Two friends reunited (via facebook) bridging the time gap of 30 years, the geographical gap - Australia and USA, and the generation gap; by blogging about food, fashion, fotography, fitness, family, and friends.
Renotta ........http://rrtdesigns.blogspot.com/ Web- www.shopatnextdoor.com/ http://projectknitway.blogspot.com/
Clara ........"Developing a fusion of contemporary food with health, fitness and creative ideas.
http://fitinyourjeanscuisine.blogspot.com - Web www.fitinyourjeanscuisine.com/
http://babyboomerconnections.blogspot.com/ Web www.babyboomerconnections.com.au/


Monday, February 10, 2014

Nonna has fun with pre-reading


Hi R
I forget what your granny name is.  Mine is Nonna and I'm getting a great deal of pleasure in that role.

My grandchildren don't live close  - a few hours away, but fortunately, with visits and calls, we get to spend quality time.
Here I am with OJ who is now 3 - he's ready for pre-reading activities and instead of just writing to my daughter, Elle, I decided to share it with you and perhaps others might be interested. 

 My teacher background, mothering,  nannying experience, tutoring  - in other words a lifetime of being with children, means that  I'm vitally interested in how they learn.

Maybe you have a few hints that you can add at times.
Love Nonna C


OK - Lesson 1 - Pre-reading.  OJ knows the name of the letters and sings the ABCDEFG  HIJK LMNOP etc. Now I know my ABCs.  Can you sing along with me.   Suggest you get out the  books which have the letters and pictures and ask him randomly what the NAME of the letters are.

Next step is to become familiar with the sound of the letters eg the sound of 'a' is as in  ant, 'b' as in bear  etc
So - distinguishing between the name of the letter and its sound.  Lots of fun ways to do it - like 'I Spy'

Work in lowercase at first - upper case can work beside lowercase or include later.

There are many great apps to start with but best to begin with books and incidental pointing out what letter SOUND a word begins with. 

Have fun!!  It's important to have fun and  that the learning is  incidental and without pressure.








Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Monday, October 7, 2013

Porcini mushrooms - Tuscan style


The Villas at Podernuovo, are set in a rustic country setting with modern facilities where we have had some memorable and enjoyable holidays. 


Alvina has agreed to share some of her Tuscan secrets re the beautiful bounty of this fertile land.  Claire



Here in Tuscany we are sometimes fortunate to come across a porcini or two. Once I found a very large one which, through my ignorance thought it had to be toxic! I was soon set right by the excavator man who went wild with joy and ran off to try and find one for himself!



The following is how he said I should cook it:-
Dust and brush off any debris, leave as much stem in place as possible, slice into at least 1cm, thick pieces and cook quickly in oil and finely sliced garlic, until brown. Sprinkle over some finely chopped parsley and season to taste and serve immediately.



Alvina's porcini mushroom
which she prepared and served

for lunch.  With crusty bread

 it was enough for 4
This way the true porcini flavour is enhanced and not obscured. Some porcini that we find  have obvious signs of insect infestation so these we clean and then dry in the dehydrator. These can then be used for risottos, soups or casseroles.

Here on Monte Amiata, these mushrooms are highly sort after, and in the season, people travel long distances to go to their favourite place hoping to find them. These favourite places are never divulged to anyone - an indication of how prized these special mushrooms are.
Alvina


www.timeintuscany.com


It would be great to receive your feedback or suggestions. Click on "0 comments". You can choose 'anonymous' from the drop down menu if you don't have a google account. Or send an email - clara@babyboomerconnections.com.au
 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Button mushrooms with dried porcini mushrooms are a great taste combo

Hi R
I'm back!  Where have I been?  Publishing and marketing the book "Mosman Meanders & foreshore flavours", following up with a "Balmoral Picnic" e-book, new grandchildren etc...  How did life get to be so busy?
 
You are moving to a new season of course, and mushrooms of all varieties, transcend seasons and cuisines. 
ps - My newest grandson is an absolute dreamboat!
 

