Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Warm vegetable salad for a humid night.

I boiled three potatoes chopped into quarters and two carrots chopped into batons. When they were almost cooked I dropped a dozen green beans and two bricks of closely packed cabbage into the pot. When they were all done I drained them and placed them into little or larger piles on my large oval serving platter. The potatoes were a cairn in the middle, the cabbage made haybales at either end and the carrots and beans lay about like roadmakers' tar-brooms at smoko time.

Meanwhile two eggs were simmering in another pot, chattering their undersides on its aluminium base.

I cut two ripe tomatoes into eighths and scattered these about the plate, and took half an unpeeled cucumber and cut it into sticks and added them to the general disarray. Then I peeled the soft-boiled eggs, successfully this time after years of varied results, and sat them way up in the potato cairn like an eagle's eyrie.

The sauce was bubbling away all of this time: two large tablespoons of natural peanut butter (natural meaning the one that has no stabilisers or salt and separates in the jar: it is pure peanut), two tablespoons of sambal oelek, a chopped clove of garlic, a dash of sugar and two very generous squirts of soy.

Sauce into a bowl, serving plates to the table, dip and eat. Lazy gado gado salad. It was hot all night and it rained heavily into the morning.

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