I just wanted to share with you some photos from a lovely photoshoot that I was part of the other month.
It was a great day, surrounded by lots of wonderfully talented people in the wedding industry down in the Margaret River Region. The photos were shot by the wonderfully talented Steve Blakeney, which will soon be seen in the 2012 edition of the Margaret River Bride and Groom Weddings Magazine released early in the new year.
Special thanks to the following people. If you are planning a wedding soon, then I recommend you check out everyone here.
My aunty delivered me a big box of nectarines from the Vasse markets over the weekend and I wanted to share with you my idea for a popsicle.
I washed the nectarines and put them in a roasting pan with sugar, cinammon and vanilla and popped them in the over for 45mins at 180C.
The idea for roasting them was partly for taste – they now have a deeper, darker, honeyed flavour – and also for ease. They are clingstone nectarines so taking the seed out would have been painful, but after being roasted it was easy to pop the stone out and set aside.
Starting with a bright, scarlet red skin and electric yellow flesh, after roasting them the skin had softened transformed into a beautiful dusky pink and the flesh was now a light orangey-pink oozing lots of syrupy goodness. I think next time what I would do, is pierce the skin and really rub in the cinnamon and sugar to try and get an even more flavoursome syrup.
The next step is to blend with apple juice, adjust the cinnamon to taste.
If you know me, and the subject of abalone comes up, then you have more than likely heard me wax lyrical about the best abalone recipe. The drawback is you’ll have to patiently wait 4-5 hours until you get to enjoy it, but I think it’s a much better alternative to the often butter-soaked-on-the-bbq recipes.
Confit of Abalone as inspired by Stephanie Alexander in the Cook’s Companion. It’s super simple.
Put the oven on to 140C
Grab your bowl full of abalone that has been removed from the shell
Small casserole dish
Heap of olive oil
Chop up some flavours you want to infuse through the abalone. Below is coriander (leaves, stalks, roots and all), chilli, kaffir lime, laksa leaves, spring onions and lemon grass. Stephanie’s recipe is french inspired using leeks, bay leaves, carrots and peppercorns. I’ve also used preserved lemons and limes before. Use your imagination.
Cover the bottom of the casserole with a mix of ingredients. Then a layer of abolone, layer of ingredients until you have run out of both.
Fill with enough olive oil to cover everything.
Put a bit of baking paper on top, and if you need to something oven-proof to put on top to weigh everything down
Leave in the oven for 4-5 hours on 140C. Remove from casserole. Slice abalone into thin slivers and devour. Discard the other ingredients – they have done their job.
What you don’t eat then, pop into a jar, covered with oil and put in the fridge. When you want to eat, remove from oil and slice thinly.
Give it a try if you can get your hands on some freshly caught abalone and tell me what you think.
An impromptu trip to the Cowaramup Op-Shop saw me return home with nifty thing #1 citrus press, vintage glass juicer, a cool pouring jug for pouring the mixture into moulds, a beautiful vintage silver brooche and a awesome jacket for the grand total of $8. How I love the Cowaramup Op-Shop
With my bounty of strawberries, mangoes and bananas from the Garden Basket in Margaret River, kilos of spray-free local oranges from the Fruity Cow in Cowaramup and a box of other goodies I set about making up more popsicles to replenish the supplies at Yahava, to get ready for the markets this coming weekend and for the couple who are looking at having my popsicle at their wedding and are dropping past for a taste test.
Nifty thing #2
Pinterist showed me how to hull strawberries quickly using a straw.
Nifty thing #3 & 4 I hate waste and I like to be able to use as much of the fruit as possible. So before I juiced the kilos of local spray-free oranges I acquired I zested each one, intent on making candied orange peel.
Step 1 Add rind to the saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Tip out water and repeat.
Step 2 Leave rind in the saucepan, add a heavy sugar syrup (approximately 1 part water to 2 parts sugar). Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 30mins until the peel is translucent.
Step 3 Strain from syrup and put spread on a baking tray withe greaseproof paper. I dried out in a low oven for about 10 mins and used several trays so the rind was spread thinly
Step 4 Coat in sugar. I used caster sugar and cinnamon and now this is where nifty idea #3 and # 4 comes in. I coated in chocolate, and also made a batch of white chocolate and lemon and made up little packets of candied peel and chocolate for the next markets.
