Friday, 27 March 2009

Merry-Go-Round - We can even cook!

Jump on our merry go round and join a group of artists/crafts-women from around the world as they link hands and tell you a little bit about their lives in craft.

Do look up the answers from the rest of this band of crafters (links to your left), with three new merry members to meet this week: Jenny, Nikki and Wendren.
If they haven't posted yet, remember we all live in different time zones and check again later...

This month's question:
Share your favourite (easy) recipe.

When I 'm cooking too, I tend to follow the "less is more" rule.
First, let me apologize to anyone who might have been expecting one of those wonderful French Cuisine dishes, to be washed down with some equally delicious Bordeaux wine. You won't be getting this from me, sorry...

My favourite recipe goes back to my early childhood. It is (adapted from) a Polynesian "raw fish" recipe. I've eaten this all my life. Long before sushi became all the craze.
AND it could hardly be any simpler!

Shopping list:
lime juice (or lemon, if you really cannot get your hand on lime)
milk/cream of the coconut

Please, don't run away yet - this is not actually raw fish— it's really cooked— in nature's own acid— lime juice.
What you need is fish. Very fresh fish... or frozen fish.

I usually use cod, cut into half-inch (or so) dices. But my mother says is can be done with many different kinds of fish, provided you adapt the marinating time.  Cod takes overnight; tuna, which she says is delicious in this recipe, takes a whole day; a finer, more fragile flesh species will take barely an hour. In Tahiti, it is done with clown fish and the marinating has to be really short.
This time, I experimented with small mullet filets and left them to marinate in the fridge for a whole day.

Very important: to the lime juice, you must absolutely add salt in generous quantity. Salt is absolutely necessary for the chemical process of "acid cooking" to take place.
If the taste is too salty for you at the end of the day, you can always rinse the marinated fish.
I have been known to use bottle juice. Yes— I know...
The pieces of fish should be all but completely covered in the juice (see photo 1). It's a good idea to stir things up once or twice during the process. 

At the end of the marinating process, the flesh has gone from transluscent to opaque. As it was supposed to be visible in photo 2...

The original, Polynesian recipe must have involved papaya / paw-paw: you have to used is while it is stil hard and not ripe yet, so you can scrape the pale orange flesh, the way you do with carrots. You should try that if you can.
I can never find the quality of fruit I need, so I use carrots instead. I guess it is also more environmental friendly to use local produce...

In Polynesia, the Chinese community used tomatoes instead. It makes for an interestingly different taste as tomatoes are acid and carrots are sweet...

Coriander is the one thing I am adamant about— I like it so much it is probably the reason why I like this recipe so much...
I tend to use the leaves whole, just snapping them off the stems, but you can obviously prefer to chop them up.

Whether you use this as a first or main course, it is a salad, so it needs dressing. Again, it could hardly be simpler.
It is made with the remaining lime juice (after draining the fish), coconut milk or cream (I used "cream" this time and I quite liked the consistency) and pepper. Proportions depending on your own taste. You must taste!
On photo 3, you can see the dish containing fish, carrot and coriander, the dressing as well as what I added this time (to make it into a more complete main course salad): coeurs de palmier ("heart of palm"???), which I sliced.
You can also make it more of a salad mix and use green salad. I also tried watercress with the mullet and it tasted great.

Of course, the right drink with this is Tahitian lager (photo 4), but you may (I'm so generous! :) choose dry white wine instead— you should never drink wine on vinegar, but it is fine to do so on lemon or lime! Coconut water can be quite nice too.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Calling for Luck here!

No, Charlotte - this one has my name written all over it. So there!

I've always loved topaz - the real ones, not the blue ones. Some say they're bad luck, but then they also say green eyes are bad luck and I have green eyes. Dare!

Plus I really like the organic look on this ring, and it is a giveaway ring, on this blog— and I'm very glad I have found this blog— and that is not just because it's called Chocolate and Steel— which would be reason enough, wouldn't you say? To be followed. Definitely

Treat of the Imagination!

This week's theme for the Thursday Sweet Treat was "Flicker of the Imagination", launched by Natasha's lovely poem entitled "Fireflies".

This is my own little glow-worm, very much my own creation.
It is now listed in my Etsy shop.

Again, you should really check out the
Thursday Sweet Treat blog to see all the particularly amazing art and craft inspired by this theme.

The blog is kept by Natasha — you can find her own art in her Etsy shop, 
Doodle Star and you should definitely look up her other blog: Creative Nachos.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Honest Scrap Awards!

Thank you Sara for awarding me an 'Honest Scrap' Award! It gives me the kind of boost that is very much needed on this shockingly autumn-like spring day...

The game goes like this:
1. Pick 7 or so blogs that make you happy
2. Let them know and post their names on your blog.
3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

My recipients are:
Marika, of
Marika's Jewellery
Jenny, of
Jenny Karlsson Design
Wendren, of
the Wren
Erin, of
A Dress a Day
Jo, of
Kelly, of
Backward Glances
Natasha, of DoodleStar, at
but also at
Creative Nachos
(no! I'm not cheating - both her blogs make me happy!)

Why? Because these creative blogs brighten my day whenever I visit them - honest!

Here's what honesty dictates, today...

1- Even though I work constantly — what with a very, very full-time day job and this my crafty venture — I am lazy by nature.
2- I believe that there is such a thing as truth, and one truth only, however complex, even though I know so little of it.
3- I find it less of an effort to stick to the truth — this is why I only lie when it's worth the effort. And it most often is not. People who lie out of cowardice are not worth much effort either, I think.
4- I lie very seldom — but I can do it seamlessly. ;-)
5- I once took acting classes. Real ones.
6- Balance is not my forte. Neither are extremes — or rather, I always need to consider both of them to achieve my own peculiar kind of balance.
7- I have nothing but contempt for terrorists, as well as for all the petty bullies of this world.
8- I hate violence — mostly because I am scared of my own potential for it.
9- I like a compliment.
10- I love a friend.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Over the Rainbow - A Ribbon of Rainbows!!!

This week, I've taken part in a new (I mean new for me), weekly theme project. The inspirational theme for this week was "vibrant chaotic rainbow".

Here is the necklace that sort of beaded itself in my hands.
I "crash-tested" it and I absolutely love it - it's one of those se pieces that just make you feel great...

You should definitely check out the
Thursday Sweet Treat blog to see all the amazing craft inspired by this theme.
This is a generally thrilling blog kept by Natasha of
Doodle Star.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Latest Whim on the Block

I've had this idea mulling on a backburner for some time and now it's out there and I'm really happy about it.

I find sometimes a bad pun does a lot towards brightening a dark day— plus this is actually pleasant to wear in a striking-but-not-too-flashy way. If I'm the one saying it...

So here it is — a bright piece of dazzling humour — my Queen of Clubs Ring & Bracelet set. Yours if you'd like to get it on Etsy or on DaWanda.