On the eve of the Federal Election, our mind goes back to the 2010 Election when the PM Julia Gillard trotted out “moving forward” as the catch cry for a Labor return to office. At TMix+ we’re immune to political slogans, but we’re not immune to either “growth” or “moving forward”, as ridiculous as that slogan was and is.
Our “moving forward” policy is to provide constant updates to our digital offering, and this week we’re pleased to announce we’ve added to the package in ways we believe will assist our readers and also us.
For our readers, once logged in, each recipe now comes with a Shopping List, a comments box and a star rating. The Shopping List has been on our agenda since we launched the digital subscription, and we hope that subscribers will find it beneficial. You can email the ingredients to wherever you like, or create a PDF to print.
For us, the comments and ratings will give us the opportunity to understand which recipes are hitting the mark, and which might be going through to the ’keeper. You can also let us know directly, via our Facebook page (facebook.com/tmixplus) or directly at email@example.com. If you need any assistance with these additions, don’t hesitate to let us know, and, also, if you would like us to provide more value-adds we’re all ears. As the Government says, we’re about “jobs” for our digital team and “growth” for our website!
GIVE ME BUTTER: The spring edition of TMix+ is in full swing, with a big focus on the food of France. In some worlds, the food of the Republic has gone out of favour, what with Spain, Denmark and Italy, and even the once European England moving ahead of the French in the minds of some foodies.
Not us; we’ll never forget the first time we visited a Michelin star restaurant in Bourg-en-Bresse and were overcome by the standards of cooking and service. Many years later, in a simple bistro in Paris, when my wife ordered ris de veau, the ever attentive maître d’ sidled up to her and whispered in her ear, “Madame, you are aware zis ees not veal with rice, but veal sweetbreads?” The missus mouthed the Aussie equivalent of mon Dieu, and quickly switched to the steak frites.
One of the dishes we are featuring is pommes dauphine, that classic fried potato and choux pastry dish that literally explodes with joy in your mouth. Our recipe has been modified from that of legendary chef Fernand Point, said by many to be the father of modern French cooking (at least modern post the 1950s). Point’s book, Ma Gastronomie, published in 1969, includes a list of aphorisms written in the big man’s notebook over his long journey at the head of the pack of three-star chefs. We particularly liked these two:
“When I stop in a restaurant I don’t know, I always ask to shake hands with the cuisinier before the meal I know if he is thin, I’ll probably eat poorly. And if he is both thin and sad, the only hope is in flight.”
“Butter! Give me butter! Always butter!”
That last call to arms is particularly relevant this week as Time magazine reports that “it looks like butter may, in fact, be back”. As we’ve noted in this space previously, we’re always sceptical about surveys on food: salt/no salt; milk/no milk; wine/no wine; coffee/no coffee. Last week we reported that males who assist housework are more likely to have a better sex life than those who don’t.
So, take the current research with a grain of salt/no salt, that Time reports that a study of more than 600,000 people concluded that consuming butter is not linked to a high risk for heart disease and may be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes.
Time’s story was sourced from a report written by Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. The Doc was having it a little each way when he said: “In my mind, saturated fat is kind of neutral overall. Vegetable oils and fruits and nuts are healthier than butter, but on the other hand, low-fat turkey meat or a bagel or cornflakes or soda is worse for you than butter.”
We should end by noting that M. Point made it to just after his 58th birthday before going to the great dairy in the sky. In an 1949 essay in the New Yorker, the writer estimated M. Point to be: “six feet three and weighed 300 hundred pounds.”
The great man Fernand Point, pictured on the back cover of his 1969 book, Ma Gastronomie. A New Yorker essay of 1949 suggested he tipped the scales at 300 pounds (136 kilos).
NOW TO COFFEE: We’ll never criticise those having a go in the competitive world of Melbourne’s coffee culture, but maybe we’ll criticise those who choose to add weird and wonderful things to their coffee; we make that statement with the view that there are three versions of coffee that can stand on the victory dias:
1. Espresso, taken after a big night out. This is the final curtain after a great meal, and great wines.
2. That espresso, enlivened with a little milk, a little more milk, or a frothy milk forming something of a coffee/milk soufflé. We’ve become attached to lite milk as the fat in the heavy milk detracts from the essence of the coffee.
3. Gelato affogato, in which the best ice cream is drowned in any alcohol, and the lot given a kick with a decent pour of the best espresso. This may overwhelm the Gold Medal winner, above, as it encompasses the end of the meal and all the beautiful things that make a great dessert!
We mention this because The Age reports (June 26) that a couple of Melbourne cafes, calling themselves “wellness cafes”—notably Serotonin Eatery (Richmond) and Matcha Mylkbar (St Kilda) are offering coffee with nut milks including almond, macadamia, cashew and coconut.
In the Autumn/Winter edition of TMix+ we created a recipe for nutmilks, and we were very happy with the result, despite the fact that we’re of the view that if you can’t enjoy the real thing—whether it be butter, or milk, or tea, or real coffee, or sugar, or beer—then don’t seek a substitute. We do understand that there are those who are lactose intolerant, and there are even those who prefer a glass of almond ‘milk’ to that which comes from a contented cow.
In the case of adding nut milks, or the dreaded soy milk to coffee, we suggest you remember the list above. Don’t add any milk, or ‘milk’, just learn to love espresso.