Ta Da! Chocolate covered candied peel. Apologies for the average picture – but it really does taste delicious. There’s dark chocolate and orange and white chocolate and lemon.
Nifty thing #5
A new flavour creation!
Roasted rhubarb, strawberries and apple juice – with a dash of maple syrup and cinnamon. Yum! We had lots of rhubarb in the garden, so after a few suggestions on facebook from friends inspiration hit and ta da!
I love the rhubarb with it’s slightly lip-puckering tartness and its undertones of strawberry and apple that enhances the strawberries and apple juice, the maple syrup gives a little smokiness and the cinnamon is good for balancing out the sweetness.
Off to bed now, with a freezer full of popsicles waiting to be packed up tomorrow and a batch of Choc-Banana popsicles to make.
For those who don’t know, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week saw a controlled burn get totally out of control. Pretty hectic times, but through it all it was amazing to see and hear about how the community pulled together. The volunteer firefighters who put their life on the line to defend a strangers house.
All in all over 40 buildings were lost, including the historic Wallcliffe House and over 3177 hectares of bushland. Even now, while contained, the fires are still burning.
There were some frantic moments over those days, and a million inspirational or scary stories to be told and it’s something I hope never happens again in our lifetime.
Delish Ice Popsicles with Raspberry Lemonade, Orange-Pineapple-Lime, Choc-Banana and Mango-Strawberry-Pineapple.
Alongside, by lovely friend Mehera with BBQ Corn and topped with your choice of Chipotle Chili Butter and Gruyere Cheese, Garlic Butter and Salsa Verde or Coriander, Lime and Sour Cream. Yum!
Given the temperature was only forecast to be 21C on Saturday and with parts of the town still evacuated from areas because of the fires, I was a little unsure of how things were going to pan out. I am however, pleased to report that I sold out before the markets finished. Yay!
I had so much fun on Saturday, and so happy that with all the dreaming and planning, it was all finally a reality. Delish Ice really is my perfect job, and combines everything I love. I get to source out beautiful, seasonal produce and experiment to make different flavours. I put on a fabulous dress, and a touch of red lipstick, trundle around in my awesome vintage caravan and get to chat to people while I sell my popsicles.
Here’s gorgeous Genji, a charismatic little boy who spent some time hanging out with me on Saturday. He’s got a dairy allergy so he was happy that he could eat one of my popsicles. I promised I’d make him a dairy free chocolate popsicle next time I see him.
I’m really looking forward to the next markets. Happy days!
I peeled a couple of kilograms of bananas tonight to make Choc Banana popsicles. The perfect ripeness with the skin a deep tawny yellow and flecks of black spots, and giving away very easily to reveal the treasure inside.
Soft and full of flavour, the deep banana flavour punctuated with notes of cloves and honey.Yum! There is nothing worse than a banana on either side. Too young and the taste is green and unpleasant, too old and I shy at the mushy texture.
As I was peeling away, I started thinking about all things banana…..
Like… I bet you’ve been peeling bananas totally the wrong way your whole life. Who better to learn from, but monkeys. Check this out
Life changing huh!
And then I started thinking about banana paddlepops, and how sometimes after school I used to fix myself a snack by slicing bananas on a plate and dusting (probably quite heavy handedly) with milo, sugar and cinnamon. Yum!
As I looked over at the pile of banana skins, it seemed such a waste to throw them out, and I wondered if there was any use for them. Surely not, but lo and behold I discovered this recipe for a banana skin cake.
You can read about the rest of the recipe over here. To use the banana skins you cut the ends off, and put the rest of the peel in a container and fill it with water. Every day you change the water, until the skins are really soft and the water stays clear. When they are ready you blend, strain and mix with the other ingredients and turn into a delicious cake, topped off with a luxurious caramel sauce. Sounds pretty good to me!
So right now, as my choc-banana popsicles sit in the freezer on the counter I have a container full of banana skins sitting in water.
Let the experimenting begin! Fingers crossed!
27/11/11 Update on banana skins
After about day 5 of changing the water, I gave up. I could not justify the amount of water that I kept having to pour down the sink, having to look at the black banana skins each time I walked into the kitchen, and did not have the heart to persivere and then find out the cake wasn’t all that delicious after all.
So now we all know why there aren’t all that many banana-skin floating around!