Monday, September 28, 2009

Pear apple pie

Get organic
450g wholemeal spelt flour
1 heaped tbsp honey
2 eggs
125g butter

1 kg ripe yellow pears
500g apples
1 tbsp water
150g almonds

50g icing sugar
pear schnapps

Put flour in a large bowl.
Add honey in the middle and eggs.
Mix together with some flour into a paste.
Cut in butter. Mix.
Knead together into a pastry. Add more flour if sticky, more butter if not smooth. Cool.

Peel pears and apples and core them. Slice into a large pot. Slice the apples very thinly, pears more chunky.
Add water and cook at a medium temperature on the stove with the lid on until soft. Use apples which break down into a mash quickly. The pears should keep their shape. Turn of heat.
Finely grate 100g almonds with a hand grater.
Blanch 50g whole almonds.
Add to the apples. Mix carefully.

Butter a 28 cm round spring form.
Cut pastry into 3 pieces for the pie (2 equal, one smaller).
Roll out one piece for the bottom, make 3 cm sides with the small piece. Save the other piece for the top.
Cover the bottom of the pie shell with greaseproof paper and put a few weights on it (e.g. nuts or metal spoons).
Bake on second shelf for 10 minutes at 190°.
Remove from oven, remove paper and weights.
Fill the pie with the pear-apple mixture.
Roll out the remaining pastry and cover the pie with it.
Press down the edges using a patterned object (e.g. knife tip, lemon zester) to seal the pie.
Bake a further 20 minutes.
Loosen the pie from the bottom and sides of the form with a knife after 30 minutes and remove from form . Cool.
Sieve icing sugar. Mix in pear schnapps until a sticky mass forms. Paint this on the pie with a spoon and smooth over. Use lemon juice as an alternative to alcohol.

This is more a pear pie than an apple pie so it is important to use apples that break down into a mash quickly when cooking them, e.g. rubinola. Pears give off quite a lot of juice when cooking so the ground almonds are necessary to soak it up. The whole almonds give a pleasant surprise.
>> Apple pie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beetroot Soup

Get organic
8 medium beetroots
(Beta vulgaris)
4 medium potatoes
4 medium young parsley roots
4 medium onions
Some olive oil, a bay leaf, caraway seeds, lovage
1 l vegetable stock
1 TBS agave syrup/honey

Herbs, chopped: dill, chives, parsely
1 cup of kefir/ joghurt

Boil cleaned beets, potatoes and parsnip till tender, peel them. Chop onions finely, fry in olive oil. When golden, add cubed vegetables. Cover with hot vegetable stock, add dry herbs and syrup. Simmer for 25 min. Add more stock so all is covered. Serve with the fresh herbs and dairy hot or cold.

This Borscht-like vegetarian soup comes in many varieties. ( Borscht, East Prussian, Lithuanian, Polish, etc.) Which ever way the beets are prepared, the B6 and B2 have many health benefits.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chanterelle with Eggs and Herbs

GET organic
500 g Chanterelle
4 eggs
60 g butter/or some olive oil
2 TBS parsley or chives, chopped
Optional: 2 TBS cream/chopped onions

Wash golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius), (images) dry well on towel. Chop mushrooms in half. Heat butter in pan. Beat eggs. (Can add optional cream to egg mixture. If onions are to be used, fry them.) The butter not too hot, add mushrooms. When golden, pour egg mixture on top, turn heat down. Sprinkle with some of the herbs. When cooked, serve with the rest of the herbs.

An alternative way is to do the mushrooms in a separate pan and the eggs, scrambled or as omelette in another. This dish is a good breakfast, but also a hearty dinner, served with steamed potatoes and a green salad.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fish Mashup and Mad Cow for Dinner?

Would you eat fish that has been caged and fed cow meat or bone meal that could possibly be infected with mad cow disease?

Creutzfeldt Jakob disease can be transmitted through the byproducts rendered from cows.

