Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm finally back in blog-land!

Trouble in blog-land ..... I've been meaning to write an update for ages now but haven't been able to sign in. Every time I try my computer/modem gives up and goes to sleep :-(

So, I'm finally in today (via some ridiculous route!) so I'll try to remember -in a quick update -all the things I was going to post ......!

PLANTING - cauliflower seedlings (started from seed, tried twice in the patch but every one was eaten by slugs, so now in polystyrene boxes!), tatsoi, mixed lettuces (also in boxes) and herbs bought from Blackheath Farmers market -sage, tarragon, chives, celeriac and dill. Ok, I don't actually know what to do with some of them, but I wanted something different and my 3 y.o. son was helping me 'choose' and potting them himself! They have this great 'pick n mix' system for veggies or herbs, where you pick whatever seedlings you want and put them into a 6-8 pack planter. Great value!

HARVESTING - not much now ..... some purple king beans, cherokee wax beans, silverbeet. Plenty of herbs and of course, the eggs. I think the chooks are slowing down with the colder weather, last week only 14 eggs from the 3 of them.

BAKING - Mmmmm ..... made biscotti recently, as our Easter treat instead of choccy eggs. Turned out beautifully- crunchy, nutty, perfect with coffee .....


2 cups plain flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

rind of 1 orange, finely grated

1 cup caster sugar

120g blanched whole almonds

80g hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 190c. Line 2 baking trays.

Sift flour and baking powder into large bowl. Make a well in the centre and
add eggs, orange rind and sugar, stir. Add nuts.

On a lightly floured surface knead mixture gently until combined. Divide into
4 portions, shape each into narrow loaf shapes, place 2 on each tray.

Bake for 30 mins, allow to cool, then slice with a serrated knife.

Return to oven and bake for a further 30 mins at 150c, or until golden brown.
This second bake gives biscotti its crunchy texure.

Also made a gorgeous Autumn Crumble (also now known as 'oh-my-god crumble', it was THAT good! We had 2 big bags of apples and pears, again from Blackheath farmers market, they are so cheap at the moment as are in season - perfect. So I decided to make a nice hot dessert for our cooler weather. Unfortunately I don't have a photo as it went too quickly! Will definitely make it again soon though so pic will follow next time .....


(serves 4-6)

150g butter, cold and cubed
1 cup plain flour
140g brown sugar
¼ - ½ cup oats
¼ tsp cinnamon, and powdered ginger if desired

4 apples
4 pears
juice ½ lemon
1 extra tbs sugar

Crumble –
Mix flour and cinnamon in bowl (and ginger if using)
Add butter, rubbing in with fingertips until resembles coarse breadcrumbs
Add sugar and oats, mix well

Fruit filling –
Peel and cut fruit into large chunks
Mix in bowl with lemon juice and sugar
If using hard fruit (eg granny smiths or hard pears) can be poached for 5 mins to semi-soften

Spread or layer fruit into buttered dish
Spoon crumble on top, flatten down lightly
Bake at 180c for approx 40 mins until golden on top and fruit soft

Serve with custard or ice-cream

Variations –
may need less butter/ more flour- use texture as guide
Brown sugar 100g + white sugar 40g worked well when not enough brown
Finely chopped almond slivers added to crumble mix before baking
Cinnamon and/or ginger could be added to fruit mix instead of in crumble mix

I'd love to know how you go with these recipes if you try them, let me know!

1 comment:

Jacqui said...

will def. be trying these recipes - thanks for posting them and I'll let you know how we go. So we are in the same 'hood! How about that. All the good folk live here, you know :)

Love the little pink frock - I'd like to try something similar for my friend's little girl but need to start the curtains first.

We found egg shell and coffee grounds kept all the slugs off our basil - might work for your caulies?