Friday, July 30, 2010

Dan Lepard's Semolina BBQ Buns

Earlier this week as I was catching up on some blog reading, I came across the most wonderful looking bread. I first happened to see it over at Joanna's blog, Zeb Bakes and then at Celia's Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. It was a recipe for Dan Lepard's Semolina BBQ Buns.

Having enjoyed a sprinkling of recipes from his book, The Handmade Loaf and liking his style, I was keen to give them a go... plus they just looked sooo good! When barbecuing at home, I have never gone to the trouble of making buns for our burgers. BUT! All this could change now! The bread was very light and fluffy with a hint of sweetness from the honey and I really liked the addition of some homemade yoghurt to the dough . Plus it is a yeasted bread (by that I mean commercial yeast..not a natural leaven/sourdough), which is what I have been finding myself baking lately. If I could make a batch of these buns up for the freezer for a spontaneous bbq night, I will be a happy person indeed.

The recipe is here.

There were also some brief notes on the scoring of the bread and I tried to follow these as best I could. The buns were baked in one big 'slab', and scored with a butter knife, in a 'down and up' motion. I think however, I got slightly carried away with my knife manoeuvres as the bread decided it would like to split along each 'score' as well as each bun division. Oh, well, I'll know not to be quite so heavy handed next time. Oiling the knife between scores also helped, as the dough was quite sticky.

The energetic scoring didn't seem to pose any problems when it came to eating the buns....they all disappeared in lightening speed, enclosing a filling of chicken schnitzel, rocket, mayo and cheese. Although I have to say, I really like the sound of Joanna's chilli and fennel sausages that she enjoyed hers with, and Celia's baked burger to go with her buns looks absolutely drool-worthy.

My girls also had a great time pulling each square apart and figuring out who might be small enough to eat such a tiny, individual loaf! Aaah! There's no changing the ways of children looking for fun when eating food!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homemade Ravioli with Raviolamp

Raviolamp,the new arrival in our kitchen has been earning her keep lately. It took some getting used to her shiny aluminium surface which would cause much sticking when it came into contact with the soft pasta dough, but I think the daughters and I are finally getting the hang of making ravioli this way. And talk about a time-saver! We can roll a batch of dough out and fill and press the squares for our family of five in under an hour! I wouldn't like to think how long we might be there for otherwise...

See what I mean about her shiny exterior?
Being complete ignoramuses when it came to pasta making, the first few batches were made with regular bakers flour, which was fine for our purpose. That is, until I stumbled across this offering at the supermarket recently:

Tasy flour really is very tasty!
We put it to use in a batch of dough over the weekend and let me say, it was the nicest pasta I think I have ever had. The flour really does make a difference. This particular flour is made from Australian wheat, and has a much coarser grain than baking flour. It cooks up beautifully...smooth and silky. Of course, using homegrown eggs makes the whole process much more fun, too!

For our family (2A, 3c), I have found that 400g flour, 4 eggs and 2 tsp salt are just enough quantities. We could probably do with slightly more, but as it is still such a time consuming exercise, I like to make just enough ravioli so there's no wastage and then serve garlic bread alongside, and if the 10 year old has made a dessert, then all the better!

This particular day we tried a beef ravioli, as that is what seems to be most popular in our house. We simply mixed up 500g lean minced beef, 1 finely grated onion, some chopped parsely and salt and pepper. A little bit of filling goes such a long way with ravioli, we didn't end up using all of it and froze the remainder for another day.

After rolling the dough to the thinnest setting on the pasta machine, it was then floured liberally on one side and laid floured side down into Raviolamp, (which had also recieved a sprinkling of flour - bakers, not "Tasty"). Tiny teaspoons were added to Raviolamp's crevices and molded into shape. It was a challenge not to put too much in, but the saying "Less is More" is so true, if they are too big they just end up bursting open in the cooking pot.

Instead of brushing the dough with water, I've been using a spray bottle - much easier, better coverage and faster. The second sheet of dough was placed on top and then it was a simple matter of squeezing out all of the airbubbles first, starting from the center and working outwards and then rolling the dough to cut the shapes:

If Raviolamp has been dusted well, the squares will pop out easily. If she hasn't received an adequate flouring, you'll be there for 10 minutes picking all the squares out with a skewer..*sigh*.
When it comes to flour and Raviolamp...More really is better! It can always be dusted off before cooking or freezing. Any stubborn squares can be seperated with a knife or pastry wheel.

