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- 5 Cups water, divided
- 4 green tea bags, such as by Archer Farms
- 4 Cups frozen whole strawberries, such as by Market Pantry
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 bottle Market Pantry club soda, chilled
Heat 4 cups of water to boiling in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add tea bags, then let steep for 5 minutes. Discard the teach bags, and chill the tea.
Meanwhile, combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and 1 cup of water in another medium saucepan. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes until fruit is very soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. Strain through a fine sleve. Chill syrup, and discard pulp.
For each serving, pour 2/3 cup tea over ice in a glass. Add 1/3 cup strawberry syrup. Top off with about 1/3 cup club soda. Skewer fresh strawberries on wooden stir stir sticks to garnish, if desired.
Calories Per Serving345
Folate equivalent (total)2µg1%
Recipe: Enchiladas Two Ways, Rojos and Verdes
I’m practicing recipes to get ready for a private cooking class. What’s the subject? Italian Classics? Bread? Pie? No, it’s Mexican Food! After all, as a native Los Angelena it’s my favorite. Seriously. My last meal would be a stack of hand patted corn tortillas, pinto beans and a charred chile. Growing up in the Silverlake/Echo Park area I spent many hours after school at friend’s houses tucking into the comfort of simple homemade Mexican food. So this is one cuisine I learned not by a lot of study but by watching friends. Although I do confess that the very first cooking class I ever took was with Diana Kennedy back in the pleistocene age (the 70s). I still remember the Chile Relleno de Picadillo we made. Unbelievable!
So dinner tonight were these stacked enchiladas, rojo and verde. The red sauce is pretty simple and is quite versatile. You can use it as a sauce for enchiladas or slathered over chicken destined for the oven or as a dip for chips. I like to use the Tomatillo Sauce for chips, for enchiladas and as a sauce for grilled fish. I filled the Enchiladas Rojos with shredded chicken and the Enchiladas Verdes with Fontina Cheese. Hey, it’s what I had in the house.
1 small bag dried Pasilla chiles
1 small bag dried Guajillo Chiles
1 white or yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4s
2 cloves peeled garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or to taste
Pinch of brown sugar or to taste
2 teaspoons dried Mexican Oregano
Salt to taste
Open chiles to remove and discard seeds. Briefly toast the chiles on a stovetop griddle or non stick pan until color darkens and aromas release but not until they burn. Remove from heat, place in saucepan with onion and garlic and cover with water. Bring to a boil then cover. Let simmer being sure the chiles stay submerged. Simmer a few minutes or until chiles and onion are soft. Put softened chiles and onion into a blender with half the cooking water. Save the rest of the water until you’re sure you like the sauce’s texture. Add the vinegar, oregano and salt to the blender. Put the lid on and hold down tight. Blend on high speed. Turn off blender (yeah, no kidding) and check sauce for texture. If it is too thick loosen it by adding a little bit more water. Also check the sauce for the balance of flavor and add additional vinegar or salt as necessary.
1 pound firm tomatillos. papery covering removed
4 garlic gloves
1/2 white onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bunch cilantro
Salt to taste
Wash tomatillos and place in saucepan. Cover with water and add garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook until color changes to khaki and they are soft without falling completely apart. Drain and place tomatillos in a blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro and salt to taste. Blend at medium speed until the texture is what you want. Adjust salt.
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After a violent protest last Tuesday when the suspects first appeared, today there is a far stronger police presence. All entrances to Senekal have checkpoints, with the South African Police Service (SAPS) stopping vehicles – including, amongst others, farmer-driven bakkies and busloads of EFF supporters – to search for firearms.
There have been concerns expressed in SA that a confrontation today between farmers and EFF supporters could lead to a civil war. Well known SA writer Max du Preez said Friday morning: “I don’t recognise the society I live in – this red-versus-khaki spectacle in #Senekal today.”
