I'm learning to speak Aussie!
It's always nice to pick-up another language. Admittedly I still struggle with French but I'm getting pretty good at British and by next week I should have a lot of Aussie mastered.
The gentleman who is buying our house is Australian.
And he's come to stay until the closing next Thursday….
That's right, the moving van arrives on our doorstep next Thursday, 8am, sharp!
Which means, in addition to learning Australian…
And cooking, cleaning, shopping, running the dogs to the vet to get their passports updated, fixing mon mari's computer which crashed AGAIN (blue screen of death for the third time in 2 weeks) I have to finish packing.
Recently I've been fondly remembering my first ever move. I put every last scrap of stuff I owned into the backseat of my bright yellow Camero and I was off.
Thirty some years later it's a bit of a different story.
How did I ever manage to accumulate so much stuff?
More importantly, why did I accumulate so much stuff?
Most importantly, WHY am I moving it? Again?
Before we left the U.S. I read a bit about becoming a P.T.: Perpetual Tourist, Permanent Traveler; free to flit from city to city, country to country, with only the contents of a suitcase or two to call my own.
The thought had a lot of appeal; freedom of the open road and all that.
But then there was my stuff, my possessions, my cherished belongings…. my history and my memories.
I could probably get rid of ALL of it.
It would not be possible to get rid of 'almost all' of it.
I've significantly paired it down, using the 'one of two', or even the 'two of three' rules (I have three of my favorite Aunt's teacups, I can keep two, but one has to go to someone else; I have 2 summer jackets, one goes to charity, etc.)
For now, I'm keeping the rest.
So I have to pack it.
Give me strength….
And speaking of strength…. Is the briny taste of anchovies too strong for you?
Huh? Is it?
In the traditional Pissalidière, there are lots and lots of very slow-cooked onions, anchovies and wrinkly oil-cured black olives – with pits. The feta is not traditional, but my addition.
2/3 cup warm water, 105 – 115F,
1 pkg (2 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
2 cups flour
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let sit a few minutes to 'proof' – start to look foamy to prove that the yeast is still alive.
If you have a mixer with a dough hook put the yeast and all remaining ingredients in mixer bowl. Blend with dough hook attachment until well mixed then kneed for an additional 3 minutes. Cover bowl with cling film or a dishtowel and put in a warm place (75F, 24C) to rise, if possible.
If making by hand put yeast in large bowl along with all of the rest of the ingredients minus 1/2 cup flour. Stir to combine. Put remaining flour on work surface, add dough and kneed until smooth and elastic – about 10 minutes. As remaining flour is incorporated dough will become less sticky. Cover bowl with cling film or a dishtowel and put in a warm place (75F, 24C) to rise, if possible.
After dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes, punch down. Lightly butter a pizza pan or large baking sheet. Roll dough out with a rolling pin as best you can. Then put on pan and stretch it to fit, patting it out with your fingers. If it keeps springing back wait a few minutes. Try not to put any holes in the crust. You are now ready to assemble.
1 1/2 lbs (24oz, 750gr) red onion
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 tsp dried savory
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves (laurel)
1/4 cup chicken stock
12 – 15 anchovy fillets, drained
20 – 25 black Greek olives, dry or oil-cured
4 – 5 oz (150gr) feta cheese
Slice onions about 1/4" (.6cm) thick. Heat butter and oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until they become soft, stirring frequently. Add herbs and stock, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, until very soft. Uncover, turn heat up to medium-high and continue cooking until volume of onions has reduced by half and liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat if they start to cook too hard and/or brown. We are not caramelizing these. Cooking time should be about 45 minutes, total. When done, turn off heat, remove bay leaves and keep warm if not using immediately.
To assemble: Spread onions evenly over crust. Arrange whole anchovies on top of onions. Top with whole olives and feta cubes. Bake at 450F (225C) for 20 – 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, drizzle with truffle oil if you have it, slice and serve.
In addition to the above, for the week of September 26 we have Pesto Shrimp on Pasta, Butternut Squash Soup, Roast Cornish Hens with Herbs, Pork Chops with Capers, Stuffed Peppers….
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