Tuesday, 5 April 2011
As this isn't a recipe per se, I thought it might as well go on here.
Veggie kebabs - fairly obvious what it is, onion, bay leaves, pimiento, mushrooms, cherry toms, tofu. Sometimes I add courgette but I didn't have any when I made these. Depends what is to hand. Served with basmati rice and a sauce. The sauce recipe will get added later to Itchy Feet.
I didn't understand kebabs when I was small. They were foreign muck really so never entered our house.
As I grew older, friends used to talk about calling for a kebab after a night out. I was still none the wiser.
Then, on my world trip, in Greece - I discovered kebabs. Souvlaki to be honest. Tasty bits of meat on skewers with lots of accompanying bread bought on the street. A good cheap meal for travellers on a tight budget.
Later, in Sydney, domesticity had settled in and I was ensconced in a flat preparing meals for my partner to take to work.
He worked at the dockyard at Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. And never a set of more precious Professional Painters could you ever want to meet. At tea break (smoko) and lunchtime - it was competition time.
PG Tips was out of the question. As was Lipton. Each painter had his own supply of Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or whatever was his particular taste. Partner started with Earl Grey and then we started buying China Black. I've never seen it outside of Sydney, it came in blue boxes and was quite delicious.
As for the meals, well!! At the time we were not yet vegetarian so either the food was the remains of the Sunday roast, or later in the week, we went around the corner to Mr Grumpy who had a deli with superb roasted meats for sale. Sometimes the Pro-Painters would swap the occasional sandwich to see who had brought the most wonderful food. Pity the guy who swapped his rare roast beef sandwich for a Kraft cheese slice one.
One day Partner came home with a new demand. It seemed someone - Roy I think, an ex-para and witness at our wedding - had brought in some very desirable kebabs and set Partner's mouth watering. Roy was a lovely guy and naturally offered one to Partner. 'I WANT to take kebabs too,' said Partner when he arrived home.
Your wish is my command sweetheart. Rising to the challenge, I duly went out the next day to buy some lamb for kebabs and prepared them in the evening so they would be ready for his ghastly early morning start. Partner would leave the flat in the dark, shoot down the steps to Woolloomooloo, and then up through the botanical gardens, to arrive at Circular Quay for the early morning ferry to the island.
The kebabs were a success, and featured on his weekly menu more than once. I don't know where I stood in the rankings of top scran provider though.
After leaving Sydney, I really don't remember eating them at all. Until we became vegetarian. From nowhere, I remembered the lamb kebabs, made a few adaptations, and there we were. Kebabs once more are a favourite meal. As a matter of interest, tofu takes little time to cook so is far easier than lamb, and these are a perfect meal for either vegetarians or vegans.