In a bid for a peaceful protest, AfriForum have deliberately chosen an area to protest that is removed from the EFF, and say they are gathering in Senekal to protest farm murders and violence. Meanwhile the EFF say: “We are not step-children in this country white arrogance has no place in our democracy. Fighters in Senekal are here to ensure that the white minority respects state institutions and the rule of law.”
Looking more joyful than angry, EFF leader Julius Malema danced on stage this morning as his followers sang, while on the other side some were dressed in old SADF army uniforms.
Tony Khoury from Acumen Media said in her latest seven-day report: “Here we sit on the morning of what might be the brink of #CivilWar. #Senekal, a little-known town before last week, now becomes the scene of a Tarantino movie of political electioneering and diversion.
“#Malema, the same person who faces assault charges and wants it televised, the same person who, in an interview, said the civil war in our country was on women and children. Malema, the man who did not appear when a high-profile member of the ANC and his stepson was accused of raping two 8-year-old black girls. Malema who slammed #Sodi’s arrest after a diabolical testimony that should have sent the man directly to jail. Malema who chose to pick the race game in #Senekal as he played out a narrative where he professes to be protecting our courts and constitution. I shook my head so hard as I watched the interview on Newzroom (still waxing lyrical about this great station) where Malema constantly referred to white racist farmers that are responsible for apartheid, he said they came with arms 30 years ago and that black people fought with stones. He said that they would protect the court with their “bodies” and that they would fight back but he also said there were going to a peaceful protest. He said he didn’t need guns and showed us a “karate chop” as his examples of his “defence strategy”. Earlier he tweeted a pic of an AK47 for his “so-called” peaceful protest. Marra Julius, when you turned up at your peaceful protest at Clicks you left burning buildings in your departure and your payback was that a brand of shampoo left the shelves for 10 days. Of course, YOU didn’t do anything, you never do, you just take to Twitter to spread hate and more importantly to create diversion, then you turn up, stuff shit up and leave. What on earth is up with you Juju, are you just struggling to stay relevant?
“Afriforum joined the ring because you see they also profess to want peace. Whatever! Why don’t you use your energy to put better security at the farms you profess to care about? And just like that, our country stands on the brink of a race-related civil war. Well it was time for the race issue to take the real foreground, isn’t it? Clicks didn’t quite do it see. #BellPottinger keeps ringing in my head. Chris Roper put it perfectly in his article in the Financial Mail: “Both parties are playing the same game, posturing for profit and pushing violence, that Viagra for the revolutionary who can’t get it up any other way.”
Quaint comfort of the pyjamas
After multiple victories against the British, Tipu Sultan was finally defeated by them in the battle of Srirangapatnam of 1799. Out of the interesting items the British found in his wardrobes were the sets of pyjamas that Tipu Sultan wore.
Pyjamas, then, were uncommon in England but common in the Orient. English officers found the pyjama, made of cotton, convenient for the hot Indian nights. The word pyjama comes from the Urdu word pair. Pair jamna means clothes that fit the legs. Thus the concept of pyjama as the comfort wear, gained in popularity.
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Tofu at the top
S everal readers want to know why I never include tofu in my recipes. 'It's really delicious if you deep-fry it,' said a friend who thinks tofu worth the fridge space. 'Yes, but so is an old slipper,' I retorted, only very slightly exaggerating. Tofu, dou fu, bean curd, call the stuff what you will, has never exactly been on my shopping list. I regard this beige blubber as only marginally more interesting than pulverised cardboard. I must be wrong, of course. Fifty million Chinese cannot be wrong. Can they?
There are very few things I don't eat with total gusto and even fewer I won't eat at all, but tofu has always been filed under only-if-I-have-to. So, if I come to your place for lunch and you have made your famous noodle and bean curd special, then I will eat it, but only to avoid offending you. When it comes to bean curd, I go along with Ruby Wax, who said, in front of an assembled crowd of 1,000 foodies, 'Anyone who can eat this stuff has obviously never had a yeast infection.'
