The Visitors

A busy day for the preparation of important visitors, the garden has to be done, the house must be spotless and the guest room too. Cleaning up and food preparation can be fun as we always work together, there is no jealousy, no one resting before the time.
The menu was prepared and the cooking was based on it.

A Saturday Morning

Cleaning inside the house, the guest room was ready, let the air came in through the window, to make the room fresher.  We love everyone to be comfortable with us.

Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon.
My cooking for the gods.




They were beautiful dishes, the home cooking that they have missed.

Visiting the garden in Sunday late morning was good, they impressed with the Pumpkins, 

so did Alfie the dog, he was also happy to run around the backyard.

Indeed it was a  fun day with our third daughter, her husband and her dog Alfie.  Good catching up, lots of laughter, indeed it was a happy time.  The children do not come home often enough, we make the best of it when they do.  They live far away with their husband and children, I may mention it every time.  We were blessed to have one of our daughters home before Easter, that is alright, we will be just the two of us on the Day.
After the Visitors have left, the house is quiet again only us now, but it is what it is.  The children love us dearly, they come home for a visit now and then.  We are Blessed.

A great weekend we had – our daughter and her family they are so important to us, they are the important visitors. The children are happy to come to us, they know it is always their home.
See you again in May, after you both-Susan and Tris came back from Italy your overseas holiday for this year.

 

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Susi

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Pumpkin

The first month of Autumn is almost over, the weather has been mild, not too cold but slightly warm. However, we need the rain badly, the soil is dry, very dry in fact, it is not encouraging for the garden. I notice my flower bed is growing very slowly, we have enough sunshine but not enough water for the ground. By saying that, I am so lucky that the self-sown pumpkin in the garden is growing alright, three pumpkins are growing bigger by days.

self-sown pumpkin in my backyard

Two of them at least will make it for harvest.  I believe they are ready to be picked in a couple of months.  Pumpkins keep well on the storage but knowing me, love to cook them straight away or share in pieces with friends.

What I would do with the homegrown pumpkin is for cooking, baking and roasting.  Pumpkin soup I cooked in the past, and also pumpkin cake, mini cakes and scones.
Roast pumpkin I do to complement the roast meat is a winner for my family.

pumpkin soup, pumpkin scone, pumpkin cake, and mini pumpkin cakes

Another pumpkin that I cooked was a baked of the whole pumpkin, cut in a half used for a plate to serve peas, and also rack roasted lamb.

The Lamb and My Herbs Garden

 

I love to share the recipe of the mini pumpkin cake with you, here it is.
Recipe
Mini Pumpkin Cake
Ingredients

A cup full self-rising flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon heap cottage cheese
Method: in a bowl place the flour and sugar together and in another bowl, mix all wet ingredients together (egg, oil, pumpkin, cheese and water)
Use a blender or food processor, blend and process the ingredients together to make a smooth and thick batter.  If it is too thick adjust it by adding more milk.
Spoon the cake batter and put onto buttered mini muffin/cake tin (almost full)
Bake in the preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 14-16 minutes
When it is cold fill in with pumpkin jam and whipped cream.
the baking process
The fresh herb is essential for me, love to have them in my cooking and use them for garnishes.  At the moment the herbs are looking good in my garden.
Pumpkin is a very versatile vegetable, you can do so much with it.  Hope you like my cooking using the pumpkin, enjoy the recipe and happy cooking.
Susi

Leek Pie

Delicious leek pie using homemade pastry, which  is light and flaky.  The pie based on Greek Pie-Prasopita.

PRASOPITA

Ingredients:
Homemade pastry-My water pastry
Filling: a fresh leek uses the white part, eggs, Fetta cheese, milk and salt to taste.

Oil and melted Butter, mix together.  Ready for brushing between the pastry.
The quantity for the filling:
one leek, wash and chopped and pan-fried lightly with the olive oil.
200g Feta cheese, crumbled
4 large free range eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste.
Mix all ingredients together.  Now you have the filling as pictured.

My Water Pastry

The ingredients

1 heaped cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil
Method
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl
Make a well in the centre
Add in the oil and pour the water at once
Mix together to make a smooth dough
Knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth and satiny
Wrap in plastic and rest it at least for 25 minutes
Roll it out, stretch and roll to make fine pastry sheets.

The Dough
Now, you have a smooth dough.  It is ready to roll to make very fine pastry sheets.  You must remember to brush the pastry with melted butter mixed with oil in between for wrapping the pie that makes very flaky pastry.
The Pie
To Serve the pie, cut into wedges and garnished with leafy salad.
The pie freezes well.  However, at our home it won’t last long, we love to eat it fresh on the day that it ‘s baked.  Excellent to be taken out for a picnic, delicious to serve cold.

Good cooking for Autumn, have a go with the recipe and making homemade pastry is fun.

Susi

 

Pine Stone – Pomelo

Pine Stone

We visited Rome while ago, and I am so fascinated by the beautiful tree and the name is Pine Stone.  The leaf is so green, and the shape of the top tree is broad and roundish that resemble the umbrella – a beautiful canopy.  We saw these trees closely in the Papal garden.  Love to call the tree the Pine of Rome.
Papal Garden

The only souvenir I would like to have was to take one of the trees homes and plant it in the backyard.  Of course, it’s impossible, in fact, I could not get to buy any seedlings.  Just as well, according to the literature, I read the Pine stone can grow very tall and also take a long time to be mature.  No, it won’t be any good to have it in my backyard.

To reminisce about the beauty of the Pine of Rome is to see it through my cooking.  It is a challenge for me, how I go about it and how do I have to deliver it.

