Monthly Archives: October 2014

So Can You Cook? 8

In this spring column, I am taking you on a journey with two of my all-time favourite things – desserts and blood oranges. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a dedicated dessertie (the dessert version of a foodie – of which I’m also one), and will forgo entrees and main courses in restaurants if it means I can have a kick arse dessert. It is the ultimate ending to a meal as far as I’m concerned. I have hundreds of recipes for them, and even though I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I will never get through them all, not even in several lifetimes, I continue to collect and drool over them. When I have friends over for dinner, dessert is decided before the meal plan even begins. If this sounds a bit obsessive to you, you’re right. It is, and I have no feelings of guilt connected to this obsession. I excelled in them at TAFE, and if I were young enough to get an apprenticeship in the hospitality industry, it would be with patisserie. As for blood oranges, I wait anxiously for the first of them to appear at the beginning of spring. Their glorious colour, and sweet tartness make them perfect for salads and desserts. If you visit Europe, especially France, and order orange juice for breakfast, it is more than likely to be blood orange juice you get.
I am approaching the recipes in this column differently than usual. I am going to give you one basic dessert recipe – a blood orange jelly. This is incredibly simple to make, and will impress your guests a lot more than any packet jelly will. I am going to give you a range of accompaniments to go with it to make it a contemporary summer dessert. Don’t forget your presentation. I hope you have fun with it.
If any readers would like recipes for any occasion, help with cooking, information on
ingredients or assistance with planning function, please feel free to email me at . I am only too pleased to help.

Blood Orange Jelly
500ml (2 cups) strained blood orange juice – about 5-6 blood oranges
250ml sugar syrup (½ cup sugar to ½ cup water, then boil 5 minutes)
2 tablespoons grated blood orange zest (Grate before squeezing)
4-5 leaves gelatine (these set better than powder gelatine, and are available from places like ‘Essential Ingredient’, ‘Jones the Grocer’ and Simon Johnson Providore’. If it is too difficult to obtain, use 1-1½ sachets of powdered gelatine)

Juice oranges and strain. Mix zest with warm sugar syrup, leave aside. Alternatively, boil zest with sugar syrup with a more intense orange flavour. Soak gelatine in one cup of the juice (or soak powder in 3-4 tablespoons cold water) for 5 minutes. Heat juice to dissolve gelatine, or mix powdered gelatine with one cup of juice and slowly heat till dissolved. Mix all liquids together, strain, then pour into 6 dariole moulds or other moulds you wish to use. If you lightly oil them with vegetable oil (this has no flavour), they will slip out easier when set. Chill for 4-5 hours to set, or overnight. If moulds are unoiled, or jellies do not slip out of moulds when inverted on a plate, dip the mould in hot water for 20-30 seconds to release jelly. If you need to slide them into position on a plate, rub a small amount of orange juice under the jelly, and slide it CAREFULLY into position. Otherwise, be creative and work around it.

Blood oranges are seasonal, so don’t feel restricted to just using them for jelly. If you have a food processor or juice extractor, try this recipe with apples, lemons, oranges, limes, pineapple, berries, mango or grapes. Just remember to strain the pulp out of the mix.

TUILES: These are delicious, brittle wafers. Sift 50g plain flour, 65g caster sugar, 35g icing sugar into a bowl and make a well. Slowly add 125g eggwhites (2-3 whites. Weigh them), and incorporate with your hands, making sure there are no lumps. Add 65g melted butter, and chill mix for 1 hour. Place a sheet of baking paper on a tray, then lightly spray with cooking spray. Spread mix onto paper in round or square shapes. Allow 1 per person, and don’t be anal about shape. Bake in 150°C oven until a light golden brown all over. Peel off, cool slightly, then shape. Until they are cold, these are quite malleable. You can shape them into cups by draping over the outside of a cup or glass, fold into loose envelopes to insert chocolate wafers into, scrunch them, twist them, or do free-form designs.
ROASTED STRAWBERRIES: How delicious are these! Preheat oven to 160°C. Arrange 2 punnets of washed and hulled strawberries in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons caster sugar. Place in oven for 8-10 minutes, until berries are soft and juicy. Cool in dish.

TOFFEE APPLES: Peel and core 4 Granny Smith apples, then cut each into eighths. In a bowl, combine 3 tablespoons caster sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons water, then dip apples wedges into it. Tip them into a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and let them caramelise and brown. Turn each of the apple pieces as they start to caramelise, and take them out of pan when they are cooked on both sides.

ORANGE MASCARPONE: Beat 2 eggwhites until they are stiff, then set aside. Beat the two yolks with 2 tablespoons caster sugar and 1 tablespoon grated orange rind. When light and creamy, gently whisk in 250g mascarpone cheese (from dairy section in supermarket) and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or a teaspoon of orange blossom water (from health food stores, specialty stores, or ‘Herbies’ at Rozelle). Fold the eggwhites through the mascarpone mix and chill for 1 hour.

