Aioli – The Love Affair

Hi everyone,

I just posted a pic on Facebook of a batch of Aioli I made this afternoon and one of my friends asked for the recipe. Easy done I thought, I’m sure it’ll be on my blog somewhere – but I couldn’t find it! High time I rectified this incredible oversight!

I’m not a true mayonnaise connoisseur like some of my friends and in truth, I rarely eat it. I do like to make this however in summer and autumn, when eggs are plentiful and garlic is still fresh and pungent.¬†And I dug late potatoes this morning, a Dutch cultivar called Patrone that are apparently a fabulous salad potato. I’ve never grown them before, so this week will be full of interesting taste tests ūüėÄ

Home grown/made potato salad and Aioli is one of those dishes that is sex on a plate, everything about it screams wonderful. The texture of the potato cubes, their earthy flavour against the rich, creamy Aioli, with the pungent garlic and the lemony tang at the finish. You get the picture? This is love! And I make this only three, maybe four times a year, when everything required is in season.

So, here’s the Aioli recipe. Please bear in mind several things. Firstly this uses raw eggs so always get them from a reliable source and be assured they are fresh. Secondly, that I make this by feel and taste and recommend that you do the same. I used 8 eggs for this batch as I’m giving a pot to a mayonnaise-obsessed friend too. My rule of thumb is a clove of garlic per egg yolk and it works well for me. The finished Aioli will keep for a week¬†in the refrigerator, though it usually disappears very quickly at my place!

Aioli 

Egg yolks                  Fresh minced garlic             Olive oil                 Lemon juice           Salt

In a clean bowl separate the eggs (I freeze the whites for later use in baking). Crush, peel and mince the garlic (I sprinkle a little salt on the crushed, peeled cloves and mash it in with the flat of a cook’s knife, making a particularly fine mince). Add this to the eggs and beat them well until they’re frothy. Here, you can use a hand beater but I prefer a balloon whisk.

7 eggs that looks like 8 – spot the double-yolker!

Very slowly add the¬†olive oil while beating the egg mixture. A thin drizzle is best – you really don’t want this to split! (I put a teatowel on the bench to stop the bowl from flying away too). For my 8 egg yolks I used ¬†a very generous cup of my Basil Oil for an extra summery note but any good extra virgin olive oil will be fine. Keep beating until the consistency is like thick cream. Once you’re happy with this, start adding the lemon juice. I recommend beginning with half a tablespoon per yolk and¬†do a taste test. Adjust as needed and add seasoning if you want.¬†Pot up, label and refrigerate immediately.

Apart from making the sexiest potato salad dressing in the world, this is wonderful with chicken, fish, green salad and as a dipping sauce.

Enjoy ūüėÄ

Stay well friends, and I’ll see you soon ‚̧

The Joy of Passions – Day 11 NaBloPoMo 2015

I consider myself a very lucky woman.

I’m surrounded by loving friends and family; I have ready access to good, clean food; I’m studying things that move and inspire me and I get paid to do things I love.

This was driven home yesterday when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Listened-To made his first ever Lemon Meringue Pie. I made the pie crust and stepped him through the process of separating eggs (something he’d never done before), making the curd, getting the meringue the right consistency and so on. He is a very accomplished cook but hasn’t much experience with baking. We used a recipe from and old CWA (Country Women’s Association) cookbook and reduced the sugar to suit our tastes. It was good for me as I realised that as bullet proof¬†as the CWA recipes are, there’s a lot of assumed knowledge in them about technique.

The lemons came from my friend Sara, so we knew they were clean and chemical free and it was another way to deal with the ongoing egg glut. It was a very fun afternoon, with my son turning up halfway through to make everyone cups of tea, poke fun and offer suggestions. We had a great time ūüėÄ

The result was delicious, though we’ll reduce the sugar even further next time.

Smiley Meringue

Smiley Meringue

Healthy new Eggplant growth

Healthy new Eggplant growth

This morning I had a brainwave in the garden about my uni assignment – that I confess I haven’t fully written up yet but I’ll get there! And there were two delightful surprises that any gardener will recognise and understand.

