Sourdough dreams


IMG_20140910_142706I have tried, once before to make my own sourdough.  After carefully measuring and feeding my way through about 5 days I had a lovely if rather whiffy mason jar sitting on my bench, nearly ready to go but when it only had a day or so to go a cold snap came along and killed it.

So now the kitchen is so close to being finished I’m feeling like I have some breathing space, and some bench space, and it’s coming up to summer, so it might be time to try again.  It’s pretty much just a case of 200g flour with 200ml warm water feeding and fermenting. But of course, as with all things which appear outwardly simple there is a far more complex process going on behind the scenes.  And with my propensity toward absent-mindedness there’s that whole issue of remembering to feed it.  After all it won’t tell me when it’s hungry – unlike another little tummy which is half the reason I’m thinking of doing sourdough again! Continue reading

Dragons and Armadillos.


Can't take credit for this image -thanks flashscreen

If you’ve been following, you know that one of the things I first thought was cool about my new garden is that we have waterdragons here, and frequently see them flitting about.  Well, the rain has finally gone away here in the Sunshine Coast, and when I ventured outside today I discovered that I also have the fruit of dragons (henceforth known as Dragonfruit) growing in my garden.

They are awesome looking, night flowering cacti that grow these super cool looking fruit. I think that I have left mine on for a wee bit long, so they don’t have a lot of flavour left, but I just found a chutney recipe, so might have a go at that cos if nothing else it will look way very interesting.  Though I’m getting close to needing more jars, more on that later.

I’m going to be able to make some very interesting fruit salads this year: passionfruit, dragon fruit, banana and tamarillo anyone?  Does anyone else find that when they think of tamarillos there is a mental association with Armadillos?  Maybe that’s just my strange brain.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all my tamarillos either, they seem to just be mental imagery for me right now, my other one is the story we always get told of when my Mum was little and Grandmax had to fence off the tamarillo trees as otherwise Mum would wait for them to fall down and would end up with a rash on her face since they’re so high in acid.

I’m also wondering about my Aloe Vera.  I’ve found how to make my own Aloe vera gel, which is on the to do list, but I have also recently tried the silky sweet and spectacular Aloe Vera juice, and want to have a go at that, but not doing so well on finding recipes, so all help appreciated there.

40 Chillis? Check

Heading back indoors, had a busy day yesterday in the kitchen. Chilli plant was overflowing with spicy goodness, so I made a big batch of Harrisa, though I’m going to try a few other things, even with harvesting 40 (yup, 4-0) chilli for the recipe the bush is still laden.

Also, another batch of Watermelon Rind Chutney, after Kim’s suggestion to blend it down a bit, turns out I really like watermelon rind chutney, all those poor rinds I have thrown out over the years!

I also made a batch of Onion Jam, which like the harrisa was a first effort – and turned out super yummy, had some this morning for breakfast on muffin splits with ricotta and smokey ham. Recipe’s

Dub me all Chutney

easy too:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 600g brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Add sugar. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add vinegar and 1/2 cup cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thick.
And then put them in these cute baby mason jars, and made little tags, yay for fun gift idea.
My last kitchen fun for the day was a sourdough starter.  I’ve never done one before, as the hassle of feeding them never seemed worth the payoff, I know that I would baby it for a little while, maybe make one batch, then forget about it.  But this recipe I found on Pinterest: http://www.armommy.com/holidays/sourdough-starter-d-i-y/ you only have to feed every month or two. Yeoop.  It’s asking to be forgotten about, for short periods of time.

In the beginning there was flour, and water, and yeast

and upon the shelf it sat, and stewed, and grew

And it bubbled and it brewed, basically looking like goo