March 30, 2008

Tomato and Chilli Sauce: Sweet Heat!

set 1-2

Tomato (lycopersicon esculentum) is a versatile vegetable. They are used in salad, condiments, or are preserved in the form of chutney, concentrate, sauce or ketchup. 

The sun loves tomatoes, and since it can be easily grown, it seems that every household in this countryside grows tomatoes in the backyards. 

We always grow tomatoes every year and devour them every Summer, mainly to use them in sandwiches, quiches, or preserve them. If we are lucky, we still can enjoy them through to Autumn.

I usually make jars of them which can be stored in 6-9 months. I don't really have any special trick to keep them that long, perhaps the vinegar does. I do not use preservatives whatsoever, it is against my principle in my natural home cooking. However, home-made tomato sauce gives a better flavour for the base of home-made pizza. Meatballs in tomato sauce are superb cooked with pasta. 

I love to give my family different options, so I play around with the flavour. It is just a trial and error, see which flavour they love the best. Sometimes I use chilies, other times I omit them to make a more concentrated tomato sauces. Some times I choose to use coriander seeds, some other times I use allspice. I sometimes forget to put ginger in but more basil takes the place. So, it is the matter of playing with flavour, you can't go wrong. The more generous you add spices or herbs, the more flavour you will get.

I don't target my homemade tomatoes to be like Heinz's of Wattie's because it still is different. One thing you can add as a plus is you get a fresh flavour from fresh ingredients, and they are not coming from a factory! And you should be proud of it.

I like to give bit more spices to compliment the acidity and gives the flavour a lift. HOT as it can be, but it is as well EXOTIC! However, you can always reduce the spices to suit your taste.

I'm sending this as an entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Ramona this week!

set 1-1

Arfi's Home-made Tomato and Chilli Sauce

5 kg firm acid tomatoes (either red, yellow, or green), washed and halved (or quartered when you use bigger ones),
4 tart apples (I add tart apples to add acidity in the sauce but if you use acid tomatoes, you do not need to add these)
4 onions, cut into chunks,

4 cloves garlic,
approximately 250g to 500g brown sugar or palm sugar (I suggest you to taste your tomatoes first before adding sugar, because some tomatoes are sweeter than the others),
4 bird's eye chilli, seeded and minced,
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper,
1 tsp ground paprika,

1 - 1 1/2 tsp allspice,
2 cm ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 tsp freshly cracked black peppercorns,

3 cloves
1 handful fresh basil leaves
1 ½ cups malt vinegar (add more if you use sweet tomatoes),
salt to taste,
1 Tbs corn flour dissolved in ½ Tbs water

a splash of olive oil

the making

Heat the oil on the bottom of a preserving pan, toast the onion, garlic, ginger, and chillies until fragrant. Quickly add in all the ground spices, sauteed for a minute and then add in all the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the mixture is reduced to half. 

Remove from the stove and cool down a bit, so you can process this mixture in a blender or food processor. Blend all with fresh basil leaves until soft. Run into a sieve or cheese cloth. Now, you will have a smooth mixture of tomato sauce. Put it back into the preserving pan, cook on a medium heat, add in vinegar and sugar. Season with salt, correct the seasoning as necessary. 

Simmer on a low heat until boiling. Add the cornflour mixture and cook another 10 minutes to thicken. Pour immediately into the prepared sterilized jars or bottles. Sealed and marked. Makes 5-8 jars, various sizes.

KBB#4-Chocolate Swirl Meringues

I don't normally like to eat meringues. I consider myself as a sweet tooth, but to me personally, meringues taste nothing than sugary cooked egg whites (does that mean I am not totally a sweet tooth?) . I am not sure if the KBB's 4th task can change my opinion about meringues, but once I tried out one nib of the baked meringues, I could not stop!

My children love being in the kitchen, especially my little boy. He's so used to holding a mixer, folding flour into a batter, and of course, being the tester himself. It's just fun working with them, although I have to stay chirpy, explaining this and that. You know, a little boy sometimes is so full of questions, 'why is this, why is that'.

