My kitchen fairy-duties: cut courgettes at slivered angles, trim broccoli from woody stalks, grate organic ginger (unpeeled) and lemon zest for Pacific Island soup, above.
Brought up in New Zealand, Richard the chef was inspired by his feminist mother leaving most of the cooking to his stepfather.
As I prepped, I learnt. Here for me to remember (and to share) are Richard’s tips:
- Cleaning a rusty wok: heat dry wok till rust pops, add a little water then heat till it evaporates. Dry wok. Add two palmfuls of salt, heat, then wipe away the dirty salt with its abrasive and oxydising action. Next, add salt and water, and heat till it has nearly evaporated. This time the salt is clean and can stay, adding flavour to your dish.
- Cooking kidney beans: soak for a minimum of 16 hours then cook until beans dissolve like mash potato. A monocotyledon such as corn added to the cooking increases the kidney bean’s protein-availability. “In Bogota in Columbia,” said Tim, a fellow Lost Horizons cook, “we cooked kidney beans with plantain into a mush and served it with ground coriander.”
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), as we know, is the nicotine of food. Addictive and a health-risk (banned from the start from EU organic standards), it bypasses the taste buds straight to the brain. Richard added a new idea: MSG destroys the part of the brain that makes us compassionate.
No MSG at Buddhafield Festival. So we could go around being kind and hug-gy.
Lunch was ready.
Gwennie, the Washing-up Angel, is in the foreground (There some discussion about the differing job descriptions between angels and kitchen fairies…)
I ate my well-earned soup listening to the open, engaging Janna Goodwille.
Pacific Island soup ingredients:
Onion + water + Thai red curry paste or Thai spices if available + dried seaweed + seasonal veg (cook what is hardest and biggest like carrot-chunks with slivered courgette last of all) + grated ginger + lemon zest + noodles.
Richard also sawed a coconut in half and chunked out bits for the soup.
All for £5 with fresh organic salad and bread. And leaves compassion-brain-cells intact.