Steve didnt do pics

Hi All,


It’s Wednesday and I am still A.W.O.L. and hopefully Steve remembers me when I get home. Today is overgrown shrub pruning day so that the garden has the appearance of being neat and tidy. It might be seething with resentment and latent weeds underneath, but for now, it will look nice and tidy and urbanely acceptable for the girls to blend in to the neighbourhood without arousing suspicion too much. I find it wise to present a “normal” face most of the time as I would rather be underestimated and maintain an edge against my adversaries than be overestimated and found wanting. If we can lull the nosy ex-policeman who thinks that the entire street is his beat and his neighbour the suspicious mental case who thinks that everyone under the age of 30 is out to get him into a false sense of security we should be fine. Our immediate neighbour to the left was just so incredibly relieved that the house is no longer tenanted by my father’s loud, inconsiderate and all round awful tenants that she accepts the girls staying up till the wee small hours and not surfacing till well after the sun is over the yard arm. The neighbours to the rear are too far away to care and get the benefits of the massively overgrown fruit trees. To the right of the house is a park and over the road we have a church with accompanying hall, the local swimming pool and the West Tamar Council along with the tennis club and down a bit of a driveway, the Riverside Golf Club. Less than 100 metres up the road the girls have a Woolworth’s shopping centre and there are 2 bus stops very close to home. They don’t drive but who would need to? If public transport picks up its game in Launceston (highly unlikely…) it’s an ideal area for the girls to live in until they move to Iceland. The move to Iceland is not imminent, just desired at the moment so for now they will need to keep me onside and do a modicum of gardening to keep this uneasy truce between our unusual family and the staid and most sedate of communities that they live in.


I am currently eating some lemon dhal that was left over from our Indian feast the other day. It’s delicious (or “Dhalicious” depending on how lame you want to appear) and full of protein. I am not a great fan of boring vegetarian food. I would rather make my own interesting burgers than purchase them from the supermarket. They taste like the cardboard that they are made from and have a high percentage of fat (needed to stop the cardboard taste from being too prevalent) and have very few nutrients. I am also not a fan of mock meats. I like veggies. I love them in fact and am not ashamed to say so. For all of you gagging at the mention of Brussels sprouts and Broad beans, I am waiting in line with my plate held out for more. I like things that taste good. A lot of vegetarians (include Vegan and Raw Foodists (word just wanted me to change “Foodists” to “Feudists”…maybe word is smarter than I thought!) in with this lot) tend to think of food as being medicine and needing to have the taste to accompany it. I am NOT one of these extremist zealots intent on gaining Nirvana by denying myself any of life’s pleasures. I want my food to taste good and have spent a long time finding good recipes to deliver this taste. I will give you my lemon dhal recipe because it’s versatile, tasty, low fat, healthy and good for you to boot and full of protein (need I go on?). It can be used as a dip, spread on flatbread or crackers, served with an assortment of curries or thinned out with coconut milk and served as a delicious soup. I dare say most of you won’t try this, but sister’s anti-vegetable partner Jason tasted it and liked it so that is praise of the highest kind.


Lemony Dahl (4 servings)

1 tbs olive oil

1 finely chopped onion (I like 2)

Salt and pepper

2 minced cloves of garlic (I like 4)

5cm (2”) piece of fresh grated root ginger

(I use finely chopped pickled pink ginger)

A tsp turmeric

A tsp of garam masala

A tsp of ground cumin

A tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp minced red chilli (I use jarred Masterfoods)

300g red lentils

The zest and juice of 1 lemon

900ml hot vegetable stock (I just use Massell powdered stock

And hot water)

2 skinned and chopped tomatoes

A handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger, dry spices and cook for a minute. Stir in the lentils and lemon zest and pour over the stock and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Season with salt and black pepper and stir through the lemon juice, tomatoes and coriander. Serve hot with naan bread or chapatti.

Note: I omitted the tomatoes and coriander (didn’t have any) but you can also use a regular can of chopped tomatoes as part of the liquid measure in this dhal. It tastes delicious.


There you go, a nice healthy recipe for you to pretend that you didn’t see :o). In my quest to lose weight and learn to eat somewhat normally I have cut down the size of my food portions and am suffering a lot less than I thought that I would. I now eat when I am hungry and make sure to include some protein in my meals where once I ate mainly vegetables and the occasional carbohydrate. It’s easy to forget that your body needs certain vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fibre when there are so many vested interests out there trying to get you to believe that your daily nutrients can be provided in a glass of protein shake. I am being proactive about my diet. It’s my body and I should be thinking about what is going into it. I am very lucky in that I am not all that interested in sweet things so giving up chocolate, sugar etc. is nothing to me. My taste buds tend to be skewed towards savoury things and I just have to put my extensive research into food, recipes, diet and health to good use and apply what I have learned to my personal situation. There are so many of us totally confused about what to eat, when to eat it, how much to eat, what colour food to eat, there is a diet for everything and someone out there trying to make money out of all of this mass confusion. We all want to get results for the minimum effort (part of our human condition) but this is just one case where nature won’t be hurried. If you cut it off, suck it up or Botox the life out of it, nature is just going to work twice as hard to stick it back the way that it was. Weight watchers is probably the most healthy way to lose weight and keep it off, but it’s still expensive and invasive and it would be so much better if the governments of the world issued a simplified diet plan that supplied all of our needs in readily available and cheap healthy natural foods. Over the course of this year I will be losing weight. It’s not something that I will compromise on, it’s simply fact. Watch this space it could be interesting :o).


I just need to add something to this post lest some of you get somewhat confused. This post was typed up a fair while ago. It was to be used when I headed in to my daughters but then I got sick. I am still at my daughters but some of the things listed above are not current. I am sure that you will allow me a little suspension of your disbelief (goodness only knows you do it on a regular basis if you watch any degree of commercial television!). I ate the dhal a few weeks ago before I was sick. It was delicious. I have given you the recipe because it was delicious. I could go another batch to be honest and might make some while I am at my daughters, but then again I might not! Either way, the dhal is no longer an issue. See you all tomorrow when I get back!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. microgardener
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 18:19:51

    Thanks for the yummy recipe Fran. I use lentils a lot in vegie soups but don’t tend to eat them on their own as dahl (despite my mum making dahl for us a lot as she was born in the Himalayas and is great at Indian cooking). It’s got something to do with making my favourite recipes over and over until I’m sick of them and then looking for new ones! I’ve added to my cookbook! Safe trip.


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