Category Archives: Random bits and bobs ..

Knife sharpening part DEUX or how to save your knives from landfill

To get your knives sharpened and in tip top condition here are some handy tips .

  • Keep away from the dishwasher and handwash only ..the corrosive chemical and high temp ruins the metal to a point where they just cannot be rescued anymore.
  • Buy a decent brand of a knife ,does not have to be a ken onion shun or a hand made thing but a victorinox is a good starting point or a similar by FDick .
  • Learn how to sharpen the blades . Remember also that the knife is meant to cut vegetables and tomatoes and so on not shave your arm – that’s just vanity/ sharpening snobbiness.+ You need sharpening stones which are 6000 grit or similar..and they are not cheap. There is a blog post here which tells you how to do this.
  • You also need a good stone not one of the pull through gadgets which they sell everywhere .They really ruin your blade not as much as the dishwasher but still¬† not good practice. Get a 400/1000 stone . That’s enough for a normal person. I’ve got a dozen or more between 120- 12000 grits and several diamond ones too
  • The angle between the stone and the blade is important and some companies sell decent angle guides,which could be a worthwhile investment after the bomb you will send on the stone/s .¬† I use only water or a little soap water to do the stones .the other blog post has videos on this.
  • Or if you are in Sydney you can contact me on gordoyash@gmail.com to make a time for this .

May you live in interesting times with your knife journey. Be safe and don’t drop the knife on your foot, that can hurt. If it’s falling let ita , better than cut yourself and slowly bleed to death.

 

Mulgapodi / Gunpowder/ Podi

literally means pepper / milagai and powder/ podi but we can add more layers of flavor to it than just that .

Typically made in southern India to put on dosa/ or to mix with ghee or aesame oil to serve with idli it’s very versatile and I’ve even used it to crust on salmon and bake it or serve as a dukkah and olive oil and focaccia.

There are more recipes than you can shake your tail feathers at..and in the end it’s also upto your creativity and to see what you have.

  • Roasted chana dal / this comes pre roasted I’m most indian shops and also persian or arabic shops- 20 g / 2 large T
    1. Peppercorns dry- 5 g roughly
    2. Shredded coconut not traditional but I like it
    3. Salt
    4. curry leaves 1-2 sprigs ..I grow mine fresh at home and the flavor is to die for
    5. Dry red chilli/ I like to use Chipotle for the smoky flavor.-2-3 can increase depending on how hot you want it..
    6. Cashewnuts- 20 g/ 2 T
    7. Cumin seeds -5 g/1 t

Toast the above in the microwave- yes you can ..or in a fry pan if thats what you prefer. Cool down and blend/ grind to a coarse powder.

Sometimes i also add sesame seeds to mix above..Like i said sometime before all food needs your own touch to make it special and to your liking.

How to rescue a knife

This was knife found buried in the garden for God knows how long
After

We found this knife buried in the garden. When I say We it was actually my friend “Alana Williams”. She was digging a hole in the huge backyard to replant the ginger we had brought back from Dural.

I said we must try and resuscitate/ rescue this as I’ve done before so many times. The first step was to take off the old plastic bakelite kind of handle and I was able to use a chisel for that.

The next part of the puzzle was to find in my stash of wood ( mostly all recycled) a suitable piece to make a new handle.

once the wood was chosen then I cut it to the right size and marked a cross on the back to drill for the rat tail tang.

Cleaned blade and rat tail tang

Then I had to get a special extra long drill bit to be able to accommodate for the tang . Drill as straight as possible and check if it fits . Fill hole with epoxy and fit it up.

next was to shape the handle with my Shinto rasp and then sanding waxing and using burnishing oil

choux pastry with craquelin

  • craquelin topping
  • 60 g butter
  • 50 g white sugar
  • 60 g plain flour
  • Combine to a dough like consistency and roll out and refrigerate between sheets of baking/ silicone paper.
  • This is the topping we will put on top of the choux pastry and bake to get a pleasant crunchy crackly topping .
  • For the pate a choux ( fancy french for choux pastry)
  • We need
  • 200 g butter
  • 300 g flour
  • 500 ml water
  • 9 eggs….simple formula 2-3-5-9….since the time I was a mere stripling.
  • Melt butter in water and when it comes to a boil , add flour and stir till comes away from the bottom of the pot. Take off the heat and allow to cool down slightly. Add in the eggs one at a time using a spoon or so.. don’t use a whisk keboz it will get stuck in the middle.
  • Then the paste can be baked , fried , or poached..