It seems as though this might be the end of summer, we have weather coming in from the Atlantic bringing lots of rain for the next 3 days. Fortunately yesterday we managed to have a trip to the far eastern frontier of Portugal, very different from our neck of the woods.
|Marvão an amazing hilltop walled town in the Alentejo. The sun was hot and we even saw a Black Vulture soaring overhead in the clear blue sky.|
I have tried this recipe using goat or beef, both worked well. I always use meat that I have previously casseroled. The texture is good and you need some sauce with it.
3 or 4 long aubergines
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
thyme, mint, coriander as preferred
150 ml fresh homemade yoghurt
2 dessertspoons flour
some cheese grated (sml amount)
I also added home made lecsõ maybe half a cup
Slice aubergines, brush lightly with oil and grill till golden, both sides. Fry onion and garlic. Chop beef or goat, add to onion, add sauce, tomatoes lecsõ, chillies as you like.
Cook gently to meld flavours and textures.
line deep bowl with aubergine slices, add 1/2 the meat sauce, add another layer of aubergines, and another layer of meat, then cover with one last layer of aubergines, and pour over sauce topping -
which is made by ;-
mix a little cold milk into the flour, when smooth add the rest of the 150 ml, add to this one egg and beat till well mixed, then add the youghurt and some salt. Heat gently, when thickened and heated through pour over top aubergines and sprinkle on a litttle cheese.
Bake 30-40 mins in hot ish oven.
The top layer of yoghurt, sauce is essential for giving a lightly set slightly sharp accent offsetting the rich meat. Serve with a green salad.
24 September, we celebrated the last stage of our grape harvest. We have about 80 or so vines and make both red and white wine in a very mini micro production. Now we have 15 containers fizzing away and by mid November we can finally taste the resulting wine.
Have just submitted our last design plan to Zen Hankook in Korea - we are never very sure how many of our ideas are taken up till we go out to visit, which given Covid, is not likely for a while.
My mum's birthday would have been last month, and it is with her in mind that this design came to fruition.
Old family recipes read like poetry, calming and soothing words - words to welcome a child home from school, phrases with evoke warm kitchens on cold winter afternoons and the joy of returning to the family.
The phrases - so familiar, delicious in themselves - Sifting and scattering, whisking, melting and stirring, cooling. Ingredients of intense flavours, lemon zest and cinnamon, honey, cocoa, vanilla.
Even the writing - faded and uneven from years of use and reference, holds memories within its familiar scrawl, recollections of motherly affection.
With this design I celebrate the preciousness of our mothers, whose love for us throughout our childhood was constant and ever present in their daily acts of kindness and attention.
Afternoon spent swimming at one of our favourite river beaches, For a while we had it all to ourselves (other than a turtle - or terapin? who sat on a rock on the far side).
This huge passionfruit vine started out as a small wizzened fruit bought in Aldi in Ludlow in 2018. I kept it in the fridge over some months till it was even more dried out. Then brought it with me to Portugal where I finally cut it open and sowed the seeds. 2 years later we are eating its fragrant fruit and have just made some jam.
This has become a firm favourite with us and is definitely worth doing, I was very impressed with watching Feride Buyuran's recipe, here below is my version, I have added a few variations of my own.
She can show you how it's really done! If you would like my version ...
Temperatures here are in the mid-30s and so perversely I decided that our next design suggestion for Zen in Korea should be for Christmas. We work well in advance to get manufacturing deadlines right for the season.
I wanted to buck the trend of the normal, Christmas themed scarlet /green/ holly/ baubles motifs. Instead I wanted to evoke a winter’s night in a forest. The wind blows between the trees and mist swirls in the chilled air casting a hazy diffuse aura in the night sky.
I chose 2 simple shapes – here shown is the elongated oblong (just right for a generous handing round of mince pies) and a tall mug.
We're well into the preserving season now. The garden is producing more than we can manage to eat so I'm busily bottling our tomatoes, pickling chillies and cucumbers and have just purchased a food dehydrator.
I make a light vinegar-
1 cup vinegar (6%)
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
dill, coriander seed - whatever is growing handy. Boil all this up for 1 min and cool. In the meantime, chop gherkins into fingers or chunks as you like. Put in a capacious bowl. Sprinkle on 1 tsp course sea salt and leave to drain. After 30mins, pack into sterile jars and pour over pickling brine. Seal and put in fridge. Will keep safely for 1 month - but one's loved ones will steal them well before that date.
i love the contradictions, cold juice and searing chilli. The shock must do great things for your endorphins.
Now all of our designs are sold in South Korea I have been taking a breather from showing what I am up to on my blog, but a suddenly thought I should put a toe back in the water. Here is "Painted Olive" a detail from a mug.