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My memories of Mumma [Nov. 3rd, 2012|03:30 pm]
Jenny
I have about the worst memory in the world, so my memories are always sketchy and few. So I want to record what memories of Mumma I still have now, before they get even more faded.

The first thing I think of when I think of Mumma is food – sweet food. Old Jamaica chocolate (which, interestingly, I have been eating for probably the first time in about 20 years this month), Pascall fruit bonbons, chocolate eclairs (the lolly kind), pikelets with butter, date loaf, strawberries fresh from the little side garden in a beautiful cut glass bowl sprinkled with sugar, jelly in glasses on the door of the fridge... the list goes on. Mumma & Poppa's house was like heaven to a young kid - lollies in bowls on all the side tables in the lounge room...

But there is an image that goes with my memories, an image of Mumma's face that isn't just an image, but has a whole demeanour or personality attached to it. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it. “She was always so nice” seems so tame, so boring. And doesn't really describe it. It sounds like something that someone makes an effort to be. And Mumma wasn't making an effort to be like this, she really was like this. I never remember Mumma being angry, or even grumpy, like the rest of us mere mortals :-) She was always calm, and interested in things, but not... I don't know, not “out there”? Quiet, I guess. Maybe even shy? But with a hint of fun? Actually, maybe that is why it is so hard to pin down – Mumma was subtle, I think. Not one of these bright, shining, even... brash people. A quiet one that most people probably didn't even notice. Lots of subtle hints of things I guess I never got to know really well. But that was ok, because you could feel they were there, even if you never examined them closely.

Even when I look back on the old photos, of her when she was young, I can see it in her even then.

She will be missed, by all who have known her I expect, but I know that for me it's not quite missed. I can still feel it whenever I think of her, or whenever I look at photos of her. She has been gone from my life for quite some time now, but really it's been like she's still here, and it will continue to be like that. Because I can still feel that feeling of who she was, whenever I want to.
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Pavlova! [Oct. 5th, 2011|10:56 pm]
Jenny
Today I visited the berry farm (Berry Sweet) to get some delicious strawberries to make strawberry jam with, because we've run out due to Will's recent desire to have "nuttelex, jam, and honey" on his toast.  Seemed like overkill to me, but I'm willing to humour him :-)  Perhaps I am missing a major taste sensation by not trying it myself! 

Anyway, the berry farm is great, because I can buy a tray of really ripe strawberries for $10.  Admittedly, some of them are actually over-ripe & have to be thrown away, and some are a bit squishy & mostly suitable for jam, but the rest are the delicious tasting strawberries I remember from my childhood, rather than the anaemic ones you get in the shops these days that hardly taste of anything.  Proof of their tastiness is that Will hasn't liked strawberries up until now - the only fruit I can think of that he doesn't eat.  But today he couldn't get enough of them!

Once we'd bought them, of course, Peter started thinking of other ways he fancied eating them.  "You'll have to make some scones," he said, dreaming of devonshire teas...  "And pavlova!"  So, I got the recipes for scones & pavlova from Mum, and after tea I made my first pavlova.  Now, be warned, Mum's pavlova is a meringue-style pavlova, not the marshmallow-style pavlova that seems more common nowadays.  I much prefer the meringue-style, but that's probably because that's what I grew up with...

Pavlova recipe & photoCollapse )
Due to impatience (and the fact it was already about 8:30 or 9pm), I didn't let them cool in the oven all that long - long enough to whip the cream, and for me & Peter to chop up all the strawberries - some for this,some for jam, some for my plan to make strawberry fizz, and some left whole to eat during the week.  The pavlovas were still fine though, just a little bit chewy in the middle (which is how I prefer mine anyway!). 

Delicious!  As pavlovas always are.  And worth the ridiculous amount of time I spent beating them (which was obviously more than was required, so next time I will (very happily!) beat them for less time). 

