Monday, November 29, 2010

Linguini, Gamboretti, e pomodoro

Did I say that right? Probably not. I'm sorry. But this is what I cooked for mum and her friends for lunch.

It's always difficult to cook something that you don't actually eat yourself. Or at least, I find it difficult. Or perhaps that's not quite the right word. I mean, I've never cooked prawns before, and don't eat them either, so I have no idea of the correct way to prepare them so that they are edible. I'm happy to report that this meal was unanimously voted as "great" by all that partook.

First we picked up some prawns from Queen Vic market, with no set idea of what to do with them. I suggested I cook up some pasta and make a tomato sauce and simmer them in that. Mum gave that the nod, so I did.

A diced onion and a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic sauteed in some oil. A tin of tomatoes and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, plus another half-tin of water added and set to simmer. A squirt of this, a shake of that, and it simmered for about 15 minutes. I threw the prawns in for the last 5 minutes or so. As always, I am no good at putting stuff on a plate and making it look good:

But I hear you asking, if I cooked this for them, what did I eat. I reserved a little sauce before throwing in the prawns and had this with some pasta and a spare arancini we had leftover in the freezer. It might not be as special as prawns, but it was bloody tasty too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grandma-style Cookin'

Sometimes you just crave a meal kinda like what Grandma might've used to make. Or just something kinda simple, homey, old style.

For those who don't know, my mum's been staying with me since the end of September. It's been great having her here, what with an operation, last-minute wedding hassles, the non-wedding, and a bunch of other things rearing their ugly heads. Today we decided to have corned beef for dinner (and lunch tomorrow, and probably as part of dinner tomorrow night... it was only a small piece of beef, but there's only two of us!).

If we imagine the plate is a clock, then clockwise from where 11 would be is:

- slices of corned beef that'd been in the slow-cooker with a bay leaf, worcestershire sauce, vinegar and water on high for 2.5 hours, then low for another 4.5 hours so that it was fall-apart tender, with chive white sauce on top.

- potato, sweet potato, carrot and pumpkin, tossed with oil and Vegeta then roasted.

- steamed broccoli.

- cauliflower that had been roasted with a little of the oil the other vegies had been tossed in drizzled over the top (BTW this is a fricken AWESOME way to eat cauliflower).

- corn cut from the cob, then seasoned with a little butter, sugar, salt, and thinly sliced... stuff from my window sill... is it sage or basil? I'm a bad person, I don't know!

- tomato and onion pudding, made by layering slices of tomato and onion with crushed Vita Brits in a casserole dish, then topped with more crushed Vita Brits and dotted with butter, and baked at about 180C for an hour. Delish. Try it.

- finally, in the middle, some steamed green beans.

Y'know, we only had a little of each thing, but it ended up being a HUGE meal. But so tasty. Needless to say, we didn't have any dessert. But hey, how good are we, folks: count the number of vegies in that meal... EIGHT vegies, plus the tomato and onion. Surely that means we can be a little bit bad for a few days? Cos, you know, we're, like, in credit, right?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Pretty Little Things

I love flowers, I really do. Unfortunately I'm terribly allergic to a few of them. There's no rhyme nor reason to which will make me suffer, so I try to avoid most of them, just on principle. I think it's partly due to this that I take pictures of them. I was going through my files on my computer the other day and stumbled across a ton of them, so thought I'd share my favourites. I've reduced the quality of the images so that the blog doesn't take ages to upload, but I think these still look nice. Where I can remember, I've included where I took the picture.

No idea where this was, but it's my absolute favourite at the moment

Hobart, gardens of Lenna hotel

Mum's place

My place, when I first moved in

First season roses at my place, 3 days ago

The Convent garden at Daylesford

Garden of a small motel about 13km out of Daylesford

Garden of a small motel about 13km out of Daylesford

Garden of a small motel about 13km out of Daylesford

No idea

Petticoat Lane, Penola SA

Nelson, VIC

Portland, VIC

Saturday, November 06, 2010

6 November, a day to remember

Today I went to a BBQ at my brother's place. While I'd had my suspicions, it was still a surprise (and I hasten to add it was a very happy one) when he announced, after we'd arrived, that he and his partner were being married that morning.

It was a beautiful backyard ceremony, moving in its simplicity. A small number of people were there; some knew of the wedding, others didn't. The short ceremony was heart-felt, and the happiness of the bride and groom were wonderful to see (even if the groom had lost his voice!). Needless to say, the BBQ after was a truly happy occasion.

I've long thought of my brother's now-wife as a member of my family, often referring to her in conversation as my sister-in-law, or just sister. I'm not sure how she feels about that, but she's definitely part of the family now, and she'll never escape!!

Congratulations Marty and Missy, I couldn't be happier for you both. And Missy - welcome to the family, in all our wacky glory!