This weekend’s cooking featured Orange & Yoghurt Pancakes from the February 2011 issue of delicious. The recipe is a bit fiddly – lots of different bowls of things need to be prepared, and it stretch the resources in my (admitted under-equipped) kitchen. To simplify things, I decided to serve the pancakes only with Greek yoghurt and the berry compote – no messing around paring orange peel – but if I were to make this for brunch with guests (as I almost certainly will) I’d give my guests the choice of all the possible toppings. Because I’m still getting to know my kitchen, I burned quite a few pancakes before I’d worked out the right burner to be using, and the right setting for that particular burner, but once I’d worked it out, the pancakes were delicious, and smelled divine.
This morning I set myself to making Real Strawberry Jelly, from the February 2011 issue of delicious. I made a few changes to the as-written recipe, in part to make my life easier, and it in part to work with ingredients I could find at my local supermarket (perhaps this also falls in the category of “making my life easier”?). I used frozen strawberries rather than fresh ones – at this time of the year much easier to find, and probably much better quality than anything fresh. I probably used a bit more than a tablespoon of lemon juice (squeezing directly into the pot is an inexact science), and when it came to drain the fruit I used a colander lined with cloth (this is what I had on hand). I substituted 6 gelatine sheets for 3 teaspoons of powdered gelatine (I couldn’t find the powdered version in the supermarket). I also didn’t faff around with inserting fruit into the setting jelly, although I did divide the strawberry syrup into ramekins to make individual servings. Despite my shortcuts, the resulting jelly is delicious. It’s not too sweet, and has a rich, rich strawberry flavour.
Like all lasagnes, it’s a bit fiddly to make (although the fresh lasagne sheets I used made it a lot less fiddly), and it uses the food processor twice (I hate cleaning the food processor). I think there wasn’t really enough filling for the lasagne – if I made it again, I’d double the amount of filling (or halve the “footprint” of the lasagne) – and I over-browned it a little, but I was generally happy with the end result – not spectacular, but still good, and a nice vegetarian option.
One of the benefits of my current “between jobs” status is that I’ve been knitting seriously again. Since being in Australia I’ve finished a scarf that I started while I was in Japan,
started and finished a cardigan for myself,
and started a cardigan for a friend’s baby.
It’s been nice to pick up the needles properly again!
There’s a pair of doves that regularly come by my balcony. I put out bird seed and water for them, and watch them collect nesting material. Occasionally they’ll bring newly fledged young to the balcony to eat, too. Late yesterday afternoon I looked out to the balcony and saw a dove in distress. It couldn’t fly, and I was worried it was going to throw itself off the edge of the baclony. I couldn’t decide if it was one of the pair, or one of their offspring (they had bought two recently fledged birds with them to the balcony just a few days ago), but it clearly needed help.
After a phone call to the RSPCA, I picked up the dove in a towel and headed out to the Murdoch emergency vet clinic. I’m not overly optimistic about the bird’s chances – by the time I picked it up it was no longer putting up a fight – but it was still alive when I handed it over, so perhaps there’s some hope.
We ate dinner at Cantina 663 (where I had delicious gnocchi) before heading next door to see the show. I really enjoyed it, although we felt that the sound quality wasn’t great (but much better when we got out from under the balcony).
It’s raining in Perth today, and last night, as the sun was setting, clouds began to come in, making for a pretty sunset.
Yesterday I made a Goat’s Cheese and Rosemary Tart for dinner (along with the suggested grape, celery and walnut salad). It was very straight-forward (especially if you use pre-prepared pastry for the crust), and good despite my slightly over-cooking it (it was a little browner than I would have liked, but didn’t taste burnt). The accompanying salad was a winner, too – I’m a fan of fruit in salads – and it was nice and crisp. We’ll be eating left-overs tonight.