Yes, I really am a Superhero

Collecting old stuff isn’t an illness, it really isn’t. Collecting, finding, procuring, nay – rescuing old vintage stuff, is a bit like being a superhero.

Think about it folks, you walk into an antique shop/opportunity shop/charity shop/secondhand shop/market stall/trash ‘n’ treasure/skip/kerbside collection. Whilst at any one of these fine locations, you may happen upon a beautiful ‘something.’ (A piece of china, kitchenware, jewellery, furniture, old teatowel, clothing, a pair of 1920’s men’s underwear…ummm…maybe not).

This item has history, it was once owned by someone, possibly even loved (or loathed) by someone. This object/knickknack/doo dah has a story to tell. It may be rare, odd, tickle your fancy, or perhaps you simply love the colour. It is difficult to define and pin down what makes an object desirable. (I have a particular penchant for secondhand china and kitchenware. Followed by abandoned furniture and op shop clothing finds).

If you don’t buy it (or pick it up from the side of the road and put it in your car) then that special thing that caught your eye, may just end up in the desolate pit that is landfill. (Or worse, someone else will get it and you will miss out.) You are saving something from a Fate Worse Than Death. Just as Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, Harry Potter and Frodo have done, time and time again.

You are committing an act of social service by saving this piece of crap vintage stuff from merely being trashed. Or left lonely and forlorn on that shelf. Don’t worry about space and storage, as I have confidently informed The Yak. These delicious finds can always be stored in The Tardis that one keeps in the garage.

My vast rather small collection also includes wondrous objects that have been handed down to me and in some cases, passed on by friends who know how much it will be appreciated in my household. (Well, by one person at least.)

Don’t only buy new, find old stuff as well. It’s really cool and you too can be a Superhero just like me.

Here are a few pictures of some of my old vintage stuff, don’t worry, it’s only a few things. I promise to share more of my lovelies with you every now and again.

Bet you can’t wait.

Advertisements

Crackers about gluten free Parmesan crackers

Personally, this Cheergerm has always thought you must be crackers to make your own crackers. No, not really, it’s just that writing that sentence was too good an opportunity to pass up. Upon reading the savoury biscuit blog posts of far less lazy cooks than myself, my admiration and envy has only grown. Many is the time I have murmured in a soft and sibilant whisper, ‘one day I will get off my behind and attempt to scale the lofty heights of cracker cooking.’ (The family no longer looks askance at such utterings, they are used to it by now.)

Just because I enjoy a challenge, it had to be a crisp biscuit that provided a punch of flavour and was also free of gluten. These are made with almond meal so sorry to say, out of the question for those with nut allergies.

Fortuitously, in attempting to dip my toe into these treacherous waters, I perchanced upon an easy (highly important) recipe from the marvellous SBS food website. Get Ye Splendid Selves Over to Thee Magnificent SBS Foodie Website and Ye Shall Be Richly Rewarded. (But if you don’t mind, please finish reading this blog post first, thanks, thanks kindly.)

These lightly bronzed tidbits were sharply piquant, nutty and went wonderfully with a gin and tonic. A few days later, I reheated the remainder in a low oven and they crisped up beautifully. I may have come late to the foray of savoury bikky baking but I am here to stay.

GLUTEN FREE PARMESAN CRACKERS

WHAT YOU NEED
200g (2 cups) almond meal
150g (1 1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese finely grated, do use the good stuff and you will be highly rewarded in the flavour stakes plus extra finely shredded to sprinkle
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 tsp of super hot chilli powder)
1 egg
2 tbsp olive oil and extra to brush on the biscuits

HOW YOU DO IT
Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced) and line two trays with baking paper.
Combine the almond meal, Parmesan and cayenne pepper in a medium size bowl.
Whisk the egg and olive oil together then add to the almond meal mixture, use your hands to mix into a soft dough.
Divide the mixture in half, place one portion in between two sheets of non-stick baking paper and roll to a 5mm thickness. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter (I used a pizza cutter) to cut into 5cm squares (mine were not exact) and place on the baking paper. I used a nonstick spatula to do this.
Repeat with the remaining portion of the dough and re-roll the cut offs. (If you so desire, I did and you get a lot more bikkies.)
Lightly brush the biscuits with a little extra olive oil and sprinkle with a little finely shredded Parmesan.
Bake for 10-15 minutes swapping the trays halfway through or until the biscuits are crisp and golden. Cool on the trays.
Store in an airtight container. I made about 40 crackers, by using all of the scraps.

Cooking Notes:
The crispier and golden they are, the better they are. After a few days, they do soften just a tad so I like to crisp them up in the oven for five minutes or so on 160C. Let them cool and they willmbe super nice and crunchy again.

Find the original recipe here:
http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/gluten-free-parmesan-crackers

https://stonepinedistillery.com.au


Amaranth and nut crunch, gluten free

This crunch is a healthy-err version of a peanut brittle or muesli bar. Don’t feel tied down by the nuts in your pantry. (And certainly, never let a nut tie you down in the pantry.) Whilst the recipe called for cashews, there was nary a one to be seen in my household. I used what nuts I had, almonds and pecans. Walnuts or hazelnuts would also be totally ace.

Generally speaking, eating a handful of nuts a day is not a bad thing. They are chock full of healthy fats and can assist in lowering cholesterol. Anyone with nut allergy issues may like to try substituting the nuts with a combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and hempseeds.

Alongside all of this nutty goodness, there is the addition of the quite excellent gluten-free crazy perfectly sphere shaped grain, amaranth. This grain can be traced back to ancient Aztec times. (Nothing like a spot of cereal when you have just finished sacrificing someone.) In the gluten-free grain stable, it is a winner. High in protein, iron, the amino acid lysine, magnesium calcium and fibre. Amaranth is also low in carboyhydrates.

This super poppy, crispy snack is akin to a light rice bubble bar and is a little bit sweet, a little bit savoury. It is the perfect crunchy tidbit to quell those afternoon hunger cravings.

Thanks to my dear friend N, who passed on this recipe. This post is dedicated to all the nuts in my life. Including myself.

AMARANTH AND NUT CRUNCH

WHAT YOU NEED
2 cups popped amaranth
1 cup roasted unsalted cashews (I used pecans), roughly chopped
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
25g butter, melted
2 tbl rice malt syrup
1 tbl honey
A drizzle of vanilla essence (or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder)
Big pinch sea salt

HOW YOU DO IT
Preheat an oven to 150C and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until they are well mixed and wet. They won’t really stick together.
Pat the mixture onto the tray.
Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Let the mixture cool on the tray then snap into shards.
You will have trouble stopping yourself from eating it all.
Store in an airtight container.

Recipe given by a friend, no idea where it came from before that.