Scientist are now urging “government regulators to ban feeding cow meat or bone meal to fish until the safety of this common practice can be confirmed...We have not proven that it’s possible for fish to transmit the disease to humans. Still, we believe that out of reasonable caution for public health, the practice of feeding rendered cows to fish should be prohibited"

There are many health issues associated with aquafarming for the consumer, the fish and the environment.

Eating fish in restaurants (in Manly, Sydney) one rarely can make an informed decision whether the animal is sourced from aquaculture or caught in the wild. The menus do not specify such relevant information. The place of origin can be at times elicited from the staff. The right to know seems an irritating extra to staff and management when any other retailer has to display the content on the commodity.

in the age of RFID belongs to product integrity.

Ask for certified organic products or just go vegetarian.

Source: IOS Press BV (2009, June 17). Farmed Fish May Pose Risk For Mad Cow Disease.

Image: Henri Le Secq, 1855-1856 via Zeno

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Soya semolina with pear compote

1 cup wholemeal semolina
1 litre non genetically modified soya milk
1 tbsp agave syrup

6 organic brown pears
1 cup water
1 tbsp honey

Bring the soya milk to boiling point in a saucepan. Slowly sprinkle the semolina onto the surface while stirring over a low flame. Stir until it thickens. Continue stirring and cooking for about 15 minutes, adding more liquid to prevent it becoming too thick. Add agave syrup. Pour into a bowl and cover. Cool.

In between stirring, peel the pears and core them. Cut small pieces into a saucepan. Pour boiling water over the peeled pears, cover and boil again. Remove from the heat. After 5 minutes stir in the honey. Cool in a bowl.
Serve together.
Image: Meyers Encyclopedia, Peartree 1905, via Zeno

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sydney Restaurants And Risky Behaviour

A Sydney fish market stored its crabs in a toilet cubicle...SMH

We have pointed out the risky nature of eating at restaurants and suggested improvements.
A coackroach in a meal in one of Manly's 'better restaurants' put an abrupt end to 'eating out'. These unsanitary and unprofessional practices are not the exception in Sydney.

"The past 12 months has seen a number of disturbing breaches on the name and shame list, including cockroaches, rats, a band-aid, a cigarette butt and now this case." SMH "The Food Authority... has issued 1,000 fines the past 12 months against 594 businesses." ABC.
A small fine and it is back to 'business as usual'.

Food Authority NSW

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fruit & Vegetables and Persistent Organic Pollutants in Australia

Eat only organic fruit and vegetables

"The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international environmental treaty that aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) ." Wikipedia

In Geneva 150 governments have met to advance global efforts to rid the world of some of the most hazardous chemicals produced by humankind, such as pesticides, flame retardants. The list includes "Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane; Beta hexachlorocyclohexane; Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether; Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether; Chlordecone; Hexabromobiphenyl; Lindane; Pentachlorobenzene; Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride." UNEP

"According to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority website, Lindane is still registered for use in Queensland, and is used for the prevention of white grubs and symphylids in pineapples." abc

"Australia refuses to join ban on pesticide". Endosulfan is used "...on a variety of crops, including tomatoes, carrots, beans, sweetcorn, peas, cereals, oilseeds, citrus fruit and cotton.This stance has placed Australia in the minority of major economies still using the pesticide, along with the United States, Brazil and India" SMH
Australia might be 'forced' to stop using poisons on food."Endosulfan has been linked to breast cancer, immunosuppression and birth defects, and was recently implicated in the discovery of millions of two-headed fish larvae in a Noosa River hatchery...It is still permitted for use on a wide range of citrus fruit, vegetables and cereals, despite a global trend of banning endosulfan outright." SMH 251009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mushrooms - Saffron Milk Cup & Slippery Jack

Found two unusual mushrooms at the Manly Farmers Market. Both seem to be naturalised in Australia, especially in Pinus radiata plantations.

