Archive | Food/Cooking RSS feed for this section

Freeze it! They said.

6 May

IMG_4049It turns out that I like cooking.  I like cooking dishes from scratch, not just opening a jar, frying off some meat and heating a sauce – which is what I used to do.

I use a lot of herbs and spices to add flavour to my food.  My favourite blog for inspiration is Thermofun and is run by a husband and wife team who are now my online friends.  Leonie is the one responsible for my herb pantry having well over 50 jars of necessary spices and blends.

A lot of the recipes I like use fresh ginger.  I have discovered that it does need to be fresh, powdered ginger does not have the same taste.  So I head to the shops, buy my fresh ginger, use what I need for the recipe and then put the rest in my cute little ginger jar for next time.  I’m sure you know where I’m heading here, the next time I need ginger I have a dry, shrivelled root that is no longer edible.

One day I put my search hat on and checked what the great big book of google had to say about freezing ginger.  Yes, was the answer.  No, you don’t have to peel it.  No, you don’t have to slice or grate it.  Just freeze it whole and use it as you need.

So I did that.  Froze it whole.  Now, I did need to use some and I broke off the little bit I needed and all was well with the world – until yesterday.  Yesterday the recipe needed about half of what I have frozen.  This is where panic started to set in.

Long story short, I invited a friend up for a late lunch and while the chicken was marinating I needed ginger for the sauce.  Except all I had was a hard lump of frozen ginger that no knife could cut.  The day had already been one of ‘those’ days and my brain just shut down.  Did I think of shaving off slivers? No.  Did I think of grabbing the microplane? No.  And to be honest both those options would probably have ended in blood.

Usually, I just leave out something if I don’t have it.  But seriously, Masala Curry needs ginger.  Then a light bulb went off.  I have a collection of essential oils that I use a lot in cooking but usually the fun ones, like Wild Orange or Peppermint in Fudge.  Or Lemon in icing.  Or Basil (because I can’t grow that no matter how hard I try).  I had a bottle of ginger (for travel sickness), why not use that?   So with much care and calculation I decided to add two drops.  I wizzed up the onions, garlic and ginger oil, did a sniff test – this is the official scientific approved method of does it smell good and can I smell a bit of everything – continued with my cooking, and voila one yummy chicken masala.

 

Advertisements

The Lemon Happy Dance

3 May

I have just harvested my first lemon.  If this seems like an odd thing to ‘happy dance’ about then you are blessed.  It means you have never suffered form Black-Thumb-itis.

My sister has the gardening genes in our family.  She can and does grow some strange and varied crops.  In fact, she was growing Kale before it became trendy (makes good chook food apparently).

The last couple of years my darling children have encouraged my poor attempts at growing food to put on the table by buying living plants for me as presents.  Oh, the pressure.  My lemon tree has survived a couple of years now.  We have had a love hate relationship.  I love the tree, it hates me.  It has flowered, only to succumb to wind.  It has set fruit, only to succumb to wind and heat.

Finally, this year, through much trauma and angst the tree and I have managed to sync, and I have lemons.  I have yellow lemons sitting on the tree.  They feel like little rocks and I don’t know when they will be fully ripe and ready to pick.  So today I took the plunge.

P5034428.jpg

Maple Butter

1 May

In Australia breakfast tradition for me growing up was Weetbix with milk.  In winter to warm our tummies Mum would pre soak the Weetbix with hot water, looking back now, I guess it was because that was easier than heating the milk as it was before the days of microwaves (gosh am I -that- old?)

As I got older and breakfast became more of a grab it an run, the go to was Vegemite and butter.  The catch being the toast has to be buttered hot, so the butter melts, and just a scraping of Vegemite, too much and ugh, too little and it’s just butter.  🙂

A treat, on special occasions would be hot crumpets with butter and honey.  I can still remember Mum asking me one day what was on the front of my shirt and me saying  ‘the crumpet juice’ leaked on my clean shirt.  I must have been about 3 or 4 at the time.

As an adult, I can have hot crumpets with honey and butter whenever I feel like it, which does mean that crumpets have somewhat lost their specialness.   Well I’m pleased to say that I have that specialness back thanks to Maple Butter.

I’m a member of a cooking group called Thermofun, a group I discovered not long after buying a Thermomix.  Leonie, the creator, is responsible for me rediscovering my love of cooking.   Now she is responsible for me falling in love with hot crumpets for breakfast again.  Checkout the recipe here http://thermofun.com/maple-butter/

18274868_10213186154357694_3171177204607879887_n.jpg

Lazy Sunday Yumminess

30 Apr

As the year has progressed I’ve discovered I potter and tinker with a number of activities.  As a wife and mother one hobby that is a daily activity is cooking.

This morning has been a pancake kind of day.

18157909_10213167277765791_2480445646082115793_n

Piping skills

12 Feb

Today I made a Baileys Chocolate Mousse – yum!

After watching a lot of cooking shows I know that it’s all about the presentation. Out came the piping bag.

I may need more practise but it didn’t affect the rich decadent taste 🙂