Saturday, 19 February 2011

Recent kitchen capers

Been flat out working and gardening, so not much energy for blogging - but enough for some kitchen adventures.

Our first harvest of plums from our 2 trees (mariposa, L) and satsuma . I'm pretty happy with the 4.5 kg of plums we harvested from our 2 trees this year. It's the first year they have fruited in 4 years - although in fairness they have been moved 3 times in those 4 years (!!)

An immature red kuri pumpkin. This vine fell off the vine early, but is still tasty! Today I'm also making some ginger syrup,
 some bread  (wholemeal/rye/spelt), and a roasted red onion and (homegrown) tomato soup

Roasted red onion and tomato soup ( from the Covent Garden soup book)
Put tomatoes (I used about 3 kg), red onion (I used 2), basil (loads cause I love it!), and 2 fat cloves of garlic squished and roughly chopped into a roasting dish, and sploosh (technical cooking term) over olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper (I also used a good few grinds of Oxfam's harissa mix) Roast for about an hour until tomatoes are soft. Leave to cool a bit while you make come caramelised red onions  (melt butted and a tablespoon or so of brown sugar in a pan, and fry onions until caramelised - add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Puree the tomato mix with a bit of water. You can pass this mix through a sieve if you like but I never bother. Add this to the caramelised onions and add more water if you like a thinner soup. Reheat gently, toss in a few torn basil leaves and serve.


Monday, 7 February 2011

Book recommendation - thanks Vivienne!

Recently Vivienne over at Living Vivienne emailed me to recommend a book - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I really enjoy reading, and it was a book I'd never heard of. Our local library had a copy so I reserved it, and read it over the past week.

I'm quite surprised how much I enjoyed it, given my normal taste runs to either Austen or sci-fi and fantasy. It really was a warm, charming story, with some lovely touches of humour, and a view into post-war and wartime Guernsey. The main thing that stood out for me where the characters - they were extremely endearing, and all slightly odd but in a delightful way. This would be a great book to take on holidays, or for a wet Sunday afternoon (or two).

Mama Jerry,  I think you would really enjoy it!

Thanks Vivienne for the recommendation - anyone read any other good books lately?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Birds of a feather

This post is for the twitchers amongst you (bird watchers) (yes papa Jerry I am talking to you!). A wedge-tailed eagle family resting in the tree in the paddock next to ours. Not the best quality photo but I used a compact digital camera held to binoculars to take it  :-). This pair live in the bush somewhere near by, and several times in the past weeks we've seen them low over the house and paddocks spiralling to catch the thermals. Judging by the squawking on this occassion I think they might have been taking junior on a training flight.

But even better, last year on a holiday to Jervis Bay (South of Sydney) I saw this marvellous creature not once but 3 times. On one occassion I even had my camera out and ready as he/she flew in from the sea, and overhead only about 3m and about 5m in front of me. Just magic! It's a white bellied sea eagle. Later that same day we were sitting on a beach when one (maybe the same one) flew right past us along the waterline and went for a fish!
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