For the first time in my life a car space was stolen right in front of me. It was mine, I stalked the lady with the shopping bags all the way through the shopping mall car park to her blue car, put my blinkers on and waited on the side, so that the other cars could pass me while I waited for the spot. The blue car left. I put the car in gear and some f&*())+# twat in a zippy red car whipped into the spot and then the zippy red driver had the hide to toot at me because I was in the way. I was ready to tear the driver a new one, politely point out to the driver that he was the first person ever rude enough to take a parking spot from me in my fifteen years of inner city driving and I was going to key the side of his car, stab his tyres and put fish heads in his shiny hubcaps. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance and I was left with a toddler in the back seat saying, “Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks, bollocks, f#@*.’ This incident reminded me of two things. Statistically most people are not arseholes and it’s coming up to Christmas and car parks need to avoided, like the Ebola virus, until the last piece of leftover ham has been digested. Hello internet shopping and hello little shops in walking distance! My favourite local shop is the deli, where the prices go up and down as fast as the ASX. It’s best to get there about 11am after the guys have had their first shot of oyzo and are feeling jolly; go too early or late you’re likely to get burned by serious price hikes. Anyway, they provided the necessary ingredients for my hampers and lets face it, even I wouldn’t put a supermarket brand into a Christmas hamper, without changing the labels first. Although, I did pop into the nearby thrift shop and rescue all the baskets, boxes and cases available. They scrubbed up quite nicely.
I have followed on Naomi’s Thai themewith a green curry hamper, however there should be a happy ending in this case. For those that aren’t into curries, I have made an Italian pasta hamper. People will need to buy their own chicken or meat, but I think most would prefer that over amoebic dysentery, the gift that keeps on giving. If you have the inclination and are able to keep things in the fridge, then you can make your own curry paste and pasta sauce, just put a used by date on them.
Thai green curry hamper
Hamper ingredients: jar of Thai green curry paste, can of coconut milk, little bottle of fish sauce, 8 baby eggplants/aubergines or 300grams green beans (optional), 3 kaffir lime leaves for garnish (optional), rice in a jar with a tag for cooking instructions, bottle of white wine, jar of salted caramels for after dinner and recipe card with the following:
Thai chicken green curry Serves 4 2 tablespoons nut or vegetable oil 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste 500 grams skinless chicken thigh or breast cut into cubes 225 ml of coconut milk 1 tablespoon of palm or brown sugar 8 baby aubergines/eggplants or 300 grams green beans 2 tablespoons of fish sauce Cook rice according to instructions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a preheated wok or large frying pan. Toss in the curry paste and stir briefly until the flavours are released. Throw in the chicken and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until the meat begins to colour. Add the coconut milk, sugar and aubergines and simmer gently for 8 minutes until tender. If using green beans, drop them in four minutes before taking the curry off the heat. Add the fish sauce to taste. Serve with rice and a segment of lime.
Italian pasta hamper
Ingredients: an onion, garlic bulb, fettuccine packet or homemade pasta with tag for cooking instructions, jar of tomato passata (I had visions of getting my Italian Mama on and bottling my own, alas alack, it didn’t happen, so here is a good looking link), a bunch or little jar of dried oregano, bottle of red wine, jar of salted caramels, a couple of candy canes and recipe card with the following:
Fettucine all’amatriciana Serves 4 2 tablespoons olive oil an onion, diced three cloves of garlic, smashed a few rashers of bacon. diced a couple of pinches of dried oregano jar of passata generous splash of red wine Parmesan Cook pasta according to instructions in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt and dash of olive oil. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan, throw in the onion, bacon, garlic and oregano and cook until the onion softens. Pour in the red wine and passata. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Serve with grated parmesan.
How do you avoid the shopping malls at Christmas time?
Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine