Thursday, 17 May 2012

Reasons to love today

Here are just some of the reasons why I love today
  • because today is not yesterday
  • because the sun rose and heralded a new beginning
  • because a new pair of clogs arrived at my front door
  • because I kissed the man I love
  • because my eldest hugged me goodbye and told me he loved me
  • because I have amazing and inspiring people around me
  • because the gum tree that we planted 3 years ago is in bloom for the first time
  • because I hugged a friend I love
Sometimes when things seem overwhelming it is good to remind ourselves that in amongst it we have a lot of beauty and love and that in itself is enough.

Last night I cooked braised TeoChew Duck- you can click here for the recipe. 
I had a bad day and wanted something lovely for dinner.
TeoChew Duck was what it was. I knew it would make me happy as it reminds of me of my sister.
A great reason to smile :)
Food is good for that. 

But I  HAVE to serve a vegie dish always. I am annoying like that.  To me the meal is not complete.
And I LOVE eggplant.
LOVE it! 

I love this dish. It is so great served on it's own as a main meal with the szechuan shredded potatoes that you will find the recipe for here. Or as a side as in last night's dinner.
I LOVE szechuan cuisine so so much. 
This dish is a cracker! It's chinese name is something like 'Fish fragrant eggplant'- not so appealing is it?!
The origin of the name is that the sauce is similar to the sauce that is used for Fish dishes in Szechuan province. There is no fish in this particular recipe.

The dinner was devoured. My kids LOVE it too. It has some bite so it probably isn't for you if you are not a chilli fan- we LOVE chilli at our place.
  • 2 eggplant, cut into large wedges (see pics below)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch knob ginger, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chilli bean sauce (you will find this at your asian grocer)
  • 1/4 cup shaoxing wine
  • 4 tablespoons dark soy
  • 1 tablespoon light soy
  • fresh coriander
  • 1 spring onion sliced fine
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil (high heat tolerant oil)
  • a little water (1/2 cup)
In a nonstick frypan heat the oil and add the chunks of eggplant.
Cook on each side till they have the lovely chargrilled appearance. 
I think it give the eggplant a gorgeous caramelised taste and also ensures a melt in your mouth interior.  It also releases the oil back into the pan so you don't end up with oil filled eggplant. Not nice!
Do this on each side and set aside.
In the same add the garlic & ginger and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
Pop the eggplant back in the pan.
Now add the ShaoXing wine- it will sizzle and give off the most gorgeous fragrance.
Add the soy sauces, the chilli bean sauce and the water.

Simmer for about ten minutes.
Add the fresh coriander & spring onion and serve.
Braised Szechuan eggplant with TeoChew duck.

Today's listening pleasure courtesy of the Tallest man on Earth:


  1. Love you! I noticed that tree the other day...near the bogan - yes???
    Im going put to you later drunk..AWESOME! xxx

  2. Ooh! we had T Chow duck last night too. Celebrating the fabulous performance of Ollie at his Year 12 drama show. So wonderful to be there. Like you say - so many things and especially people to love and enjoy and cherish. Yes - so much beauty and love. And then there's you - all beauty and love!! xxx

  3. And I love that post. And you. x

  4. Lovely Ruth...thanks again for more great thoughts and music :)

  5. So, I've been staring at this eggplant for the last two days thinking what on earth will I do with it. BINGO.

    Also, that music? That song? I needed it.


  6. Eggplant, love it
    Duck, love it but never cooked it...well now I should
    Music, soothing
    Yay for blossoms

  7. Okay YUM! I'm going to try this. Any veggie suggestions to have it with? Tho I'm thinking I'd probably eat it on it's own it looks so yum!
    Hugs solve most things ~ or at least shrink them to a manageable size. xxxx

  8. ❤hooray for glorious late Autumn days, friends, hugs and Love xxx

  9. I had a shitty day yesterday too & feel the same way about today & I inadvertently made this for dinner with some s&p tofu too! I think you're marvellous Ruth xxx

  10. Glad you had a better day! Think I will also give my man a big kiss today. xxx

  11. I just remembered how my parents planted a gum tree in our back yard in Fitzroy when we were kids. It got so big SO quickly that they dug it up and planted it in the park next door. Our family home was sold last year but the tree is still there in the park..shading people and making it a beautiful space. Glad to hear you are loving your day it will probably tower over all your boys too.
    Some days are crappy, some days shine, but you are so right...there is a bit of beautiful in every day if we look carefully xo


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