We like a simple napoli sauce with our ravioli - just one tin of tomatoes cooked down with some garlic and fresh oregano (and basil, if it's around), from the garden. And plenty of parmesan. Don't skimp on the parmesan!

Raviolamp will be sticking around for a while. She has changed our pasta ways...instead of merely eating it, we are now appreciating it. The only trouble is, I bought Raviolamp with the intention of sending my daughters' off to school with a thermos full of her delicious squares..but there never seems to be any left, they get eaten up so quickly!

Yum, yum!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Berry & White Chocolate Winter Pudding

It's a winter pudding that's easy to make. It's a winter pudding that's deliciously yummy. It's a winter pudding that feeds a family. It's a winter pudding I make just a couple of times a year, because it's so rich and naughty. It's my favourite winter pudding....

Berry and White Chocolate Winter Pudding

I usually make this bread and butter style pudding with raspberries, but as I had an excess of foraged blackberries in the freezer, I chose to use some of those up instead. The blackerries worked just as well...if a little on the 'pippy' side. The white chocolate melts and forms delicously goey lumps....aaahhh, so good. This is my comfort food for winter.

Ingredients  (serves 6)
500g sliced white bread, (homebaked is best but if buying, "Helga's White"  is good). Leftover croissants, brioche or fruit breads could also be used.
butter, for spreading
1 cup of your favourite jam, or jam to match the berries (I used homemade blackberry jam).
300g berries of your choice - eg. raspberries, blackberries, blueberries...or a mixture
200g white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs plain flour
3 free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
500ml thickened cream

Preheat oven to 170c. Grease a medium oven dish. Butter and jam the slices of bread and close slices together to form sandwiches. With a knife (electric is very handy), remove any thick crusts and cut the sandwiches into 2cm cubes. Layer half the sandwich cubes, half the white chocolate and half the berries in the dish. Repeat with the next half.

In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and flour together. Add cream and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the ingredients in the dish and set aside for 10-15 minutes, to allow the custard to soak into the bread.

Bake for 1 hour, or until top is golden.

Serve warm, with cream or ice-cream.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Winter tomatoes and their inevitable fate PLUS bizarre garden anomalies

It was bound to happen, I knew it was too good to be true. What can I say? I'm an optimist at heart. It didn't surprise me at all, those winter tomatoes withering under the recent bitterly cold weather (not to mention a couple of admirable frosts). It was really too much to hope for, the very thought of growing a tomato plant right through winter here in our cool, southern climate - really!

It was a slow demise. They hung on as long as they could......

....although come winter, they met their inevitable fate. Slow Death of a Winter Tomato.

Fear not though, fellow vegetable growers and tomato admirers alike! All is not lost! The hardy battlers did manage to produce some small fruit before they succumbed to the cold...

...which have had the seeds scooped out to be saved for summer plantings! Always the optimist! And much more sensible to grow them in their preferred season. Mother Nature will prevail.

And now to some strange occurrences elsewhere in the vegetable garden. As you may know, I have a series of garden beds that the chooks travel over in between plantings, to cultivate and fertilize the soil. All of our vegetable scraps are added to the beds, and they are composted down by the worms, resulting in a rich, nutritious planting medium for the new vegetables. It was on my travels one day, when I came across this young chap:

A celery stump, left to compost has started to re-form itself. How strange! The carrot alongside it also has the same idea, although after reading up on this, they do not produce another edible root...just a lovely, lush green plant top. I am most intrigued with the celery though as it looks to be forming small stalks...

And below, what look like volunteer cabbage popping up, are in fact.... growth on an old, discarded stump from the previous harvest! Again, how strange! Will they do anything worthwhile? I have no idea!

Below is the same type of cabbage formation, although slightly larger (and a little bug eaten). It seems like it wants to form three heads!

Very strange.....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A loaf of bread, a hat and 7 little things....

Earlier in the week, I had a handsome amount of whey that needed to be used up (leftover from the cream cheese in the baked cheesecake).

I decided to put it to use in a simple loaf of bread..or as it turned out, three, to be used for sandwiches, after my last woodfired oven session resulted in bread only fit for toast! Much toast!!

Three Loaf Whey & Grain Bread
1kg bread flour
600g wholemeal flour
100g rye flour
100g mixed grains
5 tsp instant yeast
3 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
2/3 cup milk powder
1260ml (approx) whey

The dough was made in the usual way, hand kneaded and baked in three bread pans at 220c. The quantities yielded 3 x 1kg loaves. Baking inside (compared to the woodfired oven), is so much easier when it comes to control..the switch is turned on and the oven stays at that temperature...what a luxury!! AND there is a window to peer through, I never thought this would be SO appreciated! It is vastly different from trying to suss out the complexities of our big mama brick oven outside.

