1. What's your worst food memory
Eating peas! I don’t like frozen peas but my parents had decided that I should eat something green with my dinner and I used to negotiate with them just how many peas I would actually eat. I never ate everything that was on my plate and since I didn’t like the texture, I would eat them like I was taking a tablet, chased down with a glass of water to avoid any squishiness escaping. I still struggle with peas to this day, but now at least I'll eat them if they are hidden in things or if they are fresh.
I also can't stand the smell of roast lamb cooking. I can almost hear the gasps from your readers, but I'm not much of a meat eater and I've always disliked lamb. Yuck! The smell used to fill me with dread when I rocked up to someone's house for dinner.
2. Best food memory
My grandmothers spaghetti bolognese. My Grandma is no longer with us, but I can still remember almost every detail about it. I requested it often as it was one of my favourites, when we used to go there for dinner after school. Grandma liked the thicker spaghetti, so she usually used a no. 2 spaghetti (much thicker than I would have preferred - I'm more an angel hair or linguini kinda girl), which of course had the hole in the middle which made slurping difficult! The sauce was rich! Pumped up with a beef stock cube, fatty mince and a good whack of olive oil floating on the surface. Once I ate so much of it I swear it was nearly coming out my nose.
3. My signature dish is.
Gingerbread! I started making it for Christmas gifts a couple of years ago and now a highly requested item. Nothing quite beats popping on some vinyl Christmas carols, cracking a bottle of red and the smell of fresh gingerbread through the house. These days I've taken them beyond Christmas, making them for birthdays, baby showers and halloween. My collection of cookie cutters is growing year on year. The new favs on the block are a set of animal ones. I was stoked to find a wombat cutter recently which I cant wait to use.
4. One of my favourite food photographs. (please see below)
I'd love to say that it was my idea to put it in the grass but, the credit to that has to go to my partner Tim. I really dig the colours. The pink and purple, iced gingerbread was made for my niece's 1st birthday - her favourite colours of course. The 'N' was the biggest and fattest gingerbread. I must remember to make words with more N's in them next time.
5. Ingredient I'm currently obsessed with is
My Truffle Infused Olive Oil, I brought it at a farmers market in Foster, VIC with a bottle of lemongrass infused oil. Its cold pressed, incredibly tasty and smells amazing. I’ve been dropping it on everything from salads, to pizzas and the morning grilled mushrooms on sourdough.
6. Worst kitchen injury
Fortunately, I haven’t done anything too memorable for some time. I used to always cut my fingers when I was chopping chicken breast though. I think my fingers blended into the colour of the meat or something.
7. Cake I ask for on my birthday
My Mum’s sponge cake, she makes it for me almost every year, filled with jam and freshly whipped cream – I always get a choice of topping. Traditionally, my Grandma used to make this for our birthdays. These days my Mum taken on this mantel, and she uses my Grandma's recipe to make the most deliciously light sponge. The cake gets made in an extra large danish butter biscuit tin (the kind with the granulated sugar on top that you see around Christmas). I'm really looking forward to learning this recipe one day, so I can continue the tradition.
8. Favourite Chef
I do love a bit of Jamie Oliver – mostly because his approach to cooking is casual and more about the eating than having amazing plating skills. I love that he cooks with his family, using fresh ingredients straight from someone's garden – and that he loves to tuck into it when he’s done cooking. I also love Maggie Beer because she gets so excited about what she is preparing. I always seem to learn something new when I watch Maggie.
9. Share with us one of your favourite recipes
Gigantes (Greek Beans) (Pictured below)
- 250g gigantes beans (butter beans), soaked overnight
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oi
- 1/2 brown onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 75ml sherry vinegar
- 500g chopped tomato
- 250ml water
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Drain soaked beans and place in a large pot, cover well with water and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender. Strain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pot and cook onion for 3 minutes.
Add garlic, carrots, celery, oregano, thyme and tomato paste. Stir over a low heat for 3 minutes. De-glaze with sherry vinegar.
Add tomatoes and water and bring to the boil. Stir in beans.
Season well with salt.
10. Favourite kitchen appliance and what I make with it most often
I don't have many cool appliances, I'm still holding out for a Kitchen Aid....one day!! So the next best thing is my trusty old hand beaters. My mum got them for me. I mostly use them for creaming butter and sugar, mixing cakes or whipping cream.
11. If you were on death row, what would your final meal request be.
Entrée: Char grilled Moreton Bag bugs with fresh lime. Main: Tim's Lemon Chicken Casserole (but only the veggies and sauce) Dessert: Snow Egg because I want to try one of these suckers before I kick the bucket. To Finish: A cheese plate featuring St Agur, D'affinois, a nice aged cheddar and various nibbly yummies.
12. What did you learn from your mother/grandmother that you use often in the kitchen.
How to balance out flavours without measuring. Neither my Mum nor Grandma used recipes all that often - they cooked by feel and taste.
13. What the name and address of your blog
Trampoline Days trampolinedays.com
I started the blog in 2008, probably because it was what all of the cool kids where doing. I mostly use it to track stuff I do or make. I think only about 40 people know about it and less than half of that actually read it. But it doesn’t worry me, its just up there for my own little record.
14. What are five things you can’t live without? (don't have to be food related)
Music, Good Friends, Cheese, Wine and my Future Husband.
15. What are your favourite cookbooks that you would recommend every home cook own and why?
Here's my top 5:
'Cooking - A Common Sense Guide' which is a Family Circle book, that my Mum got for me when I first moved out of home. It has some great basic/traditional recipes and covers everything from sauces, cakes, curries and roasts. There are probably about 8 recipes that I use constantly out of this book.
'Maggie's Harvest' Maggie Beer – I love this book because, you can start with a single ingredient and go from there. There aren’t as many pictures as I’d like but, but there are some nice stories and the recipes have that old fashioned spin that I like.
'Greek Cookery - From The Hellenic Heart', George Colambaris, this is an amazing cookbook to read. Full of beautiful stores about his family and stunning traditional greek recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. I love all the rich tradition in the handing down of recipes and the relationship George has with his Mum.
'Jamie at Home' Jamie Oliver - I love the pizza dough and the pasta recipes in this book. The design of the book is beautiful too.
'Grans Kitchen, Recipes from the notebooks of Dulcie May Booker' by Natalie Oldfield - This book was put together by this Dulcie's granddaughter, while she goes through her Grandmothers recipe cards. Its full of beautiful photos and old school recipes. I love the Ginger Ale Fruit Cake recipe in there - its great for Christmas.
|Gigantes (Greek Beans)|
|One of my favourite food photographs.|