Jayeless.net

Posts categorised ‘Food’

Ras El-Hanout

For a few months now I haven’t felt able to replenish my supplies of “boutique” or “exotic” spices and blends (the ones you can’t just get at the supermarket), because Australia Post has been so crippled by the pandemic that deliveries are falling weeks behind, if they’re getting through at all. Today, though, I really had a craving for a chicken tagine, …

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Today I learned that in the US, “chilli powder” usually means a mild spice blend intended for use in the dish called “chilli”, not actual powdered chillies. This makes so much more sense; until now I’d always just assumed that cooking-enthusiast Americans must really like ultra-spicy food!

In retrospect, something that would’ve been really, really valuable to learn in Home Economics classes are all these words for food ingredients that mean different things in different countries. When I read a recipe that calls for something we don’t even say here, like “green onion”, I can look it up and work it out. But when we use the exact same word, just for something different, it can take me years to work out that what recipe writers mean by that word is different from what I mean by it! Imagine if we’d just had a few more weeks in Home Ec learning how to interpret recipes and a few less weeks cooking gross vegetable fritters…

Is It a Wrap or a Flour Tortilla?

The other day I caught myself wondering what is actually the difference between a wrap and a flour tortilla (you know, other than wraps being in the “bakery” section of the supermarket and tortillas in “international foods”). I did a web search, and found to my surprise that there actually are some differences… at least in theory:

  • wraps contain yeast, while tortillas do …

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Wiki: amaranth

First got onto this topic via “amaranth wafers”, which are popular in Mexico and, increasingly, the US. You could think of them as similar to those puffed rice crackers, I guess, but they are instead made of amaranth. So what is amaranth? well…

Amaranth is a “pseudocereal”, like quinoa or buckwheat. It has been cultivated in Mesoamerica for its edible, starchy seeds for at …

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Today for lunch I cooked something new: dal makhani, based on this recipe(external link) with some cheeky simplifications (like, instead of soaking and pre-cooking some lentils, I used a can 😅). It may not look like much, cos I didn’t bother with garnish, but it was delicious – like butter chicken sans the chicken.

a bowl with a red-brown lentil stew atop some boiled white rice

Why does food look more appealing when it’s colourful? Is it some kind of evolutionary adaption because in nature, colours = fruits and vegetables? 🤔 Regardless, I enjoyed the bowl of fried rice with prawns I made last night. #mbfeb

a white bowl containing fried rice with carrot, egg and prawns garnished with spring onion
a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.