The crochet hook also saw a little bit of action this week...another hat crocheted in the same pattern as this one. Daughter #2 requested the hat and was pleased that it matched her slippers. Being 2 years older than daughter #3, it just fits..I would think that this hat wouldn't go much further than an 8 or (small) 9 year olds head. It was surprisingly quick to make evening in front of the tv. Then the flower made and attached the next day. It's a pity her school only allows navy beanies to be worn...she hasn't had a chance to wear it anywhere yet...

Crochet hat for daughter #2
There have also been some awards floating around lately. Wendy at Urban Homestead South Africa was kind enough to pass on the Blog of Substance award, and Maree Rose and cityhippyfarmgirl passed along the Sunshine award. Thanks girls. So. I guess you might be interested in 7 little (possibly fascinating, even!) facts about me.....

My hubby and I married when I was 20, and our 3 daughters had all arrived by the time I was 26. (can you figure out how old I am? Ha!).

I love, love love white chocolate and anything containing it.

My hands look really old...even when I was a kid they were like this. Other kids used to call me "granny hands"

I can watch MASH re-runs till others are sick of the sight and sound of them...not me! (Trapper is my hero).

I sometimes (most times) become incredibly shy around new people. With good friends, I can be quite boisterous.

Last year, the hubby brought home an old piano from the local flea market/auction and having always wanted to know how to play, I started taking myself off to piano lessons! I'm between teachers right now as my teacher moved away *sob*, but I thoroughly enjoy playing (trying to, anyway!), and find it a great outlet for when I'm feeling stressed.

I still have NO idea what I want to be when I grow up :o)

And I'll sum up (maybe not in 10 words) the reasons why I blog;

It allows me a space where I can store my gardening thoughts, ideas, photos, recipes and projects. It keeps me focused on leading a slower life and also keeps me motivated in different areas of my life. It's a place where I like to gather my thoughts and think. The people that it connects me to and their blogs are a bonus along with friendships formed along the way. That's why!

Call me cheeky, but I'm not passing the awards along...just because that's me. (and perhaps the people who I would pass it on to have received them already). It was fun playing along though.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Come scrounge with me"

"Let's scrounge, let's scrounge all day..."

My tip shopping list had started to grow and as this was the only day this week with no plans, I took the opportunity to hook up the trailor and go for a drive. If you have never been to a tip, do go! Most tips have a 'recycling centre' that offers items which are looking for a second life. More often than not, I come away with something useful...often something I didn't even know I was looking for! I usually just happen to stumble across such things and put them to use outside in the veggie garden or on a current project. The following are a few pics of my excursion today....

If the kids are needing a spare bike or two, there's no need to pay extra $ at a big department store, a quick trip to the local tip shop will usually see you on your way with one for peanuts. Yes, it may need a tyre pump up, or a seat adjustment, but both are easy jobs that take no time at all...

In case you were wondering "Just where do all the prams end up?" ....well, look no further, here they are! I once had quite a collection of prams... acquired from opp shops, roadsides and cast offs, but having them all lined up here like this, well, this would've been heaven! Extra prams are great if you have a big garden..I used to have a garden pram (it didn't matter if it got dirty, the more dirt the better! Plus the basket was great for storing cuttings and tools) well as a car pram and then a house save carting it in and out of the car all the time. Oh, and a pram for Oma's house for when we visited. Many prams equalled this mama being happy!

Outside, you'll find anything from camping goods, bbqs, car seats, kitchen stools and tables to windows, doors, ladders and tools. And bikes. Did I mention bikes?

There is even an "inside" shop, where one can find homewares, computers, dvds/cds, and books. I found the most useful mushrooming basket here not too long ago...

The shop also stocks some (often perfectly usable) electrical goods.

Outside and up the hill a little way are where the serious scroungers go, the ones who know exactly what they are looking for....

You'll find 'tradies' and handymen & women here. And the odd sticky beak in their good clothes having a nosy around.

The sheet metal is a sight to behold...laid out and 'filed' according to size and profile...

..and the timber has it's own storage stand, where one can find decking timber, fence posts, pickets and so on. Looking down further are showers, bathtubs, sinks and plumbing fittings.

But after looking through ALL of this selection of other peoples garbage...I'll bet you're just itching to know what I brought home? Yes, yes?

