Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Taste for Life

I am a member of the women's ministry team at church. We put on a conference every two years for women around the region, have events for the women in each congregation to get to know each other and also that we can bring friends to. For the last three years we have had an event at Christmas called Cafe by Candlelight where we have had coffee and dessert, done something crafty and someone has given an evangelistic talk. This year, having discovered this book, we decided to do something different. We called it A Taste for Life and my friend Sara and I were like the cook and the chef only we both said that we would rather be Nigella. We cooked a lot beforehand, did demonstrations on the night and I gave a talk, based on the book, about Jesus, the bread of life, who satisfies our spiritual hunger.

Liz took the picture above, you can just see me and Sara. That's me with the shining head :) I didn't let the fact that I was giving a talk to 80 women stop me from getting photos for my blog. Below is the view to the right from where I stood. It does look like there were only old ladies there! Actually, they just arrive early and sit at the front.

We started by showing people how to make hummus and they all had hummus and pita bread at their tables. The talk was interspersed with three food demos, the second of which was how to plate up your flourless chocolate cake, restaurant style. This is Sara's arm showing people the Persian fairy floss and dried rose petals.

The women really enjoyed doing this. They all had squeezy bottles of coulis and cream and shakers of cocoa and icing sugar. I took a few photos of people's handiwork. This one belonged to my friend Maame.

Another good effort.

This one is for Lorraine on Hallowe'en. It isn't the best photo but that cake has been stabbed and is clearly bleeding to death.

Sonja brought her new friend Jesse.

It was a great evening and while it did generate an awful lot of washing up in our old, sad little church kitchen, it wasn't too much work as far as these things go and the feedback was very positive.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mirin-glazed salmon and a first day at school

I really would like to eat more fish but we are at a slight disadvantage living so far from the sea. I also don't have terribly many fish recipes that thrill me, but this is one that more than does the job. It is so quick and so very delicious.

Mirin-glazed salmon from Nigella Express
60 ml mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
50g light brown sugar
60 ml soy sauce
4 x 125g pieces of salmon, cut from the thick part of the fillet so that they are narrow but tall rather than wide and flat.
2 x 15ml tablespoons rice vinegar
1-2 spring onions, halved and shredded into fine strips.

1. Mix the mirin, brown sugar and soy sauce in a shallow dish that will take all four pieces of salmon, and marinate the salmon in it for 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second. Meanwhile heat a large, non-stick frying pan on the hob.
2. Cook the salmon in the hot (don't make it too hot or the sugar will burn as in the photo above), dry pan for 2 minutes and then turn the salmon over, add the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Remove the salmon to whatever plate you're serving it on, add the rice vinegar to the hot pan and warm through.
4. Pour the dark, sweet, salty glaze over the salmon and top with the spring onions. Serve with rice or noodles as you wish, and consider putting some sushi ginger on the table, too.
Serves 4

This morning I took Bethany to school for the first of three events aimed at getting her ready to start next year. She was thrilled to be at school with Jossie who was keen to show her around.

Bethany is very lucky to have several friends from daycare going to the same school. Amy, Hannah and Bethany were having a lovely game and I asked if I could take this photo.

Hannah asked me to take this one. After they had played in the playground for ages, the children all went into the kindy classrooms and the parents went elsewhere for morning tea. When it was time to go I found Bethany in the classroom kitchen. She is her mother's daughter.