The Busy Political Activist's Guide To Cooking

Lance's picture
Submitted by Lance on Thu, 2007-09-13 21:26

Plotting the revolution, having a career wife, and being self employed leaves little time in the day for preparing meals. So plan your meals in advance and remember, the crock pot is your friend!

Lamb Shanks in Shiraz, With Bits Thrown In:
Lamb shanks aren't as cheap as they used to be, once people clicked on to how tasty they are if prepared properly. They're like your own little 'Leg of Lamb Happy Meal'.
In the morning, after you have checked that the person next to you is, in fact, your spouse; crawled from your bed; taken the necessary medication; bemoaned all that is unholy and thanked Galt for being self-employed (you're in no fit state to fire yourself for being hungover anyway, that would be hypocritical), then head to the wine cellar, or in my case, the spare bedroom with the wine rack in it and pull out a bottle of wine.

The 7 second wine guide for those who aren't the wine keepers in the house:
If the bottle has a plain, austere label and is covered in dust DON'T FUCKING TOUCH IT, if however it has an edgy, cool, eye grabbing label and a Zork(tm) instead of a cork it should be fine.

Proceed to the kitchen.

Place two lamb shanks in a crock pot, add whatever is at hand (this morning I used mushrooms, fresh rosemary and garlic) pour a liberal
(that means a LOT in this context)amount of Shiraz over ingredients, turn crock pot on low. Leave cooking until dinner time. Serve with mashed potatoes or seasoned roast vegetables.

The great thing about this is that it's 9 am, dinner is prepared and cooking and you have an open bottle of Shiraz. A quick quaff followed by strong coffee and a cigarette will do wonders for your constitution.

( categories: )

Your chance to humiliate Lance at SOLOC III

HWH's picture

You will get your chance to humiliate Lance at SOLOC III, and all attendees will be the lucky beneficiaries of this fortuitous event.

BTW, I need a solid date for a weekend in April, as I have convinced my wife to take a small holiday to Daydream Island during SOLOC III so you guys can all sleep indoors.

She has gracefully accepted and now needs to know what dates she can book for. Please choose the most appropriate weekend in April and let me know.



I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll

Asparagus = stinky pee

Lance's picture

Oh dear, had a bottle of pinot noir to go with the steak. Wine of course being a diuretic...

Incidentally they are making a wine which is an anti-diuretic it's called pinot more Laughing out loud... 'wamp wamp waaaaaaaaaaaaaa' Eye

Then don't breath through

Mark Hubbard's picture

Then don't breath through your nose when urinating Smiling

 One of my favourite vegetables, which we have a fridge full of at the moment. Will give this a whirl tomorrow.

Roasted Asparagus with Feta and Bacon

Lance's picture

Just tried this (adjusted as a serving for two) it's really quick, colourful, looks good and tastes great. Served as a side to steak (with sauteed mushrooms, splash of red wine and garlic). I set my oven to 200c and did them for ten minutes... perfect!

Roasted Asparagus with Feta and Bacon:

2 pounds asparagus stalks, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 (3 1/2- to 4-ounce) log soft feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (zest)

Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Crumble bacon; set aside.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 500 degrees F. Arrange asparagus on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and turn asparagus to coat well. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast asparagus until crisp-tender when pierced with knife, about 7 minutes.

Remove from heat and arrange asparagus in single layer on platter. Sprinkle with feta, then bacon. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle grated lemon peel over. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature.)

Makes 6 servings.

Lance. Hilton.

Mitch's picture

Lance, you will eat my potatoes and conceed immediately. It's that simple.

Hilton, sorry to make you wait for the masterpiece, but if I gave the recipe to you now, it would spoil the whole Lance-humiliation. Smiling


Lance's picture

Eat it Mitch, eat it! Sticking out tongue

Best taties maties

HWH's picture


Did some taties like you said tonight, and they were unfuckingbelievable.

Thanks mate




I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll

Mitch, Mitch, Mitch, can't

Lance's picture

Mitch, Mitch, Mitch, can't you see that was just me trying to draw you out? How much have I really given away? And how much have you? Evil


Mitch's picture

Giving up your secrets before a title bout!? Smiling

You'll have to do much better than that if you want to rival MY masterpiece!

And BTW, peeling potatoes is extreeeeemely girly.

The ULTIMATE in roasted potatoes

Lance's picture

Peel and cut potatoes into 'single bite' pieces.

Place in saucepan, fill with water.

Turn stove on high. On my stove, 10 mins is enough to parboil.

Drain water, tip potatoes into roasting dish, leave to steam off excess for a minute.

COVER in olive oil. Lots is good Laughing out loud.

Sprinkle as much rock salt as your arteries will tolerate over the taties. (I tend to err on the side of a coronary)

Roast for 40-50 mins at about 200-220.

Crispy golden delight!