Here's the recipe, taken from Taste Magazine.

Source: Taste.

a dessert for love

4 egg whites

225g caster sugar

1 tsps cornflour

1 rounded Tbs cocoa powder

(I add 1 tsp vanilla extract)

thickened cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 150C fanbake. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the egg whites and caster sugar in a large heatproof bowl and sit over a pan of simmering water. Don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the water or the egg whites will scramble. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is quite hot to touch, then immediately remove from the heat.

Whisk egg white mixture using a hand-held electric beater for about 10-15 minutes until very thick, white and glossy. Mix in the cornflour. Sieve in the cocoa powder and, using a large metal spoon, very lightly fold into the meringue using 2-3 strokes. Don't mix it thoroughly.

Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets in 6 large spoonfuls, making each one as peaky as possible. Put the baking tray in the oven, reduce the temperature to 120C and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside until completely cold. Serve with thickened cream.


4 putih telur

225g gula kastor

1 sdt tepung maizena

1 sdM coklat bubuk

(saya tambahkan 1 sdt ekstrak vanili)

krim kental untuk sajian

Panaskan oven suhu 150C fanbake (kalo ga punya fanbake pake 120C aja, setting bake). Campur putih telur dan gula di dalam mangkuk tahan panas yang diletakkan di atas panci berisi air panas. Jangan sampai pantat mangkuk menyentuh air karena putih telur akan bergumpal-gumpal. Aduk pakai sendok kayk hingga gula betul2 larut dan adonan terasa panas jika disentuh, lalu angkat dari kompor.

Kocok adonan putih telur dan gula ini menggunakan mixer selama 10-15 menit sampai betul2 kental, putih dan mengkilap. Masukkan tepung maizena. Ayak coklat bubuk, lalu masukkan ke dalam adonan meringue menggunakan sendok metal dengan 2-3 kali aduk. Jangan aduk sampai rata.

Sendokkan (diijinkan menggunakan piping bag—ab) ke atas loyang 6 buah. Buatlah setiap tumpukan setinggi mungkin (kecuali jika ingin membuat 10 buah meringue kecil—ab). Masukkan ke dalam oven, turunkan suhu seketika ke 120C (yang tadi menggunakan 150C fanbake, jika yang menggunakan setting bake 120C tidak perlu menurunkan suhu oven lagi) dan panggang selama 1 jam 15 menit (tergantung panasnya oven masing-masing ya—ab). Matikan oven dan tinggalkan meringe di dalamnya sampai betul-betul dingin. Sajikan dengan krim kental.


AAAAAhhhhh... bikin meringue gaya begini susah-susah gampang ya. Tadinya sih aku ga begitu pusing kalo meringue bakal retak atau keluar cairannya dari dalam kubah meringue, tapi karena teman-teman di milis KBB sering teriak-teriak ga puas kalo meringuenya retak-retak, aku jadi ikutan ga puas.

Sejak melayangkan imel kepada mods soal resep ini aku sudah lima kali menguji-coba resep ini: pake metode asli tiga kali, dimodifikasi dua kali dengan penggunaan panas oven yang bervariasi hingga ke 100C, teteeeeeeeeeeb retak. Mbuh ah... Pokoknya meringue gaya coklat ini aku lebih suka. Ditambahin sama ekstrak vanila, dimakan sama peach stew atau vla coklat, mmmm... heft mere mmmmmmm... cuman, kayaknya kurang pas. Meringue macam begini kudu dimakan bareng raspberry coulis atau mascarpone jeruk, biar mengimbangi manisnya.

Sebetulnya meskipun retak, di dalamnya ga begitu amis, mungkin karena coklatnya ya atau ditambahin sama vanila? Pokoknya kangmas dan aku setuju kalau meringue ini enak. Untuk gula juga aku kurangi pemakaiannya, soalnya dari hasil yang pertama, terlalu manis. Dikurangi gulanya bikin meringuenya lebih renyah, menurutku.