'You can do lots of things with it,' murmured my tofu-liking friend. But in my book, versatility comes second only to creativity in terms of attributes to be very, very suspicious of. And let's face it, even a J-cloth is versatile (you can wash up with it, use it to strain stock, make cream cheese or fold it to make a piping bag. It also makes a rather fetching headscarf.)
In her painstakingly researched new book, Sichuan Cookery (£20, Michael Joseph), the BBC's East Asia specialist Fuchsia Dunlop points out: 'In most Chendu markets, the standard white bean curd is available in several consistencies there is also smoked bean curd in thin, firm slabs with a honey-brown surface, glossy chunks of firm bean curd which have been simmered in five spice broth, large squares of "bean-curd skin", sausage-shaped rolls of bean curd with an Edam-like texture, tender flower bean curd and ripe-smelling fermented bean curd in chilli sauce.' If I was wondering 'perhaps I just haven't eaten the right one yet' then, rest assured, it won't be that last one.
If you poke around in a Chinese grocer's shop here, you will find three or more kinds. There is always a 'firm' one that will stand up to long, slow braising or the heat of the deep-fryer a smoked variety, which - like smoked cheese or garlic - simply tastes, well, smoked and a wibbly-wobbly type that resembles blancmange. This last one is the tender, 'silken' variety that goes into bowls of broth. You either like slithery things in your mouth or you don't.
Not a mention of flavour yet, and with good reason. For most of us, bean curd is a texture thing. Flavour barely comes into it. Yet its very subtlety is highly prized in China (and indeed in Japan, where they got the idea from the Chinese in the 10th and 11th centuries). The purists' argument against the plastic-wrapped long-life bean curd sold in health-food shops and supermarkets is that this subtlety, like the flavour in long-life cream, is lost.
Until recently, bean curd labelled 'dou fu' in the Chinese manner was sold in a basin of water parked on the shop floor of every Chinese grocer's in London. Now it's all neat, heat-sealed packages, the block of bean curd sitting in water, without which it would dry out, much in the way feta cheese is sold. Bean curd's background is as cloudy as the Yangtze itself. According to Fuchsia Dunlop, the earliest written reference is in the 10th century, though all that is really known is that by 960AD it had become a popular food.
'It is much prized for its ability to soak up other flavours,' pipes in Mr Dou-fu fancier. Oh come on, is this really supposed to sway me? I have never quite got the point of foods whose raison d' tre is to soak up other flavours. A bath sponge will soak up flavour, for heaven's sake. Of course most bean-curd does have a flavour, and that flavour varies from one variety to another, but we are still talking subtle here.
Yet I reckon the Chinese know what they are talking about and I must give their beloved dou-fu (yet) another chance. I have been bean curding like mad the last few weeks. I now know for sure I really don't like the long-life khaki blocks with their brown-bread taste, or indeed the smoked versions. The marinated versions are pretty nasty, too. But silken bean curd is another matter. With the texture of a gently quivering custard, and the non-flavour of spring water, this is pleasant enough in small cubes in a bowl of steaming chicken broth. I would like it even more if it didn't remind me of cooked egg white - one of the very few things I cannot eat.
Bearing in mind I am rarely happier than when I have a wok in one hand and a bottle of cold beer in the other, I have been making some of the recipes in Fuchsia's book. Best of the lot was her recipe for jia chang dou fu, where firm bean curd is cooked with chilli-bean paste and pork and its brick-coloured sauce is spicy and deeply warming. Then I had a go at a salad from Vatcharin Bhumichitr's new book on Southeast Asian salads which, incidentally, has been in my kitchen all summer, filled as it is with my favourite notes of lime, ginger, mint and nam pla.
'I told you you'd be eating it by the end of the week,' said grinning Tofu Friend. 'Yes, but only when I have to.'
Fuchsia Dunlop's home-style bean curd
This is a cracking recipe from Fuchsia Dunlop's Sichuan Cooking - savoury, hearty and a wee bit hot. In the published recipe, she omits to tells us what to do with the pork after we have sliced it, so, guessing, I stir-fried it in the oil until golden brown here and there before adding the chilli paste. Fuchsia suggests this is enough for 4 with two or three other dishes, but as it happened, two of us ate this for lunch, upping the pork to 350g - a huge success. Serves 4 with two or three other dishes as part of a Chinese meal.
