion, Pour Que Tu M’Aimes Encore
  • Supertramp, My Kind Of Lady

The salad? Finely cut pointed cabbage – must better than the salads you get this time of year that have been driven in greenhouses in Southern Europe and transported here and there and everywhere. Diced avocado (ok, those we don’t have those anywhere near this end of the world – principles go only so far), cucumber, edamame beans and apple.

Whee! The apple is truly local – from the backyard!

  • Aretha Franklin, Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing
  • Melody Gardot, Our Love Is Easy

img_0755And then we had some leftover quite nice bread that I turned into slightly garlicy croutons – remove the crusts, cut into cubes, roast until golden and crisp in olive oil on a pan (I prefer that to in the oven – more control, I feel). Towards the end add a bit of very finely chopped garlic and a wee bit of salt.

  • Fleetwood Mac, Wish You Were Here
  • Trine Rein, Torn

Well, then – just toss the salad, adding a vinaigrette if you wish (I did it on the side as I’m sometimes the only one who wants that – and sometimes, even I don’t).

Rolled up the Parma ham – mostly because the slices were a devil to separate from the sheets in the package and still have them look as whole slices. And served.

  • Katrine Madsen, Just Friends
  • Caroline Henderson, Made In Europe

Happy cooking!

Photo by me.

 

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Monday Motorway Musicℱ, February 6 – A Sucker For Good Puns

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Photo from a recent company dinner arrangement in a central Copenhagen restaurant 🙂

We didn’t get to taste the wine in question – actually spotted the bottles in their wine cabinets on the way out of the place. The ones we had – South American, both the white and the red – were quite decent. Even taking into account that their labels didn’t carry bad jokes….

And yes, I am really enjoying a bad (read: good!) pun. Sometimes, I am sure, to the desperation of my family as I don’t hesitate trying my own out on them. Oh well.

By @JUSTBADPUNS on Instagram

If you’re the same, try Just Bad Puns – you can find them on a variety of platforms. I tend to chuckle over their stuff on Instagram but I’m sure they’re equally funny anywhere!

A suitable example to the right of here…

And to take me to work this morning –

If Leaving Me Is Easy – Phil Collins
Back In Black – AC/DC
Million Reasons – Lady Gaga
The Air That I Breathe – k.d.lang

Photo by me.
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Tuesday Motorway Musicℱ, January 31 – Wintery This And That

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Yep, that’s kale. And the white stuff is frost. Was sort of cold over the weekend…

dsc_7554Actually, I have had some other shots in mind out from the garden – but the ones I took at the same occasion as this one turned out not quite passing muster, so that’ll have to wait. Always a good things to have topics queing up for blogging 😉

And, yep – that is leek right there (*points left*). Actually holding up rather well in the cold though, if the frost lasts too long, it can be a devil of a job fetching some for the kitchen.

As to listening, it’s been streamlined, non-random mornings the last two days – I recently re-discovered Marillion’s fantastic “Misplaced Childhood” album.

marillion-misplaced-childhood-2013-lp-1Album track list:

Pseudo Silk Kimono
Kayleigh
Lavender
Bitter Suite
Heart of Lothian
WaterHole (Expresso Bongo)
Lords of the Backstage
Blind Curve
Childhoods End?
White Feather

 

Photo by me. Album cover via Google.
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Monday Motorway Musicℱ, January 23 – As A Fact, This Is Monday

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Now, you may think that is a strange headline. And it is – but not half as strange as the inspiration for it.

There has always been people making up weird stories, whether out of minds for some reason or other different than the norm or simply to be found interesting. Nothing particular in that.

But when the very people who now occupies the leading posts in the biggest country, economy and military power in the world starts describing what in the normal world can only be called outright lies as “alternative facts“, my head almost exploded. I mean, WTF? And thus, the need to state outright that the day in which I am writing this is, indeed, as per the official calendar, a Monday.

Or is it? Twitter, as usual showed up to Conway’s and Spicer’s ridiculous claims with creativity and merciless mocking. Hooray! And this was one of them (more here):

(Yeah, yeah – for some of you lovely people taking time to read this, it is now actually Tuesday. To say so will not be you telling a lie. It’s just taking another fact into consideration – that of time zones.)

