I’ve posted previously that I love cooking and experimenting with different styles of food and cooking methods. Some can be simply quick and dirty meals for the sake of convenience and others are for real enjoyment and taste. I’ve also covered some of the utensils that I’ve had for some time when it comes to food preparation, but if there’s one thing that stands apart from all of these it would have to be what I actually use to cook my food. Now for some (many?) the latter is a microwave oven when preparing those delicious meals from packets and whatever, or it might involve a non-stick pot or pan. While our kitchen does have non-stick pots and pans, my favourite cooking implements are cast iron pots (camp ovens), pans, woks and similar. As far as I’m concerned, nothing beats cast iron.
I finally succumbed to the call of sous vide cooking and bought a sous vide cooker from Aldi, given the great price and warranty it offered. I’ve been fascinated by this cooking method for a long time, but the price of the sous vide cookers has held me at bay. However, like everything in this world, sooner or later products that at one time are very expensive and mainly used by specialists (in this case professional chefs), they eventually come down in price and effectively become commodity items. So it is with sous vide cookers and there are now a vast array of sous vide cookers available, starting from around the $120 mark, as for the Aldi cooker, and rising to prices in the thousands of dollars for commercial units, with the most highly regarded consumer ones around the $400-500 mark. But for a culinary hack like me, $119 is sufficient to try things out and learn about sous vide cooking.
When it comes to our High Country Cruises, meals are naturally an important part of any journey. However, when I first started going bush in the mid-70s, my meals mainly consisted of cans of baked beans and/or braised steak and onions, high cuisine it was not. As time and taste buds progressed, I began experimenting with various pre-cooked meals that could be heated up simply by boiling them in a billy. I was always looking for the easiest means by which to have meals that didn’t need too much effort or require a lot of cleaning up afterwards (and with no portable fridges available, fresh food was always an issue). There were many failures in those early days and basically it was the food back then that was usually the point of failure (we may have moved on, but the memories of bad tastes linger).
One thing I absolutely love is cooking, especially all things Asian. I’m not sure where that interest comes from, but it could be the fact that as a kid all the food in our house was pretty bland and, when I finally flew the coop, discovered that the world had more things available to eat than just meat and boiled vegetables (more or less). My parents came from Finland and so the most exotic spices in the 1950s were salt and pepper. Mind you, anything related to baking was usually delicious.