Monday, May 31, 2010

Bella Goes Home

I had a thought that I have spent more time in the kitchen than what I have creating my art in recent months so it is with this late realisation that I have decided to turn this blog into my food blog. As I create more pieces, I may add them but for the time being I will harness my creative expression through cooking and happily share with you possibly my greatest passion in this world- cooking.

It has been a month since I left the golden Autumn hues of Armidale for a warmer climate to spend time with my mother. Upon my return I was surprised to see what was left of the leaves on the spiny trees had turned cool red. I never realised red could make the views seem colder but it that is quite fitting as Armidale has settled in for the icy Winter chill.


Officially it is Winter tomorrow, though Armidale got a racing start and I caught a cold early. Talk about typical.
Before returning home I bought two small pumpkins and two pineapples at the market stall near my mother's home. I had a wonderful fairy godmother moment when I turned the first pumpkin into a creamy pumpkin soup for Erin and a friend of hers from her hometown.


One thing that did please me was to see my flatmate, Erin again and of course Maxi and the budgies. Since my return we've been cooking together in the kitchen. Mostly crock pots as I am finally using the wonderful Christmas gift from my grandparents and can highly recommend this cookery method if you live in this chilly region or can relate. There is something almost magical about the aromas as you come inside the front door.

We had the monthly markets in town yesterday so Erin and I bought our usual honey (redgum this time) and vegetables from the man who drives up from Tamworth. It is funny he knows us by face and despite visiting him for many months, yesterday was the first day we introduced ourselves. Our fresh vegetable supplier's name is John.
He always greets everyone with a smile and packs our vegetables into a small box that quickly becomes heavy as we make our way back to Erin's car.

I did see a few familiar faces at the markets but we were in a hurry to return because we'd also just played and won a game of football (soccer) and I scored my first goal so I was on a bit of a buzz, despite the chesty cough and blocked nose. Armidale isn't a town you ought to roam around in soccer shorts and a hoody if it's Winter and take my word for it, we froze.

We came home, started the gas heater, showered, and began the second half of our Sunday in the kitchen (Read: Perfect Sunday with football win, markets and cooking).
One chicken and vegetable crock pot 5 hours later, a dessert* and some fresh orange juice to blitz this cold and I was feeling relaxed and happy to be home with great company. I've attached some pictures of the pudding below to show you how I used the banana and soaked mixed fruit. I soaked the fruit in fresh orange juice and the sherry for a bit over half and hour and result was juicy, plump fruit sprinkled over the top of our leftover breadstick-turned-mouth-watering-pudding. That's the beauty of this dish, you can use virtually any bread you have or cakes and brioche.


*I baked a bread and butter pudding with banana and cream sherry for dessert. The dates complimented the banana beautifully and I am thankful Erin had some ripe bananas to experiment with in this dish.


Cooked it a little longer and I was so chuffed that I had to post a picture of me about to eat it... I know you want to make one now...


It's good to be home.

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Love Bella xx

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