5 things – Monday 15 June 2020

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:

1.Scheduling problems

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.

2. Watching

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.

Author: Jo

I write, I bake, I chase sunrises.

31 thoughts

  1. Those singing hinnies do look a lot like the Welsh cakes I made, and they look just as delicious too! I’m totally in the mood to eat some more now. I had no idea Kylie Minogue had her own type of wine – how random!

  2. I’ve never eaten brussels sprouts but I rarely hear good things about them. Beautiful mornings out your way – we had mostly rainy days last week which was miserable! Lovely to hear you managed to get away for a bit. Hope you have a fab week ahead!

    1. I’m partial to the occasional rose…but nothing, and I mean nothing, could tempt me to buy one marketed by Kylie or, indeed, pretty much any celebrity…

  3. I’m not a fan of brussel sprouts either but you made these look and sound pretty good Jo! I love the look of the property you stayed at, and we en joyed the area a year or so ago when we went riding on the rail trail nearby. and that wine by Kylie…..enough said! #lifethisweek

  4. Oh yum! The older I get the more I love brussel sprouts and you’re so right about the bacon and butter. We have lamb pancakes at our local Chinese and yours look restaurant quality – I must give them a try! Your weekend away looked lovely – hope you filled your cup!

    1. Me too re the brussels. I actually order them these days if I see them as a side… it’s a long way from the army green boiled version we had as kids. Try the lamb pancakes – you won’t be sorry. We can never get Chinese pancakes but they go just as well with mini tortillas.

  5. Hi Jo – I actually like brussel sprouts and mixing them with bacon just takes them up to another level! Lovely photos from your time away enjoying the serenity and I’m glad I’m not a wine drinker – so I wasn’t tempted to try Kylie’s latest offering (haven’t tried her perfume either).

  6. From perfume to wine who would have thought. I suppose there will be a Brittany one soon LOL:) Love brussels sprouts but hubby doesn’t so I rarely have them and my favourite way is with bacon. Looks like a lovely weekend away and perhaps somewhere I could arrange for hubby and I to have a getaway. Good for you keeping up the walk too! Have a great week. xx #lifethisweek

  7. Yes, we should be so lucky 😉

    I also change how I cook depending on how many pans are required – who wants to clean more than you have to?!

  8. Thanks for sharing the brussel sprouts recipe. They are actually my hubby’s favorite. I am always looking for new ways to prepare them.

    Once I was running with a friend out in the countryside and we were attacked by some guinea hens who had gotten out of their enclosure. I made us pick up the pace! Maybe they thought we were snakes! 🙂

    1. Apparently, guinea fowl aren’t that sociable…they are hilarious to watch though. I used to hate brussels, but these days there are some lovely ways to have them.

  9. The cooking show sounds interesting. So does the Kylie wine, although I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t hate Brussels sprouts, but I don’t love them either.

    1. I do like a rose…who am I kidding? I love wine…which is why I probably wouldn’t be tempted on the kylie one lol. Thanks for dropping by.

  10. I saw someone share a pic of the Kylie wine and was slightly horrified. I was too lazy to read the detail – if it was named after her… like a perfume, or if she’d started a winery.

    Keen to read about your South Burnett trip!

  11. Jo, it looks like you had a relaxing place in the countryside for a walk and a weekend away. Even a few days away can rejuvenate the energy levels. Like your boots 🙂

    1. It was so lovely being in the country for a few days, completely rejuvenating. And yes, I love my boots too…they’re just beginning to look worn in.

  12. So good to see you back in the bush pics too. Must have felt different alright but it looked lovely from this end.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. I have created a list of lovely regular linkers such as you on the right hand side of my blog. It’s now showing more of the community that gathers here each Monday to share our stories. Great to see you here too. Next week’s optional prompt is to ‘share your snaps’….hope you will be back. Denyse.

    1. I love the sound of those sprouts & will give it a go. I like them also in a salad – very versatile little things they are. I’m with you re the celebrity whatevers – it’s usually enough to make me steer clear, yet people buy that stuff.

  13. I love those country photos, so peaceful and tranquil. I read the fact about the guinea fowl and snakes in a book recently. I’d never heard of that before. I would buy the Kylie wine for my daughter as a joke but I doubt she would even know who she is. 🙂

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