Now if I can just remember to post, in the next week or so, I'll hopefully let you know about making the jam (because I suspect I never got around to posting that recipe after Mum taught me?), and the strawberry fizz (which will be modeled on the rhubarb champagne recipe,which I finally got around to trying out in the last month or so, and it was so easy & delicious that I'm going to try making all kinds of other fruit fizzy drinks!).  I don't think the scones are going to happen this time around, but Peter will be working in Joondalup for the next few months, which is not that far from the berry farm (in Bullsbrook), so I figure we're likely to get back there for some more soonish, and the scones might happen then...
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Chile Con Queso [Aug. 27th, 2011|05:43 pm]
Jenny
Thursday night we had Chile Con Queso & tortilla chips for tea.  Definitely not the healthiest of meals, since Chile Con Queso is an extremely cheesy sauce!  But damn it was good.  I blame the cherry tomato plant.  It's been produceing quite a few cherry tomatoes, but we haven't really been eating them because, well, they're best in salads, aren't they, and it's certainly not salad weather!  But I didn't want them to go to waste, so I said to Peter on Wednesday that we should do something with them.  He suggested bruschetta, which seemed like a good idea when he said it, but by the time I got home on Thursday night I was cold, and wanted something nice & warm for tea.  Bruschetta is more of a summer-weather thing too really, isn't it?  And that's when I had the brilliant idea of Chile Con Queso, which I don't think I've made for about 5 years!  It's really a sharing kind of food, best as part of an entire mexican meal, rather than all by itself for tea!  Not really generally worth making just for the 2 of us...

Chile Con QuesoCollapse )
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Stuffed Baked Trout [Aug. 27th, 2011|05:15 pm]
Jenny
A few weeks ago we had stuffed trout for tea.  I thought I might type up the recipe before I forgot!

Stuffed Baked TroutCollapse )
Yum!  A really tasty way to have trout (but then, trout is almost always super-tasty...)
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Cream of Mushroom Soup [Aug. 22nd, 2011|05:25 pm]
Jenny
Last week Will was playing with some wooden vegetables that you "cut" in half with a wooden knife (they are velcro-d together), and when he gave half a mushroom to Peter, Peter said "yum, now I can make a cream of mushroom soup". That sounded totally delicious to me, so when we got home I found a recipe & made some! And it was just as delicious as I had imagined :-)



Cream of Mushroom SoupCollapse )



It was especially tasty served with the buns I had just made, fresh from the oven so the butter melted into them...
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Moroccan chicken stirfry [Aug. 14th, 2011|10:36 pm]
Jenny
I know it's been forever since I've posted... I have been cooking - and yummy interesting food at that.  I've just been failing to type the recipes up at all.  Which really sucks, because then sometimes a month later I think "gee, we had that yummy thing a little while ago, we should have that again... where's the recipe?... oh yeah, I forgot to type it up & now I can't find it" :-(  Especially bad when it's one we actually made up ourselves.  Which is not something I usually do 'cos I'm too wussy, but Peter often does.

But, in a shock move, a few weeks ago I did make up a recipe.  Not completely made up off the top of my head as I went, like Peter is brave enough to do - more kind of cobbled together from other recipes.  But hey, I've got to start somewhere,eh?

I took the Moroccan Chicken & Onion Pie recipe (which I think I've posted here sometime in the past when I was still actively doing the multiple cuisines in a week adventure), and modified it for 2 reasons.  Firstly because I was too lazy to fiddle around with the filo pastry for the pie, and secondly because (as I've posted here before) we're trying to eat more veggies.  The first time I did it I made Moroccan stirfried veggies using some Moroccan spices, and then cooked the chicken separately & served them separately on the plate.  The next time I did it I realised I could just cook it all together - yay!  Easier, and less washing up - win!

So, here it is:
Moroccan Chicken StirfryCollapse )
See - super easy!  Add as much veggies as you like - I added quite a bit.  The chicken/lemon/spices flavour is strong enough to handle it :-)

I like that it is a nice warm veggie-type dish for winter, but also "fresh-tasting" enough (because of the lemons) to be pleasant in summer too.  

I really enjoyed it, & pretty much ate it at least once a week until I ran out of preserved lemons :-(  Luckily, it is lemon season, & there are plenty of people trying to give away lemons for free, so I have a bunch more that will start being ready from 2 weeks from now, and I'm still making more...
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Portuguese Pork [Mar. 7th, 2011|09:11 am]
Jenny
I know that sounds like it would be Portuguese, but it's actually an Indian dish, from when the Portuguese were in India for the spice trade.  And it's delicious!