Firstly,¬†a well established finger eggplant in the greenhouse¬†I thought was beyond hope has started shooting again. I grew three from seed about four years ago and because of the unpredictable weather we can get in southern Tasmania, I kept them in the greenhouse. All three overwintered quite well the first year but I lost two this last, very hard winter. At least there’s one left to gather seed from at the end of summer.

Secondly, and to my absolute delight, I discovered a punnet of very healthy asparagus seedlings at the back of a tray. Asparagus is probably my favourite vegetable, but I really can’t come at the shop bought article. It’s one of those things I only ever want to eat fresh from my own garden. It’s a slow process growing from seed, the viability is usually best in the first year and it takes 2-3 years to get plants to maturity. Then, you have asparagus for years!

I’ll be pricking these out into home made¬†grow tubes in a couple of weeks¬†and putting into a permanent bed in

Delicate Asparagus seedlings

Delicate Asparagus seedlings

December. The bed will be very heavily dug over and filled with as much old chicken poo and rabbit straw as I can lay my hands on. At the moment it’s full of potatoes that are in full flower and due to be dug in the next few weeks. Potatoes grow very well here and have been my “go to” crop for reclaiming lawn areas ever since I moved in but they do strip the soil of nutrients and asparagus are notoriously hungry feeders!

I’m incredibly grateful for all the good things in my life, it’s something that tends to get overlooked in the fast pace of the modern world. There never seems to be enough hours to do it all! Meanwhile, I’m hoping to get some more uni work done, some music rehearsal and just an hour or two of gardening later…….. ūüėČ

What are you passionate about? Let me know in the comments РI love to hear from you all! 

The Busy-ness of Spring – Upcoming Shows

Chestnut Tree Spring Oct 2015

Hello friends,

I love spring. The cycle of the seasons visibly turns and every day brings new things in the garden, the chickens are laying more eggs than we can keep up with, and here in Hobart we’re¬†coming out of the hibernation of winter and starting to go out again.

Rhubarb Fool

Rhubarb Fool

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Wee Beastie Sourdough

Wee Beastie Sourdough

 

And I’ve been busy! In the kitchen I’ve been making Vanilla Ice Cream and Baked Coffee Cheesecake with the excess eggs, brewing and bottling cider, making Rhubarb Fool from the mass of spring rhubarb and my weekly “Wee Beastie” Sourdough. It’s been absolutely wonderful to eat so well, with so much produce coming directly¬†out of the garden.

The garden is always a work in progress but I’ve started planting out climbing beans this week, there’s basil in the Seeds and Basil Seedlings Oct 2015greenhouse and too many vegetable seedlings coming on to mention.

And¬†there’s music happening too! I’m in the middle of a unit in Creative Writing for my second major through Griffith University. For my final assessment I’m planning to write a portfolio of new pieces that will become new songs. Depending how it goes, perhaps the core of another album.

Meanwhile, there’s gigs coming up too.

This Sunday at The Brunswick Hotel in Hobart, I’m playing a short set out in The Yard (the beer garden) with a bunch of other local musicians, including the incredibly talented Cassie O’Keefe and my friend Matt Dean. Very pleased also that this is a family friendly show, so feel free to bring your young music-lovers ūüôā

Thursday 19th November, I’m sharing a night with Cassie at The Homestead in Elizabeth Street, one of my favourite places to go and hang out with friends. No idea what’s going to happen that one – we might even work out some songs¬†to play together!

Friday 20th November, I’ll be doing the early spot at The Globe Hotel in Davey Street. If you haven’t caught this weekly event yet, I really recommend it. It’s organised by Kevin Gleeson¬†who basically loves all kinds of music and¬†is good friends with so many of us. It’s a great¬†excuse to hang out and have a good time with mates.

And there’s more on the horizon! If you want to keep up to date with my shenanigans, hook up with me on Facebook here.

Yep, it’s spring and it’s busy – just how I like it.

Wherever you are, be well friends ‚̧