500g block of bean curd
100g streaky pork
groundnut oil for deep-frying
2 tbsp chilli-bean paste
3 cloves of garlic, sliced, plus an equivalent amount of fresh ginger, also sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light soy sauce
3 baby leeks or spring onions, sliced diagonally into 'horse-ears'
1/2 tsp potato flour mixed with 1 tsp cold water
Cut the bean curd into square slices 4-5cm long and about 1cm thick. Thinly slice the pork. Heat the oil for deep-frying to a high temperature.
Add the bean-curd slices in batches of 7 or 8 and deep-fry for a few minutes until puffy and golden (they should still be white and puffy inside). Drain well and set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok over a moderate heat. Add the chilli-bean paste and stir-fry until the oil is red and richly fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger and fry until they, too, are cooked and fragrant. Add the stock and bean curd and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down slightly, season with sugar and soy sauce to taste, and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the liquid is reduced and the bean curd has absorbed some of the flavours of the sauce.
Add the leeks or spring onions and stir briefly until just cooked. Finally, scatter the potato-flour mixture into the centre of the wok, stir until the sauce thickens, and turn on to a serving plate.
Vatcharin Bhumichitr's tahu goring
A wondrously textural salad from Vatch's Southeast Asian Salads (£14.99, Kyle Cathie) with masses of crunch and a little heat. Anyone who loves those hot, refreshing salads that turn up in Thailand and Vietnam will love this book. I can't stop cooking from it. I strayed from Vatch's recipe by cutting the cucumber into thick matchsticks, which gave even more crunch. Tamarind, which used to be such a pain to find, is now sold in dinky little sachets by Blue Dragon. You simply take out the blob of paste (it looks like something you might find stuck to the bottom of your shoe) and soak in warm water. It cost a matter of pence and is available from supermarkets and health-food shops. Serves 2.
oil for deep-frying
4 blocks soft bean curd, each about 5cm square
100g bean sprouts
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves
3-4 small red chillies
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tamarind water (see above)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
150g ground, roasted peanuts
Heat the oil for deep-frying until it is very hot, and deep-fry the bean-curd blocks till golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and, when cool enough to handle, cut each block in half and then each half into 8 strips and set aside.
Tail the bean sprouts and place them in a salad bowl . Add the cucumber to the bowl and mix it with the bean sprouts. Place the bean-curd strips on top and set aside.
Prepare the dressing: in a mortar, pound together the garlic and chillies to a paste. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan, add the paste, and stir well. Then add all the remaining ingredients in turn, stirring after each. Finally, stir in the peanuts well until a sauce forms.
Put all of your under-ripe tomatoes together in a breathable container. This could be a cardboard box, a paper bag, or a plastic bag with holes cut in it. The goal is to help them ripen by capturing the ethylene the tomatoes naturally release. Note that using sealed plastic containers will capture too much of what they let off intact plastic bags and containers will trap in humidity along with ethylene. The humidity will make the tomatoes rot, often before they even have a chance to further ripen. In short, you want to capture the ethylene, but you want a breathable container because you don't want them to get moldy in there!
If you want to speed things up, add a ripening banana to the breathable container. Bananas let off more ethylene than other fruits, so they help their brethren along the ripening path. Other fruits work, too avocados and apples are good choices to bump up the ethylene and move things along.
16-Minute Meal: Shrimp Scampi
Heat olive oil and melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for two or three minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add shrimp, then stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add wine, butter, salt and pepper, and hot sauce. Stir and reduce heat to low.
Throw angel hair pasta into the boiling water. Cook until just done/al dente. Drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water.
Remove skillet from heat. Add pasta and toss, adding a splash of pasta water if it needs to be thinned. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed.
Top with grated Parmesan and minced parsley and serve immediately.
Shrimp Scampi reminds me of khaki shorts.
