Sunday, June 26, 2016

Teaching my Son to Cook - Week Four

I don't yet have a picture of the Beef Stroganoff, so I'm not sure if it was a success.  But no matter, onwards and upwards!

This week:

Boil Up For Two Nights
This is my take on Maori Boilup. I've anglicised it a bit.  You should get enough for two meals, it is delicious heated up the next day.  This is a longer cooked dish, so is best for a weekend, or on a week night if you dont mind eating late

You will need: A large pot

Ingredients:
2 x Pork Hocks or Lamb Shanks
Some Thyme, fresh is best
3 x Potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
2 x carrots, peeled and sliced
Greens of some sort, Kale and Cabbage are best
1 x Beef Oxo Cube
1 cup Self Raising Flour
2T butter
A little milk

Into your large pot put the Pork Hocks/Lamb Shanks, cover well with water, bring to the boil.  Add oxo cube and simmer for about 2hrs or until the meat is soft. Add 1t salt and grind over good amount of pepper.  Add the potatoes and carrots simmer 15 mins.  Add the dumplings (to half float on top) and greens.  Put on the lid(or the dumplings wont cook properly). Simmer till dumplings are cooked, about 10 mins.
Dumplings:  Rub the butter into the flour, add thyme and moisten with milk to make a dough. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut.

To serve, take out the meat and break into chunks, put into a bowl.  Add potatoes, carrots and greens, and throw around a few dumplings.  Ladle over a few spoons of liquor.  Enjoy.

Do dishes!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teach my son to cook - Week Three

Well, Hamish is really moving along with his cooking skills, over the past two weeks he has successfully risen to the challenge!

Week Three - Beef Stroganoff a la Anna
This was my go-to dish when I had lots of teenagers at home.

You will need:
Frying pan, knife, spoon, rice cooker or pot

Ingredients
1 rump steak, sliced into long strips
1 onion, sliced
4 button mushrooms or 1 large mushroom, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup cream
1T butter
salt pepper
Rice

Method
Put rice on to cook in the ricecooker.  In the frying pan saute the onion and garlic in the butter.  Add the steak and sear on a high heat till browned.  Add the sliced mushroom.  Cook till the steak and mushrooms are cooked to your liking.  Stir in the cream.  Let boil till the cream reduces and goes thick, about 5 mins.  Add salt and lots of pepper.  Serve on the rice.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Teach my son to cook - Week Two

This week I hope Hamish will be happy to attempt something a little more complicated.

This recipe is an adaptation of something I remember watching Rick Stein cook, as a simple, earthy, and satisfying meal.

Again, it's a one-pot wonder.

Sausages & Potatoes (for 1)
You will need: Frying Pan, lid or tinfoil for the pan, knife, spoon, cup

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes
2 sausages or 4 little ones, full flavoured, preferably a bit spicy
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 lemon
1T or so of butter
some parsley if you can lay your hands on it

Peel the potatoes and chop into 2 inch pieces.  If you have large sausages cut each into 4 pieces, if you have little sausages twist them in half and cut at the twist to make 8 pieces.  Of course if you think you need more sausages feel free to add them!   Cut the onion into largish pieces.  Grate the peel off the lemon, and squeeze the juice into a cup.

Add the onion, butter and garlic to the frying pan and cook for about 5-10 mins till onion is soft.  Add the sausages and potatoes, fry gently to brown a little.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Add only a tiny bit of water - this is not a stew.  Turn down the heat till it is just simmering, add the lid.  Leave to cook till the potatoes are ready, about 30 mins.  Check often, and add a splash or two of water if it needs to stop it sticking.  To serve stir in a few tablespoons of chopped parsley.  Heap onto plate and eat.

Do Dishes

UPDATE: 21/6/16
Hamish reported that these were absolutely delicious!

Planting and Pruning

Winter is upon us, but work in the garden continues apace.

I have been planting garlic, pruning blackberries and boysenberries, removing nets, cutting things back and generally tidying up.


Friday, June 10, 2016

A mini project - Teach my son to cook

I was proud to attend Hamish s graduation on Friday, and while we spent the weekend together we talked about his new job (with the gaming  company Camshaft in Wellington).  It seems his domestic skills are still limited and we hatched a plan to branch him out a bit.
I'll write a recipe once a week and he promises to cook it...I hope he photographs the result so that I can see how he is getting on.  I hope to be able to gradually expand his repertoire, so here goes the first one.
Lesson One - Omlette
You will need: 3 eggs, a small piece of cheese, salt and pepper, a small amount of butter, a bowl, a metal spatula, a grater and a frying pan
Method
Break the eggs into a bowl, any bowl will do
Add 1 tablespoon of cold water from the tap, add a pinch of salt and a shake of pepper
Whisk well with a fork
Put the frying pan on the heat and wait till it is very hot
Add 1 teaspoon of butter,  swirl the butter to coat the bottom of the pan
Add the beaten eggs
Cook for one or two minutes till the eggs start to set
Take a small pice of cheese and grate it over the surface of the Omlette
At this point you could also add slice olives, tomatoes chopped or cooked ham
Cook a minute or two more till almost all set
Put the spatula under one side of the Omlette,  lift the edge and fold the Omlette in half with the cheese trapped inside
Cook one more minute then tip the frying pan to slide the Omlette onto a serving plate
Eat
Finally step, do the dishes

UPDATE
Hamish made the omlette for a lunch on Wednesday, and said he loved it, despite the electric "devil" cooktop.
This was his finished lunch!
What a fabulous start to his cooking adventures...now...what next, hmmmm?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Round up for April/Early May

What a strange, mild time we are having with the weather.  The drought continues into it's second year.  Our paddocks are dust and stone, and we are feeding out.  The ewes + rams have gone off for grazing elsewhere, we only have Willow the Cow, Lucky the PetLamb, and Cecil the Ram here for feeding.
Dry days and beautiful sunsets have graced our Autumn


Things that have done well this year so far, Artichokes, Basil, Grapes, Apples, Strawberries (in fact, all our berries) and Asparagus.  

Our strawberries have been so fantastic I have frozen kilos and kilos of them.  I think there are about 20kgs of them in the freezer, which should last us all year.  We also made Strawberry Jam using up a few kilos.  Fresh, sun ripened, warm strawberries straight from the garden just can't be beat.

Things that have NOT done well this year so far, Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Potatoes.  The tomatoes were a complete failure! I've never not been able to grow them.  But, this year, an early hot spring, followed by a hot summer just didnt provide enough moisture for them to fruit properly.  The only ones that did any good at all were ones which self sowed in my flower garden.

My "Secret Garden" has really grown.  The Griselinia has bulked up, and will make a good hedge some time soon.  The pond plants have done well also.  Thyme has self sown all over the place which means one less chore filling in the gaps.  
Feijoas coming into season




Monday, April 11, 2016

On a Side Issue

I am succumbing to a bit of self promotion...I have another website and blog, advertising my work as a writer.  

Just to get it out there, yes, here is the link!

www.annaandersonwriter.weebly.com

and on facebook https://www.facebook.com/The-Scoundrel-and-The-Songstress-193315494385345/


Perhaps you might like to check it out and see some of the excerpts from the novel The Scoundrel and The Songstress.  Being bogged down in the middle of the manuscript, I find that I am in need of some encouragement!  I'd love to see you there.