POMEGRANATE & FIG SALAD: Finely slice 3 green figs and 1 guava and place in a bowl with segments from 1 orange (use a blood orange for effect). Slice a pomegranate in half and scoop out the seeds into the bowl. Squeeze remaining juice from pomegranate over fruit and serve.

CANDIED ORANGE WEDGES: You can eat the skin and all on these delicious morsels. These are for genuine sweet-tooths. They will keep in their syrup for about a month. Cut 3 blood oranges and 1 naval orange into eighths. Heat 4 cups caster sugar and 2 cups water over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat, add the wedges, then simmer, stirring regularly, for 30 minutes or until transparent. Remove from heat, then stand the wedges in the strup for 4-6 hours, or overnight. If you wish, add a cinnamon quill and 2 star anise to the syrup when cooking.
Garnish with a chiffonnade (very fine julienne) of basil leaves.

RASPBERRY SAUCE: Place 300g fresh raspberries (use frozen if out of season or expensive), 50ml orange juice, 3 tablespoons icing sugar and 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (buy miniatures from a bottle shop – they are relatively inexpensive) into a blender and blitz until smooth. Put through a sieve and refrigerate. Spoon around the jelly and garnish with fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint.

SPUN SUGAR: This is for the more advanced, or more adventurous chefs. People will tell you this is difficult to do, but it just requires good timing and patience. Be prepared to waste or burn 2-3 sugar mixes before you get it right. This is the one thing where a sugar thermometer is a must. The effect of spun sugar is fantastic, and will make you look like a real pro. To do it properly, buy a cheap whisk from a $2 shop, and cut the curved bottoms out of the whisk blades to leave you with a bunch of metal sticks. This is easier to use than forks.
Bring 250g caster sugar and 225g water to a simmer in a heavy-based saucepan. If you want a kitsch effect, put some food colouring into it. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush during simmering, to prevent sugar crystals forming. DO NOT STIR THE SUGAR, as it will crystallise and become hard. Place your sugar thermometer in the syrup, and cook until it shows 155°C (known as the hard crack stage). IMMEDIATELY remove the saucepan from the heat and plunge the pan into cold water to halt the cooking. If you don’t do this, it will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, and probably burn. Place pan on a board, and wait until it starts to form a thick toffee. Dip the whisk into the syrup and flick the whisk back and forth over a broom handle, rolling pin or an upturned, lightly vegetable oiled cup (to form a toffee cage). For the fork method, place 2 forks back to back, dip them in the syrup then lift and pull coated forks apart, then twist. Continue until you have enough. WORK QUICKLY. If you are using strands, gather them in your hand and mould them to shape. If using the cage, place it over the jelly.

Use all these in any combination to make your jelly a real success.

Tim Alderman 2015


So Can You Cook? 7

About 18-months ago, a group of our friends started what has come to be known as ‘The Brunch Club’. Every couple of months somebody in the group volunteers their yard – the hope is always for good weather – on a Saturday or Sunday. The rest of us put together a plate of something and turn up at around 11.00am for brunch. It is always a great time, and brunch often extends to the early evening. These brunches are that important time where everyone relaxes, and catches up on what everyone else has been doing. It is important for our group, because with some of them living a distance away, and others having the responsibility of children, we tend not to spend a lot of time together. Our friends always manage to surprise me with the creativity they display in their choice of food for these occasions. I include below some recipes that you may find useful should you choose to do the same thing with a group of your friends. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Don’t forget to gather together a varied selection of fruit, fresh, sweet and savoury dishes. Start with a champagne cocktail, then if everyone turn up with a couple of bottles of wine, a long day is guaranteed.

Carrot and Apple Cider Cocktail (an appetite stimulant)
2 medium carrots, chilled and chopped
¾ cup sparkling apple cider, chilled
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
ice cubes

Process carrots through juice extractor then combine with other ingredients. Pour over ice.