Well, let's see... a modest pile of timber and framework to create some rudimentary animal housing! (wc not included, ha!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

A kitchen experiment: homemade cream cheese in a baked cheesecake

A few days ago, I decided to put some homemade cream cheese through the ultimate test - baking! I still had my doubts, not thinking that it would perform as well as the solid brick available at supermarkets. I'm not sure why I thought this, but I needed to try it out to see for myself...

Firstly, I made up a batch of yoghurt with 2 litres of UHT milk warmed slightly in a casserole dish in the microwave until just lukewarm. This was good, because it also warmed the dish as well. After adding the yoghurt starter to the milk, I wrapped the whole pot in a large towel and placed it near the fireplace overnight. The next morning, the yoghurt was drained, at first hanging from a prop on the bench and then later, in a cloth lined sieve set over a bowl in the fridge. It had a total draining time of 24 hours, by which time I had a fairly solid lump of cheese.

When it comes to cheesecakes, I don't make them very often.... mainly because I would be the one who would end up eating most of it and do I really need all of those extra kilos? Hmm, not at all! However, I do think they are a good recipe to have up your sleeve, especially for family/friend gatherings when you can cut yourself a small sliver and share the rest around, watching the whole cake get eaten up and not be wasted. So, it was back to the books. Being after a baked cheesecake recipe, not a refridgerated type, I discovered most recipes are all pretty much the same..the ratio of cream cheese to eggs are very similar and then additions like sugar and flavourings are added.

I decided to keep it simple for my first attempt at this "homemade cream cheese cheesecake". The following ingredients were what I ended up using...

450g homemade cream cheese(it's all I had, and according to my calculations, I needed 500g!)
50g thickened pouring cream, to make up the 500g of cheese
2/3 cup or 160g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs

I placed the cream cheese in the small bowl of my electric mixer and switched it on to a setting, and beat the cheese until it was smooth. The cream was added, along with the caster sugar and beaten well. The eggs which had been lightly beaten, were added slowly and finally the vanilla extract. The mixture was then poured into a 'cookie crumbed and buttered' springform tin (8 1/2 inch), and baked at 150c for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (can't be sure how long exactly as I was in and out of the kitchen). The cake set firmly around the edges first, then puffed up a little towards the end of baking time, similar to a quiche, until finally the center had set. It developed a few cracks around the edges on the top due to the 'puff effect', but these dropped back down again after the cake had cooled, which took about 2 hours at room temp (ideally in the oven with the door ajar), and then several hours in the fridge. Perhaps I'll reduce the oven temperature slightly next time, to try and avoid the cracks.

I was quite pleased with the cheese part of the cake, but not so much with my time I think I'll make a pastry base to avoid the crumbiness that I encountered.

We had some leftover blackberries from summer pickings and these were made into a simple coulis to go with the cake:

450g of frozen blackberries were washed, drained and placed into a pot over med-low heat and left to heat until the seeds and flesh had seperated and the juices were running freely. They were then passed through a food mill on the finest disc and then sieved through a nylon sieve before being returned to the pot. About 4tbs of sugar were added to the puree, and it was simmered over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture had reduced and thickened and was just starting to catch on the bottom of the pot. Then it was into a squeezy bottle and into the fridge.

So, how was it, you ask? I said, I was really happy with the cheesey part, but next time would add some lemon zest or juice to zing it up, as it was a little on the bland side. Texture wise it was lovely and smooth, and not heavy at all...I was actually amazed that it set..which was what my main curiosity was.

The blackberry coulis was a good addition, very berrylicious.

I'll definitely use the made from scratch cream cheese again in baking. It's great to know that the homemade version performs just as well, if not better than the shop bought variety.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

All socked up!

I set aside some time this weeked to finish knitting a pair of socks that had been started a week or two ago. Once I'm sitting down, the knitting is fairly quick, it's just a matter of actually making the time to do it!

They were knitted on circular needles (my first attempt), which you can read about here. I enjoyed knitting this way, and to be honest could not imagine knitting socks on a set of four double pointed needles..I am not at all that co-ordinated!

As mentioned in the circular needle post, I doubted I would have enough variegated yarn to complete both socks, so felt the need to pad them out on the foot section with some leftover wool from previous projects. Below is a close up of the toe section...

...and below is a look at the heel section. I managed to fumble my way through the instructions for the heel shaping and they fit my foot, which makes me happy!

