It’s been a little while since I’ve written here as I’ve been away on holidays. We took a trip down the South Coast to Yuin Country, Jervis Bay to be away with friends, enjoy the ocean and celebrate Liam’s birthday. We saw some beautiful fish while snorkelling and were lucky enough to get a day of sunshine amidst quite stormy weather.
Our favourite spot to snorkel is in Currarong at a place called Lobster Bay, so instead of staying in the heart of Jervis Bay, we chose to stay in Currarong this time. We still ventured into Huskisson one morning and enjoyed one of the most delicious cafe breakfasts I’ve had in a long time at 5 Little Pigs. I ordered the zucchini fritters which came out with a soy bean salad, chilli jam, halloumi and ocean trout. It was such a treat !
Since returning home, I’ve been spending some time in the garden as the sun has finally come out ! Our bok choy went to seed within a day of the sun coming out and so I’ve taken them out and put some rhubarb pups in with the hope that they’ll take. I also thinned out the leeks and spread out the perennial leek that we have. I harvested the last of our beetroot and put some jerusalem artichoke in the ground. With the rainy weather, I’ve not put too much thought into what I’ll put into the garden next but the lady that I cook for gave me some red runner bean seeds the other day, so maybe I’ll make a plan to put them into the ground in the next week. They’re incredible looking beans, purple and black in colour with a mottled pattern.
I can’t remember how I stumbled across this recipe for the Life Changing Loaf, but since learning about it I’ve made three loaves for my household and for various friends I’ve seen in the last week. I didn’t think that I’d enjoy it so much, but it’s a really great mid morning snack with the right amount of density, texture, salt and sweetness. So far I’ve just been slicing it into thin slices and toasting it and eating it plain, but I could imagine it with a smear of goats cheese on it or accompanied by some other savoury goodies. I love it so much I’ve already put it into my recipe book and it’s been a nice way to use up all the seeds that we bought in bulk last year !
This Thursday, I drove out to Bilpin for my fortnightly volunteer session. This week I learnt how to use the Jang seeder, which we used to put rocket, spinach and turnip seeds into the ground. We prepared the beds before that and took out the remaining cabbages. It’s zucchini season and so we harvested a bunch of different types of zucchinis including a yellow variety !
After lunch (and putting some escaped goats back in their enclosed area), we processed some garlic that Aaron had harvested earlier. He showed me how the rains had damaged some of the garlic heads and as a result, he wouldn’t be selling them. He offered for me to take home as many as I wanted and I went home with a bag full. The next morning, I took the skins off the garlic and put them into a jar to put into the fridge. Because the garlic heads were damaged, they most probably wouldn’t dry properly, so they needed to be prepared in this way to increase their shelf life. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time out at the farm each fortnight, I feel like I’m learning a lot even though I’m only there for a day ever other week.
Sometimes I get inspired to make meals that have me in the kitchen for a good few hours. I get all excited about putting together a meal that all my energy goes into it and this deep sense of joy comes over me that I’m getting to share it with those whom I love.
The other day was one of those days. I was so determined that I was going to make sweet potato gnocchi, so I got home from work and got started on them. I didn’t really use a specific recipe, just followed a couple of different ones and added enough flour that the mixture felt right.
For the gnocchi, I cooked the sweet potato in the microwave in a wet tea towel (if I was to do this again, I would probably just boil them in a saucepan as it would have been faster) and added gf flour, salt, nutritional yeast & egg to the cooked sweet potato to make the dough. Once I was happy with the consistency of the dough, I let it rest for a little bit in the bowl.
I collected sage leaves from my backyard and made the burnt butter sage for the first time by melting the butter in the pan first before added the sage and cooking it all until the butter became a toasted brown.
After rolling out, shaping and boiling the gnocchi, I pan fried them and added goats cheese and the burnt butter sage as well as some roasted pumpkin.
I accompanied the gnocchi dish with this orange and fennel salad. I first came across orange and fennel salad when Fratelli Fresh in Waterloo, Sydney use to do free cooking sessions. I haven’t made it since, but felt inspired when I saw the beautiful fennel bulbs sitting at the shops the other day.
it’s 3:10am and I’m slowly being absorbed into the couch. I’m watching a giant huntsman from across the room and am horrified that I sat under it for three hours without knowing.