First you have to make a Vindaloo Paste - or buy one, but where's the fun in that?
Vindaloo PasteCollapse )

Portuguese PorkCollapse )

Yum yum!  Delicious, and quite easy (other than the spice grinding, which is a bit of a pain).  I like that you can prepare the marinade ahead of time, and then it requires minimal supervision from then on...

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Banana & walnut muffins [Oct. 7th, 2010|12:26 pm]
Jenny
I made some muffins this week!  I had a great recipe I'd found a few months back for banana & walnut muffins, but Peter's computer crashed, and all my recipes were on it :-( (all fixed now)  So I searched the internet hoping to find the recipe (as I had originally got it off the internet) - but no luck.  I found this recipe instead though:
Banana & Walnut MuffinsCollapse )

And they were very yummy.  Less fluffy than the other recipe, and Peter said a bit less sweet (but that would be because the other recipe had a brown sugar/walnut mix on top of them!).  You might even say they were sturdy - definitely more filling :-)  And, when I thought about it, much healthier - they are quite low in fat (only the small amount of milk - and in the case of oat milk, that means pretty much no fat), and the sugars they use (brown sugar & honey) are less refined than white sugar.  You could probably label these diabetic muffins, in fact!  So, i think I'll probably use this recipe in future...
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Moroccan Meat Cigars & Cucumber & Mint Salad [Sep. 22nd, 2010|09:14 am]
Jenny
The coriander plants (that self-seeded from last year - yay!) were starting to get a bit out of control, so I figured it was time to eat either asian, indian, or middle eastern.  I had a quick look in the middle eastern book & found a recipe which would use up my coriander & also my excess parsley!  Brilliant!  And, I have to say, absolutely delicious - I'll be making these again!  And it made plenty - we had 10 for tea, and then packed them up in containers of 3-4 for lunches - I think I had 6 packs...Moroccan Meat Cigars & Cucumber & Mint SaladCollapse )
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Creamy Capsicum Pasta [Aug. 26th, 2010|06:46 pm]
Jenny
Last night for tea we had
Creamy Capsicum PastaCollapse )
This was great!  It was part of our (once again) plan to eat more veggies.  Although probably the cream kinda nullifies the benefits of the veggies :-)  But it was the first recipe I came across that we had all the ingredients for!  We'll definitely have it again, and add more veggies next time - yum yum.
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I know I'm lazy... [Aug. 23rd, 2010|11:32 am]
Jenny

I have been cooking & eating, I've just been either too busy or too slack (or both) to post about it! 

But since the last post, I have made the following things that I have really enjoyed:

- strawberry jam and lemon butter - finally learning the family jam secrets from my Mum!
- speaking of the strawberries, last week I got a big tray of "seconds" for $5 - and they are the best strawberries I've had for ages!  Sure, some were going a bit manky/mouldy, but most of them are fine.  So far I've made the jam, icecream, and a sauce (just pureed some with caster sugar) which I had with sliced strawberries & cream on pancakes.  Plus I've just eaten a bunch of them.  I'm thinking of doing a strawberry shortcake now - I've never tried one, but it's a famous strawberry cake, so...
- leek & bacon steamed pudding - delicious!  And of course, it made more than we can eat, so there have been yummy leftovers in the freezer :-)
- a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for Will's 2nd birthday
- orange madelines (delicious small french cakes that we first learnt about watching The Transporter!)
- Tandoori chicken, with spicy vegetables in a yoghurt sauce

Hopefully I'll get a bit organised & actually post about these in more detail soon...


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From soup kitchen to... pudding kitchen! [Jul. 4th, 2010|09:11 pm]
Jenny
I know that early last month we were a soup kitchen, but later in the month we changed into a steamed pudding kitchen - mmmmm...