Lebanese Pancakes stuffed with ricotta
20g fresh or 7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
125ml + extra 500ml lukewarm water
250g plain flour, sifted

FILLING: 300g ricotta mixed with 250g walnuts finely chopped and mixed with 2 tablespoons caster sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon or, alternatively, 1-2 teaspoons rosewater or orange blossom water, or 1 tablespoon honey.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Dissolve yeast with sugar in 125ml wwater and stand for 10 minutes until bubbles form. Add mixture to flour in a large bowl, then gradually add extra 500ml warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour. The batter should bubble and rise. Heat a heavy-based frypan, and when hot smear with oil (vegetable is best, as it doesn’t flavour). Reduce heat to medium and add a small ladleful of batter to about 8cm (4”) diameter. Fill the uncooked side with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture, then fold into a semi-circle and press edges to seal. Brush with a little vegetable oil or ghee (from butter section of supermarket), then bake in oven until golden. Dip in attar syrup (500g caster sugar, 300g water & 2 tablespoons lemon juice boiled for 7-10 minutes until syrupy, then cool and add 2 tablespoons rosewater or orange blossom water). Serve with your favourite preserve and some slivered or flaked almonds, and dust with icing sugar.
Approx cost $5.00 for the batch. Makes 20-24

Carrot and Orange Salad with Craisins
Craisins are dried cranberries, which are available from the dried fruit section at the super market
4 medium carrots
4 oranges
3-4 tablespoons Craisins, soaked overnight in your favourite fruit juice
good pinch salt
pinch pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Peel thin slices of carrot using your vegetable peeler. Remove skin and pith from oranges and slice into rounds. Mix and refrigerate ingredients to develop flavours.
Arrange orange rounds into a neat mound on the plate, reserving 1-2 rounds. Arrange carrot strips on top, reserving 1-2. Place reserve orange slices, then reserved carrot slices, then sprinkle over Craisins and oil remaining in dish.
Serves 4-6
Approx cost $6

Stuffed and Pickled Baby Aubergines (make 4-5 days ahead)
350ml white balsamic vinegar (from supermarket)
125ml extra-virgin olive oil
4 whole cloves
1teaspoon salt
1 star anise
pinch cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
12-18 baby aubergines (eggplants), between 5-8cm long (3”-4”)

Trim stalks from aubergines and simmer in boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain overnight so water leeches out.
Make brine by mixing vinegar, oil, cloves, salt, cayenne, star anise and single garlic clove. Set aside. Make stuffing by mixing walnuts and 2 cloves garlic.
Split one side of each aubergine almost through to the skin on the other side. Press open and fill with walnut suffing. Layer in a plastic or glass container and pour over brine. Seal and refrigerate for 4-5 days.
To serve, remove from oil and drain. Serve as an appetiser or as part of a mezze platter.
Makes 12-18
Approx cost $5

Tim Alderman 2015


So Can You Cook? 6

When I was growing up through the 50’s & 60’s, one thing that was always ritualised was tea drinking. Despite not having the enormous varieties of teas available today, my mother was always very fussy about what brand of tea she used. The rituals involved how the tea was made, and how you went about drinking it. There was an everyday tea-set, and a tea-set that was only brought out when guests were expected. There was also very specific items cooked to go with it, and it was always served at a particular time of the morning and afternoon.
I was wandering through the new Myers at Bondi Junction recently, and in their homewares department, noticed that a whole section had been devoted to coffee – machines of all descriptions and prices, espresso, latte and cappuccino cups and mugs, and blends of coffee. It reminded me of the tea rituals of my youth, and I was pleased to think that in some way, these rituals had been passed down. Coffee is still a very expensive luxury, and indeed worthy of ritualising. I very stupidly stopped drinking it a number of years ago, thinking it bad for my health. It is something I am glad I had a rethink on, and now enjoy one or two cups a day, made using my machine, or my caffetteria. I include my chocolate truffle recipe in this issue, for those who enjoy the indulgence of chocolate (and port) with their coffee.

For Tomato relish:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
4-6 roma tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
pinch chilli flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt & pepper
Heat oil in heavy pan and sauté onion and garlic till pale gold. Add chopped tomatoes, chilli, paste, bay, thyme and salt & pepper. Cook over low heat till thick, about 20 minutes. Remove bay and thyme. Cool.
For Vegetables:
2 medium zucchini, finely sliced
2 baby aubergine, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, deseeded and cut into strips
1 Spanish onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
Brush vegetables with oil, season, then grill or barbeque until just tender. To make sure onion retains its shape, DO NOT cut off base, or alternatively secure each wedge with a toothpick. Remove toothpick before adding to tarts.
For Tarts:
4 x 12cm discs of puff pastry, kept chilled (buy puff pastry from supermarket)
1 egg yolk
200g soft fetta eg Persian
4 sprigs fresh continental parsley (also called flat-leaf)
Make an incision 1cm in from edge of pastry disc. Prick inner circle with fork. Brush with egg yolk. Spread 1-2 tablespoon relish over the inner circle of each disc, ensuring the border is left free. Divide the vegetables amongst the cases, again leaving edge free. Bake at 220°C for 15 minutes, or until pastry is risen and golden. Remove from oven, place 2 tablespoons fetta on top of each tart and garnish with a sprig of parsley. Transfer to serving plates, and if you have it, drizzle with some herb or garlic oil. Serve with Citrus, Avocade and Potato Salad.
Serves 4
Approx cost $4.20 per serve

