potato, dill and goat’s cheese frittata

good food good times, this yummy simple dish featured as a girl’s dinner in during my time away from home…

though i like it also for lunch and breakfast and leftover for lunchboxes and um well anytime….

Potato, Dill and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

IMG_1781To begin dice up 1 medium potato per person into maximun size 2cm cubes

heat a good 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottom fry pan {cast iron really is best for this as it will retain enough heat to cook through the thick frittata without burning the bottom}

lay in the potato chunks and lid on, cook about 10 minutes, shake or turn occasionally

Meanwhile

  • chop fine 1 small onion and 2 cloves good garlic
  • dice a small zucchini
  • dice a small capsicum
  • slice 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • shred a little dill
  • get some goats cheese ready {about 3 tablespoons}
  • whisk up at least 6 eggs {maximum 12} with a couple tablespoons of milk

when the spuds are cooked pop in a bowl

now heat a little more oil and lightly fry your onion and then add garlic

add the potato back to the pan and onto a low heat now

mix it all up with the zucchini and capsicum

pour over your egg mix

lay on the olives and some decorative capsicum and season well with salt and pepper

spoon on little chunks of goats cheese

and sprinkle on the dill

pop a lid on {low heat remember}

check regularly until the frittata is cooked about 2/3 from the bottom of the pan, up to 10 minutes

make sure it’s not burning on the bottom

get a grill nice and hot because you will now put the pan under the heat {keep the handle sticking outside the grill unless metal}

watch the eggy top puff up and brown slightly

it’s ready, be careful it’s so hot!

oh delicious, i’m hungry again just thinking of it…

i like to serve with some good chutney or kasundi and a big salad…

so many varietiations depending on what you have on hand… experiment…

or just stick to potato and eggs for more simplicity, like a more traditional spanish omelette…

ps when we are in the bus i don’t have a grill {i don’t have a lid that fits the pan either i use a thick plate…}

but about that grill, instead just keep up the low steady heat and keep an eye on it, or loosen it all underneath and slide onto a plate and flip back into the pan to cook the top if it’s taking too long. not as pretty but just as tasty.

see, good simple nourishing food, easy and should be less than half an hour til it’s on the table…

oh yes i did burn a few bottoms before i got the frittata regularly great, so don’t you fret, just trim it off and enjoy…

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Salsa verde {a passionate dance with parsley}

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during my pregnancy with Cedar, our lovely midwife recommended this delicious dip/spread as a nourishing supplement to my diet. it has since become a favorite with us all and is used to accompany many dishes. I believe the original can be found in the Stephanie Alexander Cooks companion book.

It has some surprise ingredients….

Salsa Verde

my current version goes a bit like this… all measurements are approximate, let your tastebuds and intuition guide you

simply blend the following ingredients to a smooth paste, starting with the parsley

  • three large bunches good looking flat leaf parsley stems removed
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • tbsn of capers in brine
  • anchovies to taste (i use about 40g per batch)
  • olive oil to moisten (i have thinned the mixture with a little water on one occasion)

to make a vegan version exclude the anchovies and perhaps add a pinch of salt

i grind my own almond meal for this recipe. If you want to also, chop the parsley seperately and add the almond meal to it with the wet ingredients

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it’s worthwhile to make a bigger batch and enjoy it for a few days, cover with olive oil to help preserve it in the fridge…IMG_0006 IMG_0011

maybe you know a pregnant lady or a new mama who could benefit from an easy nutritious snack to have on hand..

go on take her some….salsa verde

What Katie requested.

a recurring theme of my year so far has been the gift of friendship

again and again i am overcome with gratitude to these unique people who have time and space and words and ears for me and vice versa and the precious and mundane moments we share, the interest in each others lives, from the deep processes and vulnerable sharing to, how are you handling the lice on your children?

one of my dear friends is Katie

What she did is varied and inspirational

Loving motherhood, wise partnership, humorous perspective, deep knowledge, inspirational blogging at Obaitori, gentle guide in yoga and yogic studies, creative attentive mumsy, phone a friend availability and more and more….

anyway, we rarely have time together but

during our last visit in March, Katie requested this recipe

presented just like this {authentic glimpse into my bookshelf}

so here it is dear on the original kookaburra note paper

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it has nothing to do with the River Cottage {though there are lots of good recipes in there}

i found it in a backwater town in highland Qld in an old camp cookbook

It is simply

Pour 1c Arborio rice or medium grain white rice into a deep baking dish/camp oven

cover with

approx 4c liquid {milk/water blend to your taste}

add a diced apple or two

dot with butter

cover tightly with a lid or foil

bake at 180’c about 40 minutes or til liquid mostly absorbed and rice cooked

easy

serve with whatever yummy toppings

honey, maple, chopped nuts, fruit, berry sauce, ice cream….

variation

add 1 tspn cinnamon and 1/2 c sultanas or black currants to the mix

endless variety or simplicity

xxx

thanks for being my friend

when we are old ladies we can take endless beach walks with a thermos and our knitting…

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Meals on Wheels

A grand part of this adventurous lifestyle is the diversification of our diet.