*Patroli dulu aaaaaaaaah*

March 27, 2008

Hay Hay We're Enjoying Plum Clafoutis!

Summer is over but the heat is lingered a bit longer, I suppose. Although we have chilly morning and evening, we're still enjoying gardening under the heat of the sun. I always find gardening is a fun way to breath the fresh air and relaxing while my muscles are exercising. It is also very observal activities to watch how every season can bring its own challenge for us to deal with managing the garden. Moreover, if every season can be celebrated with each special characteristic treats, than each season deserves to be welcomed. I mean, even in Winter, when we always wake up in frosty mornings, we still can snuggle up with hearty hot soup while it's quite impossible to enjoy in Summer. On the other hand, when we wake up in the morning with sun in our eyes, we are celebrating the festive of slurps of ice cream and cold desserts. Spring and Autumn bring the "in-between" main season in the year, and they usually can be marked with bees in the garden in Spring and coloured fallen leaves on the ground in Autumn. I think it's just wonderful!

My garden is very messy with dry ground and died plants. And I have devoted my time after school to pull out weeds and died flowers, collect the seeds, and dig out the naughty grass which are traveling up on the roses clumps. I've also chilled my tulip bulbs until they are ready to be planted. There are always a lot of work to do in the garden. I have to watch out my sore back. Digging is a hard thing to do when the ground is hard and the roots are stronger than your strength!

Back to the orchard, plums when at the peak season are really great picked fresh from the orchard. We have different varieties of plums, mostly to try and pull out while the plums which 'work' with our taste will be kept. This year, we have lots of crops of our favorite Greengages, Black Dorris, and Schulten. Sadly, we are going to remove the Burbank variety as they are quite dry. We'll replace it with another plum variety, perhaps another greengages? Oh, YUM! We won't complain.

I am using Black Dorris for plum clafoutis as they have the most lovely flavour when they are cooked and will give lovely colour for jam. They are a bit tart but once are left ripen on the trees, they're quite sweet. We love enjoying them stewed with vanilla bean and cinnamon stick.

plum chocolate clafoutis

Anyway, I am sending this plum chocolate clafoutis to you on HHDH #19: Clafoutis Edition. My fellow Kiwi blogger down in Christchurch Bron Marshall has won the vote last round and is hosting the Hay Hay It's Donna Hay, created by our beloved friend Barbara at Winos and Foodies. You can view the recipe at Bron's website. Still plenty of time until 21 April at the latest to send your entry!

I didn't have trouble making the clafoutis. I only have one iron pan and I have to use a pyrex pie dish to make another lot. It does not matter, I suppose. This dish surely will look and taste good when it's just removed from the oven! It's quite a bit like eating molten chocolate topped with halves of roasted plums!

We love eating this dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

See our homegrown fruits here.

March 24, 2008

We're Six!

It's another 23 March and it's time to celebrate the countless happiness we've been having throughout our marriage life. With two little darlings, life is getting so much warmer, meaningful and wonderful. The house can be messy but the joy is lingered. Although the little celebration dinner was only attended by mum, it was always nice to cook something special. I made spiced chicken breasts, gado-gado, egg sambal, hot and fluffy jasmine rice with the chocolate swirl meringue and peach stew as dessert. I also made passionfruit sponge cake filled and topped with passionfruit cream. Simple dish, really.

better than sex chocolate cup

Another thing to notice is that the better than sex chocolate cupcakes. I meant to make this cupcake when Stef sent us her entry for Cupcakes Spectacular 2008. And yes, I did! I did the same what she instructed, but I stuffed the cupcakes with halved Lindt 60% Lindor chocolate balls. With dark chocolate ganache and drizzle of white chocolate on top, who can resist this heavenly tempation? Although I have to eat half of them at each serving (it's rich, you see!), it tastes sexy. Perhaps the flavour of the chocolate, both powder and blocks, is quite intense that makes this cupcake special.