And so, this is what I claim that I was really, really listening to this morning 😉

Light My Fire – Shirley Bassey
Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys
I’ve Been Thinking About You – Londonbeat
Come To My Window – Melissa Etheridge

Photo (a true sunset!) by me
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Galskab i avisspalterne: DFs aparte geografi- og historieforstÄelse

(note: very Danish-centric and, indeed, in Danish)

OK, jeg bliver nĂždt til at sĂŠtte ord pĂ„ det her – og det kan godt blive langt…

DF er helt ude pÄ glatbanen lige for tiden:

16/1 sagde Marie Krarup til Politiken:
‘ »AltsĂ„, sanktioner er et vĂ„ben, som stort set ikke virker. Man vil aldrig nogensinde fĂ„ Rusland og Putin til at opgive Krim igen. SĂ„ det kan man lige sĂ„ godt lade vĂŠre med at prĂžve. Det er som at stĂ„ og skyde sig selv i tĂŠerne. SĂ„ man kan lige sĂ„ godt komme videre ud over stepperne og fĂ„ et fornuftigt forhold til Rusland og gavn af forholdet pĂ„ andre mĂ„der«, mener Marie Krarup.’

og

‘ »Der er ingen tvivl om, at vi pĂ„ et tidspunkt kommer til at acceptere tingenes tilstand. Det gĂŠlder bare om at finde en grimasse, der kan passe. Det er et faktum, og det kommer ikke til at ĂŠndre sig. Der er ikke nogen vej udenom«, svarer Krarup og tilfĂžjer:

»SelvfĂžlgelig er det pinligt, at Vesten har svunget sig helt op i de allerhĂžjeste moralske tĂ„rne og sĂ„ skulle falde ned og sige ‘okay, vi kan nok ikke gĂžre noget ved det alligevel’. Men vi kan jo ikke gĂžre noget ved det, med mindre vi vil starte en krig, og det vil jo vĂŠre absurd at gĂžre det. Og sanktionerne virker ikke en dyt andet end at undergrave vores egen Ăžkonomi, fordi vi faktisk havde gavn af den samhandel, vi havde tidligere. Derfor skal vi af med de sanktioner. Det er jeg fuldstĂŠndig enig med Trump i. Og sĂ„ er spĂžrgsmĂ„let, om det er atomnedrustning, vi skal have til gengĂŠld. Det synes jeg lyder rigtig fornuftigt«.’

Tidligere pÄ mÄneden rystede Kenneth Kristensen Bernth op med denne her:
‘ »EU har ikke fattet, hvad Ukraine er for en stĂžrrelse. De har ment, at man skulle hive Ukraine tĂŠttere pĂ„ EU, uagtet at halvdelen af ukrainerne fĂžler sig som russere. Det har EU ikke villet acceptere«, siger EU-ordfĂžrer Kenneth Kristensen Berth.’

Og pĂ„ opfĂžlgningsspĂžrgsmĂ„let: “Skal EU ikke reagere pĂ„, at Rusland krĂŠnker en nationalstats landegrĂŠnse?”

‘ »Ikke sĂ„dan, som det gĂžres nu. Ukraine er ikke en nationalstat i traditionel forstand. Det er usikkert, om Ukraine kan overleve – mĂ„ske kan det ske som to dele med Ăžget selvstyre«, siger Kenneth Kristensen Berth.’

Ikke en nationalstat i traditionel forstand?

Ukraine oplevede to perioder med selvstĂŠndighed omkring fĂžrste hhv anden verdenskrig. Da Sovietunionen brĂžd sammen efter den kolde krig, blev Ukraine selvstĂŠndigt i 1991. Polen, Canada og – ja! – Rusland anerkendte Ukraine i december 1991. Mindst 132 lande har accepteret Ukraine som selvstĂŠndigt land. SĂ„ hvordan nĂ„r Kenneth Kristensen Bernth til, at Ukraine ikke er en nationalstat?

Som forklaring pĂ„, at Rusland nappede Krim, kommer Bernth med den der med “uagtet, at halvdelen af ukrainerne fĂžler sig som russere.” Nu ved jeg ikke, hvor meget historie, Bernth har haft i skolen. Men det er jo pudsigt at bruge det argument, nĂ„r historien er, at Rusland tvangsdeporterede ca 20% af Krims befolkning sidst i fyrrerne. Det er jo alletiders mĂ„de at sikre sig, at der ikke er for meget nationalfĂžlelse tilbage. Men mĂ„ske Bernth mener, at bare man venter lĂŠnge nok bagefter, kan man godt slippe igennem ad den vej?