The beauteous, bountiful, delight of flavoursome flavours and seasonal sensations….

What we eat and when we eat and where we are at the time, becomes significant in our days and our memories.

Meals shared, simple or imaginative become one of the threads woven into our travels.

“remember the first cherries of the season, fat and almost black, on that 42’c day, edging closer to Melbourne with bushfire smoke in the breeze and a trail of cherry pips behind us like Hansel and Gretel…”

There is simply more time to apply to our meals, and where and how we procure them {usually}

Sometimes we gather our own.

Often we go grower direct at farmers markets or roadside stalls or community gardens or your garden…

we may invite our hosts, our neighbours, strangers or friends…

I am patient enough to include the children in the preparation when they are interested.

I am relaxed enough to leave the pancake making to Lily and not fret about the floury kiss she leaves.

We often times eat outdoors which brings it’s own magic to dining.

Splendid sky shows or animal shows, scents or sand or sweet water trickling, the diversity of our surrounds keeps us amused as we are cosied up in our own dining room watching the world.

Places are noted by what we ate or found there.

Mealtimes become a simple time of togetherness and sharing.

we may sing or say a blessing while holding hands or we may dig in

we may play apples and onions, a game in which each shares the apple {high point} and onion {challenge} of their day

we may not talk at all or there may be silliness and giggles, playing with food creatively or coaxing children to eat what they aren’t interested in. there may be sadness or stillness, tiredness or crying, tantrums and food on the floor, abandoned plates or plates licked clean, cosy inside, crammed inside, on the ground mat, in someone else’s home, in a carpark, by the sea the creek or the sand, we may be in the park or in your garden, it’s not like the rhythm of our table at home, but in it all there is a rhythm and hum of family time wherever we are sharing food and the making of memories.

sometimes it’s the gratitude of cooking in a kitchen provided by a generous friend, the joy of baking in ovens and hot water on tap and the warmth of friendship around the table

thankyou to all of you out in the world who support our journey, it means so much to me xx

some glimpses…

Oatlands, salmon pasta, each of us making our plate uniquely and organic Callington mill woodfired bread.

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Circus Festival, 4 kg organic Blueberries picked ourselves and as big a grapes {well small grapes}

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Cockle Creek, cockles found with our toes and served with risotto, tomato mussels and watching Jesse slurp palm sized oystersIMG_0017 IMG_0019

Hobart playground, 4kg sweetest apricots, 1 kg silvanberries, 1kg blackberries, 1 kg cherries, and oh more blueberries… mmmmm

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Hobart dock front, fresh bread and eggs, kale and tomatoes and basil fresh from market while the others are in bed still, hands cold from the chill morning wind

porridge porridge lots of porridge {and stirred with my new Huon Pine Spurtle to replace my hand lathed NZ pear wood  spurtle from 2008}

Niyahitiny’s, pancakes and pancakes and pancakes and hot potato chips salty with rosemary and fresh garden salads and also berry sago coconut pudding

IMG_0520 IMG_0243 IMG_0246and let’s not forget the yumminess of vanilla icecreams in mini cones with fresh rasberries mashed into it found on the way there…

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Cloudy Bay, abalone and fish and 40 strawberries

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Ferry off Bruny Island, $50 of cheeses and fresh bread warm from the oven

each cheese round has it’s ‘birthday’ inscribed on it
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Liffey Falls, picnic with Lily in the middle of the river on a wide rock, nori rolls and dried fruit

Tasmazia, popcorn in the middle of the hexagon maze, flopping in the sunshine feeling glorious
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Cygnet, savory pancakes with punchy Swiss style goats cheese

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Port Huon, more pancakes with blueberries watching the sunset over sailing boats and golden hills and then an invitation to go sailing on Thursday afternoons if we return…

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Hobart Italian Street fiesta, huddled in the shade with fresh pizza and the italian chatter over our heads

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Warburton, raw zucchini pasta salad with all ingredients picked from the public gardens except olives and cheese

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Little Peninsula, bean tortillas, the benches are all rotted out and wet so we all perch on the table, it’s really messy and the kids have their feet on the table and love it…

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Dancing Ground Festival,400 people, happy queues for wholesome catering under a glowing red tent, kids and parents to the front!

endless delicious meals in the grandparents kitchen, sitting on the stools playing ‘whats your favorite pottery’ with Lily

many meals in our welcoming friends homes and gardens

many meals quietly and unremarkably pass by also…

hmm reflecting on this above, it’s an awful lot of fruit, pancakes, cheese and bread… varied diet?