Little silver hair clips threaded with thin satin ribbon, finished with a neat little bow at the end.
I had red, pink, purple, and white. What colors did you have?
Shrimp Scampi also reminds me of Foreigner. The old Foreigner, not the &ldquoI Wanna Know What Love Is&rdquo Foreigner. And I know they&rsquore probably the same, but they aren&rsquot in my heart.
Seriously. C&rsquomon. Listen to &ldquoWaiting for a Girl Like You.&rdquo Ingest it. Feel it. Remember slow dancing with Stevo at the youth group dance. You&rsquore wearing a Gunne Sax dress and he loves Carrie and not you. This dance is a sympathy dance. Stevo likes you as a friend, nothing more. Your red bangs are frizzy. Carrie is tan.
Now listen to &ldquoI Wanna Know What Love Is.&rdquo Close your eyes. It&rsquos 1984. Stevo is so yesterday. You&rsquove outgrown him by two inches and now you&rsquove moved on to Simon LeBon. You don&rsquot want Foreigner singing 1984 love ballads. You want them singing 1981 love ballads. Or, even better: &ldquoHead Games&rdquo or &ldquoCold as Ice.&rdquo Not &ldquoI Wanna Know What Love Is.&rdquo
Anyway, the whole thing just reminds me of Shrimp Scampi, the classic late seventies/early eighties throw-together meal of shrimp, butter, garlic, and lemon. I throw in wine (of course) and a dash or two of hot sauce in an effort to be weird, but it&rsquos hard to do too much to improve on the original.
I use angel hair because it&rsquos nice with the very light sauce, but thin spaghetti or linguine works well, too. I wouldn&rsquot do a short penne or rigatoni too much noodle, man.
And about Shrimp Scampi: I think I ate it with Stevo once. Probably at Carrie&rsquos house.
Khaki Still Struggles With Commitment Issues
SO sure, whatever. James Dean wore khakis. Amelia Earhart. Chet Baker. Hemingway, too. All more rugged than I.
But there was something disingenuous about that Gap campaign, now almost two decades old. You know who else wears khakis? Accountants. Sales reps for office-supply companies. Frequent first-daters who don’t make it to the second date.
Khakis are the dress pants of the uncertain, a compromise between comfort and rigor, insouciance and dignity. Worn correctly, khakis should solve all of life’s problems. Mostly, though, they’re just masks, something we put on when we’re scared to try harder.
Who will speak for khaki, then, and inject it with purpose and vision? It’s a task taken on by Grown & Sewn, a new store in TriBeCa, which has reimagined khaki pants as an artisanal product. And the process, it appears, is a slow one.
There is, effectively, one cut of pants at the store: straight, in three fabrics — basic twill ($175) black Cramerton cloth ($180) a heavier Carolina cloth ($185). Add in a handful of treatments and embellishments — the hand-distressed ones go for $295 or more — and that’s that.
The innovation here comes in the hybridizing of khaki with denim, or at least, with ideas about denim. As is the wont these days, the pants are completely domestically sourced “American Dry Goods Collection” is the store’s motto. Even the lightest cloth here isn’t frail, and the heavier ones have real depth. Some are built with jeanlike detail: copper rivets, scoop pockets on the front as opposed to the angled ones on the store’s other pants.
And yet they’re just so . beige. (Except for the black ones, of course.) I tried on the full range of offerings. Of the narrow options, the clear victor was the Cramerton cloth, modeled on a pre-World War II Army style, which were sturdy but supple, and soft on the skin. A little short in the seat, maybe, but not irredeemably so. I kept returning to it after trying on the others. The Carolina cloth was mildly mealy, and the twill felt a bit limp. Had they been a bit slimmer, the jean approximants, washed in a resin rinse ($195), might have been ideal: not everyone wears rough khaki over work boots.