Porcini Mushrooms
 

These delicious, earthy mushrooms are a favourite in French and Italian cooking. They have a smooth texture and a pungent, woodsy flavor.

Dried mushrooms have a more concentrated flavour than fresh. Always soak dried mushrooms in very hot water for 20 minutes or until soft before using. Delicious in soups, stews, sauces and with pastas, meat and poultry, along with the liquid used for reconstituting the mushrooms.
Both fresh and dried mushrooms contain unique compounds that are believed to boost your immune defence.





Dried porcini mushrooms combine well with fresh mushrooms
to make a tasty side dish or  dip.
 

 

 

 

 

 Porcini mushroom sauce / dip

I head garlic
60g / 2 oz dried chopped porcini mushrooms
250g / 8 oz  button mushrooms - chopped
1 bay leaf
sprig thyme
1/4 cup  extra virgin olive oil
1/4  cup sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt
Handful flat leaf parsley  - chopped


Preheat oven  to 180 degrees C/ 355 degrees F
Baked garlic - Cut top third of garlic head away to expose the flesh.  Wrap garlic head in oiled foil and bake for 30-45 minutes until tender. Squeeze out the flesh of the garlic and set aside.
Meanwhile, pour boiling water over porcini mushrooms and leave  for 30 minutes. Lift porcini mushrooms from liquid and squeeze.  Reserve liquid.
Put porcini and other mushrooms into a flameproof dish with rest of ingredients (excluding garlic) and cook for 30 mins until tender.
Remove bay leaf and thyme.  Add garlic, mushrooms and all juices then process to achieve a coarse puree, or leave whole to serve as a side dish. Add parsley and season to taste. Serve with crusty bread or as a sauce to accompany meat or chicken.
Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Friday, April 26, 2013

Eves's Salad ticked all the boxes


Eve's Salad - Taken inexpertly with my i-phone

Warm fig and pomegranate salad

This ticked all the boxes for me when I took it along to a friend’s fabulous dinner party!!  

OK, so why did it tick the boxes, you ask?




· Thepomegranate dressing has an interesting flavour due to my new 'must-have in the frig’, Pomegratate Molasses. ("Molasses… Molasses… it's icky-sticky goo, Molasses… Molasses… it al-ways stick -to -you"). No, this is not your usual molasses. It adds a complex but not too sweet flavour to many dishes.
Pomegranate seeds add an interesting crunch as each little seed explodes in your mouth.

· The warmed figs – I love figs in every form and have happy memories when G and Istole them from an ancient tree in the garden of a long deserted villa. They were firm, sweet and were warmed by the Tuscan sun; I felt like Eve. Perhaps Adam and Eve ate a fig and not an apple which makes sense since they were wearing fig leaves; hence the renaming of the salad.  So the BBQ’d warmed figs hit a high note with me.
Here it is... for 4 servings


Eve's salad

4 large ripe figs cut in half . Brush or spray cut side with olive oil. 1 pomegranate - cut in half. With a citrus juicer, juice one half to yield 1tbsp juice after removing some of the seeds to retain with seeds from other half.
70g goats cheese or Danish feta crumbled

Dressing
Combine 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with 2 tsp pomegranate molasses, 1 tbsp pomegranate juice and a squeeze of lemon juice
Season with salt & cracked pepper

To serve Combine 50g rocket leaves with a handful of basil. Just before serving, warm the figs through , cut side down, on a BBQ. Add figs

and cheese. Drizzle with dressing and scatter with pomegranate seeds

It would be great to receive your feedback or suggestions. Click on "0 comments". You can choose 'anonymous' from the drop down menu if you don't have a google account. Or send an email - clara@babyboomerconnections.com.au



Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Spring is just around the corner


Hi R
I heard that your Spring is slow in coming this year so I thought this might cheer you up.
C



Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

But did it change your life?