Et andet spĂžrgsmĂ„l, der opstĂ„r, er jo, hvad Bernth mener om de baltiske lande. Her har Danmark jo traditionelt et stĂŠrkt bĂ„nd – Danmark var det fĂžrste land i verden, der genoptog de diplomatiske forbindelser med Estland, Letland og Litauen. PĂ„ trods af sovjetisk vrede. HvornĂ„r var det lige, det var? Jooo – i 1991. Samme Ă„r som Ukraine blev selvstĂŠndigt. Eller ikke, hvis man skal tro Bernth. MĂ„ske mener han heller ikke, der er grund til at betragte de tre baltiske lande som “rigtige” lande, men bare overlade dem til at blive rullet flade af russerne?

Putin bruger argumentet om de russisktalende befolkningselementer flittigt. Den har vi jo set andre steder i verdenshistorien – var der ikke noget med Sudeterlandet og Østrig engang? Men det er fandeme, kĂŠre DF-koryfĂŠer, ikke det samme som at vi bare skal lade Rusland rulle videre og nappe, hvad de har lyst til. MĂ„ske I lige skal lĂŠse op pĂ„ NATO-traktaten engang – og hvis vi skal holde den og i givet fald forsvare de tre lande, som blev selvstĂŠndige i 1991 pĂ„ trods af russiske mindretal (og russiske styrker i landet pĂ„ det tidspunkt, faktisk), hvorfor skal vi sĂ„ overlade ukrainerne til deres russiske skĂŠbne?

Med mindre, selvfĂžlgeligt, Krarup og Bernth hellere vil vĂŠre foruden EU og NATO – som Trump og Putin Ă„benbart er enige om er mere i vejen end til gavn. Men hvordan skal lille bitte Danmark sĂ„ hĂŠvde suverĂŠnitet?

Eller – mĂ„ske deres ĂŠrinde er at foretrĂŠkke Putins syn pĂ„ verden? Marie Krarup har jo i hvert fald udtalt, at der ingem ideologisk forskel er pĂ„ Europa og Rusland. Frihedsidealer er Ă„benbart ikke noget, der tĂŠller for den dame – det eneste, der gĂžr, er Ă„benbart, at Putin ogsĂ„ er islamofob. Men det er et meget skidt argument – den der med din fjendes fjende holder ikke som god grund for et nĂŠrt venskab.

DF – I er gledet helt ud i grĂžften med fuldt spin pĂ„ all hjernehjul.

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Monday Motorway Musicℱ, January 16 – Winter Forest Joys

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Clear, blue skies – it has turned towards a couple of days with decent weather: sunshine, not much wind if any, frost but not too much of it. Lovely.

We made the best of it yesterday and went for a good long walk in the forest – it is a luxury and joy of mine to have the forest right next door, more or less.

To really just concentrate on the joy of having a walk, all the technological stuff was left at home. And of course I acutely missed the camera at one point – there was a view over a flat wetland against the sun, bulrushes peaking up all over the place, some dead trees also adding character. And to top it all off, a very light smoke haze from a campfire over to one side gave it a stunning atmosphere.

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Snapshot of a forest map with a few campfire places marked…

(There is a handful of official campfire/BBQ places scattered across the forest – along with features like mountain bike trails, campsites with and without shelters, those are a quite common feature in Danish forests to allow a larger array of interactions with the terrain and, as a hopeful consequence, a larger audience coming to roam in nature)

She Bangs – Ricky Martin
I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles
Rock Me Baby – Jomfru Ane Band

Photo by me, map from brochure by Danish Nature Agency
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Darkness Will Lose. Eventually.

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Clouds, pink and orange
Chasing away yesterday
Winter darkness’ fate.

Photo by me.
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Tuesday Motorway Musicℱ, January 10 – Really Back In The Swing Of It

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Monday, yesterday, I ended up basically without any time that I could use in front of a computer to write up the weekly column…

Got back from work, went into the house by the front door and locked it behind me, went upstairs to change from work attire into something a bit more down to earth, went back down and out through the backdoor, picking my scout scarf up on the way – and locking that door behind me.

dsc_7531And got back after a – by the way very interesting and uplifting – scout leader meeting about half past ten. No column writing! Just zzz’s.

The weather is now back to plus a few degrees C and gray, dull and wet. But as the photos suggest, we had some decent cold last week – one night had us down to -13°C locally and in the morning sunlight, I caught the ice crystals featured here.

Brrrr! 😉

All That She Wants – Ace Of Base
Mig & Charly – CV JĂžrgensen
Elsker dig for evigt – Lars H.U.G.
Love Me Like A Man – Bonnie Raitt
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Diana Krall

Photos by me.
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