I experienced a whopping great fright (tinged with consternation) at my doctor’s clinic yesterday.
Scene: Doctor’s clinic
Hannah pushes open the door to her doctor’s waiting room and approaches the front desk.
Hannah: Hiya, I’m here for my appointment with Dr. Awesome Pants Of Gives Me Faith at 10:15?
Receptionist: Sure thing. You’re a little bit early for Dr. Awesome Pants Of Gives You Faith, so take a seat.
Hannah smiles at the receptionist and walks towards the seating area, reaching absentmindedly into her bag for The Boat by Nam Le, her current reading material of choice. Suddenly, a deep male voice calls out from a chair to her left.
Unknown Older Man: You can come and sit on my lap if you’d like, young lady.
He pats his lap enthusiastically.
All five women in the room (that would be Hannah, two patients, and two receptionists), jump in shock.
Hannah looks over at the man and takes in the situation. She collects herself, breathes deeply, and then strides over to him, preparing a strong retort that will restore the situation to normal.
She leans over the man, ready to give him a piece of her mind.
Hannah: Hi Grandpa! Fancy seeing you here!
And then she kisses him on the cheek, sits down on a chair, and tells him about the birthday dinner she’s cooking that night for her dad. The grandpa then gives the lady some lovely, lovely, much-needed-and-appreciated words of support in regards to a certain life decision she’s recently made, and all is well with the world.
And now, the food! My dad’s birthday was over a month ago (you can read about his birthday dinner at Ottoman Cuisine here), and my present to him was the promise to cook a father-daughter dinner on a night when my mother was out. We bided our time, and then… BOOM. Mum went to yoga, I popped over with a swag of ingredients to which my mum is allergic, and then I cooked. Oh, how I cooked.
For those of you so inclined, I must admit that the main dish wasn’t vegan. You see, I’d promised my dad that I wouldn’t serve him tofu. However, the dessert was vegan, so be sure to check back here in future for that particular chocolate-y delight.
Now, though, I’m going to show you some Tunisian-Style Beef. (Please don’t ask me what makes this dish “Tunisian”. If you’d like, I’ll promise to report back if/when I ever make it to Tunisia myself.)
Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly “From The Shelf” Mini Cookbook
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tb (40ml) fresh orange juice
- 3 tsp (15ml) white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 3/4 cup (75g) wholemeal couscous
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 tb olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 250g beef mince
- 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
- 2 medium tomatoes (250g), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 tb fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tb lemon juice
1. Mix together the garlic, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, and spices, and set aside.
2. Combine the couscous, boiling water, and butter in a medium heatproof bowl and cover with clingwrap. Set aside for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed, and then fluff with a fork.
3. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan, and stir-fry beef and onion until beef is browned. Add zucchini and orange juice mixture, stir-frying until zucchini has softened a little.
4. Add tomatoes and heat through, stirring. Last but not least (cliche alert!), throw in the couscous, herbs, and lemon juice, then season with salt. Stir to mix and heat through,. Serve, preferably to a father who is all kinds of magnificent.
* You might want to increase the amounts a little bit. After eating this and the dessert (to be blogged), I found myself toasting a cinnamon-raisin bagel and topping it with peanut butter and Ghirardelli chocolate chips before the night was out. And then there was more chocolate. And some oatmeal. And more chocolate. But shhhh…