450g Kipfler potatoes (or substitute for whatever is available)
sea salt & cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
drizzle of olive oil
1 ruby or yellow grapefruit
1 ripe avocado
2 handfuls baby rocket, or salad blend, washed
Scrub and halve potatoes, sprinkle with salt and steam until tender. Remove from saucepan and toss in a bowl with garlic, pepper and oil. Set aside. Remove skin and white pith from grapefruit. Cut segments from between membranes with a sharp knife, and keep juice that you can squeeze from remains. Peel and quarter avocado, then cut into chunks. Either combine ingredients and pile onto plate, or layer potato, then rocket, and avocado and grapefruit. Mix remaining juice with an equal quantity of olive oil, season, then drizzle over salad.
Serves 4
Approx cost – $6.00

200ml pouring cream
350g bitter chocolate broken into small pieces
2 tablespoons brandy, other liqueur or essence (use 1-2 teaspoons if using essence)
150g dark chocolate for dipping
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
Place cream in a heavy-based pot and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate. Stir until smooth (the heat from the cream will melt the chocolate). Stir in brandy, liqueur or essence. Scrape into bowl and cool. Cover and refrigerate, until cold and set firm. Work VERY quickly to form into balls using either cool hands (keep rinsing them under cold water and drying), or a teasoon or melon baller. You should get 50-60 small balls. Don’t be anal about the shape. Refrigerate again until firm. Melt the dipping chocolate either over hot water, or at 50% in your microwave in 30-second bursts. Dip the balls quickly into melted chocolate (use a fork or long skewer to dip), then toss in cocoa to coat. Chill again, then serve with feshly brewed espresso, latte, long black or macchiato, or as part of a cheese platter with muscatels and candied orange peel.
To vary the truffles, dip some in white chocolate, chocolate sprinkles, coconut or crushed nuts. Strange as it may sound, these are also nice if rolled in finely chopped basil.
Makes 50-60
Approx cost – $9.00

Tim Alderman 2015


So Can You Cook? 5

By the time this issue of ‘Talkabout’ hits the streets, it will well and truly be autumn. The problem for many of us over autumn and winter – besides just hating cold weather – is that we tend to eat heavier foods, and so stack on quite a bit of weight. In an attempt to counteract this, try to add more salads into your diet over winter. Sure, there isn’t the same selection of salad vegetables, but you only need to be a bit inventive. Substitute some of the vegetables usually used in salads with seasonal fruits, or bake vegetables and serve them cold with salad greens and a dressing. Why give up the good diet practices of summer just because it gets a bit cool. Then spoil yourself with some comfort foods – occasionally.

Haloumi is one of those strange cheeses that tastes totally bland when just cut from the piece, yet develops delicious flavours when barbequed, grilled or fried.

2 red capsicums
1 large eggplant
175g haloumi cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
½ bunch basil, leaves picked
8 large bamboo skewers soaked in water for 15 minutes (if you would like to add some subtle exotic flavours to this dish, use sharpened lemongrass stalks, or long lengths of stripped rosemary (keep leaves at top end for decoration) as the skewers.)

Wash capsicums and remove seeds and membrane. Cut into 24 pieces. Wash and trim eggplant, cut in half lengthways, then into 16 semi-circles. Sprinkle with salt in a colander and leave for 30 minutes to remove bitterness. Dry with paper towel. Cut haloumi into 16 pieces. Toss vegetables and cheese in olive oil seasoned with pepper and sea salt. Skewer a piece of capsicum, followed by eggplant, a few rolled basil leaves, and then haloumi. Repeat process until you have 8 large skewers Finish each with a piece of capsicum. Char-grill or barbeque until tender – about 15-20 minutes. Blend remaining basil with oil to serve with skewers, or use purchased olive tapenade.
Serves 4
Approx $1.50 per skewer

This is my own salad, and can be served as a main course or an accompaniment. Rocket and watercress are two of my favourite salad greens. The peppery flavours are a perfect contrast for fruits, especially stone and citrus fruit.

200g baby rocket
small knob fennel, thinly sliced
2 blood oranges, segmented (if blood oranges are not in season, use ordinary, or ruby grapefruit)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
punnet yellow teardrop tomatoes
shaved parmesan, to taste
10-15 whole mint leaves

Dressing – combine 30ml verjuice (unfermented grape juice) with 120ml macadamia oil (use olive or peanut if macadamia not available).

