Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breakfast and the beach in Adelaide

For me a trip to Adelaide is always exciting.  It means spending precious time with my Mum and indulging in all the good things the city has to offer. 

Going out for breakfast and soaking up the city atmosphere in some of our favourite cafes is a simple pleasure.  

Walking on the beach, talking, digging, playing and collecting shells is both relaxing and invigorating, regardless of the weather.

Brighton beach and jetty

Brighton jetty and Port Noarlunga jetty
I love our little part of the outback but a few days in the city fills me with ideas, inspiration and a deeper appreciation for all the good things in my life.

Have you travelled anywhere lately?

Were you happy to be home again?

Do you have certain things you always like to do when you travel?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coffee and catering with RM Williams

When someone from an Australian icon such as RM Williams contacts you on a run of the mill afternoon enquiring about catering for a photo shoot there is only one thing to do…accept the job immediately and deal with the logistics later. 

RM Williams were recently in the Broken Hill area shooting photos for their catalogue and   one of their locations happened to be on our neighbour's property, Kars station. 

Terry, myself, Annabelle and George were on the move well before sunrise to start the day off with bacon and egg rolls, fruit and toast.  We also set up our coffee machine to keep the crew fuelled up on caffeine.  The coffee was met with delight.  I think our new city friends were thrilled to hear the hissing of an espresso machine coming from the shearer’s quarters in the middle of ‘nowhere’.

With breakfast dealt with efficiently the team of fashion professionals headed off into the early morning with their beautiful clothes, accessories, computers and big cameras.

For morning tea we served hazelnut chocolate brownie, mini pikelets with locally made lemon curd, zucchini slice and of course another round of coffee.  In between preparing food we enjoyed a glimpse of the modelling, styling and photography unfolding in the garden at Kars.  I believe a few pieces of our food may even appear as props in the catalogue which is rather exciting.

Lunch was served in the shearer’s huts and included our own roast lamb and salad wraps to add a little local flavour.  

The afternoon snacks were healthy and easily transportable.  The takeaway box included crackers, dips, nuts, dried fruit and freshly made popcorn for the crew to take with them on the road.

Our day proved to be a lot of fun, a great experience and we found a few things to fine tune in the catering department.  The crew were easy going and we now have a better understanding of all the hard work that occurs behind the scenes in those beautiful, glossy catalogues.  Opportunities only come along once in while don't they...have you had any come your way lately?  I hope so!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Zucchini Pickles

This summer my zucchini crop has been nothing short of incredible.  For almost four months I have continually harvested everything from slender baby zucchinis right through to long, heavy monsters that have been hiding beneath the furry leaves, silently growing at an alarming rate. 

Since recent rain the enormous bushes have had a growth spurt and are now up and over the garden fence.

My family has enjoyed zucchini muffins, slice and chocolate cake.  I have grated it onto pizza, roasted whole baby zucchinis and fried slices in a little olive with garlic and fresh herbs.  My children, Annabelle and George have eaten zucchini flowers in scrambled eggs which made an interesting and colourful dinner. 

These pickles are a tasty addition to a roast lamb sandwich or on a savory biscuit with some yummy cheese and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

My friend over at tea with hazel has recently posted some wonderful zucchini recipes if you also have a zucchini abundance at your place!

Zucchini Pickle

1kg zucchini
2 medium onions
1/4 cup salt
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Wash zucchini, trim ends and slice very thinly. Peel and quarter the onions lengthways and separate into layers. Combine zucchini, onions and salt with enough water to cover in a large bowl; stir well. Stand for 1 hour then drain. 

Combine remaining ingredients in large saucepan or boiler. Bring to the boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved, pour hot vinegar mixture over zucchini mixture and stand 1 hour.
Transfer zucchini and vinegar mixture to the large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes.

Spoon into warm, sterilised jars ensuring zucchini is covered with cooking liquid. Seal. When cold, label and store in a cool, dry place.  Refrigerate after opening.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In My Kitchen March 2012

Welcome to a little tour of what is in my kitchen this month…

After huge rain fell on our property recently we spent a week cut off from the world by mud and with very limited phone and internet access we were on our own island, virtually.  Of course, the only thing to do was to cook!   Amongst other things, I baked these rosemary and olive flatbreads from a recipe in the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook.  It was quick, easy and filled the house with that unmistakable smell of good things.

This tasty little rack of chops came from an 8 month old Merino x White Suffolk lamb.  The lamb in question was born and raised on our property and slaughtered by my husband, Terry.  It is reassuring to eat meat when you know exactly what the animal has eaten and how it has been handled from birth right through to slaughtering.  Terry is not a qualified butcher but his years of experience in home butchering means we always enjoy the best cuts of lamb and beef as well as home made sausages.  Perhaps making sausages might be another whole blog post one day!

My mother in law recently gave us a big box of plums from her prolific trees.  I simmered them slowly with a cinnamon stick and a split vanilla bean until they were very soft. They tasted incredibly sweet with a jam like consistency, although I did not add any sugar.  Perfect with muesli and natural yoghurt for breakfast!

Thanks again to my mother in law’s peach tree I baked this upside-down peach cake.  I used this recipe which Kate shared through her lovely blog Foxs Lane.  I breathed a sigh of relief when it came out of the cake tin relatively neatly!  The brown sugar on top caramelised slightly and served warm with cream it was a delight. 

What is looking good in your kitchen this month?

Join in the fun, go to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and look at what other people have in their kitchens around the world. 

I had some technical assistance with my photos for this post from Miss Piggy.  Please call in to her blog for plenty of food adventures and beautiful photos.