chips n gravy

everything except the kitchen sink

Posted on: August 6, 2009

buttercupBefore I start off on today post, I just want to say that, this is my guinea pig, she is called Buttercup, but I called her affectionately as “Poopy” because she is like a pooping machine, although that could be my fault. I felt that  I may have fed her too much. 😀

I got her 2 weeks ago from a farmer’s market. She looked kind of lonely but so cute. I must state that I have kept many furry pets throughout the years but never guinea pigs mainly because I do not find them attractive but, Buttercup stole my heart for some reason. She just have this look that is so adorable. I love her.

Guinea pigs represent a challenge for me, with Buttercup, I have to work for it to make her trust and be comfortable with me. She is very fidgety and skittish also easily scared. According to the seller, she was entrusted to her through a friend of her who owns a petshop. Buttercup was too old to be sold in a petshop as a pet anymore, so they were trying to get rid of her. I shudder to think of what happened should nobody bought her and gave her a home. Btw, did I mentioned that I only paid 5 Aud for her? What a steal! Granted, ever since I have her, I been spending a lot of money on her (but I am happy to see she is well fed, she has gained weight ever since we brought her back). Luckily W workplace is full of timber, we got all these timber for free and he built her a lovely hutch. I should take a photo of it. She’s only been outside in it once as we are still in winter and Victoria’s weather as usual been pretty unpredictable.

Ok, back to today’s post.

photostudioThe picture above is my D.I.Y kit of trying to make a “photo studio”. From previous post, you can see I was pretty offended by foodgawker keep rejecting my photos. Anyway, I take this as a learning process and also as an experiment. I bought a piece of black perspex, 2 piece of foamcore whiteboard as you can see from above and also a piece of reflective “mirror”-white. All of the above and the black perspex cost me 9.93 aud (this is after 20% student discount). So the following pictures is of me experimenting with the lighting. The box still lack some parts, but I think the picture has a vast improvement to it. I only have a point and click 10.2 mpx camera. So this is currently the best that I can do.

20080101-100_0910Those that follows me on twitter might have learn that a few days ago, I bought some really lovely quality mince at a bargain price. 1.78kg for 10.41 aud (very very cheap indeed).

Now, what can I do with so much mince? I do not want to make bolognaise, as W, my partner always eat them. I am sick of his boring meals. I was thinking meatballs? Kibbeh? Kofta? Meatloaf? Chilli? Kibbeh and kofta requires me to get additional ingredients. Not keen. Meatballs? Too similar to bolognaise. Chilli? W cannot take the heat. So I googled meatloaf and see how do people make them.

I have never made meatloaf nor ate meatloaf before. I think I never really came across them, and also because I do not like to eat ketchup as a condiment, lashing and lashing of ketchup on top of the meat is not my idea of gourmet. Also the restaurants that I had worked with would never serve meatloaf. Anyway, W and his mates has eaten meatloaf before and they had all been bad experience for them. He was not keen on meatloaf. He said and I quote “they suck”.

I had an idea of how they should taste like after browsing through many recipes. Yeah, it looks pretty easy to me, so I decided to make my own meatloaf flavour. It is a case of whatever is in my pantry, hence the title of the post.

Here is a list:

  • minced meat 750gm
  • bread crumbs 4 tbsp
  • fresh corn kernels
  • shredded carrot
  • chopped onion
  • chopped purple garlic
  • ketchup
  • W’s Nanna special barbecue sauce
  • curry powder
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine (chinese sherry)
  • salt
  • dried mixed herb
  • cayenne pepper
  • streaky bacon

20080101-100_0925It is tasty, juicy, and baking it with streaky bacon, the bacon fat as it drips down into the meat, the meatloaf absorbs the bacon fat. Ketchup inside the meat rather than outside gives it a nice lovely tang as compared to just ketchup being lathered on the meat (shudder).

Serve with a side of couscous and black pepper gravy. I did not hear a single sound from the boys until their plates were clean. W and one of his mate are even having it as their lunch tomorrow. After this meatloaf adventure, I still have close to 1kg of mince left.

20080101-100_0916What do you think? Will this be a good meatloaf for you?

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2 Responses to "everything except the kitchen sink"

Yes about 6 months ago I became obessed with meatloaf which isn’t that popular in Australia and complied a big list of recipes and tried most of them and decided that meatloaf can be a good dish but I did find out that the simpler the better and your pantry meatloaf looks pretty close to what I thought was the best. Also I found that leaving a space around the meatloaf and the pan sides made a big difference to the final dish. Just love that bacon on top. And I love corn in it also.

Great that you are doing the light box I’m doing one soon also this post will come in handy when I start constructing one. I picked up a dSLR Nikon D40 for $400 so that was very nice will be getting another lens shortly as soon as the DK forum gives me an answer to that question.

The guinea pig looks so cute!!!!

Your photography is already so good I hope it keeps improving and improving. Yours Audax in Sydney.

Thank you for visiting my site and for your lovely comments, Audax!
I am not obsessed with meatloaf per se, but I am more obsessed with “how creative can you be with minced meat”. Hay, sounds like a good Daring Cook’s challenge already. LOL

I like how my end product was savoury sweet with a tang. Reading tips from other bloggers about how the inner temperature should be at 160C max also helps. The meatloaf that I got was not sandpaperish nor dry. It is surprisingly juicy even after I had it rested. When it came out from the oven, I was surprised to see it almost covered in its own juice, for a moment I thought that I may have done it wrong.
$400!!! You lucky dude… I would like the Canon Rebel XS. Beyond my means right now.

On a note, I seared my meatloaf after I had rested them. The caramelisation and crust forming top raise it to another notch in my book.
I experimented with foodgawker again with the first photograph of the food on this page. Rejected again. Yet another “Bad composition”. I still wonder what I did wrong.
I am going to get a piece of soft white cardboard and a piece of white perspex and 3 more pieces of black foamcore to interchange the background. So, stick around to see more of my D.I.Y. I get all these supplies from uni art supplies shop. They are cheaper than going to a normal art supplies store.

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