The one on the left is Slippery Jack (Suillus luteus) and the one on the right Saffron Milk Cup (Lactarius deliciosus).

With the Saffron Milk Cup, remove the stems, wash and cut. Fry in olive oil.
Nami-nami has a' Wild Mushroom & Potato Gratin' for their "bountiful" harvest.

The Slippery! Jack: Peel, wash, check for grubs/worms. Be aware that some people are allergic to them or dispute that they are edible at all. Cut and fry in butter if there weren't too many bugs that turned you off.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Slow Coffee

The dictatorship of speed requires ubiquitous instantaneity. The cup of coffee has to be ready in no time in the home, work-space or 'on the run'. Machines sell this handy illusion. By now there must be mountains of junkspace from electric coffee machines consisting mainly of plastics.
Ever larger machines developed for the service industry and the home market. The person handling and maintaining the automat became the barista. The problem with all machines of production is that they are supposed to 'make money' and some coffee on the side and not be a cost-factor. Unserviced machines, temps instead of an trained barista, chemical residues or rancid milk make for an awful cup. The grinding and treatment of the oily coffee beans, as well as the daily clean also contribute the the aroma of the "beans". Power uncertainty and the need for an array of (cleaning) products put the user in a position of dependence. It is also a good idea to refrain from all plastic parts in any coffee equipment or beverage cups.

If one has time to drink - then one probably has the time to let it drip through. So I propose that a porcelain filter with unbleached filter papers is the most mobile, space-saving and sustainable method. Simply use your hands to pour the boiling water slowly on the gound coffee to release the flavour. A preheated coffee pot helps. Rewash porcelain filter and feed paper filter and coffee ground to the worms in the compost. They love speed and a junk-free world.

On roasting & different methods to make coffee

Image: Hans Baluschek, 1895, Kaffeklatsch, via Zeno

How coffee could help against neurodegenerative diseases in a world of ubiquitous pesticides

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beetroots with Red Rice and Pine Nuts

500 g Beetroot
250 g Thai Red Jasmine Rice/or Camargue red rice
1 cup of Pine nuts/ Macademia

Some Olive oil
Some Mirin/Lemon juice

Greens leaves of (rucola, parsely etc)
Yogurt with garlic

Steam rice. Cook beets and peel. Prepare a dressing from the olive oil and mirin. Pour 1/3 over the cooked rice and the rest over the warm, peeled and cubed beets. Roast the nuts. Arrange green leaves on a platter. Place rice in the middle and the beet cubes in a ring around it. Sprinkle the warm nuts on the rice. Serve hot or cold. Yogurt with or without garlic could be served with it. Feta also fits well.

Image: Beuckelaer, Joachim, 1564, Detail of Market Woman with Fruit, Vegetables and Poultry via Zeno

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Macadamia bush cookies

Quantities of ingredients are very flexible with this recipe. The main thing is to get the texture right by balancing other ingredients with the right amount of flour. Increase the quantity of nuts and decrease the amount of flour as required. Who has scales in the bush anyway?

250g unsalted butter
4-5 tbsp bush honey
250g macadamia nuts, finely grated by hand
about 500g wholemeal spelt flour
Beat soft butter with honey. Use more honey if you like.
Mix in grated macadamia nuts.
Add flour gradually while beating until the mixture is not sticky. Knead with hands to get the pastry to a non-stick consistency.
Roll out on a floured linen tea towel into a flat rectangular shape. Cut out rectangular biscuits with a knife and decorate each biscuit with the knife tip in the shape of a star. Place them on a buttered tray.
Bake at 180° on the second oven shelf for about 12 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of the biscuits). Biscuits should be cooked through but light in colour.
Cool. Store in a tin.
Image: Cézanne, Paul, Detail of The Sideboard, 1873–1877 via Zeno

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guava Compote - The Dorrigo Way

Guava or Feijoa (Psidium) are, like other good foods, cultivated in the neotropic ecozone. Here, on the feet of Dorrigo National Park they are allowed to go 'feral' like so many other flora and fauna.