Place tomatoes on a baking tray and sprinkle with sea salt, cracked black pepper and olive oil. Bake in a 200°C oven for 20 minutes. Cool. Combine all ingredients except parmesan in salad bowl, sprinkle dressing and mix. Shave parmesan over the top.
Approx $6.00 to make

Pastry; (if you are not successful with pastry making, buy shortcrust from the supermarket)
200g plain flour
pinch salt
100g butter, cold and cubed
2-3 tablespoons cold water

250g bitter chocolate (if you can afford it, Lindt 80% cocoa)
2 eggs
4 yolks (freeze whites for meringues or omelettes)
25g sugar
2 tablespoons rum, or 2 teaspoons rum essence (from supermarket)
100g butter, softened
2 tablespoons ground almonds (almond meal)

For pastry, sift flour and salt into bowl. Add butter, and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs ( don’t over-fuss). Add water until mixture comes together when pressed. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out thinly on a floured surface and line a 22cm loose-base flan tin. DO NOT STRETCH. Prick all over with a fork, and freeze for 10 minutes. Line with baking paper and pastry weights (if you don’t have pastry weights, use rice or dried beans) and bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes, until pastry is cooked and starts to colour. Remove and fill with chocolate filling

For filling; Melt chocolate in microwave (50%), or over a double boiler of simmering water. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar and rum or essence. Fold chocolate into egg mix. Beat in soft butter and fold in almonds. Pour into tart shell and bake at 175°C for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Serve with fresh orange slices.
Serves 8-12
Approx cost $9.00, depending on quality of chocolate.

Tim Alderman 2015


So Can You Cook? 4

2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other if allergic)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
½ banana chilli, deseeded and cut into strips
2 medium banana eggplants, cut into fine strips
200g marrow or squash, peeled, deseeded, cut into fine strips
1 tablespoon spice paste (recipe to follow)
Salt to taste
6 pieces banana leaf, each 20cm square (available from Harris Farm or quality grocer)
8 shallots, peeled
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
10 cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled (try Asian grocers, or use dried to taste)
6 lge red chillies, deseeded
5cm galangal, peeled (Asian member of the ginger family. Substitute ginger)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 kaffir lime leaves (Harris Farm grocers)
100g candlenuts (try a health food store, or Asian grocers. “Herbies” at Rozelle stock them. They are used to thicken the paste)
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised (use the flat of your knife_
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other if allergic)
Coarsely grind all ingredients except lemongrass in a mortar and pestle(prefered), or a food processor. Heat oil in a heavy-based pan, add the paste. Add lemongrass and cook over a LOW heat for 30 minutes. Cool completely before using.
This will keep in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze small quantities.

Recipe continues
Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan. Add oil. When smoking, add garlic, ginger, chilli, eggplant and marrow. Sauté for 2 minutes until golden, then add spice paste. Stir, season, then remove from heat. Wash and dry banana leaf. Soften for 5 minutes in a moderate (180C) oven, so they will fold without splitting. Set on a bench, and divide mixture between them. Fold ends of leaf in, then roll to seal the parcel. Secure with a toothpick. Steam for 20 minutes and serve as a snack.
NB Banana leaves are not eaten. They are used to protect their contents, and give a subtle flavour. Wrap and freeze extra parcels for later use.
Makes 6 parcels
Approx $2.00 per parcel

I adore the flavour of tamarind. It’so sweet/sour. You can get it from Asian grocers, or from “Herbies” at Rozelle.

Fresh fruit such as papaya, mango, pineapple, lychees, rambutans, pawpaw, berries and passionfruit.
¾ cup palm sugar, chopped
½ cup water
1 pandanus leaf (Harris Farm or Asian grocer)
4 tablespoons tamarind paste (no seeds)
4 red birds-eye chillies, whole
Pinch of salt

Bring palm sugar, water and pandanus leaf to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tamarind paste, chillies and salt and simmer 5-10 minutes. Cool before drizzling over fruit salad for an unusual hot-sweet-sour dressing.
Serves 4-6 (depending on size and quantity of fruit)
Approx $2.80 per head

Tim Alderman 2015


So Can You Cook? 3

The multi-talented Tim Alderman shares some expertise with readers

If you were to ask me to name my favourite chefs, I wouldn’t have to spend too long thinking of an answer: Jamie Oliver (I’m slowly becoming a convert, though more for the food style than the man himself) and Sydney’s own Bill Granger would definitely head my list – and it wouldn’t extend much further. Both chefs have a common bond – simple recipes using great combinations of ingredients, with fresh flavours and clever use of readily available ingredients. This is always the secret to success in cooking – keep it simple, and fresh. I think the following recipes will appeal to people who have this in mind whether cooking for themselves, or entertaining. The featured citrus fruit dessert is almost fat free (0.4g fat), and is a taste treat for the tongue with its subtle ginger flavour.

