Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The zen of scrambling eggs the NZ way

I love it how when you stay at other people's houses you get to see some different ways of 'keeping house' and cooking.  I'm just back from NZ (dodging ash clouds both ways) and staying with my daughter-in-law Kerry and my three adorable grandchildren - James, Zach and Maia - while my son was away overseas.  I am very impressed with Kerry's sustainable living lifestyle.  She feeds the kids wholesome and mostly unprocessed food plus bottles huge quantities of stewed apples, keeps chooks, bakes bread, makes yogurt, cooks yummy slices for lunch boxes, conserves power and energy where she can, reuses, recycles...and just generally keeps her household humming along in a very efficient and thoughtful way.

Ye gads Kerry even folds her 'fitted sheets' after washing them so they lay nicely flat in neat piles in her linen cupboard. (Never never even open my linen cupboard unless you want to risk an avalanche of unfolded sheets and clumsily piled up towels.)

Hmm this glimpse into a life of domestic grace has made me to want to pick up my game a bit more...my old yogurt maker has been dragged out of the cupboard and I am going to have a go at recreating some of Kerry's wonderful vego recipes.  I'm also going to make lightly baked risotto cakes from any of my leftover risotto meals and try cooking scrambled eggs the kiwi way.  (For years I've made scrambled eggs by stirring the mixture to buggery with a fork in a saucepan on the stove - whereas Kerry makes her in a frypan and kind of gently folds the egg mixture just a few times with a spatula so it ends up in a soft gooey creamy almost-omelettey mix.)

So here are some of the recipes for the Kerry-meals I enjoyed most on my visit to Hamilton and some photos, mostly from my morning walks around Rotorua Lake in Hamilton.

Kerry's Flapjacks
(An oaty gooey slice, which Kerry says is still 'a work in progress')

250 g rolled oats (or 1/2 rolled oats and 1/2 oatbran)
150 g butter
75 g golden syrup
75 brown sugar

Melt butter then add all other ingredients.  Press into a slice tin, which you've lined with baking paper.  Cook in oven at 175 degrees celsius for 15 - 20 minutes.  Leave in tin until cool before slicing.  Should be chewy. 

Amazing crumbled (and zapped in microwave to heat a little) and served on top of a bowl of ice cream.

Kerry's Roast Pumpkin and Feta Frittata (from Ray McVinnie's recipe book)

500 g pumpkin, cubed in 3cm chunks and roasted in 3 tbs olive oil for 30-40 minutes in a hot oven (or other roast vegies)
2 tbs pumpkin seeds, dry roasted in a pan
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
6 tbs olive oil
2 tbs chopped coriander stalks
200 g feta cubed
6 eggs lightly beaten

Fry garlic and onion in oil in a large frypan until soft then add all other ingredients.  Cook on stove top until bottom is cooked, then place frypan under grill to cook and lightly brown the top of the frittata.

The roasted pumpkin seeds add an interesting texture to this frittata, which is nice served with some homemade chutney and a salad.

Healthy Apple Pie (courtesy of Kerry's friend Vee)

Pie crust1/2 cup wholemeal flour
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water

Mix together dry ingredients.  Whisk together oil and water and stir into dry ingredients.  Press into flat tin or pie dish and chill in the freezer for a while.

Pour stewed apples (or any kind of thickly stewed fruit) into the chilled base and bake at 175 degrees celcius for 30 minutes.