Hi R
I'm repeating this post because I never did get an answer to my question, "Did it change your life?" and "What colour are you now?"  C

Posted 2012 -  have been dying to talk about hair, mainly about issues to do with dyeing it or not -and my friend from www.shopatnextdoor.com provided me with the perfect opportunity when she said, "Have you ever just wanted a change? You know something to brighten your day, set your world on fire? Well that was me yesterday at the hair salon. Why not go red? After all I was born a red head. My father's nick name was Red. I have fair skin and freckles, perfect for red hair. So I pulled the plug (on the bottle) and unleashed the real me. Reddy, set, go. you think? R"


Red, Set Go...R's fabulous new hair colour
self portrait taken with my iPhone and photo shopped just a tiny bit

Hi R
"I have cut out articles from magazines etc, have observed brave friends who have taken the au - naturale road (No no no! Not me! Don't be silly!), so feel I am quite expert at the subject; and I am totally with you. Why not be a perfectly natural red head? I think you look like a movie star!
More to come on this strand but in the meantime, how has it has changed your life?
Clara of blonde tresses






To view or add comment, click on "no comment" - you can comment as 'anonymous' if you don't have a google account; or send an email - clara@babyboomerconnections.com.au or visit my website at www.babyboomerconnections.com.au


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dark Chocolate Easter Eggs are good news!


Hi R
Have you heard the good news about dark chocolate?

Summarised from Ease Easter Guilt": go for dark chocolate - Nicola Conville, Sunday Telegraph 24/3/13

Easter promises calorific overindulgence but according to studies by researchers from Monash University, the choice of dark chocolate offers significant health benefits, including improvement of blood flow and a "feel good" factor.
It's a healthier option, especially since with a 70 per cent cocoa component, dark chocolate generally contains less added sugar and fat than milk chocolate, with other studies stressing it be part of a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise.

Sounds like great news to me!

Happy Easter to you R and to all.
Clara - lover of dark chocolate


It would be great to receive your feedback or suggestions. Click on "0 comments". You can choose 'anonymous' from the drop down menu if you don't have a google account. Or send an email - showcaseconnections@gmail.com





Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Balmoral Swim - "Relish the moment!"

Hi there R
What a great day - the photos say it all!
Overheard from "We can beat cancer" participants - "Relish the moment - can you believe you are here doing it? Be proud because you are amazing."
Makes me wish I was doing it too. Claire
ps - there were swimmers of all ages
pss - have you seen much sunshine yet?








Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Monday, March 11, 2013

Memories of the forbidden bikini

 
Hi R
Because I live in the Land Downunder, the good news about our constant sunshine is also the bad news.  Two glasses of good red wine have stopped the throbbing in my nose and upper right chest after a day procedure at RNS (local hospital).

It's important to pass it on to our children and grandchildren, even though they already know, that skin has 'memory', and my nose and right chest remembers the times I allowed them to be exposed to the sun.

My Anglosaxon pale skin areas were exposed pre awareness of skin memory and future damage from the sun's rays. Initially, it was when, our family was out there having fun perhaps caravaning in Dad's homemade caravan in New Zealand. If you caught too much sun on the weekend you would peel by Wednesday or Thursday when my sister and I had fun peeling the skin from each other's shoulders, like little monkeys.

Then there was the 'greater awareness stage' - a time when I wanted the look of the time, which meant being brown, even though I was a " 'pakehah - white person in Maori'."
By this time we had moved to Australia and I was a teenager, with a brand new forbidden bikini. Bondi had the whitest of sand and my visit there included a full body spray of coconut oil, resulting in my entire body being fried by the sun. It also meant that the wearing of the forbidden 'bikini' was revealed when I returned home looking like a tomato - and that was how my dad treated the burn ie with ripe tomatoes.

Fortunately our education has moved us on from this state of mind. However many of us remain there and still want to be tanned.
I actually don't want that any more and am reminded today that it's OK to be white.
Clara

To view or add comment, click on "no comment" - you can comment as 'anonymous' if you don't have a google account; or send an email - mosmanmeanders@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

He wants to be a grey nomad!!!