After making the "Brown Pudding No 1" in May, I was talking to my Mum about it, and she said "have you tried Marguerite pudding?".  Apparently this is a steamed pudding where you put jam in the bowl before you put the pudding mix in, and then when you turn it out the melted jam pours down the outside of the pudding.  That sounds great!  I said, and decided I might do that next.  Well, then a few weeks ago Mum phoned me to ask if she had lent me her steamed pudding dish that had the pinkish metal lid that clipped on.  "Your what?" I said, "You have a steamed pudding dish with a lid??!  That sounds brilliant!  I wonder if you can still get them?"  I might not have mentioned this when I made the Brown Pudding, but the one annoying thing about steamed puddings is tying the baking paper & foil over the top of the pudding bowl.  So the idea of a dish with a lid sounded great to me.  It turns out you can still get them, although they kinda snap on now, rather than clip on, which doesn't actually seem like an improvement to me, but...  Anyway, they're only about $25, so I bought one!  And then thought I'd better get on & get my money's worth out of it :-)

So we had Steak & Kidney Pudding, Banana Pudding with Caramel Sauce, and Lime Pudding all in pretty short succession.  And they were all great!  Yay!  And tonight I've made Apple Ginger Pudding, which is also tasty...  Even more puddings are planned...

I made the Steak & Kidney Pudding because Peter has been wanting me to make it for the last 20 years & I've always refused on the grounds that I don't like kidney.  But it really is one of the classic steamed puddings, so I thought I should give it a go.  I followed a fairly traditional recipe that used a suet pastry, even though I've always avoided recipes that used suet before on the grounds that they were too hard ;-)  For a start, I had no idea where to get it from!  But I decided to be brave... I read up on it & now know what it is (fat from around the kidneys & liver) and why it's used (melts at a different temperature to butter/other fat options - meaning that the pudding has already kinda set when the fat melts, leaving lovely bubbles in your pudding that make it nice & light).  So I visited our friendly butcher & asked if he could get me some suet & some kidneys.  And he said, "sure, how much?" and then went out the back & got them!  Wow, talk about easy :-)  So, here is the recipe...
Steak & Kidney Pudding (with photos)Collapse )

I made the Banana Pudding next because we had some bananas that had gone black and were going to have to go in the bin if I didn't do something with them right away...  It was meant to be Banana Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce, but I wanted to make sure Will could eat it (he loves his sweets), and butterscotch has cream in it :-(  So I tried doing a caramel sauce instead, which was just sugar & water, but I overcooked it a bit and it went a bit hard.  Was still tasty, but I think next time I'll just make it one for us :-)  Will was asleep by the time it was ready anyway...
Banana Pudding with Butterscotch SauceCollapse )
The banana pudding was delicious - maybe because our bananas were so ripe?  But it was lovely & banana-y, and quite dense (in a good way).  Now I have 3 things to do with over-ripe bananas! (this, banana cake, and banana & walnut muffins).

I made the Lime Pudding because we had too many limes (are you sensing a pattern here?).  Tracey's lime tree has been producing like made & she was sick to death of them & gave us a big bag when we were there a few weeks ago.  Peter made a fantastic lime, ginger & chilli stir-fry (which I'll get him to tell me the secrets of if he can still remember, since he made it up as he went), we used some in a spanish fish dish instead of lemons (remind me to post about that...) and we used a few others here & there, but still there were some left...  So...
Lime Syrup PuddingCollapse )
I did this when Michael & linstar were around.  It got stuck to the basin, so the presentation was rubbish, but it tasted good :-P  Although I think it was a bit too sharp for me - I preferred the banana pudding.  But Peter preferred this one.  It was very light though, and very fresh - perhaps a good summer pudding?

I did the Apple Ginger one tonight because apples are 99c/kg at the moment at our fruit & veg.  How can we resist doing apple things at that price?
Apple Ginger PuddingCollapse )
This was very pretty, with the apples on top.  And the apples kept it really moist.  It is a recipe for a less than 2L pudding basin though, because it only came half to 2/3rds of the way up mine.  This seems quite tasty (we had it with cream), but the least favourite pudding so far.  Which is not to say that it's bad at all, it's still a great dessert.  It's just that the others were even better! 
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Roast Chicken & Brown Betty [Jun. 6th, 2010|08:14 pm]
Jenny
Thursday night we had Roast Chicken (with all the veggies) and Brown Betty with custard for dessert.  I'd not had Brown Betty before, but Peter said I should make an apple pie since apples were only 99c/kg, and I was feeling lazy, so suggested an apple crumble instead (thinking crumble is probably easier to make than pastry).  So I looked up the Golden Wattle cookbook, thinking that was the most likely of my recipe books to have an apple crumble recipe.  Interestingly, despite many apple pie or pudding recipes, it didn't have apple crumble.  But it did have Brown Betty, which was even easier! 
Brown BettyCollapse )
It was super-delicious!  I'll definitely be making that again.  It was pretty sweet - the apples are probably sweeter than I'm used to making them (although admittedly, I had used red apples, which are generally sweeter), but with the cloves & cinnamon that just made them taste great!

