My pantry

Arrivederci Spring, it’s been swell……

November 30, 2012

Spring has definitely sprung but she’s been an unpredictable mistress this year.

My trees all have leaves and my roses are blooming, but half the time the weather doesn’t know if it’s hot or cold, so it’s usually a little of both on any given day…….Sydney-siders could be forgiven for thinking they’re in Melbourne (a little in joke for the Aussies).

Kiki, who was so little at the beginning of Spring, has experienced her first heat rash. She’s trying valiantly to sit up if for nothing else but to make herself a smaller target for D Man who bounces around her like Tigger. D Man appears to have rollicked into the Terrible Twos with gusto. I saw something recently that said –

‘Why is is called the Terrible Twos? Because Fucking Awful doesn’t start with T’.

He’s still my divine little man, but I now cannot take my eyes off him for a second without discovering him smothering his sister with love and pillows/toys/his butt, or ruining something.

I smashed the To Do List this season…..a little flurry at the end, but I nailed everything and I feel pretty pleased with myself, truth be known. Some things were more successful than others, so let’s break down the season that was…..

Grow my own veges

This wouldn’t have happened without my Dad. He made us a cracking vege patch (with the help of D Man and myself, of course) and it’s has just gone from strength to strength. We’ve been eating cos like it grows on trees, or in the ground as the case may be. Tomatoes are just getting their first blush and we’ve eaten spring onions, and beetroot, with PLENTY more to come.

I must admit that my cucumbers are bloody awful. Bitter and woody, I think I left them too late but I also planted a strain meant for pots on balconies……perhaps I should have planted some sweet little Lebanese numbers cos these suck balls.

Otherwise, a roaring success! Check out my Papa’s handwork here

Cook a rabbit

The flavour of this was great, but the wild versus farmed rabbit part bit me in the butt cos this little jumper was way too lean and tough to cook like this. In all fairness to Maggie Beer, she did specify farmed but I couldn’t find it on the day I was all inspired to do this so I forged ahead regardless. More fool me.

Next time (and I will do rabbit again one day) I shall do a long slow braise and really let Bugs break down and become all fally-aparty.

If you want to have a look at how that went, it’s here

A backyard picnic with friends

This was such a lovely afternoon with some really special people in our lives. We have a lovely South Australian Honey Myrtle in our garden and it provides the most delicious dappled shade for us to lounge under……we ate, we lounged, and our friend played human helicopters with the kids.

The weather was perfect, the food was plentiful and the wine was cold. Can you ask for anything more from a picnic?

I told the story with images here

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

I really love these. They’re perfect picnic food but they also work for a little interactive dinner party. Just pile all of the stuff in the middle of the table and let your guests roll-their-own….and it means you don’t have to do the work. Win/win.

Have a look how to do it here

Make mini-cheesecakes

I shall revisit this one for shizzle…..these little babies were awesome, and there really was a moment that I thought they were magical because no matter how many of the little suckers I ate, there was always another plateful in the fridge!!

I think I will try another flavour next time, not because strawberry wasn’t the bomb, but we’ve done that now so, brave explorers that we are, it’s time to try another angle…..maybe Fruit of the Passion, or Berry of the Blue.

If you want to have a crack, or just read about it, go here 

Make ricotta

I’d been dying to make my own ricotta and it really is the cheat’s cheese. It’s really just curdled milk, but it’s so wonderfully delectable that you can be forgiven for thinking it’s something fancier. I turned mine into an old family favourite with Pineapple Curd Cake……ermhagherd……….delish.

My pen-pal Genie is an adventurous cheese maker so I shared the recipe over on her blog, Bunny Eats Design…..pop over for a look here

BBQ a whole fish

This meal was a special meal shared with a special friend, who met my family for the first time. This particular fish represented a friendship being rekindled, and a bridge being built. I will always be grateful to Steve the Snapper who gallantly gave up his life to lie gracefully on my BBQ and be a memorable meal.

Three cheers for Steve.

Hip Hip……….!!!!!

I had a few people contact me about this piece, so I think it struck a few chords. If you missed it, you can see it here

Make bloody croissants!!!



Cook American style ribs

Oh, sweet baby Jesus, these little puppies were AAAAAAAAAALL that…..and then some.

The sweet, sticky, smoky pigginess was everything we could hope for, and I will abso-piggin’-lutely be doing these again. Next time I will be more vigilant in ensuring my ribs are the perfect cut, but there was not a single murmur of complaint.

If you don’t have a BBQ, go and get one immediately…….then read how to make these for yourself here

Make homemade baked beans

Last, but certainly not least, we ate beans.

Coincidently, you are also looking at my very first ever poached egg. I’m a master of the scramble and can boil with my eyes closed but I knew for the perfect beans on toast, my oeuf had to be poached.
My darling friend, who is not a natural in the kitchen, gave me a quick run down and I have to admit that I thought ‘If that Muppet can do it, so can I’. Sorry, Lipsteo.

Under her tutelage I’m proud to announce it was perfectly cooked. Can’t remember for the life of me what the timing was, but my yolk was exactly the right consistency to burst it’s yellow ookieness all over the beans, creating a breakfast that if I bought in a cafe, I’d be 100% satisfied.

That, my dear friends, was Spring…….let’s get ready to welcome Summer.

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  • Reply My French Heaven November 30, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I love your pictures! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply niteingale November 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Those ribs look soooo delicious!!! How the heck did I miss that post!?!

    Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 20:41:54 +0000 To: [email protected]

  • Reply diannegray December 2, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Stunning! Now they are all in the one place for me to see – woo hoo! 😀

  • Reply Bunny Eats Design December 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Duuude! You did so well. I’m so proud of you. Inspiration is a two way cul-de-sac.

  • Reply Vietnamese rice paper rolls November 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    […] Ok, off my soapbox…all that ranting has made me peckish so I thought I’d share another of my Spring To Do List recipes. […]

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