{absolutely, I just don’t photograph the steamed veg and rice meals and other as they are all too familiar …}

are you hungry now?

is food central in your family connection?

do you grow/make/forage your own?

do you have a lovely foodie memory with us?

xx

peace and mung beans

Right now

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Lily dear Lily here it is on record
This morning you proclaim you will have Brussels sprouts for breakfast lunch AND dinner!!
You may be the only child in the world who has such sophisticated appreciation…
Well except myself perhaps.
And possibly my mama too…
Poor old Brussels, such a bad old soggy reputation!
Be mindful to steam them or add to a soup for a brief 5 minutes, or until they are bright green. Douse liberally with butter and a dusting of salt…. You will see! A whole other Brussels sprout world!! Have fun peeling off the layers of beautiful green cupping leaves and the surprise crisp crunch in the centre!!
mmmmm
Particularly if you grow your own and see the cute balls clinging to their tall parental stem in neat rows, what a quirky plant! Enjoy them smallish and if you don’t grow your own ( like me ) avoid the plumped up steroid supermarket version with no subtle flavour and seek a farmers market or similar option.

Do you like Brussels sprouts already?
Or not?
Do you have memories of soggy grayish green balls of cabbage flavored muck?
Are you willing to give them another chance?
Xxxx

Upside down Autumn Peach-preme

saving for her grandparentsyesterday i made an awful cake

trully dry, overcooked, flat, gritty, pasty disappointment {one reviewer commented it expanded in your mouth…}

the ingredients where amazing! it turned out atrociously and i felt some grievance as to the wastage of goodness

{and the ruination of my cake queen recipe}

today to make amends and lift my energy Lily and I created

Upside Down Autumn Peach-Preme {as in supreme}

The delicious simple spongy layer below caramelised peach heaven will make this a sure Autumn favorite when the late peaches are pink and sweet…

The cake layer is thin so you could easily double the mixture if you have a bigger family/guests

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**~~~**

175g unsalted butter soft

1/4 c brown sugar

2 eggs

1c spelt flour

1tspn baking powder

up to 1/4 cup milk

2 large peaches thinly sliced {1cm at thickest end} or enough to cover your baking dish

butter to dab over them

{all measurements are approximations except the eggs!! use your inner cake intuition}

paper line a 20cm square baking dish or equivalent

preheat oven to 160’c

  • line the base of your tin with the peach slices prettily and dot with butter
  • beat sugar and butter til creamy
  • and one egg, mix well, then the other {if ingredients are not binding add a spoonful of flour}
  • mix in remaining flour and baking powder
  • adjust texture with extra milk if needed
  • spread carefully over the peach base with a spatula
  • pop in the oven and bless it
  • when it smells so good and is browned on top pull it out and let cool in the tin for 10minutes
  • place a plate over it and carefully upend your creation
  • devour with cream or yoghurt
  • mmmm yum yum yum


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Right now…

Orchard fresh apples
Royal Gala & Jonathons
Sweet heady perfume in the air

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We leave with 8kg for $10
Planning an apple crumble in a friends oven tonight…
Are you getting new season apples where you are?
Xxx

Bruny Island bliss

Bruny Island adventures

a long story with lots of photographs

It begins with

crankiness along the coast

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tired and tetchy

itchy and scratchy

we are at a frictious all time low {i think that every time we hit the downside of our cycle}

finally a camp at the neck campground and some play

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i remember to bring out the watercolour paints and pencils

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Jesse remembers to play music

(note the kids cubby next door)

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which i tried to help with by request and ended up being screamed at

tempers are frayed these days

but Lily finds meditation in making a bush home for Cedar’s leopard

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we look for penguins late into the night

and are just cold and disappointed

{take a red light torch and lots of warm clothes, a flask of hot tea and make everyone be silent or the penguins will wait until the noisy crowd gives up and not come to everyone else leaves! making their young wait hours while they wait in the water until it’s safe}

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adventure bay offers us a little respite simply by being beautiful and we split up and take a child each and some space

but things are stilted and we are not flowing together

even filling our water tank becomes an issue

i am reminded that despite external surroundings it is one’s inner state which dictates one’s happiness

and that when one is happy one doesn’t mind so much where one is!

