Archive | September, 2011

Challenge 1 – Mastering The Art Of Cookery – The When!

28 Sep

After almost a week of searching the internet for ‘cookery classes in Dubai,’ I have finally settled on a Thai cuisine class at the Blue Elephant restaurant, Al Bustan Rotana Hotel. The cooking kicks off at 10am on Saturday, which is usually the time of day that you will find me passed out, hungover and dribbling on the sofa. So it will be a challenge within itself to actually get to this class when I will probably still be drinking at some random after-party a few hours before it starts.

I am delighted that my dear friend and fellow alcoholic Nicolas has just informed me that he will be joining. Now, please consider that when we are together we usually look a little something like this:

And this:

Hmmm:

Hence, you could say that we are more familiar with the words ‘shots,’ ‘one more round mate,’ ‘after-party,’ and ‘smashed’ than ‘simmering,’ ‘chopping,’ ‘dicing,’ and ‘boiling’. Taking us out of our natural habitat (i.e. the bar) and placing us in a new and very unfamiliar territory (i.e. the kitchen) is bound to bring out some very interesting evolutionary behaviour.  Survival of the fittest, Nicolas. You’ve been warned.

I intend to blog as much as I can during the day, so stay tuned on Saturday to see how the wasters turned chefs do!

Challenge 1 – Mastering The Art Of Cookery – The Why

24 Sep

I love food. I am Cypriot, after all. And, funnily enough, I don’t just like scoffing my face: I actually enjoy the process of cooking, too.

I find there’s nothing more enjoyable than spending Saturday afternoons rustling something up in the kitchen, while listening to 1Xtra on the radio. I find it even more enjoyable when I’m actually cooking for others. Although doing so always brings up the uncomfortable realisation that I AM turning into my mother (I don’t know how to cook for anything less than 5,000 people, it seems).

Over the years I’d like to think I’ve picked up some ‘moves’ in the kitchen. For one, I make a mean chili con carne. And when I say mean, I really mean that this baby can blow your head off if you’re not careful. I also know how to make a few of the classic dishes that every ‘Good Greek Girl’ learns when she’s fresh out of nappies. Macaronia tou fournou, calamari and, of course,  koupepia.

In spite of all this, however, I can only make about ten dishes confidently, and most of my evening meals sadly resemble this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, yes, good old Nando’s. Thanks to their delivery service in Dubai, I barely cook. Ever. All I have to do is press the ‘N’ speed dial button on my BlackBerry, tell the lovely person on the other side of the phone my telephone number, and within 45 minutes I am in Peri-Peri heaven. Quite frankly, after an hour and half drive home from work, the last thing I want to be doing is chopping, dicing, frying and the like! So Nando’s comes to the rescue. And I’m happy for that.

I feel it’s about time, however, that I extend my culinary skills from the basics of boiling and grilling to something a little more creative and ambitious. Which is why I decided to add cookery classes to the challenge. I have done some research and come up with a number of options, including a Thai cuisine class. I’ve also decided that I want THIS apron to cook in:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sums it up perfectly.

Will post again with the details of my cookery class this week!

30 Before 30 – The What

19 Sep

Drum roll please…

Here is the list of things I’ve decided I must get through before May 3rd, 2013.  Each challenge is something that will either force me to grow in some way, or that is just so damn fun I should have done it AGES ago. There are also five challenges that I’ve asked my friends to set me, and five challenges I’m doing for more selfless reasons.

Ten for growth

  • Skydive
  • Ask a guy (stranger) for his number
  • Write a short story and enter it into a competition
  • Do a drama workshop
  • Go horse riding
  • Have a travel or wellbeing article published in a major international publication
  • Go on a blind date
  • Learn Spanish
  • Visit Singapore
  • Take cookery classes

Ten for fun

  • Go to the airport and catch the next flight out – to wherever!
  • Gate crash a wedding
  • Party nonstop for 24 hours
  • Learn how to make (proper) cocktails
  • Sing karaoke (sober)
  • Do another photography workshop
  • Party in New York, New York…
  • Learn how to tango
  • Kiss a South American
  • Learn how to DJ

Five for my friends

  • Go for a week without the internet
  • Quit alcohol for a month
  • Babysit
  • Eat snails
  • Wear an abaya for the weekend

Five for selfless reasons

  • Make a difference to someone’s life
  • Raise awareness of a good cause
  • Take part in fundraising
  • Spend a completely selfless day
  • Forgive and forget

So, any thoughts? Do you all think I’m crazy yet?

In my next post I’ll be writing a little bit about why I have chosen each one.

30 Before 30 – The Why

19 Sep

Hello and welcome,

As you may have gathered by the highly original title of this blog, I have decided to challenge myself to complete 30 different tasks before I turn 30 in 20 months time. From launching myself out of a plane to gate crashing a wedding, I will be ticking off a list of exciting, challenging and downright stupid things that I’ve decided I MUST do before May 3rd, 2013.

So, why am I doing this?

Before you assume anything, this isn’t just some distraction I’ve created because I fear turning 30. In fact, unlike most people who dread the prospect of the first number of their age changing from a two to a three, I’m actually looking forward to it. For one, I am enjoying the wisdom I seem to be acquiring as the years roll by, whereby I find myself smugly saying things like: “If there’s one thing I’ve learnt” and “Ah, yes, when I was your age I thought the same,” while giving people a knowing, judicious look. Plus, with each day that passes, I give even less of a shit about things than I did before, so I figure that by the time I turn 30 little will rattle my zen cage. Brilliant!

What I do fear, however, is another twenty months passing me by, as I live day-by-day as a capitalist robot (i.e. half brain-washed and half delirious), without having accomplished a never-ending list of stuff I keep intending to do “someday.”  I do not fear becoming old. I fear becoming boring.

I’ve never been one to sit back and let life pass me by, so I figure it’s about time I got off my ever expanding white ass and do the things I’ve been intending to do since my early twenties. We’re not getting any younger, you know!

The reasoning behind launching a blog to go with the challenge is simple. As a writer I work well when I have two things: an audience and a deadline. So I’m hoping that a) writing about it will be as enjoyable as the experiences themselves b) my readers will spur me on as I contemplate eating snails or asking some random guy for his number and c) the journalist in me will make sure I stick to the deadline.

So: 20 months to go. 30 challenges to get through.

30, ready or not, here I come!