Monday, February 18, 2013


The weather these days never ceases to confuse me.  Last Thursday we were minding our own business, having dinner actually, when totally out of the blue a massive hailstorm descended.....
It hosed with rain and we had 32 mm in about 20 minutes.  One kilometre up the road there was not a drop.  When I went outside on dusk about an hour later to lock up the chooks it was as if nothing had happened.   Not a puddle remained.  This is how you do it:  you run out of rainwater so you get a man to bring a huge tanker of water to fill up your rainwater tank.  You pay him to do this.  Then it is guaranteed to rain within the next week.

It's been very hot since then.  There have been spontaneous lightning strike fires erupting in the Grampians:
Photo:  The Hamilton Spectator
30 degree plus temperatures are typical for February.  It is tinder dry.  It is always the time of year that I retire indoors to make tomato sauce and relish to last us for the coming year.

The beans are coming thick and fast now, and I made this bean and roasted hazelnut salad:
I flashed the beans in the hot oven of the Aga to roast them as an experiment, but the colour wasn't great, so it would probably be better to just blanch them (the flavour was good though).  I also roasted the hazelnuts then wrapped them in a tea towel and rubbed the skins off.  For the dressing I mixed about 3 tblsp olive oil with 1 tblsp vinocotto, added salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice.  Dress the warm beans in a bowl with the dressing, then arrange on a plate, crumble over some goat's cheese or feta and top with the hazelnuts.  Drizzle over a bit more dressing to finish.

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