Monthly Archives: November 2009

Things I’m missing…

For awhile now I’ve found New Zealand woefully lacking some things. Nothing major or important and for the most part I can deal with it, but when one gets in the throes of cravings you just want something specific you know? Or something that approximates what you want.

My short (but growing) list of things New Zealand does not have adequate replacements for:

Saltines. There are crackers, even these ones called Salada but they aren’t as…crispy flaky crappy as Saltines. They work ok for their cracker like purpose, but are actually better quality crackers than Saltines. And a bit expensive. I don’t even normally care about crackers, but this needing/wanting to eat horrible processed carbohydrates has me eating them. Forget approximating the Saltines and just get some other type of cracker without expectations I say. Most of the other ones are pretty good.

Lemon drops. Oh I was sad not to find any lemon flavoured hard candies at all. A while ago I bought some mixed assortment and picked the lemons out of it but they were fairly bland. I finally found some after 20 minutes in the confectionery aisle at the grocery store (and having a look at online candy shops). They are called… Acid Drops. Yup. They are ok. Sourish and hard. Not really like lemon drops at all though.

Starlight…or well any kind of hard mint candy. This, freakishly enough, includes candy canes. All I wanted was some lemon drops and mint candies. I bought some mint candies only to find out when I opened the package that they were actually giant altoids (like the size of quarters and about as thick as a dollar or mores worth). Yuck. I definitely need something hard.

After failing to find candy canes (I had no idea they were an American thing) I found some hard things I suspected were chewy or gel-like in the middle but turned out to be hard all the way through. More or less. Imperials are probably the best I’m going to find. Now I don’t normally like candy either, but once again. Cravings demand. Or rather, nausea demands. Overall I find New Zealand to have pretty dreadful candy. I haven’t encountered anything other than the Whittaker’s chocolate that I prefer over US candy.

I finally found some candy canes though we had to do some hunting. Fulfilling a craving is like the best rush ever. I bought 100 of them. They’ll keep and I have a good reason for wanting them. Really I do.

The Whittaker’s chocolate is great though. I never realized how much I dislike Nestle and Hersheys. Before coming here I didn’t really like chocolate except for M&M’s and other Mars confections. Even waxy Cadbury’s is preferable to the mouth burning sensations I get from Nestle and Hersheys.

It’s not all bad though. I just am having trouble finding things I want to put in my mouth (including gum and toothpaste, I really miss Trident and Arm and Hammer), and this is really the only time or situation that crazy cravings for specific things has hampered me. Ginger ale, great, pickles, fine. Well actually the lack of juce from concentrate irritates me but I’m not so into juice. Yet.

 

Other cravings fulfilled this week: Bagel, cream cheese, salmon. Bagels are a bit hard to come by as essentially they are a jewish food and things tend to be halal here rather than kosher. But they are available (and a cafe staple no less, I just wanted some I could make at home). I bought canned salmon as I’m not sure I ought to be eating smoked (avoid the listeriosis) and raw is certainly against the rules (waaaah no sushis). Right now I’m bouncing from craving to craving, but filling them is sooo nice.

I hate that all Iwant to eat is milk fat products (yogurt, cheese, cream cheese), simple carbohydrates (bread, muffins, pasta, pretzels, jellies and jams and fruit, as well as juice), and fish (sardines and salmon). I think the only vegetable I’ve choked down in the past few weeks was a tomato (but I kind of crave those so maybe that doesn’t count). Maybe I had some avocado. Oh wait, no there was some cooked carrot in that odd chinese food I had. I hear that in 4+ weeks I’ll go back to being able to eat normally. We shall see.

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Stuffed squid

I’ve had this squid in the freezer for…almost a year maybe. Since last summer at least. Anyhow, time to eat it!

After browsing stuffed squid recipes I decided to make something up. I just bought some cute little red potatoes so that was what I started with.

Here is the stuffing:

6 small (egg sized) potatoes

1 small/medium onion chopped somewhat fine

1 large clove (or 2 smaller) garlic

1 bunch stalk chard, you could use spinach or anything you like really. This is probably about 2 cups of greenery.

Squid tentacles! Chopped up if you like (I liked).

Olive oil…enough to coat all that in a largeish bowl, maybe 1/4 cup or so.

Salt, pepper and fennel seed.

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Looks colorful.

You’ll also need (or maybe you don’t!) half an orange or some kind of citrus juice.

So, mix potatoes, onions, veggies, garlic, squid, oil, salt, pepper and fennel seed. Put into large saute pan or stock pot and heat until onions start going clear. You can brown things a bit if you like, but I just wanted to get the flavours all mixed up in there. While I was cooking this I drizzled orange juice in there while mixing.

Now, I had previously cleaned and opened my squid so it’s a squid sheet rather than a squid tube.

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It’s kind of a big squid.

I poured my stuffing into the baking pan and laid the squid sheet on top. I kind of mounded the mix under the squid, but there is enough that you’ll have stuffing around the sides too. I drizzled the rest of the orange juice on top of the squid, ground some pepper on top of that and covered it in foil.

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Into the oven to bake for at least 1.5 hours on a low heat, I used 160 or so C, so that’s around 325F

 

I do actually have a picture of this fully cooked. It’s vaguely uniformly mauve. Mmm squid pigments.

Now, on the taste. This came out just odd. I think the orange was a mistake. This would have been good with lemon instead, as with the orange it was sweet in kind of a wrong way. Or for a wholly different effect, tomato sauce, garlic and rosemary