Add rosemary/other herbs.
Some Cajun seasoning.
Marinade the taties in an olive oil/balsamic/redwine marinadey thing.
Add crumbled feta cheese.

We'll see. Dom dom

Lance's picture

We'll see.
Dom dom dooooooooooom (dramatic music)

I'll have my steak...

Mitch's picture

medium rare, with the sauce on the side please. Smiling

However, if you think you can lay claim to "world's best roasted potatoes" without challenge, you'd better think again my friend.

You're going down pal. Smiling

Lance wins already!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Steak with blue cheese sauce, served with the world's best roasted potatoes.


Mitch can bring one of his girly salads to serve on the side.

Well, I won't have any of that healthy muck. It comes from that girly "football" game Mitch plays every weekend.

Main course: Steak with blue

Lance's picture

Main course:
Steak with blue cheese sauce, served with the world's best roasted potatoes.

Mitch can bring one of his girly salads to serve on the side. Sticking out tongue

Ross is insane, of course ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Comes from never leaving Timaru. Smiling

I have never experienced said calamities from my crockpot.

I can see what has to happen now—a mini-SOLOC in Wellington at which Mitch and Lance strut their culinary stuff.


Mitch's picture

"Bugs love that low heat, and many a stomach ache and ejaculatory asshole has been fueled by such devices."

Well that was graphic. Smiling


Ross Elliot's picture be careful with that slow cooker. Bugs love that low heat, and many a stomach ache and ejaculatory asshole has been fueled by such devices.

I say cook everything at 1,000c and you can't go wrong. Holds true for most metals as well. Smiling


Mark Hubbard's picture

... Mitch.

Claudia: strangely enough, or not, I guess, I use as many different lettuce types for a salad as I can find, so my salads look decidedly scruffy, as scruffy, indeed, as myself. And now I fortunately find that I should not be dressing up my salads, but dressing down. My life, surely, is complete.

Oh, and the Key point to remember about tupperware is that is it 'so' National: found in many state houses, it has got that slightly blurred, opaque surface so that you can't be quite sure of its contents, and when pressure is applied to it, the rubbery/plastic substance will bend to the whim of the vote holder. I suggest to you that Libertarianware would be glassware: tough and unbending.


Mitch's picture

We didn't have any dressing. It's beautiful without.

On salads without bacon, chicken etc, I drizzle olive oil. The traditional italian way I believe. Smiling And/or some lime/lemon juice.

So long as your veges are nice and fresh, and you add avocado and olive (especially avocado!), you should never need too much of a dressing.


Olivia's picture

Mark. Some of us have tried to tell you.... the best dressing is a suit!

Do any of you guys know what sort of Tupperware I should buy to store my salads in? Eye


Mark Hubbard's picture

Sounds pretty good, but what do you dress that with?

What I seriously need is dressing recipes. 

Eh, not a fan of a 'salad

Lance's picture

Eh, not a fan of a 'salad course'. Serve it on the side if at all in my opinion. I'd rather be uncouth than a bloody rabbit.


Elijah Lineberry's picture

do you chaps do much entertaining? dinner parties?

The reason I ask is that the salad course comes after the meat course and is not meant to be 'heavy' (some lettuce and a bit of tomato is sufficient)...just a thought Smiling

Vegetable is a subjective

Lance's picture

Vegetable is a subjective culinary term, not a botanical one. Avocados could qualify as a vegetable. Sticking out tongue Still a salad.


Mitch's picture

Noun. a usually cold dish consisting of vegetables, as lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, covered with a dressing and sometimes containing seafood, meat, or eggs.

A sprig of parsley on a

Lance's picture

A sprig of parsley on a steak constitutes a salad in my book.

"Is it green? Check. Is it raw? Check. Ergo salad"


Mitch's picture

have no idea Davey. That no longer constitutes a salad. Smiling

Put lettuce, tomato,

Lance's picture

Put lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and green pitted olives together into a salad.

- Fry 3 cloves chopped garlic, 1 chopped chilli. Place in the salad.

- Fry bacon and chicken (as much or little as you want). Place in the salad.

- Devour with or without miniature roast potatoes.


Haiku: The Wrong Salad

You made mistakes,
So I Fixed it for you,
Now that's a salad.

Well that sounds positively

Mitch's picture

gross! Sticking out tongue

I made a delicious salad tonight. Much nicer than Lance's 'overnight salad' Smiling

- Put lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and green pitted olives together into a salad.

- Fry 3 cloves chopped garlic, 1 chopped chilli. Place in the salad.

- Fry bacon and chicken (as much or little as you want). Place in the salad.

- Devour with or without miniature roast potatoes.


Well I have no delusions of

Lance's picture

Well I have no delusions of being a chef, but I think a little more effort can go in to home cooking than just making food 'not cold any more'. I despise salads unless they have meat in them somewhere. They just seem so blech, salads are like the anti-food.

