The tartness of blackberries and the vibrant purple of the juice made this tasty and delicious blackberry sorbet a lovely counterpoint to the rich chocolate mousse with a bitter dark chocolate glaze. The fruitiness of the sorbet complemented the creaminess of the mousse, and the overall smoothness of both was balanced with crunch from the obligatory chocolate ‘soil’. Who calls food on your plate ‘soil’? When did we start eating dirt? For those uninitiated, the ‘soil’ is crumbled biscuit toasted lightly with real butter for a distinct salty crunch. It adds another dimension of flavour and texture to the dessert.
Visually simple on a plate, but a lot of technical preparation in the background. All these elements combine to be elegantly presented as a dish. Food is life, but good food is to be celebrated. I tripped over this morsel at a luncheon at the ‘G’ – and celebration it was, with several courses and matching wines. Is there a better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon? Is there a better way to finish a lovely luncheon? I ask you!
As a treat, I took myself and some family off to a regional longest lunch event. The food and wine was delightful as expected, but there were two unexpected morsels of serendipity.
The first was the stalls of local tastes with knowledgeable produce purveyors. We could sample and enjoy a range of breads, olives, dips, jams, vegies, etc. Try before you buy! all whilst being plied with bubbles and delectable canapes made from these ingredients. The second was the luncheon menu which explained the picturesque and fragrant offerings on one side, and on the reverse side gave the supplier names and distance in kilometers to their farms. It was a delicious and very local affair, very low food miles indeed. Special mention goes to the rhubarb and macadamia tart. The crumble crunch, beautiful treacle, tart sorbet and smooth quark were lovely subtle counterpoints [Yes, we had a quark – and it wasn’t a subatomic building block of physical matter]. The flavours were delicate and unexpected, an enticing and light finish to the meal and a treat to the senses. See what you can find that is yummy and local!
Well, the seasons have moved on and the sun in migrating to the northern hemisphere, as can be seen by the increasing wedge of sunshine coming in through the kitchen window. In summer the sun is overhead and the sunshine doesn’t come directly into the north facing window, keeping the kitchen cooler than expected. But in winter with the sun’s more northerly aspect, the sun shines in and fabulous snoozes on the strategically placed couch are to be had with the sun warming your back on a winter’s afternoon.
The other way that I can tell the seasons have moved on is the plethora of passion fruit that my vine is throwing at me. It had been decorated like a Christmas tree with large round green balls, but you have to wait until they turn colour before picking them. So all summer I watched, and I watched. But the time is now! Here is the modest haul from this week. So now come the choices: smoothies, mixed with natural yogurt, dressing to a fruit salad, or O-natural. Not to mention the cooked options of cheesecake, passion fruit slice… the list goes on. See what fruits are in season at the market and indulge in what the season has to offer. It is after all the time of harvest.
This was an extraordinarily fancy-pants dessert. I was lucky enough to be presented with this dessert last week at a luncheon. No longer do you have to choose the lemon tart or the apple crumble, some desserts have it all. Cherry sorbet, white chocolate mousse, macerated Morello cherries, moist dark chocolate cake, milk chocolate mousse covered in a bitter chocolate glaze, chocolate soil, chocolate sauce, a crumble of meringue and a squiggle of chocolate to garnish. How do they get the chocolate to squiggle solid in three dimensions?
This was Schwarzwalder Kirsch, otherwise known as Black forest cake – deconstructed to taste each and every flavour. It was an amazing flight of fanciful tastes, visual richness and well portioned morsels. So next time the opportunity presents itself, don’t choose, just indulge!
Sometimes you just need to spoil yourself. This dinner was magnificent. No photo’s of the canapes as they were presented on platters and juggling a camera was beyond my skills when eating with fingers, but they were delicious morsels of Hervey Bay scallops, seared lamb and goat’s curd; to be followed by warm confit of cured salmon and butter poached prawns, roast beef with mushrooms and truffled pea, washed rind cheese, and a chocolate tart with pear sorbet and Gewurztraminer jelly.
Do we need to go and have a lay down after all that? As wonderful as it tasted, it was also visually rich. The detail and the micro decorations on every plate suggested a perfectionist was at work. The coming together of several foods and flavours on a plate created a stunning effect [do I sound like I’m on Masterchef?]. This was a work of art in taste and texture as well as beautifully crafted.