Incidentally, it was a convoluted route that got us to having roast chicken.  Peter was a bit sick so I was going to make him my Mum's (Jewish) chicken soup.  Which, in a good Jewish money-saving way, also ends up making chicken pies (yum!).  But the chicken I bought was pretty big, and Peter said "couldn't we have a roast?".  We decided that we could eat half of it as roast chicken, and still have enough for the soup & pies (which I'm intending to make tomorrow...).So, 3 meals from the 1 chicken - yeah, that's how I like it :-)
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Ham & Mushroom Calzone [Jun. 6th, 2010|07:55 pm]
Jenny
The other week (before all the soups!) I made a Ham & Mushroom Calzone recipe that was in one of those cheap food magazines from the supermarket.  It appealed because I had a bunch of cheese (free from work), basil going berserk in the herb garden and some puff pastry sitting in the freezer that I haven't used for ages since Will is allergic to it.  I thought I would be a good idea to use some of it up...

Ham & Mushroom CalzoneCollapse )
These were great!  And quick to make too.  And because there was plenty of veggies in it (well, there was after I finished with it), I didn't feel any need to do any other veggies on the side - yay!
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Soup Kitchen! [Jun. 2nd, 2010|10:25 am]
Jenny
Our kitchen has been a soup kitchen for the last week or so - we've tried 3 different soups, and they've all been great!  This has been a bit of a revelation for me, as I was of the opinion that I didn't really like soup.  I guess it's a bit like my belief that I didn't like sweet with my savoury - the Moroccan cooking has changed my mind on that.  And I guess with soups, maybe it's just some soups I don't like.  After all, I've always loved Mum's chicken soup (good Jewish recipe that).  I used to hate soups with bean in though - especially those with butter beans - oh, how I hated butter beans!  I probably won't be trying any soups with them in :-)

So, we've had:
Scotch BrothCollapse )
This was yummy, and very filling - more of a meal than a soup.  We certainly got our money's worth out of that roast lamb leg - roast dinner, leftover roast dinner for lunch the next day, then a few days of toasted roast meat & gravy sandwiches (my favourite!), then soup as well!
Pea, Spinach & Ham SoupCollapse )
This was delicious, and super quick to make.  I don't think it took more than 20mins to make.  Just the thing for a winter's day when you get home & think "I'd like some soup", but you didn't start a soup 3 hours ago :-)  Sure, it's more expensive than a traditional pea & ham soup using a ham hock & split peas, but it still wouldn't have cost us more than $2 a serve, so that still a pretty cheap meal...
Potato Soup with Crispy BaconCollapse )
Peter made this one, so I'm not sure if he did anything differently.  Except that he mentioned that we'd had no onions, so he used some chives from the garden.  Also I saw some oregano leaves, so I think he might have used those instead of thyme (since our thyme has died).  This was super-delicious!  We got the idea when Peter had this soup at a restaurant when we went out with some friends for our anniversary.  It was so yummy I searched the internet for a recipe :-)  Which definitely didn't disappoint. Yum yum yum...

So, we'll definitely be making all of these again, and I'm going to try some more soups in the upcoming weeks... I'm open to suggestions - what's your favourite soup?
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Brown Pudding No1 (now known as Ginger Pudding) [May. 20th, 2010|10:42 pm]
Jenny
So, here it is, the recipe for Brown Pudding No1 - which will now be called Ginger Pudding in our house because it sounds more attractive & is actually more descriptive.  Although I can now see why the Golden Wattle cookbook didn't call it that - they have another pudding called Ginger Pudding, that has actual preserved ginger in it (glace ginger I assume). 
Ginger PuddingCollapse )
Delicious!  Which was a pleasant relief.  I tried this because at Christmas I thought, "gee, steamed puddings are fairly easy to make, especially in a slow cooker, where you don't have to keep an eye on their water.  I must make more this winter."  So, when it started to get a bit colder, I thought it was time to give it a go.  Of course, I was a bit disorganised, and didn't get onto it until the afternoon, which meant there wasn't time to do it in the slow cooker.  So I did it on the stovetop, and it was still pretty darn easy. 

