So, buoyed by my minor Crumpet success I pressed ahead with real BREAD! I decided to go ahead with a recipe from my trusty Annabel Langbein ‘The Free Range Cook’ book, because a) I've never made an Annabel recipe that didn't work out spectacularly well; b) it's a flat-bread, surely even I can get that right; and c) the food porn is fantastic in this book and I really, really wanted to eat the bread in that picture.
I had faith that Annabel would not let me down, and of course, she didn’t.
After a trickle of one or two passionfruit ripening per day from our vine, they suddenly started coming thick and fast with about a dozen coming off in one day earlier this week. While we could happily sit on the ground below the vine and eat them as they fall without playing around with this perfection that mother nature has provided us, I wanted to make something with them. Which provided a bit of a dilemma because I didn't want to use them all up on one ice cream, sorbet or cake. So I decided on passionfruit curd. My rationale being that I could then use it in all sorts of ways... however, the most popular use for it so far seems to be eating spoonfuls straight from the jar.
When I grow up, I want to marry Annabel Langbein. I have a major girl-crush on the poor woman! After hinting numerous times to my husband that I wanted her new book, The Free Range Cook for Christmas, (if you can call saying to said husband, "oh you can get me this book for Christmas", hinting...) I gave up (husband is seriously bad at picking up hints) and just asked my Mum. Luckily Mum came through with the goods, and we have been feasting on Annabel's delights for the last few months. One of the best things about Annabel's books, including this one, are the variations and different ideas she gives after most recipes and how all of the parts of the book tie in together.
I have been dying for our tomatoes to ripen en-masse so that I can finally make the recipe for Harvest Tomato Sauce (recipe below) that I saw on The Free Range Cook tv show last year, and finally it has happened (actually the husband stole the first 3kgs to make tomato soup, but now it's my turn)!
When I cook, it can be a bit messy. I start out with an idea and it evolves throughout the cooking process as I add in extra ingredients to change the flavour and texture in an attempt to reach the elusive perfection I can see and taste in my head. I struggle to make the exact same thing twice as every time I cook something it is a slight variation of how I did it the last time and I'm a bit of a shocker when it comes to measuring! For this reason I have always been more of a 'cook' than a 'baker' and find baking quite hard work.
As the calendar ticked over from February to March the weather also made an abrupt overnight change from summer to autumn that has left me feeling very annoyed that summer might be over for another year - it never seems to be long enough!! But I hold out hope that we might get another few weeks of warmer weather before winter sets in, like last year; and we have invited workmates for a barby on Friday so fingers crossed for sun at the least and maybe just a bit of warmth.
But the one good thing about the cooler weather is Comfort Food!! This stuffed pasta dish was the perfect way to segue from light summer fare to stodgy winter comfort food - not at all heavy but still full of flavour and lovely comforting cheese!