Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’


February 13, 2010

Some treasures found at the Farmer’s Markets and the Gorman House Markets today.

Vintage buttons, silver-plated Grosvenor ‘Christine’ coffee spoons, and heirloom cherry tomatoes :)


Holidays = cooking

February 3, 2010

I don’t know why that’s true, but it always is for me. Even when we go back home at Christmas, crossing half the country to kitchens strange and eerie, we do heaps of cooking. If I have a day off to potter around the house, I end up with a pantry full of food. I’ve decided it’s not worth fighting.

For example. Newly returned to Canberra after Christmas, tired from the long drive and dreading work on Monday, I spent the weekend making stock. Huh? Sounds crazy, I know, but if you’ve never made your own stock, you’ve never made great soup. No, you just haven’t. Try this recipe.

Last weekend I made hot cross buns using Donna Hay’s fantastic recipe.


I made these once before, last Easter (would you believe?). And OMGOMG, the hot cross buns you make yourself completely flatten every other hot cross bun you’ve ever eaten.

I realise it’s not Easter, but I like hot cross buns, and don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t eat them at other times of the year. I also realise that I could quite legitimately call them ‘sticky buns’ and eat them whenever I fancy if I but left the crosses off, but then they wouldn’t be all hot and cross (or warm and upset, as Phil likes to call them). And then what would be the point?

Another tasty addition to our recent menu has been the bushels, yes, BUSHELS of tomatoes I’ve been picking from my friend’s garden. Said friend, the lovely Amanda, is away for two weeks and guess who gets the privelige of looking after the vegie garden? Ohhhh yesss. Homegrown tomato heaven here we come! There’s been Sophie Dahl’s lovely ratatouille (using zucchini and eggplant from the same garden), Jamie’s tomato and capsicum soup (with homemade chicken stock), and his tasty squashed tomato and smashed olive salad, which went down very nicely with some souvlaki and pitas.

Which leads nicely into the topic of lamb.

The souvlaki above was the first dish made from the assorted cuts of meat now in our freezer, which used to be half a lamb. That’s right folks, I wasn’t kidding when I said I loved lamb, and now an entire half of one (minus souvlaki) is sitting in my freezer, nicely portioned into cuts of my choice. And this wasn’t just a rubbing-hands-greedily kind of purchase, there is some sense behind it.

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about sustainable cooking practises and ethical farming, and decided that where I can, I’d like to start choosing more Earth-friendly-animal-friendly meat: or as I like to call it, ‘happy’ meat. Think free-range, hormone free, stress-free slaughter, organic, etc. Being a student and liking meat these choices aren’t going to happen all the time, but I figure every little bit helps—and buying in bulk is a wallet-friendly move. I bought my half lamb from Wyntrade Lamb. I’m hoping the socially conscious farming is reflected in the taste, and as we eat more of it I’ll let you know—but the souvlaki was definitely a good start.

Anyway, here’s to good eating, many more meals of lamb, and countless lazy days spent baking.

Cooking up a storm

December 12, 2009

It’s been rather a gourmet week this week. Here are some of the tasty things we made.

Almond bread with lots of orange and lemon zest

Buttermilk fried chicken (YUM!) with Christmas salad and Moroccan carrot salad

and earthquake biscuits (dense chocolate biscuits rolled in icing sugar).

Just about all these recipes are from delicious. magazine. If you like cooking, I can’t recommend anything better than a subscription.

Things I’ve been doing

September 15, 2009

I had a lovely weekend. Here are some of the things I did.

Went to the handmade markets with Amanda and bought a cute summery clutch purse. There were lots of awesome things there but it was so exciting I didn’t take any photos. Then we went home to knit and that was also so absorbing that photos were not taken. But cute clutch, no? I can just imagine it with a few of my sundresses.


Discovered a red camellia bush in our front yard, and filled a float bowl with the flowers. Pretty! The best thing about living in a slightly neglected house is the surprises in the garden every spring.


Baked a strawberry sour cream streusel cake. I have made this recipe a couple of times before but had completely forgotten about it. It takes a little more effort than some cakes but is well worth it, for the dense, tangy sour-cream cake parts, the sweet, fresh, baked-in strawberry puree, and the crunchy topping. Very apt for the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having.

tasty spring cake

Bought some plants for my new office. I particularly like this trailing, tropical-ish one, though I have no idea what it’s called as there was no sticker on the pot when we bought it. Colleagues have suggested it is killer ivy, that one morning they will discover the office a mass of vines, and on hacking their way in with machetes will find me strangled by creeping tendrils. I am unfazed. I also have a maidenhair fern and a peace lily, happily brightening the room and filtering the air.


And planted some tomatoes in the backyard. Well, technically Phil did it I guess, but only because he’s a much better gardener than me, and I was hanging out washing at the time. One plant is in the main garden bed and one around the side of the house, as part of the plan to foil the possums in their attempts to eat them. I’ll let you know how that goes.