Tempeh, mushroom and green bean salad
8 dried Chinese mushrooms (available from general or Asian supermarkets) soaked in a small amount of water for 30 minutes, then thinly sliced
1 Spanish (red) onion, diced
1 small red capsicum, sliced thinly
1 small green capsicum, sliced thinly
8 medium button mushrooms
1 bunch (approx 15) green beans, sliced lengthways
1 bunch bok choy, washed and sliced thinly
1 spring onion, diced
1 cup wild rice (available most supermarkets, or health food stores)
2 cups water
pinch sea salt
3 tblspn safflower oil
1 block tempeh (available freezer section most supermarkets)
½ cup sauce consisting of equal parts soy sauce, squeezed grated ginger and rice vinegar

Add Chinese mushrooms to other vegetables. Wash wild rice and strain in a colander. In a small pot, add rice and water, bring to a boil, add salt and turn down the heat to very low, placing a lid over the top. Cook for 40 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to sit. In a heavy skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cut tempeh into very thin slivers and when the oil is hot, toss the tempeh in and cook until crisp. Drizzle some of the sauce over the tempeh as it will absorb the flavour. Set aside. Wash the wok and repeat the procedure with the rest of the vegetables, adding them in this order: onion, red and green capsicum, mushrooms, green beans, bok choy and spring onions. Allow a minute or so between each vegetable, stirring constantly before adding the next one. Add the rest of the sauce, and toss the vegetables to absorb the flavour. Combine wild rice, tempeh and vegetables.
Serves 4-6. Approx cost: $2.50 per serve

Gingered citrus fruit salad

3 mandarins
2 ruby (pink) grapefruit
2 naval oranges
2 tangelos
2 blood oranges
2 tblspn caster sugar
1-2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger.

Peel and segment mandarins, removing as much pith as possible. Using a sharp knife, peel grapefruit, oranges and tangelos, removing skin and pith. Segment fruit between membranes over a bowl, reserving juice. Place fruit segments into bowl.
Sprinkle fruit with sugar and ginger. Gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Spoon into glasses, and pour reserved juice over. Serve.
Serves 4. Approx cost: $3.20 per serve

Tim Alderman 2015


So Can You Cook? 2

Sorry people. I got myself into trouble from my partner for not putting approximate costs on last issues recipes. I promise I will do it from this issue on.
Well, with the cooler weather, it is time for comfort food. When making soup, make large batches, then divide it into smaller containers and freeze it. This can be done with a lot of foods, and gives you meals-on-hand for any tough times that come along. Remember, if a soup contains milk, yoghurt or cream of any variety, freeze the base soup without the dairy. Add it later when you reheat it.

Fast Tomato and Carrot Soup with Basil Oil
3 tblspn olive oil
2 medium brown onions, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed (use less if preferred)
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
½ kg fresh tomatoes
800g canned tomatoes
1 bay leaf
sea salt, black pepper
1 cup white wine (chicken or vegetable stock if preferred)
½ bunch fresh basil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
extra sea salt

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and add the onions. Sauté, allowing to colour a little, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a further 2 minutes. Add the carrots and the fresh and canned tomatoes. Add the bay leaf, season to taste, then add wine or stock. Cook for 20 minutes for a light flavour, or for up to 1 hour for a more concentrated flavour. Remove from heat and puree.
Blend the basil, oil and salt until smooth, and add a swirl to the bowls of soup as they are served up.
To make a quick damper to go with the soup, mix together 3½ cups self-raising flour, ½ cup dried milk powder, and a teaspoon of salt. Make a well inb the centre, then with a knife blade mix through 1½ cups water (use ½ milk and ½ water if you want it more ‘sconey’). Knead lightly on a floured board, form into a flat disc, place on a baking sheet and mark into 6 sections with a knife. Sprinkle a little flour over the top. Bake in a 200° C oven for 30-40 minutes. If it sounds hollow when tapped, it’s cooked.
Serves 4-6
Approx $11.00 for soup and damper.

Chocolate Drizzle Cake
A yummy vegan cake. If you wish, exchange chocolate for carob, though remember that carob will give a chalkier texture.
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups raisins
½ cup cocoa
2 cups water
¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup nuts of choice

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan except the flour, soda and last 4 ingredients. Boil for 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 20cm cake tin, and bake at 180°C for 1 hour.
To make chocolate icing, mix together 1 cup icing sugar and ¼ cup cocoa. Mix through 2-3 tablespoons soft butter or margarine, and enough milk or water to make spreading consistency (add this slowly, and mix well. If icing gets too thin, add more icing sugar).

Tim Alderman 2015


Daily (Or When The Mood Takes Me) Gripe: Gay Sex Sites

Fuck me! I must be close to 160yo in Gay Years…at least that is how old I feel by the time I’ve wondered around a couple of the gay sex apps that are available. We politely like to refer to them as gay “dating” apps but let’s keep it real! If you have a profile on one or more, you check them regularly for oinks, woofs or squeals…whatever, then you are either hunting for a fuck, or a good dose of rejection! More of the latter than the firmer if you are several centuries old, as I am!