Hi R
There's a man in my house!
Yes, I know that he's been here for a long time, but on & off.
Now, he's actually here! Like - retired. And I don't quite know how to handle it, and him.
He's actually out of context.
C
ps - he wants to be a grey nomad!




To view or add comment, you can comment as 'anonymous' if you don't have a google account; or send an email - clara@babyboomerconnections.com.au or visit my website at www.babyboomerconnections.com.au









Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Walnut pesto pasta from Tuscany


Alvina's Bell at Podernuovo is calling me to lunch - happy memories!

Pesto is a favourite subject of mine. This year, in my Mosman garden, one punnet of basil planted here and there, yielded constant harvest of a favourite, aromatic herb.

Traditionally Pesto is made with pinenuts - perhaps they were plentiful in Italy but they still had to be super labour intensive! Have you seen the way they have to extract each little precious pinenut. An alternative is Walnut Pesto which evolved from the need to find ways to use the walnuts which drop from the old walnut trees on the property.  (For family meals I actually use whatever nuts are in the pantry and use alternative herbs such as parsley and coriander.)


We worked in the fields with Umberto, doing what needed to be done - digging out stones, picking grapes, making wine etc.

I cut the lavender and rosemary back before winter - I had helped to plant it a few years ago but since everything grows so quickly it needed cutting back.

Alvina's bell is a suspended bronze bell which she rings when lunch is ready. She has tended the vegetable garden, harvested its bounty, applied her endless creativity, and the call of the bell means that a delightful lunch awaits. We eat, exchange experiences of the morning, make plans for the evening meal (everything revolves around food of course) then retire to our villa for siesta - maybe to doze or perhaps to read the current novel which was being circulated.

Alvina's Walnut Pesto Pasta (to be served with tomorrow's Fennel and Orange Salad)
Serves 4
400g (13oz) cappellini or angel hair pasta - sea salt and black pepper to taste
Pasta comes in different shapes and sizes like angel hair or capellini, fettuccini, fusilli, linguini, macaroni, spaghetti, etc. Capellini or angel hair pasta are long strands of pasta that are commonly used with light sauces.
Pesto
Large bunch fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 large handful chopped walnuts
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Shred basil leaves and place in a blender with crushed garlic, walnuts and about 2 tblsp olive oil. Puree until smooth and then add the parmesan cheese and a little more oil.

Place pasta into boiling water with salt and cook for around 15 mins or until el dente which means firm to bite.
Pour over the drained pasta and garnish with fresh basil. Add a few more chopped walnuts and parmesan to taste.

http://www.timeintuscany.com/

Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Buckets of walnuts to be picked in Tuscany


Hi R
Maybe, just maybe, rather than you coming over here to Australia, you may be lured into meeting us in Tuscany.  A few blogs to follow which you won't be able to resist.  Perhaps it could be on your 'bucket list'.

We have been very fortunate to spend some wonderful time in Tuscany, with Alvina and Umberto at their Villas at Podernuovo. I am missing the tranquility and the fertile abundance so am treating myself to a few retro blogs which you may not have seen.


It took a while to pick all of these and now the task
is to crack them to release their bounty. We became adept at this.

They say 'A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.'

In the British Journal of Nutrition, a rodent study found a walnut rich diet reverses the effects of brain ageing.

G picked more than I did? What are the secrets of filling up the bucket?...... Yes, I know the basic stuff - like the walnuts fall off the tree - (helped sometimes by extension and shaking of the human hand etc) but next time I go to Tuscany, I want to win!!

I also am aware of natural physics, such as that walnuts will roll down hills - so look there first. (I have a theory that G was told this and gathered all the good ones before I joined him in the exercise.)
Then you had to think laterally - like if they didn't roll downhill, perhaps they went sideways and settled in any depression or were caught by other foliage etc.

