#spicysaucyovalove

I do  love the feeling of optimism that comes with the arrival of spring.

A lingering notion that perhaps all is well with the world after all. Bare feet on dewy morning grass, the air crisp and fresh before the sun has cast it’s rays. Coffee beckons after meditation- life is about balance after all. My morning practice has left me feeling ravenous.

The chooks raise a shout in the yard- they too are hungry. I throw them seed whilst harvesting still warm eggs from the nesting box. The chalky globes fill an old wire basket- some relic from a local chicken farm that probably made way for comi-townhouses with ‘eggshell’ facades and neat landscaping.

The eggs are spoken for so fast they barely have time to harden. It’s the weekend, which means a slow start and a long breaky. This is my version of an exotic shakshuka and it’s ridiculously good. “Hashtag freakin amazing” according to my 14year old. But really, who knows what he’s on about half the time? I’ll take that as a positive comment until I am led to believe otherwise.

I recall him being small and I was the only person who understood his tottering talk- the funny pronunciations of new words and eager effort. I remember that gentle pride I felt, my boy and his special ways. He’s still special…..(and still requires a translator sometimes). I am as full-as-a-goog with mama love.

But over to my ova.

First I fry a little onion and chilli in some olive oil. Add some smoky paprika and ground coriander and a sprinkle of cumin seeds for good luck. I add a bottle of good quality tomato passata and a tin of refried beans. Stir over medium heat until thick and bubbling.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees and pour some sauce into ramekins. Crack in some eggs and pop in the oven for around 8 mins. Keep an eye on them and whip them out as soon as they’re not gooby- you know what I mean. :)

Top with chopped parsley and feta and serve with sourdough toast. Guaranteed to make the sun come out and the world turn in a whole new way. Every day is a good one- be grateful for good eggs and great beginnings.

Ps. Work starts on the construction of my very own yoga studio this weekend. So happy,happy,happy. See you in class soon.

Namaste xx

Party mouth pickle

IMG_1946 I love a good condiment. Who doesn't right? But this recipe is going to make us friends. :) This is the one recipe that you'll try and you'll experience that crazy Pow!! moment when your mouth and your brain do some sort of MC Hammer happy dance.

"You're welcome, glad you could come to the party. Pickles are on me"

I'm serious. Next weekend, I want you to go to the farmers market and buy two big fat shiny aubergines and a couple of lemons. Check out your spice rack- add some chilli if you like it hot. Then chase down some nice ripe avocados.

Sweet-talk the bread man and pay way too much for a fat grainy sourdough or better still make your own. Skip home and open this post and get to work.

This recipe makes about three medium jars so sort those out. Boil them in water to make sure they're sterile. You could halve the quantity but then you'd just be devastated when it runs out. Better to double the quantity and give to people you love (or owe lot's of money to, debt cleared!). I like it for breakfast but it's also great on lamb or chicken or lentil patties or ice-cream or sandwiches.

Ok, maybe not dessert.

My son named this recipe. He took one bite and lost his tiny mind. "What is in this???" said he. " It's like a party in my mouth!".

Party on little man.

Who doesn't love a serious breakfast party?

Eggplant Pickle

2 large eggplant

2  lemons (zest and juice)

½ cup vege oil

2 T tamarind paste

1 T garam marsala

1 T yellow curry powder

1 T turmeric

1 t hot paprika

1 t ground coriander

1 t mustard powder

1 t powdered ginger

* Cut eggplants into 1cm cubes

* Heat up a big pot and toast your dry spices over medium heat.

* Add oil and lemon zest and then stir in eggplant.

* Cook over low heat with a lid on. Stir every 5 minutes or so, for half and hour.

* Add lemon juice and tamarind and cook for a further 10 minutes.

* Make sure it's all good and soft and jar up. Vacuum seal your jars by placing in a simmering bath for 5 minutes. (water half covering the jars, no higher).

* You can eat one jar right away because the smell of this pickle is similar to the total exhilaration of your first kiss. (You'll see) You're not going to wait. But the rest you need to leave for a week because it gets better.

* If you wish to send me presents I'll understand :)

Smoked salmon and potato cake with greens

IMG_1785 There are the days that begin harried and rushed, the toast lands butter side down and my daughter can't find her homework. Everyone yells and runs and the clock seems to go faster than all of us.

Breathe.

And then there is the weekend. Slow, lazy mornings, small feet hide under blankets for just a little longer, books are brought to bed. The start of the day calls for a celebratory brunch- no reason other than to pause with gratitude. The coffee machine churns out espresso and chai, hot chocolate for the small one. One by one they surface and I am greeted by their messy hair and warm hugs. Everyday they grow. I'm so happy that I somehow wound up here, amongst this kingdom of riches, right in the midst of my kitchen.

I thought I'd share my beloved's favourite brunch recipe. I'll make sure I put him to work in the yard to wear it off!

Smoked salmon and potato cake with greens.

serves 4

4 large desiree potatoes

1 small red onion

handful chopped sage

1 T olive oil

1 T ghee

½ cup greek yogurt

1 T chopped chives

½ lemon

pinch salt + glug olive oil

100g smoked salmon

spinach or rocket leaves to serve

* Grate potatoes and squeeze excess moisture out in a clean muslin cloth.

* Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and cook off onion until soft.

* In a mixing bowl, combine potato, cooked onion, sage and a pinch of salt.

* Heat same pan again, with ½ T ghee and ½ T olive oil. When pan is hot, add potato mix and flatten down evenly with a spatula.

* cook over low heat for 8 minutes then flip the whole thing out onto a board (be careful). Put the other half of the ghee and olive oil into pan and cook the other side by sliding cake carefully back into pan. Cook for another 8 mins.

* Mix yogurt, lemon juice, pinch salt and glug of olive oil in a small bowl.

* Arrange spinach leaves on a plate. Flip cake out onto a large board and cut into 8 wedges. Serve two per plate over greens, divide salmon between 4 and top with sauce.

* Serve and send all men out into the yard for a good mornings toil. :)

 

 

Breakfast pizza

 The day began well. A slow breakfast, an indulgencusually reserved for weekends, provided sustenance for a quiet day in the studio.
The recent passing of my ancient stereo made birdsong my morning music. The intervals of silence seemed almost foreign to my mama ears. So accustomed to children's squabbles and peels of laughter. A chance to catch my breath.
The gallery has all the paintings they need so I have no plans for new work. This day is just for play, to try new things. A chance to grow. My inspiration stirs watching the kids in the morning. They roll out of bed like cats and find a patch of sun to warm themselves. All tumbles of peachy skin tired eyes. A joy to behold and a nightmare to get moving for school!
This might ignite a beginning but who knows where it will end up. We rarely write our own stories although we find our way. Long forgotten images accompany me. An old friend from school runs to catch the train, her red hair like fire in the breeze. Who knew she would wind up here twenty five years later? I quietly wonder where she is these days.
I'm not sure if it's the beginning of anything, I rarely am convinced. I'll live with it for a while and see, decide whether it needs to continue or go altogether. Life is like that I guess...

A Serious Tuesday Breakfast.

I took a ball of pizza dough from the freezer and it took no time to defrost in a warm spot. Whenever I make pizza I always make extra and freeze individual portions. Turned the bbq on high and put a pizza stone on the grill. I topped the dough with homemade chilli sauce and threw it on the stone while I fried a freshly laid egg. A lick of olive oil, some persian feta and parsley and I'm looking for a place in the sun. Happy days.