Cholesterol Quiche

This is the kind of thing I get up to when I’m home alone.


I had some leftover puff pastry, lots of eggs, and a tub of cream a week past its expiry date but! still good!

Started with half a kilo of spicy sausage, skinned, fried, with a coarsely chopped onion. Added to this some tomato, spices, and about half a cup of three chili chutney. While this is cooling down, blind bake the crust. Beat four eggs, add cream, mix with meat. Cheese. Don’t forget the cheese. Pour into crust.

Some people sprinkle flour on the crust before pouring the sauce in. It’s supposed to keep the crust dry or something. I did. Worked for me.

Bake until it looks OK (180 for 20 minutes worked for me).


Almost perfect (It needs bacon. With bacon, it would have been perfect. Everything’s perfect with bacon :-)

3-phase redundancy

So there I was, pottering around home yesterday morning, and suddenly the lights go out. And the bleating of the UPS reaches my ear. Some inspection shows that the fridge is still working, Tamsyn is still happily playing on her computer, and all the trip switches including the big ones in the box outside are happy.

Further inspection shows that we have one phase of the three phase circuit, and even further inspection shows some very dodgy looking wiring on the pole side of the feed.


So Tanya gets instructions to phone council and I bugger off to work.

Long story short, at 1800 it was starting to get dark inside the house, and we still had only the one phase.

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Battleshort!  I disconnected the two dead phases, and shorted all three phases together on “my” side of the mains breaker (which is the bottom of the bottom left switch in the first picture, but I did it at the input side of the breaker that feeds the garage, just because it was more convenient.

So around quarter past eight, just as I’ve put the bread in the oven [1], the crew pitches.


Of course, they had to cut all power to fix the feed, and when they reconnected the power everything now hanging off the one phase was cold, so that tripped the outside breaker, which lead to the quickest removal of a kludge you can think of (figured I had to remove all evidence of my meddling before they came inside to look why the lights were not burning…)

[1] We had friends over, and I make Pioneer Woman‘s Marlboro Man’s Birthday Dinner (well, the pan fried steak with blue cheese sauce, crash hot potatoes, and buttered rosemary rolls part of it). With store-bought dough in my black pot, Porterhouse steaks from Constantia Pick & Pay, and lemme tellya, that blue cheese sauce is something else.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

I mentioned the worm farm before. Turns out, if you feed them bits of tomato, you get a garden full of tomato plants. And that leads to lots and lots of tomatoes :-)


Only one thing to do! Deb’s slow roasted tomatoes!


Halve tomatoes (this takes a helluva long time). Cover with oil and herbs (I did this in a bowl).


Spread on baking sheet.


Roast for three hours at a touch over 100C.


This took care of about two thirds of the tomatoes. Here’s the rest, covered with boiling water…


… and skinned (this, also, is a helluva job). The skins etc goes back to the worms, of course.

I used these to make tomato bredie. Used beef, this time (a 1.1 kg hunk of silverside, cut into cubes), did the flour thing, did the space thing, and eventually did the dumplings thing. No pictures, we were too hungry by then :-)

And by the looks of things, there’s about twice as many tomatoes still on the way…

Food to make a vegetarian cry

Last night I made Pioneer Woman‘s Beef Stew with Mushrooms. And it ROCKED.

So here’s the interesting part. Right now, at the SPAR around the corner, beef goulash sells for R59.99, while corned beef sells for R49.99. It seems like a sin to cut a hunk of meat into little cubes, but it’s cheaper, so what the hell.

I knew that the corned beef would make the dish very salty, so I didn’t add any additional salt.

Used 750ml of meat stock that I’d cooked a few months ago — this is the kind of nom you miss out on if you feed the bones to the family dog :-)

Highly recommended.

Sunday at home

Last Sunday I decided that I had to get my lazy bum in gear and finish the kitchen wiring.

Before and after. I built a 3 way multiplug into the appliance garage so we can leave the stuff plugged in, just pull it out to use it.

The plugpoint on the left is special. I originally bought it to use it in the bathroom, because hair dryers etc often have two pin plugs. But Tanya’s hair dryer has the “euro” connector that doesn’t fit into that socket. So I swapped a single socket into the bathroom and put this one here so that I can plug the wall-wart to charge the bamix.

All of this took longer than expected, and since I had been monopolising the kitchen the munchkins were hungry.

So Tamsyn made french toast. Using three eggs per person, so we had scrambled egg afterwards :-)

And we started a batch of ice cream but that will be the subject of another post.

Supper was my stoo on the left and vegetarian parsnip stew on the right. Both were great.


I’ve made this recipe for “Irish Potato Soup with Bacon and Vegetables” before, and it was great, but the one I made last night possessed some serious nom.

It all started with a R9.99 soup pack from the Fruit & Veg. For those not in the know, this is a styrofoam package containing one onion, one potato, two carrots, one leek, one turnip, one tomato, and a whole bunch of parsley and celery. I think they make quite a good profit on it, but… it’s convenient.

Dragged out my recipe file, found this recipe, made it my way (I hate dirtying more than one pot, thence the sequence).

Fry half a packet of bacon in a black pot until very crispy. And I mean very. Remove bacon.

Fry one diced onion and one leek, cut lengthwise and sliced, in bacon fat. Add some white wine (I used italian bubbly, because it’s too sweet to drink and I didn’t want to waste it) to deglaze the pot. Add a heaped teaspoon “spicy” curry powder. Wait for wine to cook away, remove mix from pot.

Fry about 8 potatoes, diced, two carrots, sliced, and one turnip, diced.

Now this is where the magic started. Last Christmas, I brined a turkey in apple vinegar. This was not that great a success at the time, although the vinegary meat was damngood on sandwiches. I (as always) cooked stock using the leftover bits, and I still had about 500ml of this stock left over. That went into the soup.

I also collect vegetable leftovers into a container, cook stock now and then. I used about 200ml of my last batch of vegetable stock.

And then I just simmered all of this for around an hour, mushing some of it with a potato masher about three quarters through the process.

When I tasted this it was a bit thin, so I added five drops of fish sauce (!) and some garlic salt.

Then the onions went back in, I added 2/3 of a container of cream (left over from a previous recipe) and of course the bacon went in when serving. Didn’t bother with the nutmeg or spring onions.

Some serious nomming of soup and garlic ciabbatas (also from Fruit & Veg) ensued.

Today, I’m poaching a chicken… hafta use the left-over celery.