Sunday, 11 November 2012

One of my favourite books is The Fruit and Nut Book by Gail Duff.
My edition was published in 1990.

The book contains wonderful information about nearly one hundred fruits, nuts and seeds.

There are also about 200  recipes, designed to enhance out the flavour of the main fruit or

Loquats are in season here in Adelaide and most folks do not know what to do with them.

Here is a recipe I have adapted from Gail's book.

Chickpea, Rice and Loquat Salad

2 cups of cooked chickpeas

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups of peeled and sliced loquats

Mix together.

Salad dressing

1/2 cup of olive oil

juice of 2 lemons

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

salt and ground black pepper

2 cloves crushed garlic

1/2 cup of chopped parsley

2 sliced spring onion (optional)

Chopped chilli to taste

Chopped coriander to taste

Mix all dressing ingredients together and stir through peas, rice and loquats.

This salad is also great with tomatoes or diced orange if you do not have loquats.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Marinated Fruit-in-alcohol Drinks


5oog black currants

500g sugar

10 fresh black currant leaves

750ml bottle brandy

Crush currants and leaves.

Add sugar and brandy.

Pour into wide mouthed jar and shake to dissolve sugar.

Shake now and then for a month or more.

Strain and bottle.

I sip it neat, in  a shot glass but its easy to drink more!

(From my elderly neighbour, Janny)

Raspberry Ratafia

3 cups raspberries

1/3 cup sugar

750ml vodka

6 lemon verbena leaves, crushed

Into a large, wide-mouthed jar put the raspberries and sugar and stir gently to crush a little.

Add the verbena leaves and the vodka.

Leave in a warm room for 4 weeks or more, shaking now and then

Strain and bottle.

I sip it neat in a shot glass.

(from a beautiful book called Plum Gorgeous)


1 litre vodka

peel of 12 large lemons

equal parts sugar and water

Into a large wide-mouthed jar put the peels and pour over the vodka.

Shake now and then for 3 months.


In a pan, heat a cup of water and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Let cool completely.

Add the syrup gradually to the limoncello, tasting as you go, just until its how you think it should be!

Leave again for a week or more. May need straining again.

Most recipes have much more volume of syrup but I prefer it like this.

(From my friend Deb at Nirvana Farm)

Friday, 28 September 2012

Buckwheat Pancakes with hot, buttered walnuts

In Adelaide I used to love going to The Pancake Kitchen, which was open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is still there and not much has changed, which is wonderful because some of their concoctions are superb. This was always one of my favourites, and is called “It” because it is the ultimate!

(Serves 4)

1 cup buckwheat flour
¼  cup 85% flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp raw /demerara sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup plain yoghurt
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
Sunflower oil
Bananas, sliced (optional)

1. Mix flours and baking powder in a medium bowl and add sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in combined eggs, yoghurt, milk and vanilla; whisk until smooth.
2. Into a warm pan put the butter and a dash of oil. When frothy add the walnuts and toss around until hot. Add the banana pieces, if using, and cook briefly. Set aside.
3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat; oil lightly. Pour ½  cup of the mixture into pan; cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until the pancake is golden and cooked through.
4. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 4 pancakes in total.

5. Top with the walnuts and bananas and serve with organic maple syrup and plain yoghurt.

Walnut and parsley pesto

from Hugh Impossibly-long-name, River Cottage, Sept 2012

Perfect with pasta or as a dip
Serves 4.

100g walnuts
1 fat garlic clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
A handful of grated mature cheddar or Parmesan or a combination
A large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
About 1/2 cup good olive oil or sunflower oil
Juice of ½ lemon or more
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Blend walnuts, garlic, cheese and parsley together, then begin trickling in the oil, while the processor runs. Stop when you have a nice purée. Taste and season as necessary with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

When serving with pasta you may need to add some hot water from cooking the pasta, to help combine the pesto with the pasta.

Store in the fridge.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Roasted Potatoes with Indian and Australian Spices

Serves  8 image
3 Tbl oil
1½ kgs small red potatoes, halved (about 8 cups)
1¾ tsp black mustard seeds
A good pinch ground Tas. pepperberry
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup chopped fresh mint
A pinch of ground lemon myrtle leaf
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
8 lime wedges

1.    Preheat oven to 180°.
2.    Combine some of the oil and the potatoes, tossing to coat. Set aside.
3.    Heat remaining oil and mustard seeds in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook 1½ minutes or until seeds begin to pop. Reduce heat to medium-low.
4.    Add ginger, pepperberry and garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, turmeric and Garam Masala; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add spice mixture to potatoes, tossing to coat. Arrange potato mixture in a single layer in a baking dish.
5.    Bake at 180° for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and browned, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Stir in coriander, mint, and juice. Serve with lime wedges.