Kiwi’s Semolina pudding

you should have seen her face ..

you should have seen her face ..

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Kiwi was not born in New Zealand, any more than Kiwifruit comes from that picturesque, rugged country. She does however, really love the flightless bird native to the Land of the Long White Cloud, so “Kiwi” she is.  For the past month she has been visiting us and we’ve enjoyed both her company and the excuse to revisit favourite spots. There really is nothing like playing Tour Guide to help you see your surroundings through some else’s eyes. Having braved a long arduous journey,  trial-by-vegemite and the attentions of local wildlife (some of it eight-legged), Kiwi has thrown herself into life in Casa De Chaos. Her delighted smiles as we explore food, wine and scenery has been a highlight of our year. Sadly, we are about to bid her farewell which called for a special pull-all-the-stops menu. Comfort food is the priority here, and it’s hard to go by this traditional Northern European dessert. In Germany it’s Grießkoch or Grießbrei. In the Netherlands it’s Griessmeel or Griesmeel pap depending on whether you make it with or without almonds. In English speaking countries it’s Semolina Pudding or Sweet Grits. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious and Kiwi wore a seraphic smile as she devoured it. I doubt I shall ever be able to make it again without thinking of that smile 🙂

Baked Rice Pudding

Baked Rice Pudding

Baked Rice Pudding

This dish is another comfort food classic for cold Winter’s nights. Creamy, sweet rice custard offset by the earthy aromas of nutmeg. Delicious hot or cold, try it accompanied by fresh or poached fruit, drizzled with fresh cream. Better yet, up the ante and smother it with almond custard 🙂

Savoury Mushroom Custard

Savoury Mushroom Custard

Savoury Mushroom Custard

So you really messed up this time; huh? You want to make amends but your budget doesn’t stretch to diamonds and caviar? Try breakfast in bed. Lock the pets outside, send the kids to Gramma’s, brew a pot of coffee (or tea), break out the good dinner service, whip up some of this .. et voilà, an apology (and no innocent flowers had to suffer!). You don’t have to save this recipe for an “oops” moment either. Served with a side salad or two, it’s a nice something to make for cheap-and-easy supper. Oh and guys .. best pick up line ever: “Let me cook breakfast for you” .. seriously.

Bloomasu

Bloomasu .. your health my Dears :)

Bloomasu .. your health my Dears :)

If I had to use just one word to describe myself, I would choose “eclectic”.  My various pursuits have brought me into contact with every hue in the kaleidoscope of society from dull grey conservatives to  iridescent rainbow eccentrics. I could never understand the poor blind souls sniffing disdainfully at “wierdo hippies”. Some of my friends are so dazzling, they rival the most ostentatious Bird of Paradise.  How can anyone not see the joy in such friendships, or appreciate the irony of crazy people that keep us sane?

For me the very brightest of these luminous beings are Gypsy Otter and her Cavalier Rake.

Hot Cross Pudding with the Works

Hot Cross Pudding

Hot Cross Pudding

Time to say farewells.  Time to share one last meal before Chosen-Sister and her amazing family move to foreign climes.  This was the dessert I made to share.  Comfort food to fill the void.  I have a feeling that I am going to shed a tear or three every time I make it again for quite a while.