Maple Caramelised Carrots

Maple Caramelised Carrots

Maple Caramelised Carrots

Do you share my horror of plain boiled veg? Do you really want to make a statement at your next dinner party? I have a wonderful farmers market close by, where I source rainbow-hued heirloom carrots. (If you are not so fortunate, baby carrots work just as well). They make an simple, delicious and spectacular side dish .. don’t forget to make extra for “leftovers” luncheon munching 🙂

Baked “Hawaiian” Pork Chops

Baked Hawiian Pork Chops

Baked Hawiian Pork Chops

Mum used to cook Ham steaks with pineapple, tinned tomatoes and corn as an “instant” meal standby. As a child I loved the sweet/tart caramelised pineapple contrast to slightly salty ham. With the fragrant and delicious memories echoing in my mind, I have updated a little to appease my more health-conscious adult self. I hope you enjoy this too 🙂

Feijoa (Acca sellowiana)

close up of blossoms

close up of blossoms

It’s worth growing this tough, rather striking tree just for it’s glossy silver-backed leaves and gorgeous scarlet and cream flowers. My Parents had quite a few planted as windbreaks, and late autumn would find my Brothers and I foraging under the hedge for windfalls. We were not supposed to pick them from the trees as Dad wanted them for jam .. but you’d be surprised how many “fell off” while we were there .. they were “bruised” and had to be eaten before they went rotten and attracted fruit fly .. aaahh kid logic 🙂 Actually I am surprised we got much fruit at all once we realised the flowers were delicious too!

Warm and Sticky Ribs

Warm Sticky Ribs

Warm Sticky Ribs

Jump to Recipe

I am a very “hands on” type of cook who makes things up on the fly. A favourite pastime is wandering around one of the many local markets and brainstorming menus from what is on offer. So it was that a lazy Tuesday afternoon found Beloved and I raiding a local butcher and speculating  over some enormous meaty beef ribs on show. The butcher had been eavesdropping on our conversation and soon asked for the recipe. There is always a moment of panic when someone asks me for a recipe. Without standing at the oven with a ladle in hand I struggle to recall just what I put in .. let alone how much, or in what order. Beloved is always delighted with such requests because it means I will make the dish several times “for research purposes”. (I once spent a week researching and making Anzac Biscuits). Anyway, for the benefit of the nice lady in the Butcher Shop ..

Cheating at Quiche

When I heard that Best Friend was making the journey Down Under again, and (more importantly) coming to dinner, I was determined to be on my very, very best behaviour. On her previous trip I had made a complete arse of myself, opening my mouth wide and firmly wedging in both feet. (One day I may be brave enough to tell you that story). My gentle, forgiving friend eats no meat, so my usual stand-bys and signature dishes were off the menu .. until Gran came to my rescue once more. In common with most folks who lived through the Depression, Gran had a lot of ways of serving cheap, simple and nourishing. Eggs, mushrooms, onions and plenty of mustard with bread’nbutter turned into Savoury Mushroom Custard.  I kicked her recipe up a notch, including seasonal vegetables and herbs to transform “Simple” into “Gourmet”.

The meal was a success, we smiled, laughed and I managed to keep my feet well away from my mouth. I have made this dish many times and in many guises since, never without a fond smile of remembrance.