We definitely ate very well during our visit with Heidi and Kalle. And this only tells the story of dinners. We ate homemade bread, home grown and homemade grapefruit marmalade, cheese, thinly sliced cold meats, lots of tea and lots of wine with dinner. For many years now I’ve been saying that the best food is served in homes, not in restaurants. Bon Appetite!
Heidi and Randal Cook
Heidi prepares Barbun (Red Mullet)
In the kitchen with Heidi.
Instead of flour, Heidi mixes corn starch and herbs and this and that and then shakes enough of the fish in the bag of coating to cook without crowding the pot. Best eaten hot they were cooked in batches. I don’t think Heidi got many of them because she kept cooking and serving them to us. I ate most I think! It’s lots of fun as you eat them with your fingers. They are small with a bone down the center that you take out and discard along with the head and tail. I ate tons of wonderful salad too. They have the best arugula here and Heidi makes wonderful olive oil based dressing from their own pressed olives. I have no photos of the cooked fish because I was too busy eating them! And my fingers were messy and I just forgot. For dessert we had apple pie and ice cream. Randal had made the pie and we’d gotten some ice cream at the Starlight Market along with some shrimp for the meal Randal would cook the next evening.
Lots of atmosphere
A French chanteuse singing in the background one night and the next evening the 3 tenors and Heidi could sing along with them all.
Sunday night Randal cooked his “egg basket stir fry,” a dish he’d learned to make at a cooking school in Thailand during his ‘round the world bike tour in 2000.
Randal’s “Just happy to be here” face.
When Heidi and Kalle had visited our boat Randal had spoken of his Thai cooking class and the egg basket presentation of the stir-fry. When we arrived for our visit he asked if he could cook it for dinner one night. At the Starlight market Saturday afternoon we bought eggs, shrimp, scallions, and different and variety of bright peppers for color. It takes lots of pots, pans and bowls so while Randal and Heidi cooked up the baskets, I washed the dishes that wouldn’t go later into the washer.
One basket in the pan.
You stir up the eggs in a bowl and then strain them into another bowl. Then you put them into a plastic bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner. When the pan is hot you squeeze the bag over the pan making lines of egg in one direction and then turn the pan to make lines in the other direction. When it is set you slide it from the pan onto a flat surface to wait.
You make a big bowl of stir-fry.
I peeled the kilo of shrimp which seemed to take forever, but of course, didn’t. It’s just that peeling shrimp is not my favorite thing. But then nothing about cooking is my favorite thing. I’d rather was dishes.
You put the egg basket into a small bowl, fill it with stir-fry, fold the basket over the top and turn it over onto a plate. Voila!
Now it’s Heidi’s turn.
Putting the egg net into a bowl to shape the basket which is then filled with stir-fry.
Then put it onto the plate which takes two people if you don’t have big Randal hands.
(More about the painted peacock below.)
Tomato and avocado salad and stir-fry egg baskets: looks as good as it all tasted.
Randal had wondered how to make the baskets for 4 people but serve them hot. You make the baskets and then when the stir-fry is cooked you quickly fill all of the baskets and the heat from the stir-fry re-warms the egg. But you have to eat them while they are hot; like the barbun and so we did.
(I bought some avocado at the Monday market and hopefully they will be soft one day soon and we can have them with tomato. I will wrap them in paper today with a banana which I read helps both to ripen.)
“The peacock has for ages been our protective house bird, we had it before at our entrance and so I did the same here, but not in wire but painted: a king’s bird an old sign of royalty with the old cultures of South America and a bird of the fairy tales I made up for my children.” Heidi
There is also a beautiful embroidered peacock over the fireplace I forgot to point out in the prior email.
Next email a visit to the hill town of Karamam.