Such a beautiful day in Adelaide. Pre-Spring weather indeed. The real cold has gone and the promise of spring is here. I dawdled in the kitchen today, making food for the week and dancing that rhythm that is necessary and a joy in real kitchens. Prep’ing for tomorrow, next week, next season. Saving that which is going out of season. Thinking about the week and what it will bring and hence the food that is needed to keep us engaged, energetic and healthy.
My kitchen was heaped with chillies and curry leaves this morning, the result of picking the last of both in the tiny, yet-to-expand garden. I froze the curry leaves as I already have dried ones. A curry leaf podi was made and dried curry leaves were powdered with dried chillies, another podi for sprinkling into and onto dishes.
The fresh chillies got whizzed in short order into a tangy chilli paste. I made enough chilli paste to see me through the next 2 or 3 months, I think, until the chillies are fruiting again.
I cook some quinoa, ready for a salad tomorrow.
A cupful of chickpeas is soaking in water – tomorrow they will be drained and kept moist to sprout. I want to make Sprouted Chickpea Hummus.
There are some steel cut porridge oats cooking in the slow cooker. This will form the basis of breakfasts during the week..
A large batch of a Black Lentil and Vegetable Braise is bubbling – a recipe from a friend. It is a wonderful dish, deep deep flavours. Some of it went in the freezer and some is planned as the basis for a Shepherds Pie later on.
And finally, I had some dried rose petals (originally from the Asian Market) in the pantry and it was time that they were used. I also had some left over almonds that I had ground for another purpose. Rose petals and yoghurt are amazing friends, the petals imparting a subtle rose flavour to the yoghurt. Today I decided to powder the rose petals in my spice grinder, and mixed them with the ground almonds. A couple of tablespoons of this found its way into some desi yoghurt with a little jaggery. The yoghurt mix will rest in the fridge for a day, and will form a special dessert, topped with finely chopped strawberries.
Located in the freezer is a tub full of spice poached quinces from my friend’s farm, poached and frozen in Autumn. Now defrosting on the sink, these will go with the oats for morning breakfasts.
I relaxed with a juice made from oranges, ginger, carrots and celery. And a little later on with a cup of puer tea. I bought this tea in Hong Kong airport and it is a cracker.