Jul 15, 2010

Home At Last. Real Dinners Return To the SSG Manor Kitchen.

There's nothing that jangles the nerves quite like getting lost in peak hour evening traffic on Thursday night.  I started well, left work early, did the groceries early and got .... shunted into the wrong lane to exit the shopping centre car park.  It fell apart rapidly after that.  I felt like a goldfish being flushed down the toilet as I got caught in the slip stream of traffic back onto Homebush Bay Road (it was so peaceful an hour earlier), then into the swimming pool and entertainment compound, then into a swish housing estate down the road and the DFO car park twice (without even going in to the shops!!  What was going on there?).

I'm safely home now and in the immortal words of Dorothy, there is no place like home.  Where the dramas of the day fade away once that key turns in the lock at the front door.

There are the sights of reassuring and familiar items.  I am sure that my Resurrection hand balm resurrects just with its presence at my bedside.  I wonder if its aromatherapeutic powers can work wonders on my alarm clock and will it to let me have an hour's sleep in every weekday yet still have me out the door on time?  Might need the Miracle hand balm for that.

It was a day to embrace neutrals that wintered with me last year.  Skivvy from Kookai and dress from Veronika Maine.  It has an empire line and very Jane Austen except that I haven't accessorized with sausage curls, a lace bonnet or Colin Firth Mr Darcy.  

Is anyone else exhausted from winter dressing?  I find trying to put on opaque tights first thing in the morning fraught with hazard.  I will fall out of my tights one day....

With such rigorous daily exercise, I decided to make a muscle building dinner.  A beef satay stir fry, as featured in the Coles winter magazine.

I like the simplicity of the recipe.  It could almost be made from memory.  

I rebelled against Coles marketting and bought the non Coles branded hokkien noodles.  The satay marinade and beef stir fry strips were both true to the mother brand.

My enthusiasm for home cooking proved to be contagious.  Or perhaps it was the live flame and the Anolon wok that held great appeal.  Whatever the case, Mr SSG managed to tear himself away from the cricket and Simon Katich to volunteer his services for the stir frying.  Here, Mr SSG is replicating the skills of the chef that makes his noodles at lunch time.  There's definitely lots of speed in the wrist.

We both ate with gusto.  The lime segments and crushed peanuts were very necessary.  Donna Hay's influence was felt even though we were serving a Coles recipe.  I've always admired her use of those fish shaped soya sauce containers in her food photographs.  This photo of dinner was constructed with her in mind.

We've switched sport from the cricket to the British Open.  Which prompts me to ask why anyone would play golf on a course wedged between the beach and a village?  It's like cycling on cobblestones.  I don't get it but it makes for pleasant viewing.  There is some fabulous golf course fashion going on at the moment.  I am mourning the lack of checkered golf pants and jaunty golf caps though.

I've been a bit slack in the dinner department recently and there have been a scary number of days, recently, where dinner has involved wholemeal toast and mugs of frozen soup.  At least the soup was home made.  It gets easy to not bother about dinner after a long day but at the same time sharing a cooked meal can do the world of good and redress the traumas of work and commuting.

Last night marked the beginning of the SSG Manor Real Dinners campaign.  Mr SSG was at the helm and he made a vegetable stir fry and some chicken patties which we ate with flat noodles.

Together we can return Real Dinners to the kitchen on a permanent basis.  Jamie Oliver, we get your message loud and clear.


  1. Can´t help it, but reading about your "winter worries" now, when we are having the hottest season for 75 years over here, does curve my lips upwards.I´m thinking about our winters, when we have -30°C temperatures. Now, that is winter for me. What is similar with +30°C and -30°C? Well, you don´t wish to stay out very long ; )

  2. I so know what you mean. Sometimes it does get hard to stay creative and healthy throughout the long winter week. Stirfries are good because they are nice and quick and I love the look of those chicken patties!

  3. You are such a good home cook! Tres envious my love.

    And don't even start with the winter dressing!! Dread!! Not to mention the legs that haven't seen a razor for 3 weeks.. oops


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