Today was National Additive Free Day and….. it was business as usual, not the spectacular Additive Free Picnic that I had dreamt of. Ahhhh well. Several reasons, all of which relate to being super busy! Exams are coming up for me, so consequently this week was spent studying and not planning a picnic. I also held my last tutoring session this week, so I had to put extra prep time into that. Also, Mr T had to have a sleep study done a while ago and we had to go to the doctor to get the results this morning. So, morning tea was out. Then we had to exchange a weevil-ridden bag of flour, and by the time we got home and ate lunch and realised we were down to our last roll of toilet paper, there was no time to bake one cake let alone enough with which to host an afternoon tea picnic.
But we did have an additive free day, of course! Nothing artificial went past our lips (not even biscuits or cheese at Great-Grandma’s house!), and we did actually have a big discussion about the “nasties” that are added into a lot of the “shop food”, and why it is better to eat homemade. So overall, we still stuck to the theme. I do wish that we could have done more for others, though. But I feel that next year will be our year to shine! And in the meantime, we might throw an additive free picnic or two just for kicks.
I have not been very faithful at taking photos of my meals at all this week. Blah blah blah, insert excuse about how busy I am at the moment. I absolutely cannot wait to be finished with this semester (less than three weeks to go!) so that I can spend more time in the kitchen. On my to-make list are: sweet chilli sauce, mint sauce, yoghurt, yoghurt cheese (and possibly some other cheeses, including goats cheese for my big sis when she visits again), brandied cherries, preserved lemons and other preserves, mustard and whole seed mustard, tomato sauce, tomato paste, passata, zucchini pickle and other pickles, perfect fudge, perfect GF pasta, perfect GF spaetzle, and many other things. Ambitious? Perhaps. But lots of fun, and additive free of course!
However, I did take a couple of photos this week and will share them with you all.
Let’s start with Halloween, and a completely not-food-related photo! 🙂
The three cheeses were: cheddar, parmesan and quark. I also put some of our homemade mayonnaise on mine. I compiled the sandwiches, then buttered the outside of each piece of bread and browned them lightly on both sides in a frying pan. Then I put them in the oven at 120 degrees celsius, so the cheese got nice and melty without burning the bread. I occasionally left the oven door open a bit, again to avoid burning the bread. This is something that I never follow a recipe for – you just have to play around with your stovetop/oven and the various cheeses in your fridge, to find out what works. I think I do it slightly differently every time. 🙂
We also paid homage to my years in America with… (vegetarian) Nachos!
We made homemade “corn chips” for the first time. Cooked some polenta in vegetable stock on the stovetop, then let it set in a square pan in the fridge. Went off for a play, came home, cut the polenta into quarters, then cut those quarters into quarters. We were left with 16 triangles, which we put on a hot pizza stone well-dusted with dry polenta and cooked on high heat, turning to make sure they browned on both sides. This recipe needs some tinkering, but it was still wonderful. The polenta still gave that corn-y taste, but homemade and healthy. And very filling, too! Not to mention gluten-free, dairy-free etc. 🙂
Whenever I make nachos, I always used to end up buying sour cream, using a few dollops, and then forgetting about it until it goes off in my fridge. But you can use pretty much anything instead; my favourites are greek yoghurt or quark, but you could use ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, or any curd cheese. Use whatever is in your fridge, rather than buying something to use in only one meal.
This week we have also made sorbet with more of the watermelon guts. It was watermelon and mango sorbet with rapadura sugar, and it was deeeeeelicious! And last night I made myself a watermelon daiquiri after bedtime, with yet more of the watermelon guts, to celebrate the last tutoring session being over! What a wonderful way to unwind! Unfortunately my phone-computer connection doesn’t seem to be working so well tonight and I’m not very technologically-minded, so I can’t get the photos on here.
And tonight? Well, dinner was boring – I need to make room in the freezer, so we had leftover lasagne, plus some raw veggie sticks. But today we bought some organic raw cacao nibs… I just milled some, and wanted to see how they would go in a hot chocolate. The thermomix is making it for me as we speak. I have every hope that, in combination with the organic rapadura sugar and organic milk, it will make a deliciously creamy organic hot choc.
Before I enjoy my hot chocolate, I just have to share this gorgeous picture of Mr T and one of his girlfriends, Miss V, complete with race day fascinators!
And there’s that lovely beep-song of the thermomix, signalling that something delicious awaits me in the kitchen. I’m off to indulge. Goodnight! 🙂