Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal debacle

In the Garden:
The ongoing intermittent rain and sunshine has seen excellent growth in the garden – Broad beans, brocolli and shallots growing particularly well – with broadbean shoots over 15cm tall.
Following a suggestion from Gardening Australia on the ABC,  6:30pm Saturday night, I popped some 5cm roots of spring onions in the ground and they are already shooting new growth, with in a few days of planting - should have new spring onions to use in no time...

In the kitchen:
I'm preparing a royal wedding mini feast:
But before getting to that, I'll introduce myself using my royal title:
Lady Maria Tiger of Richardson, please to meet you...
(Royal title: Lord/Lady {A grandparent's first name} [First pet's name] of (First street you lived in))

In honour of the thousands of strawberries to be consumed in London, in concert no doubt with litres of champagne, we are having a strawberry and basil salad, served with mini hotdogs (the latter requested by the 5yo).  This excellent menu is surely glamourous enough to reflect this sophisticated event.
For the salad, the onion, lettuce and basil come from the front garden:
Lettuce is growing well too – if you don’t have much space, I’d recommend buying lettuce seedlings, you can get 6 various plants in a punnet for~$5 from most nurseries and they’ll grow in containers – and unless you want to feed an army, you won’t need to buy lettuce leaves again for sometime…

Food revelation of the week was pearl couscous - much larger than normal couscous, and far more delicious, on sale at Coles in 250g packages, near the pasta, I used the this recipe for a quick weeknight meal:
I used the 250g of couscous, plus 2 cans of chickpeas, plus spinach and would use a red capsicum next time too for colour - I highly recommend trying this, you won't be disappointed.
I had a few WTF moments this week, when people said things along the lines of:
'What am I going to do with these Easter eggs?'
'Eat them, !@#$%' was my immediate but silent response. They went on to explain some eggs given to them were of dubious quality - I suggested using them in chocolate chip cookies, but they were being thrown out.
I don't think Easter eggs are the best idea, given small qualities of chocolate all individually wrapped, creating a lot of waste in itself, but them to dispose of them in full speaks of being even more wasteful again...

Today, I visited my parents where we had afternoon tea, of chickpea brownies, made with low quality Easter egg chocolate, with lots of tiny eggs painstakingly pealed by my dad.  
The brownies turned out beautifully and were a great use of the chocolate that may otherwise have gone to waste.  (There were also Anzac biscuits in honour of 25 April.)  Bravo mum, meeting the culinary challenge of Easter egg chocolate usage with aplomb and making an excellent afternoon tea.


  1. I've chopped up mini Easter eggs to replace choc bits in a slice and it worked okay. I think parts of the pattern on the chocolate were preserved, too, making it a bit more fun.

    We bought some pearl cous cous last week, too, based on it's mention in the recent Donna Hay mag, but haven't used it yet. Thanks for the recipe tip.

  2. Good work with the chocolate Andrew. I'm looking for new recipes for the pearl couscous now too, given it was so lovely. Enjoy!