Monday, June 29, 2009
We had them all here on Saturday so GB and I decided that we would flash up the woodfired oven and roast a leg of venison for dinner. It is too big for the two of us so we welcome visitors to share with us. Since he was firing up the oven (it takes about two or three hours to build up a good heat) we always have pizza for lunch on those days. This time I got it into my head to try something different. Pide ! We ate it often when we lived in the middle east and always enjoyed it so with that thought in mind I turned to my trusty computer and "googled" it. I was obviously having one of those "know it all days" and I only looked for inspiration for the fillings. I was planning to use my trusty fail safe pizza dough recipe. I completely ignored the dough recipe supplied...oh Linda...when will you ever learn !!!!
I decided on three different fillings.....minced beef with Moroccan spices to be topped with strips of grilled red capsicum and a side serve of garlicky yogurt.....feta and spinach.... and cheese, onion and egg. The latter had me trekking into the village for Halumi and mozzarella (mistake number two!!!) All that was available was a mozzarella,cheddar,parmesan blend. Ho hum...what to do ? I really, really wanted to try this one so I succumbed to temptation and purchased the only available option. The recipe suggested grated mozzarella and halumi with chopped spring onions, mint and a little oil and seasoning. Bake the pide for five minutes....remove from the oven and crack an egg on the top then return to the oven for a further two minutes. Sounded yum.
The dough was made rolled , filled and shaped...so far so good. GB took over and into the oven they went. Oh dear. My pizza dough is extra special terrific....but obviously only for pizzas!!!! The pide expanded way too fast and burst open. The egg exercise didn't go so well either as number one egg landed on the floor of the oven (the dog got to eat that one) and the other one didn't quite cook all the way through. We ate them anyway!!! We were hungry !!!! Next time and there will be a next time as I wont be beaten. I will follow the dough recipe because they tasted delicious anyway. Hence no photos.
A quick apres lunch nap and the boys went kayaking with the Princess in tow. I went down with them to the creek to watch...way too cold for me to even consider lowering myself into the kayak and have cold water sloshing around my nether regions. It needs to be at least another ten degrees warmer before I will go wading into the water. Back home to pop in the roast for dinner.
We tried a new recipe for the venison this time, marinading it with red wine and red wine vinegar, juniper berries, garlic, chopped onion and oil overnight and we experimented, roasting it covered with streaky bacon rashers and a large slice of pork rind. Yep, you heard right "pork rind". You can buy it in pieces from the supermarket and we have on one indulgent occasion roasted it as an extra with a pork leg roast for those who will not be named who like to eat vast quantities of pork crackling. Mmmmmmmm. Well it may sound excessive but it worked really well and the meat was delicious. Mama made the most gooey, yummy chocolate desert. It looked like a baked chocolate sponge but when you cut into it it oozed out of the middle. Very rich but funnily enough it wasn't too sweet, which was good. With a dollop of cream on the top (may as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb!) it was the perfect finish to the meal. You can make that one again sweetheart ;-)
Sunday morning after a full english breakfast...oink, oink! GB and I left the family wandering around the village market and headed down to Mooloolaba for lunch with friends. Great company and a lovely lunch, not only because I didn't have to cook it myself ;-) but I love warm beef salad, which was one of the dishes. We arrived back late in the afternoon and the boys had already lit the fire. What more could you ask for but to snuggle in for the night. It got down to six degrees last night but I was as snug as a bug in my nest. Its all good.
Life goes on......the last of the family departed at dawn this morning and I have been busy laundering sheets and towels all day. Thank heavens for a sunny breezy day. It certainly is the "sunshine state". I hope your weekend was as good as mine.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I came down to the city as I had promised dr K that I would help him pick up his new car. Well that's what Mums are for isn't it !!! He and I headed up to the Sunshine Coast this morning to pick up this little baby.
Isn't it cute :-) Its a "smart car". A semi automatic two seater that will suit him down to the ground. He lives in one of Brisbane's inner city suburbs but travels daily for work between different far flung areas that are not always accessible by public transport. I am pleased to say that GB , Mama and the doc all use public transport where possible but Queensland is not the most green state when it comes to public transport :-( There is plenty of room for improvement. Hence the need for a more environmentally friendly vehicle. Hopefully this will fit the bill.
I left him to drive to work and headed back taking the scenic route through the beach suburbs of the sunshine coast. It didn't take much longer than using the highway and was an interesting drive. The development up in that area has been amazing over the last twenty odd years. Progress !!!!!Hmmmm I am not sure!
