Berry Nutty Tart

It's as good for you as it looks and tastes

It’s as good for you as it looks and tastes

Jump to Notes
Jump to Recipe

Fifteen years ago I came home to find Beloved curled in a fetal position in our shower, moaning in pain. It was not the first time I had seen him thus during the previous year, not even the twentieth time, but this was the worst and I was scared. When I managed to help him to a sitting position I went from scared to horrified at the realisation that his Doctors had got it terribly, terribly wrong. An incipient stomach ulcer doesn’t turn the whites of your eyes a pale, dirty yellow. I grabbed his dressing gown with one hand and his ear with the other. I am not talking figuratively here .. I mean I literally grabbed his ear and “helped” him to the car against his protests that he wasn’t that bad. A few traffic-law-violating minutes later I marched him .. by the ear .. up to the the Triage Nurse in the local ER. She took one look at his eyes and hit the Big Red Button. Hours later he was in surgery to remove the necrotic remains of his Gall Bladder and a sizable chunk of his liver. Don’t be too hard on the man. This was late Friday afternoon and he was due to start his shiny new job on Monday morning. I was very pregnant with Angel at the time, so I had just had to resign my job. Money was tight and the new, well paid job was something we desperately needed. However, had he not sought help when he did, he’d have been dead by Monday. It was a very sobering thought.

Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Scrolls

Warm Cinnamon Pecan Scroll with honey Icecream .. bliss

Warm Cinnamon Pecan Scroll with honey icecream .. bliss

Jump to Notes
Jump to Recipe

For decades I convinced myself that I couldn’t bake with yeast. That it was complicated and best left to “professionals”. I gazed with lustful eyes at the soft, delicate baked goods of others and passed over their recipes when searching for something new to try. The New Year brought with it the resolve to branch out, venture into unexplored fields and learn new skills. I took down neglected recipe books, blew the dust from their virginal pages  .. and found this treasure. I am already plotting decadent variations using Apple Berry Jam 🙂

Kiwi’s Semolina pudding

you should have seen her face ..

you should have seen her face ..

Jump to Notes
Jump to Recipe

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 🙂

Hot Toffee Sauce

Hot Toffee Sauce

Hot Toffee Sauce

I’ve given the recipe for this Hot Toffee Sauce separately because it is too good to save just for Icky Sticky Pudding. Pour it over icecream, fruit pies, stewed fruit, apple strudel or rice pudding.