Queenie, the original

Aah Queenie. The original “what am I going to cook with this”.

For a long time Queenie would pester me every coupla nights or so with a phone call or a text. “I’ve got blah, blah and blah”, he would say. “What can I make with that?” I would give him a few instructions and off he would go, maybe calling once or twice as he went, just to make sure he was on the right track.

A year or two later and he has stopped calling me. Maybe we’ve just grown apart, I thought. Fallen out of love, if you will. Maybe it’s because he’s married now and his wife, Veronica, can cook better than me. Surely not. Many different scenarios were flying around in my head… but here he is. He’s back. He’s returned to me. I am in love again.

Queenies cupboard contains

3 carrots
Half a capsicum
Half a cucumber
Rice
Tin of toms
Ginger
Soy sauce
Half a green chilli
Random spices
Baked beans ( canned )
Bread

Not a lot in the old cupboard tonight fella. I think you should get some natural yoghurt on the way home from work and I’m also hoping sumac is one of those random spices. You’ll also need a handful of parsley and mint from your herb garden (and if you don’t get that by now you probably never will) and you should also put the baked beans back in the cupboard and have them for breakfast tomorrow.

Get me a beer and let’s start. Middle Eastern salad type thing with tomato rice.

Brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle it with sumac. Cut or tear into largish croutons and toast in the oven, 180C for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
While that’s in the oven, cook a cup of rice 1.5 cups of water and 1 tin of tomatoes with the juice. Once it comes up to a simmer reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 8-9 minutes. Check rice and cook for another two minutes if it needed, season.
This salad is based very very very loosely on a fattoush salad, which is well worth a go if you ever get the chance. Chop the cucumber, capsicum and chilli, pick the parsley and mint leaves, feel free to add and other leaves you may have hanging around, peel two carrots then shred them into strips using the aforementioned peeler.
Toss that sucker with the croutons.
Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Hit it with a couple of tbls yoghurt and sprinkle the whole sherbang with extra sumac. Please tell me you have sumac.                                                                                                                                                                           Eat it with the tomato rice in the side.
Show her that you can still cook too Queenie.
Power to you brother…….

PS. send me a photo

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