I spent happy times on my own picking up walnuts, enjoying just being there, then of course to enjoy 'Pasta with Walnut Pesto'. Recipe will be on my next blog.
Clara
http://www.timeintuscany.com/ Visit the website for images of Podernouvo.

Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email mosmanmeanders@gmail.com




Friday, February 15, 2013

A Retro post to warm you up as the snow melts

Hi R
I hope you received your copy of 'Mosman Meanders & foreshore flavours'.  A retro post to warm you up as the snow melts in Milwaukee. 

2010 - A beautiful day of 'lightwriting' on a field trip at Bradley's Head, Mosman, Australia, with photographer Christopher Maait. Thanks Chris for your expertise and guidance at the Mosman Community College- and in helping me to feel confident and aware re taking better photos; (as I hope you will agree from viewing the video below.)

Chris - Yes I know, I focused on the background
instead of on you.
Cheers C
ps - this was before we started the book -   See how much younger you look.  Only joking!

video


 

Post a Comment

We would love to hear your feedback. If you don't have a google account you can comment as "anonymous."
Or email mosmanmeanders@gmail.com





Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blue Rocks & fruits of the sea on Australian foreshores


Hi R
Some more foreshores  warm you up during your cold winter.
Rita cooked this dish for us at beautiful Nambucca Heads where the rocks are an incredible light blue. 
Her reply below, well Google's actually, to the question, "Why are the rocks blue?"
"Glaucophane is a sodium-rich blue mineral. The name glaucophane means 'showing blue'. Glaucophane is usually found in basalts that have undergone the high-pressure, low-temperature metamorphism typical of subduction zones."
Perhaps there were pirates on the coastline - anyway this was a version of Spaghetti Marinara which was superb.  I like the way the seafood is served on top of the spaghetti as it looks more appetising.
Clara

SPAGHETTI BUCCANIERI (for 4) {Pirate’s Spaghetti OR Spaghetti a la Rita}


SUGO:
Gently (not too hot) in a small fry pan, fry 4 large, crushed, garlic cloves in olive oil for a minute – just to infuse the oil with garlic.
Add 4 quite ripe roma tomatoes, chopped up into smallish pieces.
Turn heat down, put a lid on the fry pan, and let simmer while doing the rest of the meal and until well reduced. Stir occasionally.
Add salt, t-spoon of sugar, herbs (recipe says just lots of parsley, but I add basil and sage too) a dollop of red wine and cayenne pepper to taste (I used about 1/3 t-spoon – could take more), and 2 heaped tablespoons of Leggo’s sundried tomato and roasted garlic mix, (smallish square bottle) …all about 5 mins before serving. Cover and simmer some more.

Cook 400 g. spaghetti with a dollop of oil in the water to keep strands separate.
While it’s cooking, fry the seafood in a little olive oil. You need about 200g per person. I use Woolworth’s marinara mix, which is white fish, salmon, small prawns, calamari and mussels and add a few large prawns or whatever else I fancy. (I cook each type separately, prawns and calamari for no more than a minute a side – probably less depending on size/thickness; and place each lot in a small saucepan with lid, on stove top alongside, but not over, heat itself. Salt lightly and stir through.)
Heat bowls if necessary.
Drain spaghetti into a colander, shake to remove excess water, return to pot (ensuring no water left in it) and immediately add extra virgin olive oil, tossing it through.
To serve: pour sugo over spaghetti and mix through so it’s all well coated. Place in serving bowls. Add seafood, ensuring different types are evenly distributed amongst the bowls, and gently lift the spaghetti through it a bit. (If you add the seafood into the saucepan with spaghetti, it’s hard to ensure everyone gets a fair mix !)

ps - more coastline & rocks in the video below. 

 
video
               It would be great to receive your feedback or suggestions. Click on "0 comments". You can choose 'anonymous' from the drop down menu if you don't have a google account. Or send an email - clara@babyboomerconnections.com.au
Another beautiful foreshore walk near Noosa began at the entrance to Noosa National Park on Parkedge Road and meandered to Sunshine Beach returning via Tanglewood Track. A challenging 2 hour walk with the reward of glorious foreshore views.
Holding on tightly to Ian on the VOL 125!  Air con working well.



