Monthly Archives: May 2021

homemade sambal oelek is the way to go

summary: making changes to stroganoff; homemade sambal oelek is addictively delicious; egg noodles and poppy seeds;

homemade sambal oelek

For Mothers’ Day (I know; that was ages ago), one of my west-coast sisters dined on her back deck (physically distancing, of course) with the 5 people in their bubble. The dinner they devised was made up of all the childhood favourites that their mothers had made for special occasions. The dish my sister chose from our mother’s festive dinner repertoire was beef stroganoff.

J’adore beef stroganoff!! With egg noodles tossed with butter and poppy seeds – even though Mum NEVER served it with noodles. Especially poppy-seeded noodles. Oh my no. That would have been too adventurous.

And yet we never have stroganoff any more. Why?! How can such a delicious dish have fallen out of favour? (Ha. Perhaps it’s because it looks a little bit like dog’s breakfast. :lalala: ) (continue reading )

The Challenges of Povitica (BBB May 2021)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for eggless Povitica with walnut date filling; no sense of time any more; late again; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Potica is a cooking project, not everyday fare. You’ll want to be well-rested and plan-free before embarking on all the kneading, whisking, flouring, and rolling. – Romana Bohinc, the head baker of Potičnica—a bakery on Bled Island, Slovenia


Here I am at last – just one day late. Although, I did bake in time!! I confess that I am now acknowledging that mental fatigue has set in from this prolonged “stay-at-home” order – even though we CAN go outside on our bikes (but waaaahhhh, it’s just been extended to at least 2 June!), and I am often having difficulty knowing what day or even month it is.

Which meant that I didn’t really comprehend what all was entailed in making this month’s BBBabes’ project to make Povitica … or Potica.

Say what?!

According to, it’s pronounced [poh-vee-TEET-tza] or [poh-TEET-tza] (continue reading )

Delving into the Archives: Pomegranate Chicken

summary: going through our photo archives; pomegranate chicken; pomegranate molasses; frozen pomegranate seeds are almost a reasonable substitute for fresh pomegranate – almost…; getting inspiration from TV; in praise of Yasmin Khan’s lovely cookbook, “The Saffron Tales”;

The hero warrior Isfandiar is said to have eaten the seeds of the pomegranate and become invincible – Yasmin Khan, The Saffron Tales
After that [Zartusht] gave to Asfandiar of that feast one grain of a pomegranate. He ate and his body waxed like stone; no wound could be inflicted upon him. – Zartushi-Behram (Eng. translation: E. B. Eastwick, Esq.), Zarthusht-Nameh (“Book of Zarathushtra”), 1277 A.D.

pomegranate molasses

Alas, while pomegranates are available here from time to time, they come from very far away and are rarely as thrilling as we think they should be.

They’re also very very expensive. Even when they look a little worse for the wear.

To get a bit of a pomegranate fix, eons ago, we bought a bottle of pomegranate molasses. I can’t remember what we used it in. All I remember is that we weren’t wild about the flavour. After that first taste, the bottle stood untouched in the cupboard for months before one of us – again, I can’t remember who – decided we should just throw it down the drain and recycle the bottle.

So. What was it that made us decide we had to get another bottle of pomegranate molasses to try it again? Perhaps it was after reading “A Taste of Persia” by Najmieh K. Batmanglij, or “Taste of Persia” by Naomi Duguid, or “Samarkand” by Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford, or “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” by Samin Nosrat.

That’s right; we cannot stop reading about Persian cuisine. I think it has something to do with the magic of pomegranates.

Or perhaps it was because of a few months ago (in February!! …how can it be May already?!), when T was watching Milk Street on TV and saw what looked to be the best ever way to prepare chicken. (continue reading )