Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's up Doc..

Oak tree with daffodils
Since it's been such a doom 'n gloom year in our neck of the woods (failed spring, late break, green drought) it has been nice to see some decent rainfalls over the last week or so.  The upside of a drier than normal winter is that the ewes are not lambing down in flooded paddocks so it is more pleasant for them.  We are in the thick of lambing....
so long walks across the paddocks are out, much to the disappointment of my walking companions.  Although the dogs are much more interested in chasing rabbits, we don't want to mis-mother the lambs.
Can't cross the creek..
I have been picking some ginormous carrots out of the veggie garden.  At last, after many failures, I have worked out that you need to dig a trench and fill it with seed raising mix and plant the seeds into that.
So I have been finding different ways to use them.    Of course, being winter, I had to make soup...
with a touch of ginger and some toasted almonds on top.  I also found a recipe in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden book for an Italian Almond and Carrot Cake:
Now I realise this looks more like a pair of fish fingers, but it really was a good cake, it just didn't rise much, and I did forget to put the pine nuts on the top before it went into the oven.  Dear old carrots, they are never really the star of the show, but they can be so very good in lots of ways:  scorched in a hot oven beside a roast, shredded in a stir fry or in a carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  And I love baby carrots roasted and used as a salad with feta, nuts and herbs. 
At long last my chooks have started to lay again.  The Isa Browns usually keep laying all year but the Australorps and Rhode Island Reds simply refuse to lay when the days are short.   I am loving having a soft boiled egg for breakfast, especially when it is dusted with some truffle infused salt.....amazing.

 I watched Heston Blumenthal on Masterchef the other night and he demonstrated an interesting method for making scrambled eggs.  I have always been of the school that cooks the bacon in the pan then scrambles the eggs in the residual bacon fat (plus a little butter).  Until now.  Heston's method is the BEST and you must try it.
For two people:

Fill a saucepan a third full with water and bring to a gentle simmer.
In a glass bowl (I didn't have one so I used a stainless steel one) put:
4 eggs
1 tblsp milk
1 tblsp cream
small knob butter
a little salt
Place the bowl over the simmering water and using a spatula gently stir the mix until it looks like scrambled eggs. 
 Put on the plate and finish with a little pepper and maybe some chopped chives.  You won't look back.

It goes without saying that this is always going to be better with free range organic eggs, any egg dish is really and caged hens should be outlawed.  Better still, get a couple of chooks and enjoy the pleasure of your own eggs and having somewhere other than the bin for your food scraps.