Winter Love

Sunrise 19th June 2018

For the most part, I really like winter. Here in Hobart it brings the Dark MOFO festival, which always leaves me enriched emotionally but (happily) broke from concert fees. This year I saw one of my favourite German bands Einsturzende Neubauten again, Australian treasure Tim Minchin for the first time and the magnificent multimedia artist Laurie Anderson live in concert.

The chickens aren’t laying much and I miss the long days in the garden admittedly, but I like the short, crisply sunny days and love the smell of soup or hearty stews in the slow cooker (usually served with a robust winter garden salad) and although me and mine aren’t big on sweet things, we love the occasional winter pudding. Lemon Self-Saucing Pudding is one of the first things I ever baked on my own when I was very young, baked in an old Metters wood stove and supervised by my mother and grandmother. Over the years I’ve tweaked this recipe a lot, ensuring there’s a reasonable balance between the light and golden sponge to rich and luscious sauce, even adding little touches like very finely grated ginger to shift the flavour profile.

Having home grown lemons and limes has encouraged me to bring this beauty out again and I think this is something of a triumph in terms of flavour/texture balance. I hope you enjoy it ❤

Deb’s Lemon & Lime Self-Saucing Pudding

75g butter

1 scant cup of sugar

2 cups milk

¼ cup Self Raising flour

1-2 lemons (see note below)

2-3 limes (see note below)

3 eggs

Preheat an oven to 160-180 C (320-350 F). Cream the butter and sugar very thoroughly. In a clean large bowl, separate the egg whites and mix the yolks with the creamed butter and sugar.

 

 

Grate the lemon and lime rind, juice the fruit and add this to the batter. Add a little of the milk to the mix and once it’s well combined add the flour. Mix this through, ensuring there’s no lumps and gradually add the rest of the milk.

Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks and fold this carefully through the mixture.

Pour into a greased 6 cup soufflé dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the pudding has pulled away from the edge of the dish. If the top has browned but it seems like there’s too much liquid, leave the pudding in the oven (switched off) for another 10 minutes. Serve as is or with a dash of cream for extra richness.

NOTE: My family like very tart citrus flavours and less sugar, so I used 2 lemons and 3 small Tahitian limes to a scant cup of sugar in this recipe. Feel free to adjust to your taste! I also picked the fruit a few days ago, so they’d had a chance to relax a little and reach maximum juiciness.

Let me know if you try this and how it behaves for you. And as always, feel free to add or reduce sugar levels to suit your personal taste 🙂

Gardening, Food, Art, Music – What Else Do I Need?

After spending a very productive day in the garden yesterday, I went shopping this afternoon.

The short version of the story is I probably shouldn’t be allowed out alone. I came home with a Tahitian Lime (Citrus x latifolia). As most of you are likely aware, Hobart is the southernmost capital city in Australia, and we can get quite fierce winters, with frost and occasional snow. Trying to grow any kind of lime is tempting fate here, but I recently heard about a tree in a nearby area that yielded 9 kilos (just under 20lb) of fruit.

While I was in the garden yesterday, I had a look around and thought about where the warmest place in my patch would be. So today I bought a very healthy little tree that’s been grafted on dwarfing lemon rootstock. And I think that’s the trick with selecting trees for your climate – look carefully at your site, determine what it can and can’t accommodate and choose trees that are grafted onto rootstocks that suit. The plan with this lime is to overwinter it in the greenhouse and plant it out in spring into a tub against a concrete wall that gets a lot of sun. Fingers crossed! I’ll keep you updated.

And around the corner from the garden centre is one of my all time favourite food shops – Ziggy’s Supreme Smallgoods. These folks make and sell their own smallgoods as well as local and imported cheeses, pickles and (mostly Polish) biscuits and canned goods. I restrained myself to Cabanossi and Ukrainian sausage, Chicken Kiev, Chorizo (both for later in the week), fresh sliced Ziggy’s bacon and a couple of cheeses – because cheese! So tonight’s dinner was a veritable feast of the two sausages and one of the cheeses, served with thin sliced, toasted home made sourdough and slices of fresh apple. It was bliss!

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Hobart is the place to be at the moment. Dark Mofo, one of my favourite festivals is in full swing this week but it’s not the only thing happening.

Tomorrow night is the grand opening of The Gentle Void, a new art and performance space in Campbell Street. The idea behind this new gallery is to give room to alternative voices and provide a welcoming space for audiences. I’m really looking forward to seeing the opening group show, featuring artists from around Australia.

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And finally, Thursday night I’m taking a night off from the Uni books and playing the UNLOCKED gig at The Waratah Hotel. It should be a heap of fun and there’s some lovely performers on the bill, including the very talented Cassie O’Keefe. I’m really looking forward to it 😀

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As to the title of this post – what else do I need? A book, always a book – and that’s where I’m off to now.

Wherever you are on this beautiful planet, go gently, be safe and be happy ❤

 

Sidetracks

Photo by Derek Tickner

Photo by Derek Tickner

Hi everyone,

It’s cold here in Hobart, time for thermals, winter food and my favourite winter pastime – Dark MOFO. This year has been as wonderful as ever but the stand out for me was Antony and the Johnsons + The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Here’s a short review from the Sydney Morning Herald. I was one of the many who wept and cheered, incredibly moved by the music and the moment.

The truth is, I’m in a strange head space at the moment. A very dear and old friend (one of the most vital people I know) is dying and I’ve been trying to come to terms with his imminent death. I haven’t seen him for quite a few years but I’m catching up in a couple of weeks, taking messages from other friends who are far away and probably going to gift him with a song I’ve been thinking about writing for some time.

Yes, I think about songs before I write them. They often start as phrases or a single line that I write in a notebook but when they start invading my brain while I’m trying to use it on other things, I know it’s time to act! I’ve got a chorus and almost two verses but we’ll see what comes out of the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, I should be working on a short story for uni and finishing off album art for The Woman on the Edge of the World. Oh well, that’s life. And death….

Take care wherever you are people, and if you have the chance, tell the people who matter that you love them while you can.

Debra ❤