It's so much cooler now. The sky is eerily orange from the fires in the Grampians, but there's nothing close to us at the moment. It's nice to be able to open up the house and get some fresh air into it. Now I'm watching lilacsigil
play Lego Marvel Super Heroes. She's driving in New York. We couldn't figure out why everyone was on the wrong side of the road. Hopefully, they will just assume that Tony is wasted. It seems reasonable.
We ventured into the garden for the first time this week, and holy cow, the zucchinis are coming. THE ZUCCHINIS ARE COMING! Fortunately I have been stashing zucchini recipes on Pinboard
, so I am ready. The basil is looking awesome. There are tomatoes everywhere but all still green. The pumpkins have gone ballistic in the heat - huge leaves, lots of buds. Watermelons are looking a bit sad; I think they were still a bit small when the heat came, and even though we had plastic over them, they've suffered a bit. The cos lettuce has bolted, but the other lettuces are doing well, and so is the spinach. Peas everywhere! So many peas! And beans! And the eggplant tree is looking alive, at least, even if there are no blossoms. We just can't eggplant here, and it's so sad.
Recipe Friday! Let's make it happen! Something I've cooked recently:
Braised leg of lamb:
Basically, you get a leg of lamb, preferably with the bone in, stud it with garlic and sprigs of rosemary, and rub it with olive oil and sea salt. Then put it in a cast iron pot. Add a brown onion peeled and cut in two. Chop a head of garlic in half and throw that in, with a bunch of rosemary and thyme. (And maybe some peppercorns, maybe a bayleaf, maybe some brown sugar or honey, but this time we didn't bother because we'd left it too late in the day to be fussy.) Pour white wine over the lot, cover and cook it in the oven at 150C for five hours. Check it occasionally to make sure there's still liquid in the pot. Take the lid off for the last hour. It's done when it can be flaked with a fork.
We did this ahead of the heat, knowing we'd be unlikely to cook this week. The lamb, and some pumpkin rolls from the bakery did us for lunches, and with rice and veggies for dinner on a couple of nights when we were really flaked out from work. Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
I was totally inspired by the chickpeas in my Harvest Box last week - all the toasted lentils have been really tasty, and we always have a can of chickpeas to throw in curry, so it seemed like a good option. They were terrible! I don't think it's the fault of the recipe - the spices tasted great, but the chickpeas tasted like ass. I think I'll try soaking my own, maybe? Or a different brand of chickpeas? The problem is that the canned ones always smell really bad to me, and I could totally smell that bad smell, even covered in a billion spices and salt. I need to figure this out, because I love chickpeas, and I want to try hummus again soon. Something I've got concrete plans to cook soon:
Well, we're going to chargrill the first zucchini tomorrow. The Weber barbecue is working out great! We bought outdoor furniture to go with it - I sit there with my iPad, reading fic and grilling like a boss, while lilacsigil
potters in the garden. We chat over the balcony. It's really nice. mergatrude
's Super Easy Butter Cake
Part of my quest for an easy cake - that recipe I linked last week was actually pretty complex, so I abandoned it. I will have cake that is tender and has a nice rise and doesn't taste like dry paste. I will achieve this. I will be precise. As ducened
said, "Cake is your finicky English teacher who marks you off for forgetting the Oxford Comma."Something I'm idly thinking of cooking in the future Homemade Vanilla Bean Chai Syrup
This could be nice, right? You basically grab a can of sweetened condensed milk and stir in a whole bunch of spices to make a spiced syrup, then when you want chai, you stir some of the syrup into some black tea. It sounds like a good idea on paper, and I've got everything I need to make it on hand, so I'd like to give it a go. Panini bread
We've got the sandwich press out, and I'd forgotten how nice it is to just squish good things into bread and toast it. I'm going to make some nice panini-style breads to toast. To follow on with ducened
's analogy, unlike cake, bread is your mellowed out art teacher who wants you to get your hands dirty and feel for the right texture.
I've been trying to get this into a post but keep backing out of it: our elderly cat is on the decline. ( Cut for talk of ailing pets )