Up many steps - the higher you go the better the photo - Sunshine Beach












Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Friday, January 11, 2013

Noosa Meanders and foreshore flavours

Hi R
Time to warm you up with images from our holiday along the foreshores  north of Sydney.  Wish you were here to enjoy it. 
C
Foreshore flavours - pandanus fruit
So many foreshores to explore. This is another favourite - a glorious, reasonably challenging walk from Main Beach to Hell's Gate.

7-30 this morning - (no daylight saving in Qld)



Pandanus Palms - called 'the walking tree' by some with the
belief that they can move from one spot to the other


Found in some coastal areas in the subtropical Queensland
regions, and on Pacific Islands the segmented yellow fruit can be eaten raw or roasted
and tastes like banana. The leaves are used to flavour curries and rice.





Our destination - here I'm holding on tightly to the tree at
Hell's Gates









Click on 'comment' at bottom of page to have your say or email

Sunday, December 30, 2012

To his fellow sinners - New Year's Eve

Henry Lawson has to have been the most prolific Australian poet with his down to earth comments on so many subjects - it makes one think that perhaps his language of thought was "verse". Here's one on New Year's Eve - to his fellow sinners.
Give yourself a Show: New Year's Eve

TO my fellow sinners all, who, in hope and doubt,
Through the Commonwealth to-night watch the Old Year out,
New Year’s Resolutions are jerry-built I know,
But I want to say to you, “Give yourselves a show”.

You who drink for drinking’s sake, love for lust alone,
Thinking heaven is a myth and the world your own—
Dancing gaily down to hell in the devil’s dance—
This I have to say to you: “Give your souls a chance”.

You who drink because of shame that you think will last,
Or because of wrong done you—trouble in the past—
“Nothing left to live for now,” you will say, I know;
But you have your own self yet, give that self a show!

You who want all things on earth—money, love, and fame
Having the advantage of worldly place or name—
You who have more than you want, even than you know,
In the glorious New Year give someone else a show.

You, the mischief-makers all, who in secret glee
Love to tell the villainies of a scamp like me;
There are things he’ll never tell—things you’ll never know—
Look into your own lives first—give the man a show.

You, the politician, who, for jealousy or gold,
Or for mean ambition, sell, or see your country sold,
Pandering to the hollow crowd, toadying to the low,
For shame’s sake banish selfishness—give your land a show.
Henry Lawson
To view or add comment, click on 0 comments at bottom of page - you can comment as 'anonomous' on the dropdown menu; or send an email - clara@babyboomerconnections.com.au or visit my website at www.babyboomerconnections.com.au
              

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pavlova Torte - a Christmas star



When cooked properly, the outside of the meringue shell will be crunchy, with a marshmallow-like texture on the inside.
Pavlova has become a star of Australian Christmas desserts. It was invented in the 1920s or 1930s, and is named for the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Sources, however, are in dispute over whether the dessert was actually invented in Australia or in New Zealand. It can be served with whipped cream and fruit or alternatively, with custard or lemon curd made from the egg yolks.
Because pavlova is made primarily of egg whites and sugar, it is a relatively light and low-calorie dessert.
It is possible to prepare pavlova a day in advance of serving, if you leave the meringue shell overnight in the oven after turning off the heat. When the cake has been decorated with whipped cream, it can be left in the refrigerator for a day or two; however, it will lose its crunchiness as the moisture from the cream soaks into the meringue shell. The following version uses a custard creme as a topping and to join the two layers.

