Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Take it Away

Can't wait to show you our new place! Last weekend was a dustbowl. I think I underestimated just how much of a bitch moving house is exactly. I mean, how much stuff could five people moving in together really have? That would be a lot. A lot of pots and pans it seems. And too many mugs. But that's alright, this weekend I'm going to put my dad's old Atomic stovetop coffee machine to the test, and the mugs can be put to good use.

In between unpacking boxes last Sunday I strolled up to Infinity Bakery on Darlinghurst Rd for a spinach and feta roll and some ESSENTIAL caffeine. We're near so many great places it's a hard task picking where to go first.

Looking forward to the following:

Getting serious with a porchetta roll at Wilbur's Place.
Market fish grilled over wood at The Apollo.
Cocktails Eau de Vie style at The Roosevelt.
Picking up some snacky goods at the Kings Cross Organic Farmers Market.
Campari and grapfruit at Love Tilly Devine.
The Tourist peach cocktails at Hinky Dinks.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blood Plum and Sweet Ginger Crisp

Oops, I know it's another crumble. Calling it a 'crisp' was a meek attempt at distracting you from the fact that hmm, was it not only three weeks ago that a peach and rhubarb crumble was laid before you? All golden and craggy and bubbling? hmm?

Don't get too snippy about it my loves, because I promise you'll like this one too. Molly makes something like this at Delancey in Seattle (take me there, wallet! Take me there!)and I gave her recipe a red-hot go, but the pools of melted butter where a little too much, and so here I've switched the crumble topping to our family's tried-and-true method of rubbing chilled cubes of butter into plain flour, and then forking through a few spoons of brown sugar, with a shake or two of coconut and spices. If all goes to plan, your topping should look like the mixture above before baking. Shaggy and breadcrumby with a few chunks of butter here and there. Best eaten out of a bowl while playing UNO.

Blood plums! The best colour out of perhaps any fruit. Except melons. Oh and rhubarb. And ruby grapefruit. The ginger is particular spectacular here because it's crystallized and very finely diced, so it melts in between the cracks of the fruit and mellows out a little. Just like what happens to me after a few glasses of red and Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits on repeat. "Thunder only haaapens when it's raaaaining..." Them words be true.

Blood Plum and Ginger Crisp
inspired and adapted from Molly's Recipe

Serves 4-5

6 blood plums, cut into 8ths
5 pieces of crystallized ginger
two tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

75g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup (plus more if necessary) plain flour
3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons dessicated coconut
sprinkle of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

In a baking dish, combine all the sliced plums and other ingredients and set aside.

To make the crumble, in a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs with a few chunks of butter throughout (see the top photo if you need a visual). Add more butter or more flour as needed. Using a fork, gently mix through the brown sugar, cinnamon, coconut and sea salt until combined. Spread evenly over the fruit, don't pack it on, just lightly spread it around using your fork so the fruit is covered.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and you can see the plums bubbling under the crust. Let it cool for five minutes in the baking dish, then serve in a bowl with some cream or ice cream.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Living

I just wanted to quickly drop past and say hello, and to tell you about a supremely lovely weekend. I hope yours was just as heart-achingly great. For us, the sun came out and we drove up to the country. We ate rabbit and porcini cannelloni and drank a funny young McLaren Vale sangiovese. We played UNO and ate plum and ginger crisp (recipe on its way). A few squares of maple pecan fudge were bought, and we took our wine glasses for a walk around the paddock at dusk, just before the mozzies started to hoe into our ankles. We slept in past 10 and I finished reading my book on a blanket in the garden, just by the apple tree. Our friend Duncan told us a very, very funny story about how he nearly joined one of those "Yes Man! Power of YOU!" cults groups, with lots of arm-waving pantomime for extra oomph. 

Did I tell you we found a house? We sure did. We're moving in next Saturday. There's a banana tree in the backyard! The people who are moving out of the house said they harvested about 100 bananas this summer alone. I'm looking forward to the banana cake in our future. I spent this afternoon packing some boxes and wondering HOW I COULD HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN LIVING AMONGST ALL THIS DUST?? Anyway, it took two and half boxes to fit all my cookbooks in. I think my mum is pleased they aren't taking up all her space anymore, but I think she'll miss them all the same, aren't they gorgeous all piled up?