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i start to pray

help us find a safe place to unfold

find a friend for Lily

find a supportive friend for Jesse

find me a hot shower and some nurturing

and then

like a mirage is Michael running down the road

ask and ye shall receive

oh thankyou!

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Michaels blue bush palace has evidence of his seabound joy everywhere

boats, diving gear, surfboards, fishing tackle, shells, paddles, wetsuits, seaweed…..

He and Jesse met nearly 15 years ago and he generously invites us to stay a night

{which becomes two}

he has an abundant garden including a hothouse for the cold season

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and thrives on this and seafood of all varieties

he collects and dries his own wild seaweed for added nutrition!

Michael shares his warm heart and uplifting life values so openly

we can’t help but ease open too.

Lily and his son Brody become instant mates and Cedar is happy playing with his tonka truck

or shovelling sand

I luxuriate in a long hot riverwater shower…

We are blown away to have abalone prepared for us {me first time! ahhhh yum}

though at first i can’t believe these yucky slimy mess are so coveted

the bounty of Michael and Flo’s {current French WWOOFer}  recent dive

prepared with Michaels incredible {unusual} experienced process

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{not what they do in restaurents}

we are soon feasting

Cedar decides to eat nothing else!

luxury tender surprising salty deliciousness!

i cant quite fathom we are eating about $300 worth of abalone!

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Jesse and I look at each other and wonder how we got here?

while the men are cooking I wander about photographing the property

it is all blue, light, timber trims, glass and mirrors

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a lush oasis on Bruny island

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and then morning and Michael shares his passion for surfing with us

his clear enthusiasm is infectious and transparent

we meet the only other family on the beach on holiday from Sydney and wishing they lived here

i am fascinated by his {holiday fellow} hollow wooden surfboard, a beautiful play thing

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Lily gets her first wave! she is helped up to standing and then pushed off to ride to shore again and again

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she is totally high

and freezing

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while the others are in the icy seaweedy water {swim anyone?}

i play ashore with Cedar

and engage myself with unknotting a 15m tangle of kelp I love this giant sea tree

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i slice some of the new growth to take home and dry

to add to soups

next is our beach drive tour of Cloudy bay

ending with a paradisical swim in the pristine turquoise calm side of the bay

the land is a stunning contrast of sea sky and forest

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it feels untouched and still enchanted here and i am deeply touched by the peace and bounty of this area

the children slide down a massive sand dune endlessly

Jesse and I swim and chase

while Michael catches up on some internet work

{and if y’all get over there quick you too can meet Michael at the awesome festival which he organizes!}

what a beautiful friend living an incredible lifestyle

I am so inspired by this man who is living his bliss

sharing his bliss

caring for and inspiring others

Thankyou for welcoming us in and encouraging the joy back into our hearts

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so a long story that started painfully, had a happy ending

and the finale was sailing the bus and eating a pile of fresh baguettes and cheese…

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sometimes i feel like the luckiest woman

Waking up to…

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Mornings at Salamanca market in Hobart and another
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I was initially surprised by the length of the market street amidst the beautiful heritage stone buildings of the docks.
Now I’m more familiar with the layout I confidently seek the organic growers and craftspeople I prefer. It’s a little over stimulating to spend too long in here but the oncelers love it!

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The produce is scentfull and colorful, I shop while the others are still in bed and return with fresh bread and goods for the week.
Apples have just started appearing and today there are seven unfamiliar varieties to choose from. The seller says in a fortnight he will have 25 varieties!! Yum but we will be back in Victoria then.
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I’m in a blessed position where I am committed to come to markets every week while we travel yet am free to roam and fossick, eat and enjoy. When I was a stallholder I was tied to my stall and couldn’t explore much so this liberty is appreciated! Thanks Jesse! (even if it means having the children all day in a busy noisy atmosphere, or even when I am bleeding and in pain and the last desire is to be in public, I am learning to handle my role and take it gently) we have a stroller again which makes it easier to move about and I pack a rug, snacks and water and a book for lily and knitting for me and cars for Cedar.
I’m learning to go to the park and play for most of the day and make focused forays into the market for what we need. On my own I am an avid browser and appreciate the beautiful artisan crafts and vintage clothing stalls… I have also learnt to just take some cash and not my bank card so I am on a budget.
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