Friday, June 1, 2012

Dinner to Die For

With the flavours of an incredible meal still in my mouth, I felt I had to share.  How strange, no blogs for months and then 2 in 2 days.  Well when you have something to say I suppose....

The weather has turned and mother nature decided a month or so ago to roll over into winter.  With that thought in mind, it was time for a roast dinner of epic proportions.  Most of the good lamb is exported from New Zealand and so what is left is very expensive, therefore we don't have it often.  When lamb is on special, it will always end up on our table.  So tonight we had a lamb roast with roast pumpkin and potato au gratin.

Firstly the pumpkin, my maternal grandmother was a roast vegetable first place winner (at least in my book).  If it took the best roast vege to run Australia, she would have been PM.  Unfortunately, she passed away before I could learn her secrets and ask her what made her vegetables so incredible.  But tonight, I made her proud.  I try often and am a harsh critic but tonight I know they were amazing.  So I dedicate my roast pumpkin to Nanna.  I ate so much I feel very sick but I am not regretting a mouthful!  Amy and I gorged ourselves.

Now moving onto the potato bake.  I am sick of tasteless, runny potato bakes that have no flavour but lots of calories (I just had to do a spell check on the word calories - it is obvious where my priorities lie?). Anyway, I decided to tweak it a bit.  Enough to say that it was incredible, the recipe is at the bottom of the post.

As I mentioned the seasons have turned and not as recently as 1st June.  The leaves turned and then fell weeks ago and the frosts have started.  It is such a definite change that makes me feel comforted by nature and its predictability.  Our fire has been going steadily every evening for weeks and when the sun dips around 4pm, the chill creeps in.  I am strange in that I love winter and the crisp, cool but sunny days. It is my season!

The vegetable garden has wound down and I only have around 20 carrots left to harvest.  I have planted lupins and blue mustard seeds in an effort to "feed" the soil and make it rich and lovely for spring.  They are popping up all over the empty beds and succeeding in making it look green and not so barren.

Unfortunately I took Richard to the demolition yard today and we jointly (95% no to my 5% yes) decided not to make the greenhouse from recycled windows and doors due to the high cost.  I was very sad as I had found a stunning huge window with stained glass, perfect for the back wall. But you can't argue too strongly against logic.  So I will still be a green house gardener, just a new, bland looking one.  I shouldn't complain.  On an up note, they had a large timber sale to make room for the new motorway going in behind them and Richard managed to score some beautiful native hardwood at a bargain price.  He is now busy in the garage making me a new dining table. Lovely man!

Signing off now to end WW3 between the girls, here is the potato bake recipe.

Orgasmic Potato Bake

Enough thinly sliced potato to fill the baking dish you plan to use
1 finely sliced spanish onion
300mls cream
2 garlic cloves minced
fresh herbs - thyme and rosemary
parmesan cheese and a bitey, crumbly, strong chedder - grated together
salt and pepper

Cook the onions with a little oil until soft and smelling lovely.  Toss in a large bowl with salt,pepper, potatoes and onions and a small amount of the cheese.  Pour into a greased baking dish.  Put cream in a jug with herbs and garlic and whisk.  Pour over cream and top with the remaining cheese.  The amount of cheese is a personal choice - I like to be generous.  Put in a 190 degree oven for about an hour or until golden, crispy and the potato is cooked.  Delicious, Enjoy!!!!

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