Pavlova Torte
Serves 10
8 egg whites
300g (11/2 cups) caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Fruit of choice for topping and serving on the side - strawberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit pulp are favourites but I added raspberries and blueberries for extra colour and flavour.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays then draw a 22 cm disc on each piece of paper.

Using an electric beater beat egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup at time until thick and glossy. Beat in the cornflour and vinegar.

Spoon the meringue evenly between the prepared discs; with the intended top one, use a small spoon to form little peaks around the edge of the pavlova. Bake for approx an hour, until pavlova is dry to the touch. swapping the trays halfway through cooking. Turn off oven, leave door ajar and leave pavlova to cool completely, overnight if desired or store in an airtight container.

Custard Creme
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup thickened cream or Greek yoghurt
Whisk egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and cornflour until smooth and creamy.
Place this mixture into a saucepan, gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Custard will be quite thick in consistency.
Remove from heat, pour into a separate bowl and cover the surface of the custard with glad wrap. Allow to cool to prevent a skin forming on the top.
Fold in cream or Greek yoghurt.
Join the two layers with custard and spread it on top layer. top with your fruit of choice.




It would be great to receive your feedback or suggestions. Click on 'no comments' You can choose 'anonomous' from the dropdown menu if you don't have a google account.
Or send an email - showcaseconnections@gmail.com
              

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Pudding for an inner warmth

Hi R

 
 While we'll most likely be sweltering  in Sydney, attempting to keep cool by eating outdoors, your guests in Milwaukee, will be enjoying the contrast of the indoor warmth and camaraderie with the snowy outdoors.  To many, Christmas is a time for honouring tradition, but in a culinary sense, many here are abandoning the traditional fare for cooler options such as cold turkey and seafood. 
 
One dish, however, remains popular and will often sit side by side with our iconic pavlova.  We enjoyed one such plum pud, a little early, cooked to perfection by my friend, Mary,  Queen of Desserts.  Much tradition and folklore is attached to the Christmas pudding. Traditionally each member of the family takes a turn stirring the mixture in a clockwise direction, making a secret wish as they go. Many people also bake lucky treats into their puddings. The pudding was usually made up to a year ahead, left to mature,  then heated up on Christmas Day and brought to the table flaming with warm brandy and decorated with holly. it can be accompanied by custard  ice-cream but it can also be served with cream, and brandy butter or hard sauce.
Forgive the straying from http://fitinyourjeanscuisine.blogspot.com  - just eat a small portion if you can!
Clara


Here it is, the real thing - moist and fruity,
with a brandy haze!
This recipe is based on Margaret Fulton's rich Christmas pudding in the Margaret Fulton Cookbook, which was my 'bible' as a new cook in the 60's.
The fruit needs to be soaked overnight in brandy or rum.

Serves 8
Prep time 40 mins, cook 6 hrs
  • 250 gm each raisins, sultanas and currants
  • 100 gm candied orange, finely chopped
  • 200 ml rum or brandy
  • 250 gm butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 275 gm (1¼ cups) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 orange and 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
  • 4 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • ½ tsp each salt, mixed spice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda
  • 60 gm (½ cup) almond meal
  • 140 gm (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
Combine dried fruit and candied orange in a bowl, scatter with rum or brandy, cover and stand overnight.

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar and rinds until pale and fluffy, then slowly beat in egg. Sieve together flour, salt, spices and bi-carb soda. Add to mixture in batches, alternating with soaked fruit mixture and almond meal. Stir through breadcrumbs.

Brush a 1.8 litre-capacity pudding bowl with butter, line the base with a circle of baking paper and dust with flour. Pour pudding mixture into bowl and top with another circle of baking paper. Cover with two layers of foil and tie with string.

Place pudding into a large saucepan with a wire rack or tea towel lining the base. Fill with enough water to come halfway up the side of the bowl. Cover and simmer for 6 hours, topping up water when necessary. Pudding may be made ahead and cooled in bowl. Reheat in a large saucepan of simmering water for 2½ hours. Serve with custard, icecream or cream.