July 31, 2010

Having a me day...

Every once in a while you accidentally have a good day. A day, which if someone asked you to spend a day doing what best epitomises you, you could say "yeah, this is me". And as luck would have it, today was one of those days.

Stop 1: Markets.
Saturdays usually begin, for me, with a trip to the markets, a quick examination of what's in season, and the acquisition of some supplies for the week. Pears for poaching, blood oranges and some brilliant-green Brussels sprouts were among the more alluring wares that filled today's basket.

Stop 2: Haircut.
Possibly a very lame example of things I enjoy, but given I don't, generally speaking, do pampering, I do find this kind of glorified head massage an immensely pleasant way to start the day. I suspect this is helped no end by the fact that my hairdresser is gorgeous, I get to play with her dog, and she will comfortably refer to my appearance as "fluff-ball" partway through proceedings. Brilliant.

Stop 3: Breakfast.
Fluffiness tamed, post-relaxation sustenance was required, and so a quick trip to check out the Pope was in order. A glorious and stunningly presented nettle, sorrel and Meredith feta omlette was enjoyed with a perfectly decent coffee as the remainder of the day's proceedings were mused over, and since we all find ourselves here, no prizes for guessing what they were going to be. 

Stop 4: Kitchen TPB.
Yes, at long last Miss Rose and I finally managed to coincide our free time and get ourselves busy in the kitchen. As an added bonus, Miss Rose's little bro was in town to get a few pointers before a State-side academic sojourn, so there was also an additional kitchen minion at hand.




Now, what you're probably used to with Team Pretty Bake is baking to the obscene. Sweet, sugary delectable desserts that challenge even the bravest of souls, and laugh in the face of glycaemic indices. Something like these turtle bars, for instance...





We did make some minor modifications to the caramel, preferring more of a Dumel fluff-like approach, and causing Miss Rose to exclaim "holy crap balls, this is the best caramel slice ever", but essentially the turtle bar involves a crunchy, crumbly biscuit base sprinkled with pecans, smothered in chewy, sticky caramel and finished with dark chocolate. 

Drool...




However, what may or may not surprise you is that 95% of the time, we don't actually eat like this, and in our normal lives both tend to opt for simple, earthy meals with as few a processed ingredients as possible. Take, for example, this carrot cake...




Delicately spiced, studded with walnuts and moistened by dates and banana, if it weren't for a few splashes of maple syrup in the icing, this cake would contain no sugar at all. I for one was pleasantly surprised by how well the dates and banana carried the sweetness, and if it wasn't for our impatience which left it slightly on the heavy side of dense, with a bit of tweaking I certainly think it has potential.


Our impatience was related to the matter of lunch, and since Miss Rose has a considerable affection for the humble sandwich, some Yorkies with beef fillet and spinach were the order of the day.


Miss Rose set about making a luscious homemade mayonnaise while I attended to our little puds. Being my first time there was some trepidation, but any fears were quickly abated when the York's were confirmed to have popped (phew!).






Lunch was followed by a tasting plate of sweet indulgence, and along with the aforementioned treats we enjoyed a sliver of lime tart. Prepared for a side project of mine, I wanted to share this here for the simple reason that this is possibly one of the best tarts I have ever made and eaten. To put it in to context, during a recent lunch with friends, for which I had prepared a simple orange ricotta tart with caramel blood oranges, one of the guests was rather taken by the pastry. This lime tart, with its beautiful golden crust and baked curd interior would put that one to shame, so next time you're in town let me know, we may need to compare notes...



Stop 5: Recovery.
It seems I am a woman of simple means and pleasures. Yes it's Saturday night. Yes I'm home alone exercising my high degree of social ineptitude. But, you know... Now that I've run off most of today's overindulgence, the granola is toasting, the quinces are poaching and making the house smell like heaven, there's football on the box and Miles is defining classy brass in the corner, I can't help but think... These may be simple pleasures, but it's these simple pleasures that make me happy. And sometimes that's all you need...

...That, and that breakfast tomorrow is going to be awesome...

1 comment:

Karin said...

..well it was an excellent orange ricotta tart :)