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Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

I thought I’d share a Ploughman’s Lunch with you all today. Originally this was a simple farmer’s lunch and consisted of bread, a hunk of cheese and pickles. It did not have a name till the 1950s when this simple fare was marketed throughout England’s pubs, the goal being to increase the sales of cheese.

Today, a Ploughman’s Lunch is likely to have several additions, such as cold meat, pickled onions, a boiled egg and apple…though it is likely that an apple may have been added to the original on some farms.

Why am I inspired to talk about this, you wonder….well it tickles me that something so simple is so wonderfully delicious but let’s flash back a little…..

This year is my first growing tomatoes and we had several varieties planted. Two plants were given me by a kind neighbour and we had seeds for the others from the Diggers Club (all their seeds are heritage seeds….no terminators there).

I’ve learned many things about growing tomatoes this year. Ive learned about spacing and support, watering and fertilising, as well as which varieties we really like and for what purpose, the latter important as our bounty was rather plentiful. Not only was I a tomato growing virgin, this also applied to making relishes and chutneys, but that all changed once the harvest started for real.

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I picked red and green tomatoes because the plants were heavily laden and some were falling over under the weight of the fruit, so I had to find a way of using them. Chutney was an obvious choice.

I chose two recipes and used a mix of green and red tomatoes in each, popping the green tomatoes in at the start of the cook and the red ones a little later. I was surprised at how easy it was to make something so tasty. One recipe incorporated apple and was heavily spiced. The other, not so much, though it did have fresh chili in it.

I now have four half pint (280ml) preserving jars from each recipe and some extra for tasting to determine which we like better. The flavours get better after a few days and its now really difficult to choose as we like them both. One jar is already in use.

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Having chutney in place, I decided to make some cheese….simple soft white cheese. The recipe is basically Paneer, but I add herbs and cream after draining and then press for a few hours. It is a lovely curd cheese, great in toasted sandwiches or in a salad….or to eat fresh the way we do. It never lasts long.

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This is not my first time making cheese, but I am still very much the novice in this regard. I would like to really master all the white cheeses before starting on hard cheeses. I love making cheese. It’s like weaving or spinning in that its very Zen.

So…..last night we had a Ploughman’s Lunch (for dinner) and it was just delicious.

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The Watcher

A few days ago, a new addition arrived in the household. Little and feisty, with periodic manic moments, he is pretty cute.
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The dogs of course want to play and are beside themselves with enthusiasm and on day 2 of the ‘dogs meet cat’ effort, things are looking up with the kitten even making its own moves to get closer.
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I am the watcher, leaving the animals to become acquainted, but on hand just in case it gets a bit rough. But this little guy is full of courage and isn’t much bothered by their antics.

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New directions…

2016 has arrived with little fanfare other than some serious bushfires. The deaths of Bowie and Rickman followed….not a great start to the new year.
The new year does, however, bring with it a new direction for me. This year sees me settling down and becoming more domesticated, doing more of the things I want to do and some things I hadn’t imagined doing.
2016 then, also brings about a new direction for this blog. Whereas travel, culture and different aspects of living abroad were the focus, this cannot now be so. I’m not yet sure of where this will lead me, but lead me it will. Change is good.
I am now the co-owner of a house…a fairly ordinary little 3 bed dwelling, but only 5 minutes from the beach, so a good location.
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I will miss being in far flung places, but I get a lot of satisfaction from different areas these days.
I’ve never been a gardener, someone else always did that, but I find I am very interested in plants, not just in growing them, but also photographing them.
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Nothing was really growing here when we arrived, but today, we have garden beds dug and some (mostly temporary) plants in. We certainly have some vegetables and herbs in. For now we are working out how much sun/shade each area gets so that when we do plant, we do it right.

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