I love school holidays, I love the sleep ins, the lack of urgency, the gentle rhythm of the days and all that kind of stuff, but most of all what I have loved the most is the total love fest that Poe and Ilo slip into (there was a lot of love in that sentence). These two have been such a delight, their whisperings to each other, their beautiful ideas, seeing them lost in their worlds for hours. Countless times throughout the day they profess their love to each other as they walk about arm in arm, oh my heart has just been so full of squishy delight. This love fest obviously flows onto the whole family and right back again, I couldn't imagine a better start to the year.
Amongst all the lovin, we have been swimming, both at the beach and river, whipping up a whole batch of Kasundi, celebrating birthdays, planning a curry night, embroidering a raspberry and counting the number of sleeps until some very special loved ones come and visit.
The Kasundi (indian tomato relish) that Woo and I made was a new recipe from Simon Bryant's Vegie's, we did tweak it a bit based on what we had available; not enough cumin, we used chilli flakes not chilli powder, rapadura not white sugar, apple cider vinegar not malt and only added 3 jalapenos (we had to double the recipe as we had about 5kgs of tomatoes), we changed quite a bit actually, hmmm. Anyway, I really liked this new recipe, it is a bit sweeter and hotter than usual and is totally addictive, I have been adding it to everything, but my particular favourite has been a breakfast of a boiled egg, toast, sauerkraut and kasundi, with a drizzle of flaxseed oil, yep, doesn't get much better than that .
Here is Simon's recipe:
2 tbs black mustard seeds
2 cups of malt vinegar
250g fresh ginger
20 cloves garlic
30ml vegetable oil
30 fresh mild large red chillies
2.5kg fresh ripe tomatoes
2tbs ground tumeric
6tbs ground cumin
2tbs chilli powder
1 1/2cups of sugar
1 1/2tbs salt to taste
Soak mustard seeds overnight in vinegar. Puree in blender. Add ginger and garlic and blend until smooth. Halve chillies and remove seeds. Blanch tomatoes, peel and remove seeds and dice.
Heat oil until smoking. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in turmeric, cumin,chili powder. Add garlic and ginger/mustard mix, tomatoes, halved chillies and blended sugar and salt mix.
Simmer for about an hour until a pulp and oil starts to float on the top.
Pour into sterilized jars and allow to stand at a least a week (yeah, good luck with that one) before using to develop character. This will keep for months, but will probably be eaten in weeks.
Oh and yeah I also managed to somehow bump my precious 50mm camera lens, which meant that it decided to stop focusing...yikes. After checking in with a camera shop and hearing numbers like 100, 200, 300 being bounced around, we did some internet checking and realised it is possible, albeit possibly highly stressful to fix ourselves. Scott graciously volunteered, luckily, as he is definitely more meticulous than I am. So off her went armed with the computer and step by step instructions, latex gloves, and screwdrivers, he literally pulled the whole thing apart, put the bent lens ring in a vice, straightened it and put it all back together and woohooo, it worked. My heart dislodged itself from my throat and I did a few leaps for joy, whilst showing a huge amount of appreciation at Scott's awesomeness.