in the kitchen

A lifelong investment Pasta

Today I spent the day off and on in the kitchen, just having fun. Mixing and matching flavours. Listening to the radio, watching the wind outside blow and swoop all over the yard. The wind that we have at the moment is something alright. Last night I made a batch of Tomato/Capsicum Pesto. So so so so so yummy. Today I made pasta for uno. Yep 90g flour, 10g semolina, 1 egg = pasta for one. Mainly it was pasta for one because I rolled it out with a rolling pin and well I enjoy making pasta but hand rolling pasta is a whole lot more intensive than with a pasta maker. I had planned on having it for tea tonight with some anchovies, mascarpone, bit of basil and a bit of sun dried tomatoes. That can wait for tea another night. Instead for tea. I had a brothy soup of sorts. As we do every year we have a smoked leg of sheep (it is meant to be a leg of mutton but in reality it ends up a leg of lamb), every year it gets hacked to pieces till it gets left in the fridge with just a bit of meat left on the bones. Today I decided that I would make a broth. I grabbed my shiny new Le Creuset and set to work, sweated down an onion, a few cloves of garlic and then in went some carrots and beans. After they had softened a bit, the bones went in, covered it with water, put a few bay leaves and peppercorns in and left it. It simmered away for a good hour or two, then I threw in some chopped up chorizo to add to the smokey flavour of the sheep. A good while later the rest of the meat had fallen off the bones and I now had a very fragrant, wholesome brothy soup. Toasted a few slices of bread and mmm dinner was nice 😀 especially soaking up the liquid with the bread 😀

Of course I finished off the last of my pesto the other day so I made a new lot which was a blend of Lemon Basil, Greek Basil and Sweet Basil. I love pesto. Just so darn tasty. There is nothing quite like the smell of basil.

Saturday Arvos

Nothing quite like a Saturday or more exact a Saturday Arvo. Spent the arvo picking Basil leaves for “normal” Genovese pesto and Lemon Basil leaves which I think will become a pesto with a bite to it, in the way of chillies and a decent dash of lemon juice. mmm just thinking about the idea now, I can just see a bowl of rice noodles with a bit of the pesto, some cashews and perhaps some steamed Asian greens.

Saturday arvos are also about sitting on a milk crate in the back yard listening to some fine Australian music, chopping up tomatoes and capsicums to go in the dehydrator. In a day or two we will have the most gorgeous semi-dried tomatoes. Some of which will get used to make a tomato pesto. Gee do you think I might like pesto? Really though how can you not. Just a handful of ingredients, a bit of love and tasting and you end up with the most flavoursome “sauce/paste” that can be used in/on just about anything.

Saturday arvos are also about mowing the lawn. Which I did this arvo.

Saturday arvos are also about sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, cutting out snippets for books or exhibitions that we want to check out. Speaking of exhibitions to be checked out, it is only 22 more sleeps till the Andy Warhol retrospective opens at GOMA and to say I am excited would be an understatement :). The even cooler thing? Andy Warhol or more precisely 300 of his works are only coming to Brisbane, they are not going to those two cities down south who always talk about their capital C Culture. Yay for GOMA :D. I am so looking forward to the Andy Warhol retrospective and I have a good feeling that it won’t disappoint me as much as the Guggenheim in Melbourne did. 22 sleeps also till the big opening bash which is going to feature some of Brisbane’s finest artists including Robert Forster, Adele Pickvance & Dylan McCormack doing a bunch of Velvet Underground songs. The even better part? tickets are only $25. They go on sale on Monday – I am getting some for sure 😀

I have just finished my last run through my photos from the De Jah Groove/Cool Calm Collective/Heavyweight Champions/The Colour gig last night (which was a pretty darn decent night) before I send them off to the marvellous batcher. I started using Lightroom a month or so ago and it has sped up my processing so much. I dump the photos, walk away and let it import them/render previews (takes a while on my beast), come back flick through and mark my rejects and give a rating to the photos I have narrowed down, flick through to make sure they all look ok and then off to the batcher they go. Lightroom is nice.

For a change I am also listening to 4MBS Classic FM at the moment and the most delightful piece has has just finished playing (Brahm’s Hungarian Dancers 1-10) everything else has also been quite delightful.

Basil

A year ago or pehaps a little longer if you had asked me my feelings about Basil I would have made gagging noises about my distaste for it as I had often had meals where my father had used a pretty heavy hand cooking with dried Basil. Then one day I picked up a bunch of fresh sweet Basil at the markets and made pesto. I haven’t looked back since then. Now I can’t get enough of that Basil taste and in fact if it was taken away from me I don’t know how I would cope.

I have a Greek Basil plant in my garden which has provided me with my fresh basil fix over the winter and in a few weeks I will have an abundant supply of Sweet Basil to keep me going over the summer.

I made my first Sweet Basil Pesto of the season tonight with some Basil that I picked up at the markets on the weekend. Whilst Greek and Sweet Basil both have that Basily taste they so many different levels to them. The Greek is a much more peppery plant I feel and as it is that Pesto I am used to tasting, I kept on adding more and more pepper to the Sweet Basil Pesto tonight as it was tasting too green. Lol. The adventures of Pesto. For Lunch tomorrow I will have Cous Cous, Chicken and Pesto. mmmmmm yummo.

Here is the Sweet Basil waiting to be planted. Waiting to give me hours of Basil Bliss in the kitchen 😀
Basil & Thyme with some Flash Goodness