Friday, October 24, 2014

Easy vegetarian zucchini pie recipe

It's rather  hot in Melbourne today, and I'm busy, so I made this for later, when I know I'll be needing a rest...

2 medium zucchinis (courgettes) sliced thickly & blanched.
1 onion sliced
2 garlic cloves
roasted capsicum chopped
fresh basil hand torn
fresh Italian parsley chopped
4 free range eggs
good dollop naturally thick cream
good dollop passatta
parmesan cheese grated
freshly ground black pepper
pure sea salt

Gently sweat onions & garlic until soft then place them in bottom of pie dish
put blanched zucchini on top, followed by capsicum, then cover top of pie with torn basil leaves & chopped parsley, season with salt & pepper.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cream & passatta - don't worry if it looks runny - it will firm up when baked - pour over pie.
A thick sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and Roberto's your uncle!

I'll serve it cold later, with a green salad...

* you can add any vegetables to this really... eg sliced mushrooms, or roasted eggplant/ pumpkin...

Hope you feel inspired to have a go! If you do, please let me know how you get on without measuring everything!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Easy Rose Petal Jam Recipe

Marigold Fairweather's favorite Rose Petal Jam Recipe

4 cups fresh, fragrant, dark red rose petals (only use home-grown, or roses you KNOW haven't been sprayed!)

3 cups sugar

2 cups water

juice of 1/2 lemon

Snip white base from each petal with scissors, keep the red part, & wash very gently in cold water

Layer petals carefully in a glass, ceramic, or enamel bowl, & sprinkle each layer with about 2 tablespoons of the sugar, cover with a clean tea towel, & leave it overnight

Next day, dissolve the remaining sugar with the water in a heavy based pan, stirring occasionally until dissolved, then bring to boil, add lemon juice, & boil 5 minutes without stirring.

Remove syrup from heat & cool to lukewarm

Gently add rose petals & their liquid, return pan to heat & boil gently 15 minutes, or until syrup is thick when tested in a cold saucer.

Ladle into warm, sterilized jars, & seal when cool

The first time I made this, many years ago, I didn't think my jam was thick enough, so added pectin, & ended up with such a firm toffee, I couldn't even get it out of the jars! I ended up heating it, spooning it out of the glass, and incorporating it into rice puddings, rhubarb crumble, and assorted cakes & biscuits.

Later, I bought a jar from an Lebanese supermarket, and found the commercial jam was runny anyway!

Home made tastes best, and is delightful on scones...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Art as spiritual practice

Spring Equinox was a solitary affair for me... I marked it by creating magical papers...

imbued with the changing balance of light energy, as held within plants from my garden, and combined with gleanings from the forest floor...

Carefully selected for their metaphysical properties, as well as good looks, I put them together with love and care, hoping they'd look beautiful...

and so my work became my ritual... I began doing this at Winter Solstice... Now my art has become my spiritual practice...

The result is so much more than the outlines & embossing of leaves and flowers... It is an outpouring of my appreciation for the season, an observance of the balance of celestial harmonies at Spring Equinox... of new beginnings, and hope, and the fragility of of life, in all its forms.

I wish you all the blessings and optimism of a new cycle, wherever you are on Earth.