6 years and one day today. We went down to the Te Kohanga to go canoing with our close friends, Ralph and Sue Dwen. I brought the cupcakes and sponge cake for afternoon tea together with bits of anything else. The cloud was hanging heavily up in the sky, no trace of rain although it was spitting a bit towards the end of the journey. The wind was still. It was just perfect for canoeing. (You can view more of the photos at HomeMadeS on Flickr, if you wish).

So off, we go!

The clouds reflection on the water creates illusion that it seems we're rowing in a bunch of clouds. It is so peaceful looking at the river up-close and personal. It is also nice to get out of the mundane tasks and do adventurous outing like this. The children are even singing the 'row row row your boat' song. They seem pretty happy and are so sure with the security in the water. I am so glad they love outdoor activities.

a family outing

This is why I love outdoors! There are always opportunities, larger than life, to enjoy the great moments through the viewfinder. For some people, it's a bit annoying, but for me, it's an excitement. Perhaps, the similar excitement when you're enjoying the cupcakes.


straight to heaven

And this! How do you like to row in a bunch of clouds!

March 19, 2008

Taste A Great Recipe!

What's it like to have your blog's clicked through to look for the perfect (or perhaps, handy) recipe to create and re-create? You can't even expect to get the blog that you're familiar with which makes the Taste and Create event interesting! When I received the email from Nicole the creator of T & C, I got Hanne of Supper in Stereo to be my 'partner' for this time around. I am new to her and hubby blog and was so excited to look through what she has had posted.

I am big on dessert. The first time I visit Supper in Stereo, my eyes automatically caught the 'dessert' category. And there I was, browsing through. I fell in love with the Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. While we're in Autumn and still are receiving the heat of the sun at daytime (and getting the chill in the morning and evening, typical Autumn weather), this pumpkin ice cream will be great eaten to melt down after gardening in the heat (still feel heat on my back!).

Yep, I've got a lot gardening to do. Time just flies and I am still working on my first book, be on the computer as much long as I can remember I've been. I need to inhale the fresh air and do something muscular while getting the inspiration bursts in my mind. My garden probably feels a bit abandoned. I really need to clear the oregano clumps which just invaded the front garden where I put my daffodil, sparaxis and ixia bulbs. I also need to chill the tulip bulbs before planting out. There's still a lot to do, so little time.

Back to the kitchen. I started the phase by steaming the pumpkin. We still have two pumpkin left in the larder from last year's harvest while those planted this year are still dying out. While waiting them to be cooled, I move on with the egg custard. I don't have any problem with making custard, everything just turns out beautifully. I think my stove is not simmering too low, so I need to watch the custard from getting burnt. When I see some lumps appear, I just whisk the custard madly until it's smooth. I have to remove it from the heat though, otherwise, the eggs will be scrambled!

Anyway, done that part. Ice cream is in the freezer. I don't have ice cream maker, so every two hours I have to take the tray out and mix it with the mixer. I do it three times and the last mix, I then add in the finely chopped glace ginger. Transfer it to a frozen-proof container. Leave it overnight.

The next day I make the profiteroles. Not the method that I usually make, really. I get through the process but I don't think I bake them as dry as I expected. The problem occurred is that I used two trays because my oven is not large enough for two trays on one rack. I have to put one tray on the bottom and another one on the middle rack. By the half baking time, I have to move the tray on the bottom to the middle rack and put the middle rack to the bottom. They are both have had been so puffy if I haven't open the door. 425F is way too much for the bottom puffs to have black bottom, and so I have to circulate it and turn the temperature down to 375F as instructed.

I continued with the baking for 10-15 minutes, and they turn out crusty on top. I take them out to make some slits and leave them in the oven with the door ajar. But when I come back, the puffs getting softer. So I think I have to let them bake for a bit longer. Perhaps I have to use the Paris-Brest method that I've made as the first entry for Klub Berani Baking (Indonesian Baking Club).

However, I shall move on. And here's the result.

pumpkin pie ice cream #2

I make butterscotch sauce to company the ice cream and the puffs. I thought garnish it with chocolate would be a good idea. We still have a few strawberries in the garden, although they are not the best (I also made a few experiments of photos on HomeMadeS' flickr page, if you'd like to view).

