Monday 22 October 2018

Tall, red with blue

We have a new car! It is a beautiful red Kia Sportage which I purchased from an unexpected inheritance from an unknown (to me) cousin who died intestate and with no spouse, partner or children. Thank you, Jack - I do wish I had met you.

David saying goodbye to the trusty Toyota Corolla

The shiny Fiery Red Kia Sportage

David is taking an inordinate amount of time getting out of it - it has lots of attractive technology that he is in charge of ...
We have done about 30kms in it so far but it has been happily resting in the garage over the long weekend.

Friday 19 October 2018

Bread and butter pudding with lemon curd

Sorry, Carol, you asked for the lemon recipes and I didn't think this one was - doh!

Bread and Butter Pudding with Lemon Curd.

(NB all quantities are approximate as I don't measure anything for this as it depends on the size of the pan I am using and how many people I am making it for. 

Spread raisins or sultanas in the base of an oven proof dish (at least 8x8"[for 4 people] or bigger for a larger group). Cover with sherry or port to soak and leave for an hour or so.

Butter slices of brioche or a sweet kind of bread**, and then spread thickly with lemon curd.

Make a custard by beating together 3 eggs and about a cup of milk as well as 1tsp of good quality vanilla extract and 1tbsp of sugar.

Put the bread slices in the dish, stacking them so the tops are all visible. Then pour over the custanrd mixture. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of demerara sugar over the top and leave to soak in the fridge for an hour.

Bake at 180 deg C for about 30 minutes until the custard is set and the top is crispy.

Serve with whipped cream or icecream.

** Brioche is hard to get in NZ so I use a Sally Lunn that I remove the icing from first.  Any white bread would be fine and if it's not sweet then add a bit more sugar to the custard. I also think a fruit loaf would be quite nice.

Away you go ... Let me know how it goes.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Derek's limoncello recipe

Derek’s Limoncello

1.5 litres strong alcohol
4 cups (900 gms) sugar
5 cups water (1.250 litres)

Peel lemons with potato peeler, trying for as little white pith as possible. White pith is bitter in the drink. Put as much lemon peel to alcohol in a non reactive vessel (glass Demi John?) as possible or you can afford. I think at least 20 lemons for this amount of alcohol. More if you can do it. Leave alcohol on the peel for at least 2 weeks, stirring gently occasionally.
You know you've got all the goodness out of the lemon peel if it goes pale & "snaps" when bent.

Make a syrup by boiling water & sugar
Mix with alcohol

If you can add more lemon peel (I am not sure what he means by this so will ask and report back) after first lot is done then your limoncello will be that much more lemony.

I juice the lemons after peeling & freeze the juice. (I did this, and as we don't have an ice-cube tray  because the fridge makes ice cubes, I used a couple of muffin trays covered in Gladwrap - clingfilm to people outside NZ. This morning I will transfer the little blocks to a plastic bag.)

If limoncello is cloudy after taking out the lemon peel, strain thru an old fashioned paper coffee filter.

Just so you know, Derek's limoncello is amazing and much more lemony that any commercial one I have tasted. Once it's ready, put it in small bottles, and keep it in the freezer, like you would vodka. Hide it under loaves of bread and other stuff that has sat in the freezer unused for ages, as otherwise it will be consumed at pace ...

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Just so you know ,,,

... we are home and we are fine.

We are coming out of (hopefully) an obsession with all things US political - we have to be coming out of it, or otherwise the depression it engenders in us would sink us without trace. There'd merely be a large puddle of tears remaining.

So, we are home in Waikanae and it was lovely to come back to our nice wee house.

We have had Rob around doing some gardening and that encouraged me to buy lettuce plants (baby cos and some floppy leafed things) and some tomato plants. I have also valiantly (because I absolutely HATE doing weeding) cleared around the lemon tree. I was inspired to do so, in spite of it being an anathema to me, by the fact that there are about 8 lemons on it - the first ones we have had. So I thought I'd better treat the tree with love and care.

Not much going on socially at the moment, although we have been to Grahame and Joy's for dinner (yummy beef stroganoff [by Joy] and lemon curd bread and butter pudding [by me]).

On Friday I am cooking dinner for 15 people - Bruce and Gary are returning from the UK that day, so the dinner is to celebrate their return, as well as ours. It is also meant to celebrate Clair's return from her mammoth solo cycle trip down the west coast of the US from Alaska to Mexico, but having travelled unscathed, she has returned to Paraparaumu and caught a cold! And the woman has a conscience and won't come out socialising if she is bug-ridden. A good and noble sentiment, but we will miss her!

It's spring here at the moment and the weather is very spring-like - when we got home on 5 October, we had several days of beautifully sunny and warm weather. Then it cooled off. On Friday last week we had a southerly storm - consolations to adhere to:
  1. it was worse in Wellington
  2. it was not Florence or Michael the hurricanes which have battered the east coast of the US - all because god isn't happy with gays apparently, according to some mad preachers over there ...
  3. it was not the heavy storm and rainfall with fatalities in the south of Framce
  4. we were warm and dry in the house - not on the boat, and not in the motorhome.
One morning David told me it had been 1 degree C outside and he'd had to close the bedroom windows I tend to leave open ...

Yesterday David and I along with our friend Jane went to see the movie (documentary) called RBG - about Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Supreme Court Justice in the US. She is an amazing woman. Let's hope for two things for a start:
  1. the Democrats win back a majority in Congress and the Senate come 6 November (if the repugs gerrymandering and voter suppression haven't squelched any chances of that), and
  2. RBG survives and keeps being an amazing Justice until after that time so she cannot be replaced by any rightwing repug nominee.

Today I went off to the supermarket to shop for the Friday dinner. So far I have made the chilli.

I have also commenced making Derek's limoncello - it is the absolute BEST. I have peeled 25 lemons into 1.5 litres of vodka and set it in the laundry pantry to steep/macerate/whatever for a fortnight. I will be counting the days until I can complete the process and then do the requisite taste testing. Stand aside, team! That is my job and mine alone!