Sunday, October 30, 2005

Smells Like Summer

It smells like summer in my kitchen. There is a bowl of mangoes ripening on the table and the sweet, tropical scent fills the air. Although, I might enjoy them a little more if I hadn't read this about their family group!

Speaking of summer, Figman sat up in bed yesterday morning and said "it's barbeque day". Like Puscatawny Phil, my little groundhog wakes up and knows, this is the day. So we dragged the barbie out of the shed, filled the gas canister (a priority ever since it ran out halfway through the cooking one time and the local garages refused to fill it during their "peak times") and called up our friends.

"Keep it simple" Figman said sternly to me. "I do not want one of your extravaganzas, okay? Just a barbie with our mates." So I picked up some lamb cutlets, skinless chicken thighs and good pork chippolatas and a loaf of bread. And decided to throw together one of my favourite summer salads - Nigella's Watermelon and Feta Salad. It's so full of good flavours - crunchy sweet watermelon, the salt and cream of feta, mint, pepper, lime - I mean, how can you go wrong?

Nigella's recipe online misses the "1" from the "1.5" kilos of melon, in case you were wondering (I went and checked Forever Summer to be sure). I used a small pale green mini Lee watermelon - I just love these small whole melons with a thin rind. I prefer Danish feta over Greek, although according to the European Court of Justice, there shall be no such thing as "Danish" feta anymore. I leave out the olives and parsley because I can't stand either, but I have also been known to throw in some salad leaves at times - it's a very adaptable.

The men did their manly thing at the barbeque and some of them even liked the salad! We finished the meal on the same simple note - a couple of packs of mini-Magnums in classic and honeycomb, so that the greedy among us could have one of each if we couldn't make up our minds (that was me, me, me by the way. And a mini-magnum is not THAT big). Not bad for the first of the season.

PS there was a little goats cheese, tomato and ciabatta action going on in the kitchen while the mens were cooking the meat. But it was out of the Figman's line of vision, so it doesn't count, right?

PPS for every mean thing I say about Blogger, and really, how angry can you get with something that's free?, I have to say something pleasant. And today, after the Plumbaby figured out how to turn off the computer with one quick gesture before his mama could go "NOOOOOOOOOOOO I HAVEN'T SAVED THAT YET!" I can only say how very pleased I was with the 'recover post' feature. So thank you Blogger.


At 12:51 PM, Blogger Niki said...

I love that salad of Nigella's. I made it for Christmas last year for the evening meal (cold, seafood etc.) after the hot lunch we have. After the huge lunch, that salad was all I felt like and I ate nearly the whole bowl by myself.
And you know, I actually bought Forever Summer only yesterday at a book warehouse off Smith St. Only $20!
The BBQ sounds great. I know just the sort. It's the perfect example of Aussie life, isn't it?

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Niki said...

Oh - I'm with you on the olive omissions too. But I do like the parsley!

At 11:03 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Niki - it's great isn't it? I made a huge bowl but it almost all was eaten. I quite like Forever Summer - it certainly doesn't have the depth of How To Eat or Feast, but there are some nice ice cream recipes and bits and bobs. I will restrain myself from asking about the book warehouse and repeat to myself "I do not need any more cookbooks, I do not need any more cookbooks!"

And I can take parsley in small doses, but to me, it's not something to be eaten as a main ingredient. i have tried, but it's no use.

Glad to have been a bit more relaxed this time. And yes, all we needed was backyard cricket to complete the absolute Aussie barbeque.

At 2:25 AM, Blogger glutton rabbit said...

Plum, mini magnums are a great. At least you get only half the calories... great idea...;)

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

Oooh now I'm so looking forward to my trip to Perth in November. Watermelons, mangoes, sunshine.


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