Wow, over a week off from blogging! Where do I start today?? I haven’t done a lot of cooking this last week but I sure have been busy and I do have a fair bit to write about. I’m having quite a dilemma too…..so much to do around the house, off to the gym, a baby who won’t sleep and I really need to get some of what’s in my head up on the screen before it disappears into the vortex of my mind, lost forever. You see, I suffer from CRAFT disease….can’t remember a f***ing thing! I blame the kids for this, they have me so pre-occupied with so many things and one of the biggies is “what to cook for dinner?”. It’s not easy coming up with interesting and tasty meals on a daily basis, and now that I am blogging about what I cook and prepare, it is even more of a challenge because I am forever wanting to experiment and come up with new recipes. I seem to feel like I’m letting the “team” down if I don’t do something new on a regular basis. Yes, know, I don’t have a lot of followers but the few who do read my posts, I like to believe, wait with baited breath for each instalment. Even if they don’t, the fantasy that they do makes me feel good, kind of warm and tingly inside so please don’t go bursting my bubble by pointing out the reality of it all. Living in my own little la la land is what keeps me going, whether I’m blogging or not. I guess we all need a little escapism in life.
Anyhoo, last week I took the kids away. We were lucky enough to have access to a beach house down in the little seaside town of Rye. Yes, we’ve all been there several times but it’s what we do with the time that makes a trip like this special. I don’t like to cook when I go away….really, who does?…so this can pose a few issues when it comes to feeding the troops, especially Master 7 with all his intolerances and the fact that I don’t want to deal with the fallout if he eats the wrong foods…that would make the trip a complete and utter nightmare! Fortunately he loves fish, chips and all vegies so there is always some sort of compromise available to us. And for the days that we take a picnic lunch with us, it’s so easy to open a can of mixed beans and a can of peas and toss them together with some basic dressing or prepare a quick bean salad , the latter often being too much effort whilst on holidays so a few stalks of celery and some green beans are added to the picnic bag, along with some bananas and plain potato chips. We probably look like rabbits walking around munching on celery. The comments we have received whilst sitting in cafes drinking decaf coffee and eating our “picnic” lunch have been wonderful. I guess it’s quite unusual for people to see kids eating such healthy food whilst out and about, a far cry from the usual greasy, processed, fried junk that so many kids eat in today’s society. I think people are also quite taken aback that kids so young drink coffee, albeit decaf….no baby cinos here.
We discovered a goat dairy on our trip, Main Ridge Dairy. Certainly not something you come across every day, so we popped in for a look. I highly recommend any Melbournians visiting the Mornington Peninsula to go and have a squiz. We were hoping to see the goats get milked but they only do milking tours on a Saturday (bookings essential) and of course we were there on Thursday. No problem, we got to feed the goats some wattle branches and some cheeses. WOW! I never knew goats cheese could taste so good. I have eaten it many times and I like it, but these cheeses we tried on Thursday were like nothing I’ve ever eaten before and the best part about it was that we could all eat the cheeses, including my little dairy intolerant bubba. He tried every cheese on the platter and did not vomit at all, no runny poo either! We topped our tasting off with some hot beverages made with goats milk. I must say, I was surprised at how “normal” it tasted, a lot like cow’s milk really, so it’s a real pity it’s so expensive at $5 a litre. $60 later and a bag full of yummy cheeses and a bottle of milk, we headed off on our way, discussing our return to the dairy in Spring so we can see all the kids bouncing around in the paddocks and to do the milking tour.
I have to admit that I did cook one night, it seemed easier than taking 3 boys out on my own after a long day of stuff. I kept it very simple though with pan fried chicken breast, my “leeking cabbage” and some frozen peas (obviously I didn’t serve the peas frozen, although I have always enjoyed them straight from the freezer). Thank heavens for the dishwasher in the state of the art kitchen at the gorgeous beach house!
1 large leek, cut in half lengthways, washed thoroughly then sliced
1/4 of a small white cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp of oil
1 tbsp of water
1/4 tsp of citric acid
salt to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, over high heat. Add the leek and sautee for a few minutes until just tender. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well then cover and reduce the heat. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender but not too soggy.