I do have one salad recipe though that takes 24 hours preparation, tastes fantastic, and can actually fill you up on it's own (plus it has bacon).

Lance's 'overnight salad':
1 Iceberg lettuce
Spring onion
Water chestnuts
Frozen peas
Several strips of bacon
Couple of hard boiled eggs
Mayonnaise (thick American style)
Sour cream

Shred lettuce into long thin strips (like you'd do with cabbage if you were mad enough to eat it) take half the shredded lettuce and place in the bottom of a very big salad bowl.
Slice water chestnuts thinly and place them in a layer a couple of slices deep on top of lettuce
Do the same with celery and spring onion. Then a layer of frozen peas.

Repeat all over again, leaving a small gap to the top of the bowl. Do a 50/50 mix of sour cream and mayo to fill the bowl, so you have like a half inch (or more) thick layer.

With the bacon, cook as much as you like chop and sprinkle on top, my salads have a layer of chopped bacon that covers the surface pretty much. Same goes for the eggs.

Leave in fridge overnight, the frozen peas keep everything crisp and the water chestnuts (quite foul things on their own) absorb the flavour from the spring onions and celery.

Serve with a spoon in such a way that the salad self dresses with the mayo/sour cream mix as you serve it.


Olivia's picture

I just love your style of cooking. It sounds exactly like mine! I bought my Crock-pot for $25 from Cash Converters and I use it everyday. It's the best. Throwing in frozen meat is the best. By evening it just falls off the bone from being cooked in all its own juices. I love Coc-au-vin done this way, with plenty of Shiraz, bacon, mushrooms, carrots and onions flavoured with loads of fresh sage and thyme. Mmmm.

self employed != cash flow

Lance's picture

self employed != cash flow Sticking out tongue
And I happen to LIKE cooking Sticking out tongue
That being said, there is quite a lot of opportunity with my freelance work that I'm not taking up.


Elijah Lineberry's picture

love how you have, quite sensibly, sent your lady Wife out to work Sticking out tongue ...(you are a role model for all married men!)...whilst you focus on more important activities, like self employment and changing the World. Smiling

Still scratching my head as to why you do not hire a cook.Puzzled

(Sounds a lovely meal though)

Lamb/Beef stew with left over juice and reduced wine.

Lance's picture

If you serve up the lamb shanks then leave the juices to cool overnight in the crock pot with the lid on. In the morning there will be a thin layer of fat that you can scrape off and discard. Underneath there will be a lamb and red wine flavoured jelly.

Place as much butter as your heart can handle in a pot on medium heat.
Place 1 finely chopped (or blendered if you're as lazy as me) onion in pot, give it a couple of minutes to soften, add as much cubed beef/lamb as you desire and brown all over.
Add 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (or fresh, whatever floats your boat).
Add 1-2ish cups of boiling water.
Add the lamb/red wine jelly.
Reduce to medium heat for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

And that's your basic base for the stew, from there add whatever takes your fancy. I typically add mushrooms, some bisto, splash of balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, mustard, fresh herbs, salt/pepper, MORE wine, whatever is handy.

Serve with mash taties, or add some thickening agent and turn it into a pie. Sticking out tongue

So that's two tasty meals made with minimal fuss and minimal time allowing you to carry on plotting the revolution.

Mmmm browning the meat first

Lance's picture

Mmmm browning the meat first does make it taste much better, but I try to get away without doing it, purely out of laziness. I've tried slow cooking chicken in crock pots before but it always tastes...funny. Much better to roast it up nice and crispy like.


Lance's picture

Lamb stew, with left over lamb juice and reduced wine.

"Stew, it's not just for plebs"


Lance's picture

Always cook with a wine you'd be happy to drink.

I'm going to subscribe to

Mark Hubbard's picture

I'm going to subscribe to this thread!

I've come late to long, low heat cooking, having preferred tender cuts, pan cooked to keep the lamb pink inside, however, with lamb shoulder, shanks etc, I do something very similar to this, but had not thought of cooking in wine (what an idea). My practice has been to slit into the meat six or seven garlic cloves, brown the - whatever - joint in the roasting dish over a flame, then cover in boiling water (to about 1 inch deep in the pan), throw in a couple of onions (unpeeled) and carrots, then cook all day. By tea time, the meat just falls off the bone, I break it up with my fingers (no need to carve), put it into a dish and sprinkle fresh mint over it. (Talking about lovely shanks, I think I got this off Nigella Lawson on the Food Channel).

But cook in wine! Excellent. Why have I not come across that before: it's such a simple concept. I gave up the cigarettes nine years ago, (although ASH have just about put me back onto them several times), so it's a nice, flavoursome beer while preparing the food (perhaps three on Friday nights), a red wine with the meal (or two), followed by a whiskey on the rocks after (or three).

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