So what have we been up to?

Blogging and cooking are both things I’m finding very little time or energy for at the moment, much to my distress. However, I have managed to turn my hand to making some Lemon Butter (Curd) with some success. I had to try setting it twice (as in I thought I had cooked it enough, bottled it only to have to cook it a second time because it was too runny). It still wasn’t quite set enough, but it made a lovely lemon curd tart which Craig and I happily devoured over a few days. I have another bag of locally grown lemons to have another go – I just have to find enough time (it takes longer then a single baby sleep cycle to make and at the present Will is still in need of help to resettle during the day ). I’ve made lemon butter successfully in the past so all I can think of is that I had a lot more time to stand slowly stirring a pot over low heat in the past. I do get inspired by lemon butter and want to make orange butter, lime butter, lemon and passionfruit butter and all sorts of other combinations, one day 😉

The other joy in the kitchen recently has been our “italian” inspired week of dinners. Last night I made what was going to be cannelloni into a lasagna instead. I made the pasta dough on Saturday and then put it through the pasta maker last night. We actually left it to hang while we pottered around doing other things and so the past dried and thus we were unable to roll it into cannelloni. In the future we will make the filling for the cannelloni FIRST then roll out our pasta. I have to say that this has been one of the tastiest kitchen mistakes I’ve ever made. I layered the pasta with a home made sauce of tomatoes, bacon (cured by a local, SO GOOD), onion and garlic, then the main filling was 1 egg, 60g of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, 140g local ricotta, parsley and 1 head of silverbeat (cooked). All these ingredients were mixed up then dolloped onto the pasta. Everything bunged in the oven for a little while and served with a fresh salad. We finished off the last of it for lunch today.

Craig is also getting back into the kitchen, trying his hand and baking bread of a morning. We pulled out the grain mill and milled our own flour yesterday, using two different sifters to get a nice light flour. There are now two lovely loaves rising on the dinning table.

I’m reading back over this email and realising that there is so much missing, so lets see if I can add anything. The flour mill is an attachment for our Kenwood Major (make sure if you buy one that you demand your stainless steel attachments and not the coated rubbish they give you, the sticker on the machine say’s “stainless steel”). So anyway, Craig has been using the mill to grind coffee recently but we have finally put it to use for it’s intended purpose (although we had to ditch the first batch of wheat we’d been holding onto for ages because it had a bad case of itty black weevils). We are using the slowest setting to grind so that we can avoid “burning” the flour. The difference in taste of freshly ground flour compared to pre-purchased is huge so the time it takes to mill is worth it. We are currently letting the milled flour fall into a large bowl sifter over another bowl so that we can separate the flour from the bran. The bowl sifter has fairly large holes (for a mesh sifter), we are then discarding the larger grain husks and sifting the flour once more with a finer mesh to get our flour. This second lot of sifting actually results in flour and fine bran, which we intend to try cooking with. The larger waist is probably going to end up on the garden. It took most of the morning to grind and sift 700g’s of flour so we are thinking about ways to make this process faster. The sifting is what really takes the most time as the mill can be left to it’s own devices while we go aff and do other things. At the moment we are thinking of making a tiered box system with different grades of mesh so that we can just shake the box and have everything work it’s way down to be collected in three separate boxes.

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