The very first site I joined, the only thing I lied about in my profile stats was my age – I knocked 10 years off it, being deluded enough to think it would make a difference. Everything else I was upfront about…perhaps a bit too much! It must have taken me about 20 tweaks to get it right…though still no action. I oinked guys…all to no avail….they oinked me, then when you tried to get a little bit of action out of them….there was always an excuse…I’m too tired!…I’m turning in for the night…etc etc! I had subscribed to this group, so I was paying money to play silly-buggers with a group of guys who just didn’t seem to care. I made a sort-of-friend out of it…thought he’d be a goer originally when I started messaging him, but when I finally got him to visit, he had more hang-ups than a charity phone-in! I’m still not sure where it’s going. As for the site…I’ve moved on.

Oh…did I mention I have a disability? Yep! 60 AND disabled. Also HIV*.!I copped the fucking triple whammy there, didn’t I! Severely vision-impaired! Totally freaks people out so it seems. I don’t know why! Maybe they think they are going to have to help me get around! Or that I might need some sort of care! Or that I mightn’t be able to find their cock or arse! Or maybe I’ll look like a total freak! Though I am more inclined to think I am seen as damaged goods, and that they do, in reality, just discriminate! There! It’s said! Discrimination is rife on these sites. And it is not just against disabilities! It is ageist, racist, hiv-status, cock-size discrimination. WTF!

Gay men and they discriminate! It’s not all that fucking long ago that we were the ones yelling discrimination when they wouldn’t give us law reform! And gay men whO discriminate against HIV+ guys I just don’t get at all!

I have 4 apps on my iPad. The grand total of encounters to date is – i skittish non-event; one sexual encounter at 4am after a bottle of wine and which I choose to forget; 2 actual fulfilling sexual encounters with really nice guys; and one guy waiting for me to arrange to have a coffee with. This out of probably close to 60
profile checks over all the apps. And not including the twinks-having-a-wank-while-I-do-dirty-talk-chat with them.

But some guys deserve to get nothing, I have to say. If you are going to put a body shot up…don’t hold your breath or hold your hands above your head to try to look slimmer…you look like you are trying to look slimmer! Don’t NOT not put in a photo…I don’t care if you are bi or otherwise…no photo, no chat;; DON’T put photos of flowers, or trees, or your dog, or a beach in place of a profile picture; don’t lie about your age,or cock size; look up the word “defined” regarding body type, in a dictionary; say SOMETHING about yourself or what you are looking for as well as your stats; be honest and upfront. If you are going to put “Prefer not to say” in every field, you deserve to be ignored!

And for the guys who use them…stop being wankers! Develop some ethics; stop discriminating; learn some manners; treat others as you want to be treated; respect others beliefs, and feelings; stop being self-indulgent; and, for heaven’s sake….

Develop some humanity!

Tim Alderman
Copyright 2014


Daily (Or When The Mood Takes Me) Gripe: The World; The Country

What is it with media these days! They have always been prone to exaggeration, to embracing “the big whopper”, but this current usage of the terms “The World….or The Country…” is now at the stage of true annoyance!

“The photo of the Royal baby George that The World has waited for.”

“The photo’s from the celebrity wedding (insert name) that The World has waited for!”

” The video of Beyonce That Everyone is excited to see!”

“The ebola fear that has terrified The Country

“The shots of our Princess Mary that The Country has been waiting for!”

Well fuck me…I must be a totally boring moron…none of these things interest, excite or terrify me…or millions of other people!

Every time I hear it now, I cringe! But of course it is modern media, so what else should I expect.

This is the dumbing down of news that the current media indulges in. The theory seems to be that if they say something often enough, no one will notice it. Wrong! Some of us do! This is tied into giving things like celebrity weddings prominent places in news reporting ahead of items that really do have importance. There was a time when these news snippets – especially anything regarding Celebrity – would have been at the tail end of the news, if indeed mentioned at all. In this perverse world we live in, Celebrity takes prominence over all else. It is a very sad indictment of the world we live in. Plagues happen; wars are being fought; people are being murdered; earthquakes and volcanoes are destroying peoples lives. But Beyonce is dancing! This is all about making trivial issues more important than they are!

Look at the state of our jokingly named Current Affairs! Tradies ripping people off; neighbourhood disputes; how many germs and bacteria live on a kitchen sponge; people ripping off social security; someones home being trashed by tenants. In my book, Tracy Trimshaw has lost all her reporters credentials by reporting on this rubbish! Could explain why The Project has a huge following.

I’d like to think that real news would become real news again, but I think disappointment will be my lot.