It is well worth spoiling yourself when this is the fare on offer, so I recommend that you find something to wow the senses and indulge. There are no do-overs in life.
I had a lemon tree given to me as a house warming present many moons ago. It suffered greatly at the hands of Gall wasp and I was at my wit’s end on how to save the tree and rid it of the pest. A friend came over and pruned it back to a forked stump. It was going to either survive or perish, but at least the source of disease was gone. A bit of food and a couple of hanging sticky yellow tubes to stop reinfection and it bounced back with new growth and green leaves last year.
Yesterday, I braved the cold weather and headed to the garage, walking past the lemon tree. It now has large blemish-free yellow fruit. It must have been sneaky, flowered and grown the immature green fruit without me noticing. Cold weather has reduced the number of forays made into the backyard. The proof was the refreshing and tart flavour, which was well received as lemon icing in birthday celebration melting moments [see other posts on these treats]. So never give up on living things, health can be restored with some love, care and judicious pruning. Recovery tastes that much better when surprised with a bountiful harvest. …And yes that is a passion fruit or two growing in the lemon tree 🙂
Sometimes there are new adventures, sometimes the fun comes from an old favorite. One of my early posts was of a recipe for Melting Moments. There’s lots of debate over Yo-Yo’s versus Melting Moments, but in my paradigm they are known as Melting Moments.
I haven’t made these for several weeks [which is strange for me]. Tonight I made another batch. Sometimes they are average and sometimes they are spectacular. My friends in the country are in for a treat as these are quite above the norm. Cute and small delicate morsels, fat and three-dimensional. The mixture works so much better in cooler temperatures as you really ave to work it to mix all the ingredients, but the pay-off is a smooth silky dough. The lemons for the icing were full and tart so the tang comes through the shortbread flavour.
This is one of my best efforts, which is a good feeling. So have a go, as they say, at an old favorite and make something wonderful.
Delicious, absolutely delicious. Weddings are a nourishment for the soul. They restore our faith in humanity and our ability to love one another. Two people that can find each other in this vast world and choose to live together for the rest of time are to be cherished. Not only do they sustain each other, but they also bring hope and happiness to all of us. We are reminded of our bonds with our partner, family and friends. It is how we perpetuate; it is why we exist.
Weddings can be stressful and full of drama, but when convention and expectation is set aside, the truth of the occasion is allowed to unfold like the flavours of a gourmet meal, a truly remarkable celebration. The pageantry and emotion of the ceremony is rich and heartfelt. The joy experienced by those able to attend is palpable. Also the party afterwards is really fun too. I was lucky enough to attend a wedding this week where the canape morsels were as divine as the wedding itself, and the wedding cake was simply beautiful and delicious. The magic of the evening set a new benchmark for enhancing the flavour of cake. Yum!
Dining with friends is a great way to catch up. Recently I went to a Women-in-wine function which show cased some great wines from a wonderful wine maker, Ros Ritchie. She spoke well of the wines, regions and the wine making process, and she did it all without sounding like a pompous aristocrat. She was real and knew her stuff. The dining setting at the MCG helped and the fabulous food that accompanied it didn’t hurt either.
This lovely feast for the senses was a riot of flavours: smoked salmon and scallops, with rocket, radicchio, the odd pea on the plate and a few garnishes of Parmesan and a drizzle of dressing. Yum! …and that was only entree.
What made this evening special was the girlfriends that I shared it with. A bit of girl power every now and then is always a good boost. Your girlfriends tell you how it is and keep it all real. A recent gathering of my familial sisterhood (and there’s quite a few) was also a rewarding event. A relax atmosphere with great food (always!), good company and no time pressures is to be recommended. Good company is the best seasoning for a meal.
There is nothing better than sampling the rewards of your own efforts. I don’t have much space for a garden but I squeezed in two passionfruit vines. I tended them, watered them and finally after many months they sprung to life and grew in every direction. They seemed to flower everywhere along the vine, and with some serious searching I found some green fruit. I watch the fruit each day, but it stayed green. It was only after several more weeks that the vine seemed to drop these lovely purple balls, as though it knew they were ripe and was casting me a tasty delight. They tasted all the better for it. Yum.
I also turned my hand to capsicums. From two small plants they went wild and provided a plethora of fruit in red, yellow and green. I enjoyed an omelette with fresh capsicum this morning, which was such a treat. So no matter how small a space you have, try growing something and be connected to nature. The harvest is a delicious bonus!