This afternoon I popped in to meet a very helpful young man who has been advising me over the phone this week with computer problems that I have been experiencing. It is a little difficult when you are miles away from the city and your computer starts to misbehave! If I could give this man an award I most certainly would. He has been both pleasant and extremely helpful on each occasion. I am not sure if the problem has been completely fixed.....I have changed from internet explorer to mozilla firefox and everything seems to be working OK today. Fingers crossed!
Tonight I can hear the State of Origin match playing out on the TV and everywhere I turned today I saw people wearing maroon so I guess its a pretty important match for Queensland ! Me....I'm off to bed with a good book ;-) Good night.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
For what seems like forever is that all I see when I look at this garden bed is strappy green leaves. Don't get me wrong. I love to see the greenery but here I progressively planted out a "bulb" garden. Lillys, kangaroo paw, bluebells, agapantha, iris, daylillys, jonquils, freesia and these beautys...red hot pokers :-) I had visions of blooms popping up all through the year. To be honest we did have some incredible jonquils last spring and ***one*** agapantha bloom in summer! Hmmm Oh and when it rains heavily enough we get a display of iris for a few days. Well....at least there is some greenery. Then way out of the blue these began to throw flower heads. They looked dull with very little colour and a little patchy as if some bugs had been eating them and they were dying off and then...WOW....they opened up. This morning with the early morning sun shining down on them and the last of the rain sitting on the leaves, it was worth the wait :-) How my heart sang. I feel renewed and alive again. I feel a bounce in my step. Life is good. I am off to enjoy this beautiful day. I hope yours is as good.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Keep up the good work. I love the look of the woodfired heater that she has researched and shown us in her blog today. If I were starting out again I would definitely look at one of those.
The rain stopped play so I came indoors and made Strawberry and apple jam a la Through my kitchen window. Thank you Mariana. It turned out beautifully. Nice and tangy but I think that maybe the apple dominates a little. Probably because the early season strawberries just don't have the same intense flavour as ones later in the season. I will make some plain strawberry jam later. It was well worth the effort though. My only problem now is when will we eat all this jam that I have been making. Jam on a half of a piece of toast each morning....... and my shelves are groaning with this years produce. I think I will have a few lucky friends this year.
The Gorgeous boy was busy outside digging up the potatoes in one of the beds where the tops had died back. Some of them are small but very tasty.
The ones in the middle he is saving as seed potatoes. Some of the small ones I cooked up for dinner tonight. I made a Thai fish curry with rice but we couldn't resist a few of these little babies as well. I cooked enough so that I can also make a small potato salad for lunch tomorrow.
He has planted out some kipfler potatoes in the new bed we made last weekend. We are just running out of space at the moment and need to get on to making the new retaining wall behind the shed which will create more garden beds.
Now that was a worthwhile, meaningful day :-)
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
This is my Raspberry citrus drizzle cake......do try a slice
I hope that you enjoy it......here is the recipe.
Raspberry Citrus Drizzle Cake.
The ingredients I have had to convert from lbs and oz as best I could.
250g Self raising flour
155g Caster sugar
1/2 an orange zest
1 lemon zest
2 Tbl sp Orange juice
3 Tbl sp Lemon juice
95g Caster sugar
Grease a 20cm spring form pan and line the base.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Beat the butter and sugar until creamy
Slowly beat in the eggs adding 1 tbl sp of the flour with the last egg.
Add the zests and gently fold in the flour.
Fold in the raspberries. I used frozen ones as I didn't have any fresh ones.
Bake for approximately one hour.
While the cake is baking add the juice to the sugar and allow it to soak. When the cake is cooked heat the juice and sugar to form a syrup. Do not boil it. Spoon it over the cake and allow it to soak in...Enjoy.
Thats all for today or I will get sticky finger marks all over the keyboard :-)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
So much has happened since I was last here. The Gorgeous Boy and I went to visit our dear friends The Great Dane and Gemini for a few days. They have both had a birthday recently and a wedding anniversary coming up so we were invited to join them and their family to help them celebrate. I probably didn't mention but I wasn't born in this wonderful country. I came here over thirty years ago for a working holiday and met the GB and chose to call Australia home but that's a whole other story ;-) As I left my family behind in England it warms my heart to be invited to join this family celebrate. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter,a fantastic son and the cutest little grand daughter that a girl could ask for, I love my family, I am truly blessed. To have good friends as well is the icing on the cake.
