Tag Archives: baklava

Sunday with Sally!

Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.
~ Walt Kelly

It was fun being at Moore Wilson’s Wellington Food Heroes Day with my sweet friend Sally yesterday – carrying our delicious cups of L’affare coffee, we meandered through people, smells and what seemed like endless trails of edible morsels. Pizza… roti… radish salad… gin… sausages… pastry… cheese… bread… macarons… Whew!

It was funky watching a team from Ruth Pretty Catering whipping up a neat line of burgers…

sharing a good ol’ hot dog…

and inhaling that rich scent of warm roti.

A live band, smiling faces and all made for a fun morning. We then went supermarket shopping and enjoyed a light lunch at my place: fried haloumi (which sadly failed to ignite like last time!), some crisp greens and lovely sundried tomatoes!

Thus satisfied, we rolled up our sleeves and spent the afternoon making baklava (for The Baklava Bake Off) :-)

We laughed our way through it, the measuring cup never made its appearance, and the perfume of butter and cinnamon invaded our pores! We also had a blobby muscovado sugar baklava surface… oops! The joys of creativity, I suppose?

Our version involved dates, filo, ground almonds, walnut bits, spices, muscovado sugar and butter. The syrup was a medley of cinnamon sticks, lemon, honey, a rather scary amount of sugar and some water.

After we carefully packaged 6 portions of baklava and labelled a bottle of accompanying syrup for the competition judges, we each sampled a bit and were pretty pleased with the fruits of our labour.

We packed up the remaining bits and took them with us to the town hall in the evening to share (we went with some friends to watch the Orpheus Choir perform “Bach Mass in B Minor” – soulful and really good – even though I did have to escape at half-time to get coffee and dinner!).

(A splendid dinner ensued with Haidee and Luke afterwards at Lido… but I will stop this post here, because I feel like I’m eating dinner all over again just writing this – not what I want to feel just before bedtime!)

In which my family came to dine

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
~ Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

This post won’t be a long one, since I am very sleepy!

My family drove down today to stay for the weekend :-) Naturally, I thought a good dinner was necessary. It was also the perfect opportunity, I thought, to try 4 recipes from “Falling Cloudberries” tonight! Remind me never to be so ambitious again… I started at 4pm and was still rushing along at 7! (Luckily it was mostly fun! Plus we got to shop at MOORE WILSON’S :-)

On the menu tonight were:

#2 Tzatziki (Yoghurt, Cucumber, Garlic & Mint Dip) – Page 76
#3 Stuffed Eggplants – Page 117
#4 Spanakopita – Page 153
#5 Baklava with Nuts & Dried Apricots – Page 129

… along with 5-grain sourdough with dukkah, olive oil + balsamic vinegar, barbequed lamb, mini stuffed red peppers, and vanilla ice-cream as extras.
And: Dad’s red wine
And: Matt’s coffee with Kahlua

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth, but you are dooooomed if you try cooking all by yourself (if you are me). I owe tonight’s successful dinner to good help. For instance, Ben shelled pistachios and Matt manned the barbeque + washed dishes along the way. The afternoon rolled along in a whirl of squeezing cucumbers, de-fleshing eggplants, breathing in the scent of tomatoes + garlic, making filo triangles, drizzling syrup over the nut & apricot baklavas…

What I love so far about Tessa Kiros’s book is the way love + family just seem to consume every page of her beautiful book… and how her recipes involve simple things like cucumber, Greek yoghurt, tomatoes – so average people like me can follow them. I also like how her recipes require time and effort, but in perfect amounts so you don’t look at them and despair before you even begin. And she sure makes good food!

So we didn’t have a big enough dining table, so my family, Matt and Tim had to sit on chairs/couches and balance plates on our laps and put glasses on the floor – but it was fun nevertheless…

And now, one warm shower later, I’m sleepy, and my hands still smell faintly of garlic and almonds (kind of eeky and gross, but cool too).

Wow, this post sure got long. Bonne nuit x