The first sock I knitted, I didn't measure against my foot..just followed the instructions (how silly is that?!), and as a result it is a little on the short side. For the second sock, I added a couple of cm to the length of the foot and it fits (my size 8 1/2 foot) much better.

And being 100% wool, they're really cosy!!

For more info and pattern details, please see my ravelry page. (You'll need to create an account if you don't already have one, this is free and gives you access to thousands of online knitting/crochet patterns).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In my kitchen...

Lately, it seems every other post is cooking related, for which I'm putting down to the wintery weather, as who who want to be outside, battling the sloshpit of a backyard and bitterly cold wind when one can be inside, pottering happily away in a warm, cosy kitchen? Celia, over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial posts the most lovely pictures of her kitchen and what's she's been up to in it each month. After reading her post, I just couldn't resist joining in a little as it looked like such fun. I have to warn you though, my pics are not half as delicious as hop on over and take a look if you get the chance.

In my kitchen ....

....are two jars of cold pressed, crystallized iron bark honey from my mum. She picked up a bulk supply from the local farmer's market and we went halves...oops, that reminds me.. I still owe her some $!

In my kitchen....are some seeds that I have saved from a very tasty Queensland Blue pumpkin that was grown in our garden this year. They have air dried, and I will fold them up, paper towel and all, and save them for growing this summer.

In my kitchen... are some homemade bagels with homemade cream cheese. Bagels are one of my baking indulgances that I feel are worth the effort... I just love them and so does the rest of the family...which means all of my hard work is not wasted...

In my kitchen...are some thawing blackberries from summer foragings. I am planning to make some cooked coulis with them to go with a cream cheese experiment....

...and had great fun running the cooked berries through the food mill.....

In my kitchen.... the daughter's grass head still manages to survive (and thrive?), despite the constant neglect that gets thrown it's way......

...and lastly, in my kitchen.... the last of the homegrown garlic and some dried fettucine the girls had made with leftover dough from a ravioli session. The next lot of garlic can't grow quick enough as it is so hard to find Australian garlic at the moment and all of the imported stuff has been sprayed with nasty chemicals. Much better to grow your own, if you have the space, as then you know it's safe to eat (and much tastier, too!).

So, that's a little peak at what's been happening in my kitchen this month.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Snapshots of my Thursday...

The weather is so cold at the moment, all I want to do is stay inside and bake! I fiddled with the recipe that I used for the bagels last week, and also had a go at a different shaping method. Do you ever get so stuck in a rut that you do things just because that's how you've been doing them and for no other reason? I do and it drives me crazy sometimes, because there are probably much better ways to do things but I don't try them out of habit for my old ways. So silly! So, back to the bagels, I tried shaping them today by rolling them into a ball and then making a hole in the center with my finger and stretching them out this way... and you know what, I think I like it better than my old way! Previously, my bagels would always split open around the curves, but today, they were much neater. I know they're only going to get eaten up anyway, but it's nice to be able to choose how they'll least up to a point, anyway!

I also used raw sugar in the poaching liquid instead of brown sugar, and topped up the potato water in the dough with some whey that I had leftover from making some cream cheese/labneh.

Outside, our little injured duck has been spending her days in the garden. She still gets locked back up again at night in her pen, and has made a cosy little spot for herself in amongst my sad looking hydrangea. Her hen-pecked wound has healed well and the feathers have grown back, all except for the her tail feathers which are taking longer, for some reason....

She is content to sit most days and is not terribly active...I'm told this is a Muscovy trait?

The chooks are enjoying their new surroundings - most days...when it's not howling with wind and raining. I usually take three out to the chook dome and five out to the fruit tree area. Sometimes they switch teams and it's quite funny herding them in the right direction when they want to go someplace else!

They've really made an impact on the ground in the fruit tree area. Depending on where I scatter the grain, I can (somewhat) control where they 'cultivate'. The little duck is producing quite a bit of bedding litter, so I will add this to the site for them to dig in. It's amazing how short the grass is being kept in this area since they started visiting...I used to loathe bringing the lawn mower around to this slope, and now they do it all for me!

Cutie, the Australorp
Below is my fruit tree-planting system. After digging the hole, I add the tree, a cut off section of soaker hose (to assist in summer waterings), a stake and plenty of manure. Once it is levelled, I place mesh sheeting (found at the tip) over the immediate root zone of the tree, to allow the chooks access to control weeds and fertilize but to prevent them from digging. It's working great! I just need to find some more mesh for the remainder of the trees....