Elsewhere in the store, there are handsome weathered leather O-ring belts ($95), some incidental house T-shirts, and a lingering sense of emptiness. This is a huge space for such a small project. Parts of it are well used: some seating, including in the changing booths, is burlap-wrapped bales of cotton (or the equivalent thereof) — a touch of rural whimsy. There are small cups of rivets with the store logo on them. But there’s plenty of room for distraction: two beaten-up jackets, a Barbour and a Belstaff, hung casually on a circular rack: gorgeous, the color of a moonlit night sky, and not for sale.
I wish they had been. Either would have gone perfectly with the Cramerton pants, which I bought in a fit of counter-strategy — they felt as if I were wearing khakis without wearing khakis. But they were underminers, and therefore didn’t really address the khaki conundrum: Is khaki an attitude or a process, an art or a mood?
For comparison, I stopped in at Save Khaki on Lafayette Street, which, while driven by some similar impulses as Grown & Sewn, ends up with a radically different product. Its cramped space is packed thick with pants, shorts and shirts, stacked as if by a schoolchild, in slightly imperfect piles.
Save Khaki sticks with twill, a thin variety that’s almost liquid soft. I tried on two kinds (both $100): a regular fit, which was floppy wide, and a slimmer cut, which was less floppy, but not enough so. (A distracted saleswoman told me that there is a third, even slimmer cut at the store’s Broome Street location.) There was basic beige, but also a slatelike blue, a slatelike green. Are you getting the picture here? The palette consisted of colors already washed out by the beaches you’ve yet to go to and the sunshine you’ve yet to be irradiated by.
These were pants that did the relaxing for you, with cuffs that practically rolled themselves up and picked out their own deck shoes. Structure was an afterthought: these pants begged to be molded, folded, rumpled and crushed. And ultimately discarded, your commitment to any one pair of them as flimsy as the material.
Much the same was true of the lightweight button-up shirts ($100). There was an ample selection, in appealing colors and patterns, but there was absolutely no stiffness in the collar. I tried on a blue shirt with red and white stripes, and no front pocket, which my shopping companion assured me would make for a fantastic pajama top.
That was obvious even in the store’s cramped fitting room, in the basement, underneath the staircase. For a store with so many options, the layout of the space, on the tiny sliver of a block between Lafayette and Mulberry, is choking. Maybe it should trade locations with Grown & Sewn. At the far west end of Duane Street, Grown & Sewn might have a wealthy clientele but not one prone to obsess over microdetail. They’d probably thrill at the opportunity to buy what amounts to bulk upscale beachwear. And over in the East Village, then, Grown & Sewn could be close to its potential connoisseurs, a small museum dedicated to an emerging handicraft, a seed of a resurrection.
Grown & Sewn
184 Duane Street (between Hudson
and Greenwich Streets) (917) 754-8220.
THE LOOK Khakis one way. Or, more accurately, khakis one way, done several ways.
THE FEEL Testosterone and calluses.
THE SCENE A museum of rural Americana touchstones, with pants displayed like ancient artifacts.
327 Lafayette Street (between Houston and Bleecker Streets) (212) 925-0134.
THE LOOK Lightweight, pliable khaki for the unfussy dresser.
THE FEEL Sunburn and Campari.
THE SCENE Cluttered and cramped, though more structured than the clothes themselves.
A British Army lieutenant, Sir Harry Lumsden, conceived the idea of khaki military uniforms in 1846. Sir Lumsden was the commander of a regiment in Northern India where the traditional uniforms were too hot to bear. The troops began to wear lightweight cotton and linen trousers to combat the heat. But the white fabrics were too detectable to enemy forces. Lumsden had them colored using mud and plant-based dyes. The word "khaki" comes from the Hindi-Urdu word meaning "dusty" or "earth-colored."
The U.S. military adopted khaki as an appropriate uniform color and it was first used in the Spanish-American War during 1898.
There are often great variations in how designers and clothing manufacturers define the color khaki. As the demand for the color increased, synthetic dyes often replaced plant-based dyes but the color is created by combining green and red dyes. The problems begin if the dyes are not set correctly and are unstable when exposed to perspiration, certain stains, and commercial detergents and stain removers.