Interim Newsletter April 2020

March 26, 2020 posted in Cooking

Due to the current situation with many of you isolated, we felt it would be appropriate to break with tradition and send this to you ahead of the Winter Newsletter.

It feels as though this year has been cursed in many ways, however we can’t go back and start again, so it seems the only way through it is to endure day by day, and we wish all of you better times ahead. We at Herbie’s are carrying on as best we can, with our staff split over three shifts, over the seven days of the week.  In this way, should anyone have to isolate, it will only be the people who have worked with her/him who will be lost to the workforce.  So far, we are managing to keep up with demand, however, should your mail order take a day longer than usual, please bear with us, as we are doing our best.

There are upsides to isolation – deciding to make pickles with the produce from the vege garden Pickled Beetroot and Tomato Chutney, if you have one; getting around to cleaning out those neglected cupboards; phoning old friends.  Cooking has taken on a more leisurely aspect: there’s the luxury of having time to slow-cook something even in the middle of the week, and to make a batch of biscuits, cakes Spiced Honey Cake or treats just because you can such as Easter Bread Pudding.

We are a nation of travelers, and our wings have been severely clipped.  With travel plans disrupted, the only way to travel now is through the cuisines that you bring to your own dining table.  Here’s a way to have a round-the-world trip whilst you stay at home:

Day 1:         Go to Bali.  Have Nasi Goreng, or a delicious beef Rendang curry.

Day 2:         Onwards to Singapore.  Have a Singapore Laksa or Satay Chicken

Day 3:         Fly north to Thailand.  Have a Red or Green Curry.

Day 4:         Hop across to Tokyo.  Have NoodlesMiso Soup, or make a       Chicken Katsu

Day 5:         A quick stopover in China.  Have Masterstock Pork, or a Sichuan stir-fry.

Day 6:         Travel west to Delhi.  Have a delicious vegetarian Aloo Gobi, and Rogan Josh, or Korma, or Kashmiri Curry.

Day 7:         Cross the Arabian Sea to the Middle East.  Have Muhamarra Dip with flatbreads, lamb with sumac, salads with pomegranate molasses.

Day 8:         Cruise the Mediterranean.  Take your pick of Greek, Turkish, or Italian herb mixes for Barbecued Lamb or octopus.  Top your Greek Salad  with dried oregano, the way they do in Greece.  Make Italian meat balls or Bolognese.

Day 9:         End the cruise in Spain.  Have Paella with all your favourite ingredients or a Chorizo and Bean Stew.

Day 10:       Take a short flight to Morocco.  Have Tagine with Ras el Hanout or Lamb and Prune Tagine, Harissa Roasted Poussin or a leg of goat with Chermoula.

Day 11:       Fly to Paris.  Have a Cassoulet or chicken with herbs de Provence.

Day 12:       Take the train to London for some proper pub food, Smokey Corn Fritters. Have burgers with mixed herbs, or fish, herb and salmon omelette  Baked fish parcels.

Day 13:       Fly over to the USA, for a meaty diet of Ribs, barbecues and beef

Day 14:       One last quick trip to Mexico.  Have Mole Poblano, or Pulled Pork Tortillas, Prawn with Achiote, Mexican Carrot Soup  or Guacamole.

…… and before you know it, you’re home again and your two weeks of isolation are over.  Congratulations!  Your Herbie’s Spices have enabled you to have this fabulous culinary trip, using spice blends that create the authentic flavours in a way that you know you can trust.  There are recipes on the backs of the packs, so if there’s not a link to a website recipe, you’ll find one on the pack.

We suspect that a few of you have given the pantry an autumn cleanout, and we have been busy fulfilling your internet orders as you restock your shelves with lovely new packs.  You’re all set to cook up a storm now!  Taking advantage of the slightly cooler weather, we recently lit the brick oven to make fresh pizzas, then, as the heat gently receded, we cooked a Lamb Shank Tagine and Beef with Baharat and Olives until the meat was velvety and tender.  After taking the meat dishes out, the oven was sitting on 100 C, and we put an apple crumble in, giving it about two hours to slowly, slowly, cook the apple and the crumble topping (flavoured with Mixed Spice, of course!)  The result was an amazing texture and flavour, and you can be sure we’ll be repeating that experience whenever we use the brick oven.

World tumult is bound to bring bad news.  Our Aussie dollar has fallen to record lows, which increases the cost of everything that comes in to this country, so we’re seeing higher spice costs as a result.  The other bad news is that closed borders are meaning suspended supply of many of our imported spices.  We shall try to manage stock by having order limits, to make what we have on hand last longer, and hopefully we won’t see too many out-of-stock situations.  (It won’t be a desperate as the toilet paper shortage, we can assure you!)

We trust you have found our unprecedented non-seasonal newsletter entertaining and informative.  Keep your spirits up and stay well!

Happy Spicing

Herbie and Liz

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