Monday, December 12, 2011


The Christmas Lillies are out a bit early.
Good grief...we are not only already in December, we are well into December.. where has the time gone? Christmas is looming and I am deeply ashamed to report that our tree is not yet up.  I need a man and a chainsaw with half an hour spare and that seems to be an impossibility at the moment.
The thing is, we are shearing and weighing and trucking lambs and it is all a bit manic because it has not rained here for ages.  This puts us into panic mode because we need the rain to freshen up the feed to keep the weight in the lambs.  The rain seems to be all going to the north, or to Melbourne and missing us altogether.  There are of course other farmers who are doing hay or harvesting who don't want it to rain...fussy bunch, aren't we?

Otherwise there have been races and school plays, a wedding in Perth, the kitchen garden at school, many trips to Melbourne and a couple to SA and loads to do in the garden.  I harvested my garlic the other day..
and now its hanging in the shed drying out.  I was, according to Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden  book, supposed to leave it until the summer solstice, but I was worried that it was rotting.  It is so nice to have your own garlic, as the imported stuff is sprayed with some nasty chemicals to preserve it.

There has been lots going on in the kitchen, just no time to blog about it.  I have made the bread that I saw on A Wee Bit of Cooking a couple of weeks ago, it is dangerously delicious, especially with strawberry jam...
We have had a great crop of broad beans this year.  I always blanch them and slip off the outer skin before using.  

Mostly I simply dress them in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and scatter with some chopped mint leaves...
or add some crispy pancetta and some shavings of parmesan, or even some marinated goat's cheese.

We have had quite a few double yolker eggs this spring....look how big they are compared to a normal egg.
The other thing I have been experimenting with is resting marinades for meat.  I found a recipe for a lamb resting marinade in Maggie Beer's Cooking with Verjuice book and have been trying it out with lamb.  It is easiest with a boned out leg, but can be used with one on the bone as I have done here:
So if you have time you marinate the lamb in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt & pepper for a few hours before cooking it as usual.  Then as it comes out of the oven you pour the resting marinade over the lamb, cover and rest in a warm place for 15-20 minutes, turning it over a couple of times.  

Resting Marinade (loosely based on Maggie's version)
1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons verjuice, a couple of sliced shallots, roughly chopped parsley &  oregano,  s & p.    Mix together.  Maggie had preserved lemon in hers too, which adds a great flavour.

It occurred to me that you could do this with smaller cuts of meat, like steaks or lamb loins and just alter your marinade to suit your taste.

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