When I looked through the Golden Wattle for steamed puddings (I thought it'd be the most likely out of my recipe books), this was one I definitely had all the ingredients for, and it sounded pretty easy.  Many of them used suet, and some of them involved creaming butter & sugar, which I always find a pain to do (I'm so lazy).  I will probably try the Marguerite next though which does involve creaming butter & sugar, but when you turn out the pudding, jam drips down the outside as a sauce - yum!

Anyway, so I tried this one, despite it's unattractive name, and it turned out to be delicious.  Peter said it tasted a bit like gingerbread.  It was great as dessert with cream, but that made hardly a dent in it (this is the kind of pudding that is designed to fill you up on a miserable winter's day).  Luckily, it turns out it tastes great cold with butter on it - yum!  A bit like my childhood memories of date loaf with butter on it at Mumma's & Poppa's.  Except gingery instead of datey ;-)  And it lasted very well too - we were eating for at least a week & a half afterwards (we kept it in the fridge).

So, definitely recommended!  Everyone should try it!  Steamed pudding should definitely make a comeback...
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Mexican Bean Pie [May. 20th, 2010|10:15 pm]
Jenny
I've finally got around to typing up the recipe for the Mexican Bean Pie.  Now I wonder if I can remember all the changes I made to it?

By the way, this is definitely not authentic mexican, but it tastes pretty damn good.  I got this recipe from the Simple Savings $21 Challenge...
Mexican Bean PieCollapse )
This was tasty, surprisingly mexican-tasting, and very cheap.  Yum!  Plus, there is a good chance you have all this stuff in the house already...
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Mixed Vegetable Curry [May. 20th, 2010|09:55 pm]
Jenny
Mixed Vegetable CurryCollapse )
I know I used different veggies, although I can't actually remember exactly what now.  I know I didn't have cauliflower or green beans.  I think I used some pak choy and some cucumber, but I'm not sure what else - maybe some mushrooms?  Anyway, it came out very tasty, and made for a delicious meal where you didn't really even notice there wasn't any meat (well, admittedly, there was prawns in ours, but as I said, you could barely tell, and it definitely wouldn't have detracted from it if there wasn't).  We had it completely by itself, not even with rice, but it would have been better with rice, as there was some sauce that could have done with being absorbed by rice (Peter mopped his up with bread!).
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Honey-baked rhubarb [May. 20th, 2010|09:43 pm]
Jenny
Tonight we had roast lamb followed by Honey-baked Rhubarb.  I would never have thought of doing this with rhubarb - I guess actually my rhubarb repertoire is pretty limited.  About the only thing I ever do with is it Apples & Rhubarb (and custard - yum!).  I also love Rhubarb & Ginger Jam, but I keep not getting around to learning how to make jam from my Mum.  Maybe we'll actually manage to get organised some time this year :-)  Anyway, the rhubarb in the garden really did need a trim, and I saw this recipe in an email from Hugh Fearley-Whittingstall (River Cottage) and it sounded pretty good to me - and dead easy to make.
Honey-baked rhubarbCollapse )
It was indeed dead easy to make, and it tasted super-delicious too!  I definitely recommend it!  Oh, and a little serve was plenty - I only put a "normal" amount in our dessert-bowls, but we were full by about half-way through.  Admittedly, it could be because we'd stuffed ourselves silly with roast dinner first, but I think it was actually that's it's quite a rich taste...  Anyway, Peter is going to try some on muesli tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes too...
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Roast Cod with Potatoes & Tomatoes [May. 18th, 2010|09:35 pm]
Jenny
Here is the other Moroccan recipe.  This was quite good, and I think it would be even better if I'd used more suitable fish.  I was using up some kind of fish cutlets - I can't even remember what they were!  But it means that we didn't have a skin-side up like it suggests, which I imagine gets nice & crispy?  I will try this one again with some kind of tasty fillets and see what it's like.  I definitely liked the way the potatoes & tomatoes went...

Roast Cod with Potatoes & TomatoesCollapse )
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