Okay, here we are again at Monday. The sun is out and the sky is blue and we’ve had a fabulous weekend away in the country in the South Burnett region – about 2 hours due west of us.
I’ll tell you more about that on Thursday, but now, without anymore faffing about, here’s the five:
The eagle-eyed among you might have seen a random post pop up about Flanders Fields. The truth is, this was a mistake. My France posts (and a couple from Belgium) were originally on my author site, but that’s off being rejuvenated at the moment and will be just books and writing. This means that any travel posts on there need to be relocated to here.
I was originally intending on scheduling these for after I finished my England posts, but, well… Anyways, I’ll be popping these up weekly going forward. It feels weird given that we were in France 2 years ago, but there you go. Feel free to skim on past….although I will be including one recipe from each region so maybe just hang about for that.
There’s a new James Martin cooking series on Foxtel and I’m super excited – From Islands to Highlands. I’ve already cooked something from it – the Singing Hinnies that I told you about here, but I’ve been looking forward to the actual series. Swimming with the seals off the Scilly Isles is now going on my bucket list.
3. Yes, seriously
From the “I don’t know how I feel about that” files, comes a new wine from, wait for it, Kylie Minogue. Snappily titled “Kylie” it’s available from Tesco for £9. Here’s the rundown:
2019 Kylie Minogue Rosé, Vin de France 12.5 per cent, Tesco £9
Having given this pale salmon-pink rosé a full sensory assessment, I can confirm that the wine within this pot-bellied, clear glass bottle, looking suspiciously like Brangelina’s mouth-watering Miraval Rosé, is a coarse, surly, sweet-yet-bitter disappointment…Made from night-harvested Midi grapes, roughly 80 per cent carignan, topped up with cabernet sauvignon, it has 4.4g per litre of residual sugar, hence its sickly finish. Forget the “Enjoy! With love, Kylie x” marketing message. Anyone spending the best part of a tenner on this, like most of the long line of celebrity-endorsed wines, needs their head examined.
Hmmmm… we should be so lucky? Yes, I went there.
4. Guinea fowls and country air.
The other morning we got up to do our usual walk, but instead of 5kms along the beach we did the same on the property we were staying in – walking through the paddocks but not coming to any boundary fence – yes, it was that big. Anyways as we passed the homestead in the early morning light a gaggle of birds shuffled past, chattering as they went.
We later found out they were guinea fowl and they’re there to help keep the snakes down around the homestead.
While they can kill small snakes, they’ll harass and deter them – usually discussing the problem quite loudly. That’s their other use – as an alarm system for snakes, foxes and other predators. They’re also quite funny to watch and apparently have their own personalities.
I couldn’t get close enough for a decent shot, but you’ll get the idea.
5. In the kitchen…
There was no Saturday kitchen this week on account of our being away for the weekend, but during the week we had these Chinese style lamb pancakes – although given that we have them with small tortillas it’s probably more accurate to call them Chinese-style tacos. Whatever you call them, they’re yummy – slow-cooked 5-spice lamb shredded and eaten with spring onions, cucumber and a little hoisin sauce. The recipe is from Nigella’s At My Table, but you’ll also find it here.
What else? I bought these tiny brussels sprouts at the market last weekend and we had them with roast pork belly. Even though I used to gag on them when I was a kid, I’m a bit of a convert to sprouts these days. Apparently the key is to always cut them in half – by doing so you release the bitter taste. The growing area is the centre of the sprout and apparently that bitterness is part of the plant’s defence against bugs. There’s obviously some scientific words and chemical compounds that I could add in, but #carefactor. They’re also at their best when cooked over a high heat until they’re crispy.
I used this recipe the other day for sprouts that I didn’t gag on. The recipe calls for roasting them after you blacken them in the pan, but we didn’t bother – that’s just one extra pan too many. Sarah had to admit that they were actually pretty good – although maybe that’s the bacon and the butter because, let’s face it, bacon and butter makes everything better.