I have never thought that with that much sugar, the ice cream tastes so sweet. I would have reduced the sugar to let the ginger and the pumpkin get much better flavour. I can't not really taste the pumpkin as the ginger takes it over. The butterscotch makes it much sweeter. Next time, I'm going to use extra bitter dark chocolate, instead if it's necessary. One thing to eat it which I think is great is eating it with snickerdoodles! Or dark chocolate biscuits will be a bonus, though I am not thinking about chocolate chips! The idea to combine the ice cream with puffs is good, really. Perhaps, it tastes much better if my profiteroles are much crispier! Thank you for the recipe, Hanne!

This event is really fun and I am certain I will be a good participant from now on! Join us, if you'd like to. See you next month!

March 17, 2008

A Friend Came for A Visit

I was very excited when Gilli emailed me and would want to come down to see us here in the countryside. It always interests me meeting other foodie bloggers. We can talk and talk about blogging, markets, events... I could go on. The most interesting part is, of course, food!! While we were strolling around the garden and orchard, all we talked about was food! Typical foodie bloggers, I suppose. It just fascinates me.

Gilli is going to hit the road again and will be travelling by boat with her beloved husband, up northland. I am pretty glad that we met before her adventurous journeys. I baked double ginger cake, Nigel Slater's recipe, my favourite author so far. I love him! Gilli found it not too sweet. I can assure you it has a mild gingerly flavour. I always love ginger cake, whatever in forms it will be.

For this cake, I should make my own ginger syrup as I could not find any ginger jar in the supermarket. I had to reduce the sugar, though I don't mind the golden syrup. I was just so happy that Gilli also loved my Damson plum cheese. We also tasted a year old Apple Cider Cheese which this year I don't make (we have a bad crop of apples).

Thank you for coming to see us, Gilli. Have a great trip up north!(and i hope you don't forget that pear-cognac story!--a reminder!). Oh, the tomato ketchup works really well with fish and chips. Ben and Sarah keep reminding themselves that it's Gilli's tomato ketchup. Their first impression: “oh, mmm... nice, Mum! It's nice of Gilli to give us this, ya Mum?” with eyes full of amazement expression. I tell you, they are such little foodies!

Oh, for you who are looking forward to reading the whole entries of Cupcakes Spectacular 2008, there are gorgeous cupcakes and new ideas you can view and perhaps try on, I've gathered them on a round-up. For you who sent me the entry too late, I'll still be putting your entry on the round-up as well. Please, give me some time to work on it, though. Thank you for all of your entries, it was just such a great fun!

Double Ginger Cake

Source: Nigel Slater. The Kitchen Diaries.

This recipe calls for ginger jar which I suppose you can make it yourself if you don't have them in the pantry. I made the ginger syrup a week before I make this cake (like I know Gilli is going to come!). I found the flavour in the syrup responsibles for making the gingerly taste in the cake. I don't use the ginger roots from the syrup, though, because they're a bit hard. I used crystallized ginger to replace the ginger lumps.

250g Self-Rising Flour,
2 level tsps ground ginger,
½ tsp ground cinnamon,
1 level tsp baking soda,
pinch of salt,
200g golden syrup,
2 Tbs syrup from the ginger jar,
125g butter,
3 lumps stem ginger from the syrup (55g),
2 heaped Tbs sultanas,
125g dark muscovado sugar (I reduced the sugar to 85g only, using local product Chelsea dark cane sugar),
2 large eggs,
240ml milk

Prepare a square cake tin 20-22cm and lined with baking paper. Preheat the oven at 180C/Gas 4. sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, soda, dan salt. Set aside. Put the golden syrup, ginger syrup, and butter in a saucepan and warm over a low heat. Dice the ginger finely, add in the mixture with sultanas and sugar. Boil slightly for a minute, stirring frequently to avoid the fruit sticking on the bottom.

Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl. Add in milk and beat until well-corporated. Remove the butter mixture from the heat and pour into the flour immediately. Mix well. Then, add in the mixture of milk and egg. Stir until well-combined. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. You can either leave the cake in the tin until it's cool or remove it from the tin immediately if you want to eat it warm.

I wrapped mine with greaseproof paper covered with foil to wait until the day Gilli came. I made it a day beforehand. The flavour is awesome!

March 15, 2008

Click: Metal

I am still rounding up the cupcakes from around the world and believe me, fellow bloggers' enthusiastic on displaying their best cupcakes are just giving FANTASTIC results on this event!! I am thanking you all. I'll post it as soon as I finish it, and as I say, I will let you all know!

This is my one of the knives I am using which are made from steel. It's quite heavy but size and weight does not matter to me. This little one has a slicing-hour higher than its peers.

And here's a rustic soup spoon which I found in my hubby's old drawer. I am glad I now am able to keep it (fancy using silver spoon for pottery?).

And which one I am going to send to Bee and Jai? Uhm... I think you'll find out in their gallery. Honestly, I don't know. Or, maybe this one below?

Oh, well...

March 12, 2008

A Long Lazy Sunday

Once opening my eyes, my brain usually tells me to get up and make porridge. But... no, wait! It's Sunday and it's no need to get busy preparing early breakfast and schooling the children. And, that's an excuse to stay in bed longer, you see. Not for long, I can tell you. My kids already came to me, shook my arms and reminded me that we're going to make pancakes today. Well, yes, darlings. I have that on written on my timetable today, really.

I do think it's wise to start the day with a glass of water, that's what I do. It's just feeling so good to feel the water going down your throat, then your stomach. It's so cleansing and clear. Then, I would nibble fresh fruit while making porridge or pancakes. In Summer until Autumn, we are blessed to have good crops of stone-fruits, so I can stew them and freeze half of them for Winter joy. It's just great to taste Summer in Winter.

What we do on Sunday, a long breakfast, going right on till lunch. Started with a glass of water, followed with stewed peaches with plain thick yogurt, honey coconut granola, and we, adults, will finish the early stage of enjoying the morning with a cup of coffee. I still have leftover vegetables from dinner last night and I re-create them to be edible for our light lunch, bake them with grated cheese, flour, and seasoning. I will submit that for WHB this week.

Mansi is organizing Weekend Breakfast Blogging, a new event, as far as I know. It requires entries for healthy breakfast. I should have posted this on Monday (sorry about that, Mansi) but on that day I've just got an information that my blog in Indonesian is mentioned to be one of the most delicious blogs on U-Mag which was informed by my fellow Indonesian bloggers Budi Sutomo in Indonesia and Pepy in Canada, so that makes me busy thanking everyone. Then, there's an email from Melissa of Wikio (thank you, Melissa!) informing that HomeMadeS is on 41 top rank blogs! What a pleasant surprise!

I always think that I am not popular, honestly, looking at your other blogs with lots of comments (which I think people enjoy writing to you), mine is nothing to be compared with. Surprisingly, though, there's always a lot of people browsing through my blog when I am looking at the website statistic, or else... I think I should not rely on that, should I? Well, for me, personally, you're reading my writing is more than achieving a top rank. It is more personal, though when people give feedback, not just 'oh that's nice'. I know I am not really good at blog-walking, but when I do, I will give 100% insight, truly from what I gather is knowledgeable, what I 'feel' inside based on what I know. If you're blogging about wine, then I should be giving up because I have no idea what it tastes. I can't make it up, can I? I also am not good at organizing my time to enter every foodie event, as you know, I am home-schooling my kids and dividing my time for them, house, and farm (hubby?--oh well, him too). I hope you'll all understand. Anyway, I thank you all so much for being my fellow bloggers and special thanks for all the readers who enjoy reading my posts. I am nothing without you!!

Also, Cupcakes Spectacular 2008 is getting nearer to the deadline time, if you still are interested in sending me the entry, I'll be right here! I've got so many spectacular cupcakes from around the world, I do think you guys are taking so much time to decorate your beautiful cupcakes! Thanks so much! I can't wait to give you the round-up!

