From the garden: potatoes

I planted some Delaware seed potatoes way back in late August and only dug up my first crop about two weeks ago:


Now, they look fairly big in this photo, but in the interest of journalistic integrity, here a comparison to store-bought new potatoes.  Mine are generally smaller, and – er – less round (although to be fair I’m not sure what variety of potatoes the store ones are).

The potatoes pictured above ended up  in a potato, pea and spinach salad to accompany some parmesan chicken – both out of a recent issue of Australian Good Food.

Continue reading


Cascade Spicy Ghost: Two Week Tasting Notes

HomebrewWe cracked open the first of the homebrew last Monday. It’d been bottled for two weeks – not very long. My first verdict is that it could do with longer. It’s not spicy, certainly not what I’d consider spicy anyway and it has a slightly odd aftertaste (which I really can’t describe).  It’s a lovely golden treacly colour – I’m not sure how much this has been influenced by the golden syrup and brown sugar I added.  Head retention is poor ( but this is quite normal for my brews :-/) I’ll probably check back in a couple of weeks to see if/how it has developed. At this stage it’s not the best brew I’ve ever made, though I’m fairly sure it’ll still be drunk 🙂

The Kylie Kwong Drinking Game

Kylie Kwong’s My China is currently screening on ABC on a Friday night. It’s better than most things on at 8pm and I’ve watched at least the last three episodes.

Now, I’d love any show that regularly features dumplings and it has been good to see bits of China that I visited myself 10 years ago.  However,  I do find Kylie a bit odd. Can she speak Chinese?  She almost always uses English, but has no obvious translator when people speak to her. Her penchant for the same flavourings in almost every dish she creates (ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chinese cooking wine, sugar, sesame oil and spring onions) is making me wonder whether they can be as authentic as she claims (surely Chinese cooking has more variety than this!?) Finally, there’s her adjectives, which is where the drinking comes in to it. If you were to down a shot every time Kylie says beautiful, you would be quite legless in less than half the episode (last week she said it 19 times, this week 17 only). You could also include extra shots for absolutely, delicious, and amazing(ly), though these occur much less frequently.

(I did think that this would be the first Kylie Kwong drinking game to be suggested, but it looks like it’s not 🙂

Homemade Yoghurt

I’ve had an Easiyo yoghurt maker for a couple of years now.  It’s an easy way to make yoghurt – buy a packet of powder, dissolve it in cold water, and stick it in an Easiyo thermos filled with boiled water.  The yoghurt that generally comes out is pretty well (I’ve had a few liquidy ones)  and it’s a couple of dollars cheaper than buying a good pot-set yoghurt (my yog of choice is normally Mundella).

However,  I’ve always wondered if I could use the Easiyo setup to make yoghurt from scratch – i.e. from milk and a bit of yoghurt, but never got round to researching it or finding a recipe.


On the weekend,  I was looking through one of my neglected asian cookbooks (I need to make more curries) and, lo, came across a recipe for yoghurt that involved milk only, plus a bit of yoghurt:

Boil 1L milk in a pan and keep aside til luke warm. Ad 10 g yoghurt to the milk and mix well.  Keep aside to set in a warm place for 6-8 hours. Once set, refrigerate to chill.

Cut, then, to the supermarket,  where 2L bottles of milk were 2 for $6. My other didn’t want 4L milk, and I find it hard to get through 1L before it goes off, let alone two. However,  I thought I could try making yoghurt with the other litre. I didn’t really expect it to work (particularly given it was Hilo), but  – hey –  at least the milk was cheap(ish). Anyway,  I boiled up my milk last night, and left it to cool in the Easiyo pot.  I think it was a bit hotter than luke warm when I  mixed in a dessert spoon of yoghurt (about 25g) and put it in the thermos (with hot water in it) but it was midnight and I was needing to get to bed.  And… this morning… it looked like I had yoghurt!

Homemade yoghurt

I popped it in the fridge to set and investigated it after I got back from work.  There’s a lot of ‘whey’ in the pot, which I mostly tipped out, but the rest is a really nice yoghurty-yoghurt.  Now,  I have no idea whether this recipe is robust and reproducible – or I just happened to get lucky first time.  I’ll definitely be trying again – possibly with full fat milk to see how that goes ( though I like low fat yoghurt and I’m really quite happy eating what I’ve made).  If it all works out I may well be buying more 2L bottles of milk in the future!