And way back in March, I picked up some loganberry plants, which have finally found a new home on the re-purposed swing frame. Not sure how they'll go/grow, but you have to try these things, right?

I hope you're enjoying your Thursday, whatever you are up to!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lemon Curd

With such an array of beautiful citrus fruit around at the moment and an excess of eggs (imagine that!), I was suddenly getting cravings (of the non-pregnancy type) for some lemon favourite winter treat!

I like to use Stephanie Alexander's recipe for curd from The Cook's Companion. It's simple to make and doesn't require the use of a double boiler. Unlike other versions, it uses whole eggs that have been strained instead of only yolks and I think it is this straining stage that ensures a smooth curd...provided it is kept on a low heat of course. Sometimes I add a little more sugar..depending on how sour the lemons are. I also got it in my head today to make some mandarin curd..but lets just say it did not meet my expectations. I think I'll stick to the lemons in future.

I entered a jar of this lemon curd in the local show a couple of years ago, and came away with first place, much to my astonishment! If anyone has participated in local shows, you will know that they can be a tight group of competitors with years of experience under their belts when it comes to entering garden produce and preserves. Although from memory, I added quite a bit more sugar, to avoid a tartness hitting the tongues of the judges! I happen to like a tart curd, but I didn't think they would, for some reason..And well, it paid off!

Lemon Curd

2 large lemons, zested and juiced
100g unsalted butter
175-200g sugar, depending on how sour your lemons are
3 free-range eggs, lightly whisked and strained.

Place the lemon juice, zest, butter and sugar into a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring now and then. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, stirring to mix well. Place the pan back over a low heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens, coats the back of a spoon and leaves a line on the spoon when a finger is ran through it. Don't overheat, or the mixture will curdle. Watch for steam starting to rise off the mix.. a sign that the thickening is imminent.

Spoon into warm, sterilized jars and seal. Keeps in the fridge for up to 8 weeks. Makes approx 500ml.

Delicious on fresh bread, toast, pancakes and as a filling for tarts and cakes.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Goz-le-who? Goz-le-what?

GOZLEME! A Turkish fried flat bread and popular market food. Unbelievably tasty and very easy to prepare. My friend Kirsty introduced me to gozlemes a little while ago, and they have since become a family favourite. The dough is super easy to make, and it's a fantastic way to use up all of that homemade yoghurt (or a good excuse to make some more). The fillings are also wonderful for using up garden harvests!

Turkish Gozlemes
Serves 4

300g thick, plain yoghurt
375g plain flour
pinch of salt
water, if required

Mix together the yoghurt, flour and salt in a bowl to form a dough. If required, add a little water to reach a kneading consistancy. Knead well on a lightly floured board for a few minutes until dough is smooth. Cover and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

To make gozlemes: roll out portions (90-100g) of the dough into a circular shape, very thinly, about 1-2mm. Top half of the circle with your toppings and then close the 'pouch' by brushing the edges with water, folding the empty side over, and pressing down the edges to seal.

Heat a little olive oil in a large pan or on a preheated bbq plate and cook the gozlemes over medium heat for a few minutes each side, until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges.

We enjoyed our gozlemes with some soup for dinner, but they also make great snack food and easy lunches. The filling options are plentiful, according to what's in season and your personal tastes.

We like:
Ham, tasty cheese & corn
Fresh silverbeet, feta, ham
Roast pumpkin, feta, sauteed leek, silverbeet
Feta, mozzarella, silverbeet & sundried tomatoes
Tasty cheese & feta

Do you make gozlemes? What are your favourite fillings?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More Fruit Trees....

My quest for some more fruit trees found myself and the 10 year old in orchard country today. I receive email updates from this particular fruit garden, and simply could not resist the fruit trees they had on offer, at very reasonable prices.

The weather was chilly, but it was good to get out of the house and go for a drive. Everything is so green at the moment, with all of the recent rain...

Mount Alexander Fruit Gardens are a family run business that offers a 'pick your own' style of service They also visit several local farmers' markets, as well as travelling to Collingwood Children's Farm and St Kilda markets in Melbourne. Details are on their website.

At different times of the year, they offer cherries, apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears and plums in different grades.

They are also "certified in conversion to organic".

Besides being a pleasant drive, the daughter and I also brought home our pre-ordered fruit trees: cherry (Sunburst, I saw this variety on "Costa", very excited!), pear - Packam, pear - Josephine, and a self-pollinating almond.

The trees from the market last week have been planted, and after these latest additions are in, I think that will complete the tree stage of the new chook run/fruit forest!