Stewed Peaches

Actually, we have different varieties of peaches, if you see they have different flesh and skin, that is. Anyway, I will include peach, any sort you like, you can get as your preferences. I love stewing peaches with cinnamon bark and cloves, but if you think the spices will eliminate the aroma of the peaches, I am sure they won't. Actually, they help flavouring up to a certain degree. Great for freezing to be eaten later in Winter when peaches are hard to get! We eat the peaches with Greek plain and thick yogurt.

20 peaches (leave them whole or halve them, your choice),
caster sugar (or brown sugar),
1 cinnamon bark,
2 cloves,
2 oranges (peel and squeeze out the juice),
1 cup water

Wash and scrub the peaches. Set aside. Put the water, sugar, cinnamon bark, cloves, orange peel and juice in a large saucepan. Cook them until boiling. Add in the peaches. Simmer on a very low heat. Cover and let cook until the fruits are just soft. Makes three bottles.

Honey Coconut Granola

2 cups rolled-oats,
2 cups desiccated coconut,
½ cup honey,
½ cup rice bran oil,
½ cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven 150C fanbake. Heat the honey and oil in a small saucepan until bubbly. Turn off the heat and pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread them on to an oven tin. Bake for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Don't forget to keep watching out and stirring to make sure they are well-browned and not burnt! Remove from the oven and let cool for a while before you separate them to avoid sticking forever! Enjoy! The remaining of the granola can be stored in an airtight container, and mine can't be kept for a week as we often eat them, but I am sure if you can keep them, it will keep until one week.

March 08, 2008

Sweetcorn Fritters for Fellow Ladies

Early Autumn in New Zealand with a little hint of Summer leftover. Mature plants start to die down but the seeds scattered on the ground start sprouting. Amazing climate of hot daytime and of cool nightime of Autumn. Soon, we'll enjoy the display of pink cedrela sinensis trees, although they are growing on the wrong side of the house.

Peaches, peachcotts (the crossed between peach and apricot), peacherine (the crossed between peach and nectarine), plumcott (the crossed between plum and apricot) and passionfruits are the fruits we are still enjoying from the orchard. Our apple are a bit sad this year as there are many of them are destroyed by wasps. Golden queen, the queen of peaches, are all ripening and I've picked some for stewing, a good Winter store. We're still waiting for the black boy peaches to be ripen. They give us a reasonably good crop this year. I hope we can enjoy them before possums or birds can.

As we are still enjoying corns (see the fact nutrition about corn--excellent for women and it's a source of folate which can reduce the risk of colon cancer), there are many possibilities to cook them. I am not used to bbq the corn as my family love enjoying them steamed/boiled for 5 minutes or so, so we can still enjoy the crunchiness of the kernels without losing so much flavour. I make corn salad sometimes to accompany Cajun roast chicken. This time I am making corn fritters to contribute on Zorra's event International Women Day. We love eating them with my home-made tamarillo chutney.

Sweetcorn Fritters

3 cups fresh sweetcorn kernels,
1 clove garlic, crushed,
2 sprigs celery leaves, chopped,
100g feta cheese, crumbled,
1-1 ½ cup flour,
1 large egg,
1 shallot, sliced thinly,
oil for frying,
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil and fry the thinly sliced shallot. Cook until light brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain them on an absorbent paper. They'll become crispy during the cooling time. You have to spread them on the paper, so they'll dry well. Combine the corn kernels, crushed garlic, chopped celery leaves. Fold in flour, a little at a time, you don't want to have solid fritters, unless you want it to. My mixture should still be sloppy because I like to taste the corn more than flour. Mix well. Crack the egg in a little bowl, beat loosely. Pour into the combined corn kernels. Add in the crumbled feta. Crush the fried shallot in between your palms over the mixture and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 Tbs oil. Spoon the mixture and shallow fry. Drain on absorbent paper for a while before transferring to your plate. Makes 10-14.