That being the case, i’d at least like to hear news readers and reporters tell us that…..Some People would be interested in photos or videos of aroyalty and Celebrity…NOT the whole world or country!

Believe it or not…there are still some intelligent people around!

Tim Alderman
Copyright 2014


LGBT History In Surrey – Crime & Punishment

Homosexuality was illegal in England until 1967. The treatment of homosexuals in earlier times is difficult to gauge as the historical record rarely exists for anything other than criminal activity. Early punishments ranged from fines, hard labour, hanging, and the pillory (a wooden frame with holes for the head and hands, in which offenders were placed and exposed to public abuse). From the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries the court of Quarter Sessions dealt with any complaints and allegations of homosexual behaviour, frequently referred to in the court records as ‘an unnatural crime’.

In Surrey, there are several examples which appear in the records, although survival of all evidence from the arrest to the sentencing of prisoners is not complete. Many of the accused were acquitted through lack of evidence. In the cases found, punishment ranged from the equivalent of a good behaviour bond to the pillory, or imprisonment for up to two years in one of the local houses of correction.

Calendar of prisoners for the House of Correction, Newington, 1812

Prisoner No.54. is Edward Long, committed on 24 Dec 1811.

Following the oath of John Smith, Long is charged with assaulting him at St Saviour’s, Southwark, with intent to commit an ‘unnatural crime’. He was detained for want of sureties (i.e. no one pledged money for his good behaviour) but this was eventually secured.

Calendar of prisoners, featuring Edward Long, 14 Jan 1812 (SHC ref QS2/6/1812/Eph)

Calendar of prisoners, featuring Edward Long, 14 Jan 1812 (SHC ref QS2/6/1812/Eph)
Examination regarding an alleged assault, Southwark, 1716

This curious case involved David Dartnall, a carpenter of Brasted, who in his examination claimed that whilst sitting by the fire in the kitchen of the Greyhound Inn, Southwark, he was approached by Thomas Reeves and asked where he would lie that night. Dartnall replied that he was sleeping at the inn and Reeves declared that he would lie with him. The examination gives a graphic account of the activities that took place but Dartnall did not protest and implied that Reeves ‘never threatened or offered to turn him’. The examination finished with Dartnall declaring ‘the reason why he did not cry out was the reason of his greater surprise’!

Unfortunately, as the further evidence for this case has not yet been located we do not know whether Reeves was punished or not. Click on the image below to see a larger version.

Transcript of examination of David Dartnall, 1716 (Ref.QS2/6/1717/Eas/87).

The examination of David Dartnall of the ville of Brasted in the said County, carpenter taken upon oath this 16th day of March Anno D[omini] 1716 as followeth viz:
This examinant saith upon oath that on Thursday the seventeenth day of this instant March in the evening as this Def[endant] was sitting by the kitchen fire at the Greyhound Inn in the Burrough of Southwark in the County of Surrey, Mr Thomas Reeves of Cowden being there asked this Def[endant] where he lay that night, he answered him he lay there then the said Mr Reeves said you shall lye with me David, who was contented and accordingly went to bedd together and that as this Def[endant] was saying his prayers the said Mr Reeves putt his hand upon his breast and soo down to his private parts and took hold of them and said he would make him spend and did make him spend. And then said to this Def that he had had a whore who told him the said Reeves that he never had had one in his life, who said he had, and then gott over himin the bedd several times and at last he rubbed himself against one of his thighs and spent against the same and the gott over him and went to sleep – and soo continued the ret of the night; but the said Mr Reeves never threatened or offered to turn him And the reason ehy this Def[endant] did not Cry out was by reason of his greater Surprise.
[signed] David Dartnall
Jucat die et Anno superdictam
C Farnaby
S lambard Jeff. Arnhurst

LGBT Legislation

The 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act made any homosexual act illegal, even in private.
Section 11 of the Act stated that any man convicted ‘shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour’.
Controversially, this part of the Act was inserted at the last minute after being drafted by the MP Henry Labouchere. It did not fit in with the rest of the Act, which dealt with sex crimes relating to young women, but was still passed by the House of Commons.
The amendment was described as a ‘blackmailer’s charter’ as it effectively outlawed every form of male homosexuality. It prompted a number of prosecutions, most famously Oscar Wilde in 1895. Wilde served his sentence in Reading Gaol.
The Act was repealed in England and Wales in 1956, but homosexuality was not fully legalised until 1967. In Scotland this did not come into force until 1980, and in Northern Ireland, not until 1982.
The Gender Recognition Act of 2004 allowed transsexual people to change their legal gender.
Current legislation bans some anti-gay discrimination, as well as religion-based hate speech against homosexuals.

Information curtesy of Surrey History Centre and Exploring Surrey’s Past