Thursday, August 29, 2013

the life

I want to wake up and bake bread in the mornings. And feed my goats. Then milk them. And pat them.

I want to grow things. Everything. I want my diet to be dictated by the seasons. 

I want a sore back from digging and moving and bending over in dirt all day. I don't want to have tight muscles from sitting still in a chair for hours on end.

I want to be occupied by something other than a computer screen, day in, day out. 

I want to read and learn and get my hands so grubby that dirt stays in my fingertips even after countless showers. 

I want to be able to have the option to never set foot in a supermarket or shopping centre ever again. 

I want to learn how to build a smokehouse, build it, and then smoke things. Lots of things.

I want to make cheese using un-pasturised milk from my own cows. And then eat lots of it. And then give great big chunks of home made ricotta to my friends to enjoy.

I want to have too many tomatoes left over from summer and have to spend days and days making chutney to bottle and jar for winter. 

I want to be able to go outside for a walk in the middle of the day if it's nice and sunny. On a wednesday. Not just a weekend. 

I want to build my dream home on a nice big chunk of land like all the lucky people on Grand Designs.  Stuff-ups, dodgy weather, budget blowouts and all.

I want to grow my own olives and finally fulfil my dream of being a full-blown Mediterranean goddess.

Call me disillusioned by some sort of youthful naivety, but I won't stop learning and craving and pushing 'til I have it all... And yes that's a threat.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and Cranberries
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi 'Jerusalem' 

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
5 whole cloves garlic
2 large sticks of celery, sliced thinly 
1 cup hazelnuts
Big bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried whole cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
Salt + pepper

Place cauliflower on a tray with the garlic cloves with their skin still kept on. Drizzle over a generous pour of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes until soft and golden with lots of little delicious crispy bits. While this is cooking place hazelnuts on a separate baking tray and roast in the oven for about 6-10 minutes - keep checking on them to make sure they aren't burning. Remove once golden and set aside.

In a bowl mix a gooooood long few glugs of olive oil, with the ground spices and lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Grab the roasted garlic cloves and squeeze the soft insides into the bowl as well. Mix ingredients well to create a thick, luscious dressing. Tear up the parsley leaves, keeping them whole. Chuck into the bowl, along with the dried cranberries, sliced celery and roasted cauliflower. Finally add the roughly chopped hazelnuts and toss everything together before serving. 


Chermoula Eggplants with Bulgar and Yoghurt
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi 'Jerusalem' 

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon harissa paste
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon skin
2 large eggplants
150g bulgar (cracked wheat)
1/2 cup sultanas
Big handful of chopped fresh coriander
1/2 cup pitted green olives
3 spring onions
1 cup greek natural yoghurt
lemon juice

To make the chermoula, mix together in a small bowl the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, harissa, preserved lemon, and about 1/2 a cup of olive oil. Add salt and pepper and mix to form a paste.

Cut each eggplant in half and then half again. Score the flesh of each quarter with deep, diagonal criss-cross scores making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the chermoula over each quarter, spreading it evenly. Roast in a moderate oven for 40 minutes or until the eggplant is completely soft. 

Meanwhile place the bulgar in a large bowl and cover with 3/4 cup of boiling water. Cover with glad wrap and set aside to soften. Soak sultanas in a bit of warm water for a few minutes, drain and dry. Add sultanas to bulghar, along with a few glugs of olive oil, some salt and pepper, juice from 1 lemon, the chopped up olives and spring onion and some roughly chopped coriander. Serve eggplants topped with bulgar and some nice big dollops of yoghurt. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jane,

    Your blog has caught our attention because of the quality of recipes.

    We would be delighted if you would join us at so that we could link to it. We send thousands of visitors to our blogs on a weekly basis. is a search engine that compiles the best Australian cooking sites and blogs from the Internet. It is a part of an international cooking search engine, which is now operating in 40 countries all over the world.
    Several hundred blogs are already enrolled here and are taking benefit from the traffic we are sending to their sites.

    To join Everyrecipe, just click HERE
    Kind regards
    Site manager of