Author: kathyspurling

Birds Nests pudding

image1This past week has been very challenging for my teenagers and might i say all of us because our internet was cut off , we lost a phone bill and didn’t pay it !! Actually the internet wasn’t cut just slowed to a snails pace. Like losing power one does not realise how much we depend on a service until it is gone !!

Fortunately I love reading and buried myself in a book i picked up from the op shop called “The cure for death by lightning” by Gail Anderson-Dargatz. It is a beautifully written story about a farming family set during the second world war. The mother of the main character is a fine cook and records all of her recipes in a scrapbook. Paper was very hard to come by and this special book of recipes and tips was pasted onto any scrap that came into the house.

One of the recipes that caught my eye and am looking forward to trying is called Birdnest pudding, i am guessing because it looks like a bird nest when cooked.The recipe called for nothing but apples and a thin batter you could mistake for pancake if you didn’t know better

Peel and remove the cores in such a way that the apples are left whole. Any apple will do, green apples will make a for a tarter taste.Arrange the apples in a deep pie dish, as many apples as you have guests or that your dish will accommodate .Mix a batter with three eggs and enough milk and flour to make a little on the runny side.Pour it over the apples, filling the hole where the core was, and the deep dish. Bake in a hot oven , about 180c until the apples are cooked and the batter is brown.Serve with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a bit of butter.

Veg serving ideas !

I love the taste of freshly steamed vegetables .The true taste is often preserved and I like my veggies crunchy with no oily taste.

However sometimes vegetables on their own are just plain boring and need a little flavour to make them go from boring to inspiring !

My tips for dressing up simple steamed vegetables are

1 simple balsamic glaze is great with green veg like beans

2 likewise a splash of fresh fruity extra virgin oil gives those same green beans flavour and a glossy coat

3 For an Asian twist fry some shallots with chili add a dash of ke cep manis and you suddenly have a dish worthy of eating on it’s own

4 Greens also marry well with a passata and olives along with a hint of chili


Crazy Weird foods


This week I invited a friend Graham to dinner. Graham is a very fine cook and is always keen to try cooking and eating new foods. Whilst shopping in our local little vietnamese area “” little Saigon” he picked up some very delicious Sydney rock oysters, as well as some sea urchins.

He gave me a quick ring and asked if I was up to the challenge of preparing a new food. I certainly was very curious about what was going to arrive and knowing it was purchased in the market that is called “Little Saigon” I guessed that it would be probably be a seafood.

I have tried sea urchins before during a boat ride around a greek island. The fisherman simply lifted one out of the water cracked it open and we all tried the roe. I didn’t have fond memories of it or the texture !!

This time Graham opened the first sea urchin carefully (they are quite spiky) and removed the roe , a pale soft mustard. We squirted a little lemon juice over and I was enraptured ! The second and third urchins had a completely different flavour and I didn’t enjoy them at all.

It shows how important it is to keep trying new things !!