Joan’s recipes and Peter’s

Another recipe from Joan’s …Peter’s mum and her scrumptious cakes.

But before I start on this recipe, I would like to mention that today Peter has made the most delicious roast ever. He grabbed a recipe from a site called Cuisine- Facile (a french site which has many languages tho). Mind you he decide that I should have a break from the cooking…Truly appreciate it. And since I am going on a short trip with some friends he thought he’d better start early!

He defrosted one of our own beef roast, (yes we do raise our cows) and marinated it with all sorts of herbs overnight. Then, the next day or should I say the next  night , he put it in the slow cooker for 7 hours. During the night aromas drifted up to the bedroom. I am not sure wether I liked that,  but I fell asleep and after a while of course did not noticed anything. The next day just an hour before eating he lit the BBQ and roasted it for just 20mns. With it, he arranged next to it some potatoes, onions and Jerusalem Artichokes from the garden. I could not wait to try it. The smells invaded the house and my stomach could not wait. I was asking him: “c’mon, is it ready yet”  “just a few more minutes” says he.  Finally,  the roast arrived on the table garnished with all the vegies. I could not restrain myself and plunged the knife into it. But the knife was useless.The fork did a splendid job…It was like butter. A real success and with a nice drop of Cabernet Sauvignon from the hills of Adelaide in South Australia, Richard Hamilton, the whole meal went down like a dream.


Now for the cake recipe from Joan:



125g of Butter

150g of Honey

Together: rind and juice of  One lime, one Orange and one Lemon

3 eggs, beaten

300g of Semoulina

200g of ground Almonds

3 teaspoons of Baking powder

To make the syrup you will need:

150g of Honey

5 Tablespoons of water

2 teaspoons of Cinnamon

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

3 Tablespoons of orange juice

Blend all the the ingredients for the syrup

How to proceed:

cream butter, honey+ citrus rind till pale and fluffy

Beat in the  citrus juices + eggs ( a little at a time) continue to beat then, fold in the semoulina with the ground almonds and baking powder.

Put in a tin with baking paper before so that it does not stick. A normal baking tin.

Bake at 210 degrees for 10mns then at 180 for 30 mns.

When you get out out of the oven pour the syrup slowly onto it .

Enjoy! It is just marvellous with a nice cup of coffee!

Till next time!

Family recipes

After my thoughts on Words and Events, I decided to start a collection of recipes. Why is that you may ask? Easy, the other day as I was cleaning some old books and shelves, I saw an old exercise book containing recipes that my husband’s mother (Joan) had RELUCTANTLY parted with. But we had, for some reason managed to appropriate  from her. Peter did, I never got one. So, I resolved that it would be interesting to change tack for a while and write what she had given us.

I will add also some of my favourite ones. But I do not guarantee any of it. I have this tendency to make a lot of recipes on the run. I go into the garden and see what is growing and imagine what I could do with what nature has to provide for this day and what I feel like adding or what inspires when I get into the kitchen. SO, there will be a hotchpotch of many different things. Or just make up something on the run that would turn great, then will forget all about it and never reproduce the same thing twice. Many people curse me for that…anyway, it will also take me quite a while to finish, but that I do not mind at all and I have to start somehow. So here we go without further ado!!!

This particular cake also was made by husband when I had a catering business and sold hundred of them to health food shops around the city.

Will start however with Joan’s FRUIT CAKE…Slightly modified to avoid  sugar.

Weight of cake: 1kg

For the first step


Spices 1/2 tea spoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves, star anis,all spices. You can also add the proportion you like, but don’t over do it!

250g of Butter or Margarine ( I prefer butter)

200ml Apple juice concentrate

I cup of Orange juice

900g of mixed dried fruits (try 300×3)

A good nip of spirit

1TSP of salt

1TSp of bicarbonate of Soda

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 mns, let it cool then add and stir gently  then add :

200g of self raising flour

200g of plain flour

3 eggs.

Mix all the ingredients till all is well incorporated.

Line a tin cake with greaseproof paper or baking paper.

Bake slowly at 150 degree for up to 3 hours.

Try it and tell me if you like, but I am sure all of you will have their version of a fruit cake and there are no doubts thousands on the net by myriad of people from all over the world. But it does not matter really does it? Find you own.

Here is the book where it was written 20 years ago.IMG_0364

Til next time or next recipe.

Coq au vin…Just delicious and simple

Well, as you may know by now, it is pouring in Nimbin, Australia. It has been for days and not only am I knitting my red jumper and listening to some audio books at the same time. I enjoy cooking.

So, I decided this morning to make a coq au vin or as they would say around here, Chicken in red wine.  I just bought another slow cooker, a little large maybe, but I thought why not cook in it a whole chicken or for that matter a whole roast. So I did. But my problem is that I am not good at giving recipes at all. I always miss something. A very good old friend of mine Sue, says to me Gigi: “you must have forgotten something” . Inevitably I did and still do. Hence, if you do ask me for my recipe of the Coq au vin, I will have forgotten something that is a certainty. But I am sure there are hundreds of these on the net.

Mine is not from the net but from a very old book by Elizabeth David called French Provincial Cooking

Her recipes are just marvellous and I can tell you very very authentic indeed. I can surely attest to that.You should see first the state of my book and originating from France that surely adds to my certainty of her cooking.  So it will be miles better to buy her book. She has passed away a long time ago and was a real personality in England and France in the 50’s and 60’s.

While I am writing this, the sun is peeping through and it might stay for a while. Will jump out shortly and do a little gardening. Stoke the fire, switch the slow cooker down and breathe  a little fresh air.