The Plan:
The Pine of Rome-Vegetarian Cooking
I have to create the leaves, the branches, the trunk and the fruits.
The leaves made out of leafy vegetables
The trunk and branches-a batter has to be prepared
The fruits made out of Salpicon
(Using Frying technique)

Here it is, it worked well and indeed the Pine of Rome looks absolutely gorgeous.

My Pine of Rome

Often the Pine of Rome standing in a row that makes a beautiful site.

It’s a delicious vegetarian dish was created and enjoyed by the family.  The batter was so light, fried salpicon was soft and the leaf was crunchy.  It’s a success in cooking.

Pomelo

The plant in the backyard is doing so well this year, harvested fruits and they are large enough for their size,  the taste also has improved from last year it’s less bitter, and sweeter.


How to peel Pomelo

To Use and To Serve Pomelo.

Eat it fresh, or add in a fruit salad.  The sweet and sour taste is good to go with fish dishes.


Pomelo salad with Prawns and Mango, Delicious!


Fresh pomelo meat is delicious to eat after the main meal, to clean the palate.


The pith is excellent to preserve in sugar syrup or crystallized with sugar.


Pomelo Mini Cake is a Treat.

 

A sweet and a creative post, how do you like it?

 

Enjoy.

Susi

Tomatoes

 

It is good to grow tomato plants in any backyard garden. I have self-sewn cherry tomato this year, the harvest was not plenty but enough for us. We eat them as salads, and for cooking, but some of them used as tomato concasse and here it is, I will show you how to do it.

Tomato concasse is a tomato that has been peeled, seeded (seeds and skins removed), and chopped to specified dimensions (wikip)

Using Cherry Tomatoes.

Soak in hot boiling water, for one minute for easy peeling.  Score each tomato before putting into hot water and drain to transfer to cold water.  Peel the tomato immediately.

Use the tomato for the base of sauces, and for other garnishes.

The Process
Use a pair of scissors to score the tomatoes before putting in hot water.

I serve it for salads, add into pasta dishes, or chopped up to make tomato soup or tomato sauce. You could discard the seeds before using the tomato if you wish.

Cherry Tomato Salad with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients that readily available in your pantry and cannot afford not to have are anchovies, pasta, olive oil.  To serve the pasta, you don’t need any cheese.

Using tomato concasse to add to pasta.

Delicious

From the pantry: anchovies, capers, olive oil, add the concasse tomato, fresh herbs to cooked pasta to make a delicious pasta dish.

Delicious meal and easy preparation.

You can make lots of tomato concasse using large tomatoes and cherry,  place in a clean jar, refrigerated for healthy keeping.  It could stay there for a few days.

Happy Harvest Day for You All.
Have fun of making the Tomato Concasse.
Until Next Post
Susi

My Delectable Morsels

Based on the middle eastern dish this delectable little treat is very popular in my family. The girls often ask about it for a nibble in the late evening, fair enough it is easy to prepare. Loukoumades or Greek doughnut takes five minutes to prepare and to cook, in my kitchen.  To have a small bite size is preferable and indeed it is a delight.

 

A new treat for my family is the doughnut with Turkish Delight filling.  I cooked only yesterday but I could not make a tiny size because of the filling.  And here it’s the preparation and the cooking.

It is sweeter,  serve warm with coffee or tea.

For a change, I cooked a savoury doughnut with Pecorino cheese filling, and my word it’s so delish.   I write down the quantity of the ingredients for you.


Savoury Herb Doughnut with Cheese Filling
Makes 8

95 gr self-rising flour
95 warm water, and a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon mixed chopped fresh herbs, mint, parsley and chives.
55 g Pecorino cheese,  cut to 8 (cubed)
(Mix the ingredients to make a smooth batter to drop spoon consistency)

Oil to fry.

Serve warm as is or with a dipping sauce as you like.

They are indeed delicious, a delectable little morsel.

Love to cook this and serve for the family gets together at any time.

Have ago, cook these delicious little morsels in your kitchen, and have fun!

 

Until Next Post

Susi

Summer in My Backyard.

 

If you live in a part of the world where I am, summertime is hot and dry.  This year there is no drought in my area, but indeed we do need rains.  My backyard is so dry, I have been watering endlessly but it is not enough, however, the plants are growing and overall is looking green, even though the grass is brownish.

The summer roses are back with smallish flowers, and at the moment the shrubs look shabby with the dry roses.  Cutting the buds to keep in vases keep last, and enjoy the full bloom longer,  it is the best way.

It is always one to make you happy, the Madenvilla sanderi that I planted two years ago is taking off, and it is flowering now.  The red colour looks amazingly beautiful against the white wall just as I would imagine,  A perfect planting.

The hot weather makes the potted plants to beg for special attention, they want the soil to stay moist, watering regularly and adding the mulch should be done as well.

There are not enough mulch on these potted plants, so far they are alright though.  The Hindy Robe Hoya found a place, it sits under the eve, and the two potted vegetable plants eggplant, basil, chives and the chilli are very promising in fact they are fruiting.

The fruit trees, from citruses, nectarines to potted apple have fruits. the nectarine should be ready for the harvest soon, as the citrus and the apple have to stay longer to ripen up.

The apple and fig tree have the netting to protect from the bird I am using my old table cloth, hope the fruits do stay and grow bigger until harvest time.  Susan said that we have to share with the birds, she is very kind and generous, I am so proud of my daughter.  I think it is good, but we have only a few fruits on the tree.  The bird did have a taste some fruits they are always ahead of the time from us.

Early in the morning is the time for me to be working in the backyard to water the garden.  In the evening is cooler, the time that the family enjoy the cool evening breeze and relaxed in IT, peacefully being protected by the green wall the tall hedges.

 

Summer, 2019

Susi