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 :)

Dog days and soft exotic silence...

IMG_1819 It's cold here, and grey. I'm having one of those dreary days where plans just don't come off and self doubt comes creeping.

It's a day for turning in, with the dog for company and something warm on the stove. Woolly socks and the soft exotic silence of an empty house....

A bunch of kale from the garden begs to be eaten, it threatens to give up it's crisp curly leaves if I don't answer the call. Today is not a kale chip day. It's possibly a potato chip day, but kale? Non. I need something to wrap my hands around, a big bowl of warm cheer-the-hell-up.

IMG_1822

I have a good organic stock in the pantry and there's always a tin of beans around. Lunch will take minutes, I've no steam for fussy preparation. I rinse my beans and heat my stock to boiling. The kale gets a quick chop-over with a knife and goes into the broth for two minutes with the lightly smashed beans. I grate some garlic and good quality parmesan and throw it in too. A squeeze of lemon lifts the whole pot to perfection.

Lunch was eaten slowly and went a long way to restoring my vigour. The dog licked the bowl and took me out for a walk. Sometimes all we need is a little self nurture to see the days possibilities.

Michelle  xx

Tales of terror in waxed paper.

IMG_1702 When I was a girl my mother would turn all leftover food into sandwiches.

Whatever and all, regardless of it's sandwich filling suitability, got slapped between two slices of wonderwhite and wrapped in waxed paper. Fried rice, savoury mince, spaghetti sauce, sloppy oozy things that just didn't belong. Every item in the fridge shared the same fate and as a result I have some serious sandwich issues!

For me a sandwich must never be on square bread and it's fillings require serious consideration. The French do a smashing baguette and the Italians have their focaccia, I love a greek yiros and I'm even quite partial to a campfire bacon roll. Sandwiches deserve invention leftovers need other ingredients to be reinvented.

Which brings me to my refrigerator. I have the dubious talent of being able to turn almost anything into a fritter. One day when my children are old, they will probably bang on about the cold patties of disguised broccoli that they got in their lunch boxes. (I promise they're delicious).

Who doesn't love crispy fried goodstuff?? Whats not to like about lemony salty feta and some crunchy homegrown greens? Make a big batch and serve in the sunshine with lemon wedges and salad. Sure beats a minestrone sandwich.

I'm not kidding friends, I don't know how, but she did.

Chicken and Broccoli Fritters

1 ½ cups cooked chopped chicken

1 cup chopped broccoli

100g crumbled feta

1T pinenuts

1 egg lightly beaten

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup milk

handful chopped shallots

1 T chopped mint

zest of one lemon

* Place everything in a big bowl and mix until combined.

* Heat a frying pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of oil and fry in batches until golden.

* Don't complain when you get them tomorrow in your lunchbox. :)