Mussels times two… and this damn heat



Day 1
Damn this heat.

I saw the sun rearing it’s head above the hills this morning and it quite literally had fire in it’s eyes.

It’s so damn hot out side right now I’m pretty sure Lucifer himself just came to my door to enquire as to whether he may be able to lease my backyard as he was looking to expand his fiery realm. I just saw a real live Arab trekking through my backyard with a camel, on his quest to the promised land. I get in the pool, which is the temperature of wee right now, and emerge fully dry from my warm bath looking like one of those Chinese terracotta soldiers they found back in ’74. I have had lava calling me trying to book a spot to recharge (yeah. I could go on for ever). It is fricking hot. And I’ve just remembered (as I seem to about this time every year) that I don’t handle the heat very well… I really hope you’re not smiling right now. Maybe you are. Maybe you’re one of those people who laugh when small children fall flat on their face when they are learning to walk. Or maybe you think its funny when the carnie in the cage gets jabbed with a red-hot poker so he does a little dance… Even the words “red hot sale” taunt me as a constant reminder of the heat that is working away at my being right now.

I have been putting beers in the freezer today, taking them out when they are nice and frosty, even when a little ice is starting to form, and then they are still warm before I can finish them. I have been sculling beers to keep them cool as I drink them… which is kind of a little counter-intuitive now that I think about it…

We ate our pet fish for dinner. Not because we had no food, but because the heat had cooked them and made the tank water into a really tasty broth.

I just opted for the cold bath scenario, like the pensioner who has neglected to pay their gas bill. It started off really good, but when I got out I was dry by the time I got to the towel rack… and we don’t have a large bathroom. It is still damn hot and it’s almost 8pm! Are you kids starting to get the picture? These are actual life events (mostly) that are happening today.

Day 2
Much of the same except I had to work in it this time (yeah, in the kitchen with three ovens, a salamander, deep frier, industrial dishwashing machine, stovetop and grill)

Day 3
Reprieve. The rains have finally come. Love this Northern Rivers. Hot as crap one day, torrential rain the next.

I realise it’s no “Out of Africa”, and I’m almost positive that you don’t read this blog for my shitty version of “Dear Diary” so I will move on.

What to cook in this heat (maybe something other than your pet fish anyway)…

Mussels! Mussels are anytime food.


Mussels times two… does that make them a bicep? A bivalvian bicept? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened in this world we live in. Why, just the other day I passed a large metal “horse” which was, get this, motorized and carried many people inside it’s belly. It had not eaten these people, no, no, no. These people had paid an honest fare so the motorized “horse” may take them to their place of daily assignment.

Whatever. That sun has seriously screwed with my head…


Mark I
1kg mussels
1 brown onion, sliced
200g bacon, sliced
1 cup(ish) cabbage, sliced
200ml dark beer, the rest is for you. You’re welcome
1 handful parsley (big or small depending on how much you like it), chopped
1 knob of butter or a splash of oil
• Sweat off the onions and bacon in butter/oil
• Add cabbage once they are soft, sweat off for another minute
• Add mussels and beer
• Cover and cook for another 4 minutes or until the mussels are all opened
• Scatter with parsley
• Eat like a legend


Mark II (a little more to do with this one)
1kg mussels
2 beetroot, boiled until cooked (poke it with a knife fool. If it slides off easily like the stripper on the dancing pole, it’s done!) and then diced
1 brown onion, bruniose
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or what ever you have lying around. Definitely not your cat though…)
2 tablespoon castor sugar
a splash of white wine, the rest of the bottle is for you. Once again, you’re welcome
a handful of fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons horseradish cream (it’s all I had. I have horseradish in the garden though and it should be ready for my face soon)
¼ cup sour cream (if you are not wanting it to be summery light)
• Sauté the beetroot in a little oil for exactly 3 minutes
• Add the vinegar and sugar and sauté for another 5 minutes or until the liquid has almost reduced to nothing
• Remove from heat and add horse radish cream, onion and dill (reserving a little dill for the final flourish)
• Cook mussel with a splash of wine, covered, for 4 or so minutes until all mussels are opened
• Eat like a legend

Mussel ettiquette
• Eating mussels like a legend does not include using bowls… or even cutlery
• Mussel MUST be served with some kind of bread product. We had ours with croute smeared (yeah, always wanted to use that word) with herb mayonnaise
• Do have a bowl for empty shells
• Don’t be afraid to slurp up the juices like an absolute beast
• Don’t pass the salt on mussel night as the little bivalves are filled with their own salty goodness. Tasty and self seasoning… do you really need anything more from them?

10 responses to “Mussels times two… and this damn heat”

  1. Really? How hot was it? bwahahahha!!!
    JK YOU are a GINGER of course you’re not built to withstand the fires of hell.
    We’ve had a reprieve from the ice vortex as well…been above 0C for two weeks now 🙂
    lovely mussels, but you knew that!

  2. I’ve never ever seen mussels with beetroot before. Awesome idea. I don’t normally like bivalves or any type of molluscs (I know, I know, I call myself a foodie!) but these photos are almost enough to change my mind. Damn fine.

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