SOLD. size 4 in x 5in 10cm x 12.5cm
There was no blog yesterday for which I apologise to the person who reads it every day.
Yesterday, I made an afternoon meze which we ate with the neighbours in the garden. I really got into it and made two things that I had never done before.
There were two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc which disappeared somewhere in the process. The weather was just perfect sauvignon blanc weather warm but still fresh and lime green. The lime green comes from the oak trees whose leaves are almost but not quite fully formed.
I made a beetroot with garlic and olive oil dressing, a talatouri or tzattziki, clefthedes, halloumi griddled, a village salad, olives with coriander and kalamata olives.
Celeriac and carrot with salt and lemon. Toasted pumpkin seeds that I have not made with unshelled seeds from a pumpkin before( they went off like popcorn),and something really different kolopitta the pumpkin pasties that I used to buy from the snack shop across the road from the office where I worked in Nicosia.
For these you need a firm sweet and quite dry orange pumpkin or squash….in the Eastern Mediterranean they use a variety that looks like a giant extended butternut, it keeps all winter.
The recipe is a fusion between what I remember and a book recipe which is for ridiculous quantities.
Halve or quarter the recipe:
1kg diced pumpkin flesh (dice about 1cm)
1cup of Chilean flame raisins or something similar, you are looking for dark aromatic raisins as big as possible, lexia raisins would be too sweet..
4tablespoons coarse bulgur wheat
1teaspoon dried mint
1teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Prepare this mixture 24 hours in advance, mix and allow to stand covered.
Make a shortcrust pastry or buy it ready made.
The book recipe calls for a pastry made with 6cups of hard flour (i.e. bread flour), 6 tablespoons of corn oil, half a teaspoon of salt and one and a half cups of cold water.
You then make Cornish pasty shapes with the mixture and the pastry and bake for 20-25 minutes in a hot oven.
I was really pleased with the result but regret having made them too small I think they work better done Cornish pasty size as a substantial snack or vegetarian lunch, vegan even.
The other whizz thing I cooked two nights back was a chicken risotto with some ham and celery but at the last minute I added a big handful of chive buds. They are great to harvest as I used my fingers as a comb and pulled them out of the clump that way….cooked they looked a bit like stewed tadpoles but had a wonderful delicate flavour, as no doubt would stewed tadpoles.
Oh yes and huge celebration, I finally have an apricot Bearded Iris. More than five years ago I was invited by a guide to pick up the left over scraps of a national Iris collection that had to be rescued from the rampant rabbits in Withdean Park Brighton, I took away two carrier bags full and have been trying to coax them into life first in a garden that was too shady and now here in the heavy clay…its been uphill.
#57 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
4.5″x6″ 11cm x 15cm watercolour on heavyweight Fabriano paper
There are several times in the year when you get something really special that doesn’t come all the time. At the moment there are the wild garlic leaves in the woods and from the supermarket fresh garlic from France.
The first delicate broadbeans are another thing that is special. I like to make a pasta sauce with the fresh garlic if I can still get it, a packet of philly or similar cheese and a cup full of pea sized baby broad beans just slightly cooked. Salt ,black pepper fresh thyme…that is all. Never get tired of it there’s no real chance to.
The shallot is one I grew by the back door last year; they have stored really well.
#33 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
4.5″x6″ 11cm x 15cm watercolour on heavyweight rag paper
I’ll try garlic, I like garlic both to eat and paint. It has a magic shape quite prim and organised and then you break it open to cook with it and the tight skin unravels in a chaotic flaky mess and the colours emerge on the side of each clove.
When I did a pottery class I wanted to make a vase in the shape of a head of garlic, it would have been white porcelain had I ever got to grips with the porcelain clay which can slump and fold up in the kiln.
That’s an example of an idea which was perfect until I tried to actually realise it in 3d.
The garlic is only so so, I will come back to it again or rather a different piece as no.1 son wants to make curry and chips and banana fritters in his final cooking practical. “Not very balanced “we said, his eyes began to bulge “So? We can do what we want today and I like the idea”.
Incidentally a few days back he was taken off curriculum in order to work on his geography course work, he rang up after an hour saying his teacher still had his work and was on sick leave, could I find the drafts and e-mail them to the school, I did , At 2.45 the subject head rang me (finally) to say that they had been unable to open the email due to them working on an older Windows package than the one we use, I offered to get the IT sorted out but as they said there was no point as the school day was nearly over……
#5 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog