Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunday Lunch

The Tree Dahlia I planted two years ago is finally flowering

Holidays over and normal service resumes.  It was very hard to get out of bed on Monday morning to fill the lunch box and ensure prompt arrival at the front gate for the school bus.

No exotic holidays for us, but it was fun just to be at home taking it easy.  There have been lots of paddock picnics and catching up with friends.

Look at those tasty chops
Best of all, there were two very pleasant Sunday lunches.  Cooking Sunday lunch would have to be one of my favourite things to do.  On the first occasion we had slow roasted lamb, forgotten what sort of potatoes and salad followed by a rather nice apple pudding for which I should have made custard, but ran out of time:
Please excuse the fingerprint in the ice cream....0/10 for presentation
To start with we had my roasted olives which are effortless to make and quite expensive to buy.
Just put some kalamata olives in a baking dish and drizzle generously with olive oil.  Add a couple of strips of lemon peel (use a peeler, you don't want any of the white pith), a chopped chilli (seeds removed), a sprinkle of fennel seeds, a sprig of thyme or rosemary and a quick grind of pepper.  Cook in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes until nicely softened.  Give them a shake every so often.  They keep well in a jar in the fridge, just warm them gently to serve.

We sat at the dining room table with all the kids and enjoyed a few reds by the fire.  Can't beat it.
Last weekend, we had friends to stay and the husbands went to Melbourne to go to the footy on Saturday.  They returned, tired, hungover, in time for lunch on Sunday and I made glazed corned beef, mashed potato and tray baked root vegetables followed by a nutty golden syrup pudding similar to the one in Matthew Evans' new book Winter on the Farm.  I didn't photograph the corned beef, but I will soon, and let you know how I cook it.

In the second week my daughter did a Cattle Handling and Showing Course at the Melbourne Showgrounds.  As we don't have cattle, she was given a recalcitrant little Belted Galloway that she had to feed, learn to groom and show over the four days.  Here it is not standing up.

It took a pusher and a puller to get it into the ring for the final judging so she did very well.  The kids all slept in swags on the concrete floor of the Woodchop Pavilion and had an absolute ball.

I meanwhile was kept busy attending to some shopping, idling about in bookshops, wandering around the city and going out for dinner.  I went for lots of walks and loved seeing all the michelias and camellias in full bloom.  
The ewes are lambing like nobody's business.  It is amazing so many are surviving given how wet it is.  The Lochaber Creek flooded last night, but luckily there is some higher ground for the ewes to go to.
I can't take any photos of them as we don't like to disturb the ewes too much as it leads to mismothering. Further updates next week.

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