My international travels this year have introduced me to so many new foods (um, no, not carrots). Not content with simply trying a dish that I really like and being satisfied with the mere memory, I then go into hot pursuit of buying the various ingredients and bringing them (or trying to) bring them home to recreate the dish.
The customs people think I’m weird (newsflash…I am weird). They look at the back of my declaration form and see dollar amounts of foodstuffs that most people would be claiming for jewelry, artifacts or other nonsensical tchotchkes. If you want to see a really funny sight…watch the face of the customs inspector when they ask to see what $40 worth of European chocolate bars looks like. For the record, it’s a pretty large stack that weighs somewhere around 5 pounds. But I do put all of these yummies to good use…like in my Baltimore Bomb/Momofuku Crack Pie redux.
I’ve been collecting lots of spices and seasonings on my trips too. Most of what I’ve picked up are necessary to correctly prepare the dishes of that particular region. But I’ve also been using the spices and seasonings in my regular cooking. What a difference these new flavors make in some of our favorite dishes. My favorite find, from Australia (aside from Tim Tams and Cherry Ripes), has been Dukkah. You can stop snickering now. It really is called Dukkah. This toasted mixture of spices, seeds and nuts is of Egyptian heritage. There is no set recipe for the ingredients of Dukkah…the recipe varies from family to family. The one that I’ve been using contains pistachio nuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, almonds, coriander, cumin, pepper and salt. I have been putting it in soups, sprinkling it on chicken (before I bake it), mixing it with olive oil and dipping bread into it (the traditional use) and mixing it into other dips.
Because I have such a large jar of it, I have not made my own yet. (Yes, if you haven’t figured it out by now…I do use store bought ingredients in my cooking.) Dukkah is available, here in the United States, in some of the larger grocery stores and in many specialty shops. If you would like to make your own Jaden, over at Steamy Kitchen, has a recipe that’s easy to make and has a fiery kick to it.
The fresh veggies have been piling up around here too. It seems that every time I go to the farmer’s market I come across some vegetable that I’ve never seen or tried before. What’s a girl to do? Me…I gotta buy some and give it a try. But when I brought these rainbow carrots home I didn’t even get a nibble of one before Craig had crunched them all down like he was Bugs Bunny. Yes, he’s still on his fresh veggie kick. Needless to say, these have been a big hit this summer. While they taste like carrots (which they should since they are carrots), some of them are a bit sweeter than the traditional orange phallic symbol carrot. They’ve also got some additional health benefits over the orange phallic symbol. (I know, I’m being childish here, but have you ever noticed how much some vegetables are phallic symbols? It’s really kind of odd when you think about it. You would think there would be more meat products that would resemble a penis as opposed to vegetables. Carry on….) Red carrots have more lycopene, the purple carrots have more antioxidants (think blueberries) and the yellow carrots have beta-carotene.
I bought another couple of pounds of the these rainbow carrots and hid them away until I put together this Dukkah dip. The mixture of the spices combined with the piquancy of the yogurt really enhanced the flavor of the carrots. Before I knew it, I had spoiled my dinner and had eaten an entire pound of carrots. Craig heard me crunching and moaning in the kitchen and then quickly devoured the other pound of carrots and remaining dip. He then said “that was a great appetizer honey, what’s for dinner?”
The biggest phallic symbol in your house: the TV remote.
While the remote may be the biggest phallic symbol in house (the average penis size is 5.5″ – 6.2″ with the average TV remote being slightly longer than that) it does have some stiff (pun intended) competition with the other male favorite toy: the light sabre (a la Star Wars). But being that the average home is not Skywalker Ranch (home of the light sabre and George Lucas), that won’t be playing into today’s discussion anymore.
That who controls the almighty remote control is the power center of the house. Catching the similarity here to the thought that he who possesses the penis controls the power?
I can use the remote to our TV. I can not use the universal remote for our entertainment system. I will also admit that what I call ‘use’ the remote is not the same as having a ‘mastery’ of the remote like my husband. Part of this, I suspect, is because I have not had the number of hours holding the remote and memorizing the feel of each and every bump and ridge. By memorizing the difference in spacing between smooth, ridge and bump you can coax a satisfying result from the electronic phallus. He is able to do this like it’s an extension of his body. I suppose that it’s because women don’t have the same kind of personal connection to this phallic symbol.
There is however, one skill that I have mastered with the remote that Craig does not have. The electronic phallus has a talent to disappear when it’s being ignored. As long as he’s holding it firmly in hand, it’s at attention ready for it’s next command. Once he releases it it’s up to me to find it. It’s funny how I always seem to find it, standing at attention ready for me to grab it.
Makes 1 cup
- 1 Cup Plain, Fat Free Yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons Dukkah
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger