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Food, general thoughts, food…

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Pumpkin soup

Soup is wonderful. A bowl full of soup on a winter’s day is a fantastic way to have a tasty meal and provide yourself with a bit of warming comfort food.

While it isn’t winter here by any stretch of the imagination, I had a pumpkin in the refrigerator (butternut pumpkin or butternut squash for those who have different names for these things) and there is no soup that I love more than pumpkin soup.

Normally I eat my pumpkin soup with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt in the middle but the last time I made it I opened the refrigerator and it was gone! Horror! My daughter had eaten the last of the yoghurt in one of her midnight refrigerator raids (dagger eyes her way) so it was necessary to make another plan. I was somewhat at a loss but after staring at the refrigerator contents for a good long while I decided to try chopped and fried bacon. Not bad. So that is what you see in the photograph here.
I will still reach straight for the yoghurt next time but the bacon idea was pretty darn good as an alternative.

Pumpkin Soup

1 butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 Tbls butter
Dehydrated vegetable stock
Salt & Pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot.
Add onion and cook until transparent.
Add pumpkin and cook, stirring, for 5 mins.
Cover with water and boil until pumpkin is soft.
Add vegetable stock to taste (2-3 teaspoons)
Blend the soup in the pot with a stab blender.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt, chopped and fried bacon or whatever your personal favourite additive is.


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Fresh Breakfast

So, it may not look like much and truly it isn’t much, if being a complicated recipe is the only grounds for it success but this was another throw together tasty, easy, simple, fresh meal (breakfast actually)

Fresh Breakfast

1 banana sliced
Natural yoghurt
Spearmint sprigs

Chop your spearmint and mix with your desired amount of yoghurt.
Pour the yoghurt over the banana.

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Easy Prawn Salad

So, summer is here. While a large portion of the planet is moving into its winter period and seemingly the entire internet along with it. All recipe sites are suddenly geared to winter, slow cooker and casserole ideas and everybody seems to have snowmen, snowflakes and jolly men dressed for artic conditions bearing presents all over their websites. Here I am in the West of Australia looking out on my very parched lawn wondering, if I go on holiday for a week, will the garden be completely dead when I get back home and hoping that my sisters air conditioning will cope with the weather on Christmas day and all the extra bodies in the house so we don’t all dissolve into a puddle of tinsel stained sweat and discarded paper underneath the tree.

Christmas in Australia rarely involves a hot meal these days, unlike my childhood when we all bowed to ‘tradition’ and had a roast meal with all the trimmings. The days when women tried in vain to keep their makeup on their faces in a kitchen whose temperature had long ago surpassed the safe working conditions guidelines and guests used their napkins primarily to mop sweat from their brows whilst pretending to crave second helpings of food that actually got hotter on being removed from the oven and reaching room temperature. Nowadays air-conditioning is standard in most houses as is the common sense that enables us to realise that traditions that make perfect sense in countries that have a foot of snow outside on Christmas day make absolutely no sense at all in a country where the bitumen on the road is reverting to its liquid state and ice for drinks spontaneously melts immediately upon being removed from the freezer.

These days it is all about seafood, served cold, barbeques if cooking is really required, cold meat platters, salads and frozen desserts. I think that is progress on a national level, learning that we all need to come to terms that we don’t live in the ‘old country’ anymore and we should really learn to make our own traditions based on our current home and living conditions. It has been a few hundred years since the tradition Christmas was introduced to this country so it hasn’t been the fastest learning curve but I understand that people don’t like change so I am just grateful that we have come this far.

There is a long way to go with a lot of social issues but this one tiny unimportant thing is changing so I guess there is hope for us as a country, at this rate it will take eons but hopefully the more things change the more quickly changes will progress.

Well, that morphed into a social commentary fairly quickly, an actual thoughtful insight that took me completely by surprise. Sometimes I surprise myself with an in-depth thought or two.

In keeping with our newfound ability to eat sensibly in response to our own weather patterns my own diet has morphed into something that includes a lot less rice, pasta and heat and a lot more fruit, salad and seafood. More of my meals look like the above picture, below ‘throw together’ recipe. Maybe the Northern hemisphere friends can bookmark these recipes for use the next time I am eating casseroles and roast dinners.

Prawn Salad

3 handfuls of raw prawn meat
Good bunch of baby spinach leaves
½ avaocado chopped into chunks
Few spoonfuls of chilli marinated feta
Bacon fat for frying (if you have some handy)

Throw the spinach into your bowl along with the avocado and fetta.
Heat a pan and melt the bacon fat (you can use oil, butter or oil from the fetta if you prefer), fry of the prawns until pink.
Season well with pepper (and salt if you are not using salty bacon fat).
Toss the prawns in on top of the salad leaves.