Collecting the ripe fruit, they exude a strong fragrance filling rooms for hours.

The scooped out fruit-pulp can be cooked with a bit of water. If you do not like the large seeds, strain them. This is best done (Ad alarm!) with a chinois strainer and the matching beechwood conical pestle. Add a dash of honey and cool. Local wild-foods connoisseurs, who inspired this method of preparation, use the skins and seeds as well to prepare the compote. Serve with yogurt.

Others use the fruit to bake a 'Guava and macadamia torte' or use them for dressing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Davidson's plum sauce

1 kg Davidson's plums, images of the Australian rainforest tree
1kg organic raw sugar
1 cup water

Place the plums with the water in a large pot. Boil. Allow to cook for 15 minutes until the plums break down.
Press the plum mass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds, so that a smooth sour liquid is formed. Return it to the stove and reheat.
Add the sugar and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
Use less or more sugar according to your preference (see tip below).
Bottle it up in jars or bottles and store in the fridge.
Serve cold with yoghurt or ice cream on a hot day.

Because Davidson's plums are extremely sour - too sour to even try to eat raw - they need a lot of sugar. It is always good to reduce sugar wherever possible, but in this recipe quite a lot is used. You can try to cut it back, but test the sauce while preparing it otherwise it may be too sour for you or your friends to eat.

The plums can be frozen for several months before using them in this way. It also is very delicious with ice cream or yogurt.

See also
Davidson's Plums with Cashew Cream

Image 1. Plum sauce 2. Biscuits with Davidson's jam/sauce, Davidson's plum and leaf

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Macadamia Honey Biscuits

250g organic unsalted butter
170g organic honey (bush honey)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 nutmeg, grated
250g organic chopped macadamia nuts
600g organic spelt flour

Beat butter and honey smooth with a wooden spoon.
Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat.
Mix in nuts.
Mix in 550g flour and knead into a dry dough. Add more flour if sticky. Cool for 15+ minutes.
Preheat oven to 190°c.

Sprinkle a little of the remaining flour on a tea towel (linen). Roll our half of the pastry quite thin. This will further crush some of the nuts. Turn the pastry once or twice so it does not stick to the cloth.
Stamp out biscuits. Press down hard to cut through any large pieces of nut.
Butter a baking tray.
Place the biscuits on it and bake in the oven for 13 minutes on the second shelf from the bottom.
Repeat until all the dough is used up.
Store in a tin.
Image: Franz Marc, Wheat, 1907 via Zeno

Monday, January 5, 2009

Greek Vegetable Casserole with Feta

4 - 5 large waxy peeled potatoes
1 - 2 large aubergines
5 - 6 zucchinis
2 - 3 large carrots
1 - 2 large onions
10 tomatoes
6 - 10 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
Some peppercorns & marjoram, fresh parsley
Olive oil

200 g Goats milk feta (for 2 people)
Flour & Olive oil

Brown rice (optional)

Fry onion in olive oil, add chopped carrots, then add chopped potato chunks.
Skin tomatoes and roll aubergine pieces in salt, let them drain.
Cut zucchinis & garlic and set aside.
After 15 min. of soaking, wash aubergine and drain well.
Cut skinned tomatoes small. Add aubergine and tomatoes to the pot.
All vegies should be well covered, if not, add a little vegetable stock or boiling water.
Add herbs and pepper, simmer till the potatoes are tender.
Then add the zucchini for a short time.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley

Cut the FETA into 4 wedges
Roll in flower & put on a greased baking dish
Cook in the oven till golden (for 20 min at approx. 200 degrees, second shelf from the bottom)

Can be served with steamed brown rice, but if a lot of potatoes are included, rice is not necessary.
Image 2: Renoir, Pierre-Auguste, 1881, via Zeno