Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


08 February 2012


 It's the endurance athlete of the kitchen.

Every cyclist knows that with consistent training the fork needs to be constantly moving towards the mouth.  It's a plain fact that if there is no fuel in the tank the engine won't fire, and this year I've particularly stepped things up in the culinary department.  See, back a few months ago Kat and I had dinner at my former team mate Tito's place, where he whipped up a great feast using a slow cooker.  Hence, the seed was planted and Kat was lucky enough to get a slow cooker from her parents a few weeks later at Christmas.  Since then the device has been on high usage and the aroma's of herbs and spices have permeated through the house on a weekly basis.  For those not familiar, a slow cooker is basically a massive pot that is subjected to a low amount of heat over an extended period of time.  And when I mean extended I'm talking anywhere up to 10hrs.  It has provided the new challenge of thinking about dinner plans just after breakfast or lunch, but with minimal preparation we've come up with some mighty meals.

The best meal we've discovered so far has been a chicken stew with dumplings.  If anyone reading this is interested I'll post the recipe (leave a comment) but it rocks big time.  I think we are close to our tenth time creating this master piece but both Kat and I aren't tired of it yet.  And it makes enough for lunch the next day.  Bonus!

Another addition to the kitchen has been this particular book.  Written by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas who are two blokes that know a bit about bike racing and food, it's full of neat recipes that are super easy and taste great.  I know that kinda sounds like a cheap plug, but Kat and I seriously busted out at least half a dozen recipes in the first week we had the book, based around what was already in the cupboards or required very little preparation.  It's always nice to mix things up.

So I've tried out the famous rice cakes and they are now on regular rotation outta the jersey pocket.  It's a nice alternative to another bar, and they work out to around 50c a cake, and carry the same amount of calories as a Cliff Bar.  For the budget conscious bicycle racer like myself this season that is gold.  I guess it does however require a little bit more planning and preparation but with the use of a rice cooker it really eliminates the hardest part.  I will however add the tip of using a little more water than required, as my first batch of cakes became a frustrating experiment of spilling precious energy grains all over my top tube and feeding the local birds.

Since getting back from Texas the weather has been somewhat unkind.  Brad and I had to do a very early drive home (3am departure) to beat this incoming snow storm.  We did thankfully, but the other reason for the strict departure was to see Ryan Adams play the Temple Buell Theatre.  In fact, due to the snow storm the gig was pushed back a night, but nonetheless it was an awesome show.  I'd seen him previously in Melbourne when he was playing alongside the Cardinals but this was a strict solo show. With so much talent alone he more than made up for the lack of a backing band.  Highlights included an improvised piss take song dedicated to a crowd heckler and an Alice In Chains cover of "Nutshell".  I've rustled up some shaky footage found on the interwebs below for those interested. Classic stuff.

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