Saturday, 23 May 2009

Dark was the night

Oh man, I so want this awesome compilation, and all of the songs are currently loaded on to youtube. I love this one by Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch..

Perfect for a dark rainy day in North Canterbury.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Bun in the oven

I made buns last night to honour the birth of Tim and Elizabeth's baby. He was born at about 8pm - the same time as I took my buns out of the oven. Get it?

My buns were sticky butterscotch curl buns with walnuts and stickiness on top. I know they look more like a cake than buns but that's because they get cooked all squashed together and you pull them apart to eat.

And in other news, Mr Yellow Spring Flower seems to be a littled muddled, and has appeared six months early!

Snow has been forecast for Canterbury down to sea-level tonight, so I have no idea how this little fellow will cope.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Japonica Jelly

Out by the dog kennel there are these Japonica plants. In spring they have lovely pink/red blossoms, but more recently I noticed they are bearing a little yellow fruit.

I asked Farmer Godfrey about them and he told they were Japonica apples and could be used to make jelly in much the same way as quinces are. I needed no further encouragement, and yesterday I picked all I could find. I think it was quite a late harvest as lots were small and shrunken, but I figure this would only make the jelly sweeter and more flavoursome.

They are funny little fruit, with lots of pips inside:

After boiling them to a pulp (the smell was amazing - all botanical and floral), I strung the mixture up in muslin to drain - the key to any good jelly is to use multiple layers of muslin and not to squeeze any juice through - just let it drip and drip and drip. I left it about seven or eight hours.

You may note in the above photo that:

1. It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, and
2. as well as the jelly, I was making honey almond cookies and a pumpkin and silverbeet quiche (with pumpkin and silverbeet from our garden of course).

After boiling up the juice with tonnes of sugar, I was left with a marvelously firm, clear bright yellow jelly, which I hope will be good with cheese.

Another productive day in the Lower Sefton Road kitchen.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Of cabbages and things....

Matt brought home some lovely flowers today, they look like cabbages.

I think they might actually be little cabbages, but have never seen anything like them before..

...very pretty though, for a brassica.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

It's Akaroa's fault

My parents have a house in Akaroa and sometimes we go over and stay there. It's a little settlement on the water and is noted for having a large proportion of French settlers (back in the beginning of European colonisation). In summer it is blue and green and sparkling and warm, but in Autumn it can be quite bleak - we went for a wander on Saturday (Matt was on the lookout for some old Warren and Mahoney house for Christchurch Modern) past the lighthouse to a Britomart memorial:

Boo's a sucker for a good memorial - she likes to read the inscriptions to learn a bit more about local history.

We had an amazing meal that night and then cuddled up for the evening, only to awaken to find snow on the hills outside the kitchen window....which meant a very bleak and scary drive back to Sefton that night.

See, there's snow!

Dudley Benson wrote a song about Akaroa. He used to live there. you can listen here:

Matt didn't find the house.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Our friend Jack.

Jack Frost was in our hood last night and he left a decent frosting to greet us in the morning... captured by my shitty Sony Cyber-shot.