Saturday, February 26, 2011


I'm sorry about the lack of post for a while. The town of Christchurch in New Zealand, the place where I grew up, broke and crumbled in an earthquake this week and I feel very sad. Thankfully my parents, who live there, are OK and their house is not damaged.

Even though it has been many years since I have lived in Christchurch, I travel there every Christmas to spend time with my parents. I had assumed that the city would always be there, always be the same comfortable place, unchanged and waiting for me as old home towns do.  Although hopefully wonderful new buildings will rise from the rubble, I'm grieving because the place that I knew is gone.

A pic of Lyttelton, where the earthquake was centred,  I took from across its harbour last Christmas. It sustained heavy damage and along with the rest of Christchurch has lost many of its historic buildings.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Two types of summer weekend happiness

Small but perfectly formed crops.  I grew the potatoes.  The blackberries grew themselves.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Birthday summer lunch 2010 (3)

So, to the entree of my birthday summer lunch.  (I wrote about the hor d'hoeuvre here).
For the entree I braved souffle. Souffle is something that I've always equated with angst and a high chance of something going horribly wrong. As there is already enough angst and chance of something going horribly wrong when I cook for others with even basic, let alone highly strung dishes, I've always steered clear of it.

But then in my beloved Australian Gourmet Traveller I found a recipe for double-baked Gruyere souffles that sounded so good that I decided to risk it. The recipe, aside from looking delicious, fulfilled one of my entertaining requirements: it's pretty much prepared the day before.

Basically you make a bechamel sauce base, add whipped egg white, the cheese and herbs and cook the day before. Here they are looking quite angelic and not angst-inducing at all.

 Then half an hour before serving you add more cheese and cream and bake them again.

Pic by Nina
Next time I make them to this recipe, I'll go a bit lighter on the cream. I served them with a green salad to offset the richness.

Pic by Nina
They were REALLY good. I highly recommend this recipe.

Pic by Nina