Friday, February 25, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Meal: Green Curry Crispy Chicken, Kimchee Slaw & Rice Noodles (with Berry Icecream)

It's probably the only time in our lives that we will be able to say that 'dinner was late because of the earthquake'.

It's a crazy and awful time in NZ right now - Christchurch and surrounding regions of Canterbury have been ravaged by a devastating quake resulting in broken homes, broken families and stricken communities. Businesses, schools, hospitals, cafes, restaurants, churches...  this quake was no respecter of age, race, position, location or occupation. It just slammed Christchurch to the side of the head while it was already dragging itself off the playing field and took most of NZ with it. Never before has such a event devastated us so widely and affected us emotionally. It's brought us to our knees (and for some it's been a while) praying for rescue for the victims in the CBD and their families... it's brought tears to the eyes of the average Kiwi bloke watching the news and spurred heroic and miraculous actions by rescuers, volunteers, ERTs and 'Joe Publics' all around.

In a swirl of feeling helpless and ineffectual, we suddenly had a shiny ray of opportunity to help and in a fantastic way.  In a miraculous 24 hour turnaround, our business Husk Creative (along with Pegboard Australia and Port80WebDesign in Canada), designed, built and launched a website with Habitat for Humanity called 'Shelter', set up to provide accommodation all over NZ for displaced Cantabrians, some of whom have lost everything. This project holds hands with a wide range of initiatives being offered by not-for-profits, churches and corporates all over NZ... and it's in a week like this that I am prouder than ever to call myself a Kiwi.

The website was launched at 8pm last night but the flurry and exhiliration of coding quickly turned to kitchen-oriented activity as our guests had been waiting patiently for us to BEGIN cooking dinner. To speed things along, the wonderful Shirley helped me in the kitchen while the boys sat themselves on the couch, only popping their heads up to complain that the noise of the mangler was impairing their conversation. Pffft.

We split the dishes up and went for it - I took the Crispy Chicken & Rice Noodles, Shirl took the Kimchee Slaw and the garnishes. (Fyi this division of dishes actually made the process harder as the recipes are written to jostle from one dish to another and back again, with perfectly allotted times in between - we spent a lot of time staring blankly at the cookbook trying to figure out who was doing what and when). We also borrowed a dessert from a different section 'cos... well, you have to give guests dessert and this menu didn't have one!

Though we overmangled the Kimchee Slaw, undermangled the curry paste, used alfalfa sprouts instead of bean sprouts, couldn't find prawn crackers anywhere and slightly overcrisped the crispy chicken, the end result was still satisfactorily delicious.  We queried (read: freaked out at) Jamie's generous use of fresh chillies during the prep but, the moment we put the fork in our mouths, we acknowledged that 'perhaps he does actually know what he is doing'.

My personal fav? The crispy chicken with runny honey cooked in a homemade green curry paste. I also really liked the Berry Icecream but it possibly had too much mint for Simon. (I personally don't think there is such a thing as too much mint but I'm not going about to be seen arguing with someone so posh...)

Time Taken: 54 mins
Cost: $83.57
Chefs: Lou & Shirl

(Slighty Over) Crispy Chicken

Kimchee Slaw....(Slawce?)
Curry Sauce (which didn't look a thing like Jamie's)
All together in one bowl baby!
Homemade Berry Icecream
Thankful guests, finally served at 9.15pm. Phew.