I dropped Tiggy off for the weekend to stay with Mama and The Princess and headed south. What was I thinking !!!! To leave it until after lunch on the Friday of a long weekend and join the holiday traffic on the Bruce highway! Some days I am just so blond I don't deserve to be allowed out! By the time I had reached the Gateway Bridge I was well into peak traffic. I could have climbed out of the car and walked that last ten kilometers or so quicker than I drove it. Our friends live in the Redlands, an area southeast of the city. We lived in the same area for many years and I love it down there. GB came down on the train from the city and I picked him up from the station...from then on it was all rest and relaxation.
We dined out on Friday night at a local Thai restaurant. Went out for morning tea the next day at Hawkins...a garden nursery where they served the most delicious coffee and lemon tart, had the most enormous seafood lunch and just sat around and chatted for the rest of the day. Saturday night the Great Dane cooked up a joint of venison that I had brought down from the farm. I am new to cooking venison and am looking for different ways to serve it. The great Dane is a very good chef so I watched over his shoulder as he roasted the marinated joint draped with bacon, glazed it with redcurrant jelly and made a light sauce to go with it. Yum. Thank you Jorgen. It was good :-)
Sunday, The Gorgeous boy and I popped out to pick up a couple of things for the BBQ and bumped into another couple of friends of ours who we hadn't seen for about four years. We sat and had a cup of coffee with them and caught up with all the latest news. I don't get to go out for coffee very often since we moved out to the farm so it was a great novelty. Twice in one weekend. How decadent !! One grumble though. At "Gloria Jeans" they served the tea and coffee in paper cups. Very tacky and not at all environmentally friendly :-( I was disappointed)
We arrived back just in time before the lunch guests arrived. A lovely afternoon and the weather was beautiful. If it sounds like we did nothing but eat, drink and sit around......well that's about the size of it! I told you....I had a wonderfully relaxing weekend :-) GB and I took Cooch (the dog) out for a walk along the esplanade to "blow the cobwebs away" but that was it.
We headed back to our little granny flat mid day on Monday. Tiggy was soooooooooo glad to see us. He has been glued to my heels ever since. I spent a couple of hours dashing around the garden after the lawn mower to try to burn up some of the excess calories that I consumed over the weekend but I fear that even if I mowed for 48 hours it still wouldn't be enough!!!
This morning I loaded up the car and headed home to the farm. On went the washing machine and I headed over to the garden to see how everything had fared in my absence. While that cats away the mice will play !!! Whose been eating all the strawberries? Who has nibbled most the leaves off the passion fruit vine? Who ate the cherry tomatoes? Mice ? Wallabies? Deer ? Sigh. Will it never end this year?
I did manage to crop these. I am so glad that we fenced off the veggie garden last month. Mushroom omelet and salad for a light dinner tonight I think.
In the picture below is the banana bed. A raised garden with a circle in the middle made of fencing and shade cloth that we use as a compost bin. We throw in all the vegetable scraps and garden waste and as it breaks down it feeds the bananas (they are very heavy feeders). Some tomatoes popped up on one side where we were going to plant a different variety of bananas. They are growing so fast and look so strong that I am inspired to build another bed especially for "heavy feeders" like tomatoes and rhubarb. I shall talk to GB about it and see what he thinks.
Enough for today! Please come and visit tomorrow as I am baking a cake. I don't make cakes very often but would like to invite you to join me and celebrate. Mariana from Through my Kitchen Window has been kind enough to present me with an award and I am so excited I want to share it with you. See you there :-)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I'm not too sure. What do you think? I don't know why, but I kinda expected the liquid to be clear. Now logic tells me that it would be cloudy because of the extra lemon juice and the salt would wash out from between the lemons as soon as liquid was poured over. But I just hadn't thought about it. I EXPECTED it to be clear! Maybe it will settle out with time. I do have to point out that a) I have never seen preserved lemons "in the flesh". Only on TV and then without my glasses on and b) I have never used them in cooking. This of course I will remedy but I really don't know what they look/feel like. You have to learn sometime!
S'all for now as I need to go lock up the shed and light the fire. Its not particularly cold but just damp. It will be a cosy night in front of the computer for me tonight as I am not much of a footy fan and I believe it is that maroon and blue state match thingy tonight!