Tag Archives: Pies and Tarts

A Lot of Gardening and a Little Bit of Citrus

With the weather on the improve, the garden has been the place to be of late. While the garden on the terrace has been totally revamped,

Gary has been working around the pool, removing the existing planting and totally renovating the surrounds. He has removed a trailer load of nandina, rectified the irrigation system, barrowed in pebbles, sunk plinths and has urns ready for the planting. He has also erected our old canter-lever umbrella, and employed some local tradespeople to extend the paving – it looks amazing – but you’ll have to wait to see how it looks…

I have spent a little time in the corner patch, where we now have a raspberry bed, all planted, and with trellis erected.

But one must be patient, it will be a year or two before we see any real results from this little patch. I’ve also been leveling the ground and stockpiling soil in readiness for the creation of all the new beds.

In the kitchen, well, inspiration has come from our garden, to a degree. Our little patio mandarin had 12 fruit, so we could either eat them as is, or make some marmalade which would reward us for a longer period of time. We opted for Mandarine Marmalade which also has a little Cointreau added just at the end.

Then there are lemons, so this morning when I was making a batch of gluten free Friands, I ducked out and pulled one off the tree to liven the mix for the raspberries and almond ones.

Another recipe that has been brewing for a couple of weeks, is Blood Orange Vinegar, a recipe that I found in the wonderful book “A year on the Farm” by Sally Wise. This vinegar is not only beautiful to look at, it really livens up a salad. We have a blood orange tree ready to be planted, so hopefully in a few year’s time, we will be making it with our own oranges.

Finally, given that it is now asparagus season, and I had picked up some beautiful thick spears from our local farmer’s market, I made an Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart to have for our dinner.

It was so good to come in from the garden and quickly put a salad together to serve alongside – for Gary, I topped his off with some of our home smoked salmon.

There is lots to do in the garden still, the shed is to be erected on the new concrete slab, more leveling of the ground, and the building of the new beds, meantime the seeds have been planted and are showing their colour as incentive for me to get to work.

So until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

Mandarine Marmalade

Friands

Blood Orange Vinegar

Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart

The Terrace

Reunions

You may have seen that we recently attended our little grandson’s second birthday, which was a wonderful day. The party was hosted by Cooper’s parents, Chris and Cin, at Cin’s parents’, Mike and Chris, home. While we were there, Mike showed, and told us about some smallgoods he had been making at classes in Melbourne, and was very generous, giving us a pack, with four salamis in it, as we left.

I couldn’t wait to taste them – they were delicious, so started to think of ways I could use them in my cooking. I have made three dishes, one was just a Braised Cabbage with Shallot and Salami, then a Antipasto Tart to share with my sisters and cousin, and finally, for me was a great combination – a dish of Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli with Scallops with Salami and Pea Puree.

It is always so rewarding to share your own produce with family and friends. It is also so exciting to receive wonderful homemade produce to play with in the kitchen as well, isn’t it?

Unfortunately my sisters, cousin and I had to travel to our hometown of Navarre to attend the funeral of an elderly friend and neighbour. However, it did give us the opportunity to visit our lovely mum who hasn’t been so well of late. We also had some “girl” time together, sharing meals around the family table, as well as a lot of reminiscing and catching up. Jan had cooked lamb with lots of veg, including silverbeet from the garden, for our dinner, Sonnie had brought along a garlic pide which they used to mop up the sauce from the Green Beans Braised in Tomato that I had added to the table, and for dessert I had made a Cherry Clafoutis.  The next morning, again, Jan had things all organized with some beautiful local produce, so we had bacon and poached eggs.

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It is a little sad that funerals also become reunions of sorts. A gathering of people with a common link – a special person who brings them all together for one last time as they bid their cherished family member or friend good bye. While a sad occasion, it is also time to renew old aquaintances, try to work out who that person is that looks so familiar, but you just can’t put a name to the face. Time to reminisce and catch up on old times and new.

Finally we said our good-byes and began the long drive home. My sister, Sonya and I had a mission, we needed manure for our garden. The weather was very wet, the rivers, creeks and gutters were all running quite high, but very early on in the trip we managed to load 5 large bags of sheep manure and 4 of horse manure into the back of Sonnie’s wagon (unfortunately there was not enough room for any more). You can imagine that aroma was not exactly roses in the car for the rest of the journey – sorry, Sandra…  At Sonnies, we transferred my share of the manure to my car, together with the asparagus, rhubarb and the rest of my belongings, and I continued the journey back to Maffra. Six hours after we left Navarre, I arrived home to an open fire and a glass of wine, thank you to my wonderful husband.

(Unfortunately there is an issue with my site with regard to iPad viewing, we are currently working on this and hope to have it resolved very soon.)

Until next time

Bon appétit!

Links:

Braised Cabbage with Shallot and Salami

Antipasto Tart

Cherry Clafoutis

Green Beans Braised in Tomato

Blind Baking

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