Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The first few weeks of winter have been, well, wintry. After weeks of still, glorious autumn, cool mornings and bright sunny days, we have now plunged into the classic, western district winter.This is the last of the roses. I love winter, especially at the start and I haven’t got sick of setting the fires and collecting kindling and loading the woodbox. I will not have the same view in 6 weeks time when we have run out of wood/kindling/pinecones/patience and I do have to admit the going outside to get wood at 6.45am (in the dark) to light the fire in the kitchen may wear thin. We live in a very old, cold bluestone house with no heating (except for open fires) so woollen jumpers and ugg boots are the order of the day.

Recent cooking adventures have included:

Lime marmalade made from some limes given to me by a friend. I didn’t have a recipe so I just used my usual orange marmalade recipe and hoped for the best. The result was very limey, but reminiscent of the classic Rose’s Lime Marmalade which was the intention. It did set beautifully, although next time I think I’ll use less actual fruit. I prefer a clear shred marmalade with very thinly sliced fruit. It is utterly delicious upon toasted grainy Van Leuven bread and very hard to resist at breakfast.

I had a go at pork rillettes, a new experience which will be repeated only next time I won’t call in at the neighbours for a drink on the way back from footy training and leave the pork belly in the oven for an hour more than required (I forgot to turn the temp down as well, which didn’t help). The temptation then was to say bugger the rillettes and have the pork belly for dinner as I could have eaten my fist and it smelled amazing. I was a bit heavy handed with the orange rind as well, so they will need some tweaking.

My garden helper had kindly given me two lovely small pumpkins that she had grown in her garden. I cut the top off one of them, scooped out the seeds and sloshed in some olive oil, melted butter, garlic, toasted pine nuts and chopped sage, put back the lid and baked in the oven for 1 hour. Yum. Great with a roast.

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