Summer is officially over. It has rained heaps this summer. Tomatoes have loved it. The rest of us have grumbled. Still we made the most of what we had and I managed to ticked off 7 out of 10 items on my Summer To Do list. Here’s a the summer summary of my to do list:
Have a picnic at the beach
It wasn’t the picnic to beat all picnics, but hey, it was a picnic at the beach, a marine reserve in fact. There was still hot free range roast chicken, salads and breads before and after snorkeling. Like a comforting farmhouse meal only at the beach.
Read about it here.
There were no other picnics in our summer, but we did have plenty of BBQs in our backyard. So many that we ran out of gas. Must remember to refill that thing…
With the funny weather we are having, I wouldn’t be surprised if we are able to squeeze in a picnic or two before the end of April.
2. Grow mint and make mojitos
While I didn’t plant mint this year, I noticed the mint I planted last year came back from the dead. So I had zombie mint and I did have white rum, but we accidentally drank the rum before I got to set the two up on a blind date. Oops.
3. Go strawberry picking
In my defence, it’s probably a good thing. I’ve decided that my favourite fruit in the world, the strawberry is the root of the summertime skin issues I’ve had all these years. I’ve been avoiding strawberries ever since.
Prepare Ika Mata (Cook Islands raw fish)
One of those dishes I always order if it’s on the menu. But one that is just as easy to make at home.
I made a decadent version with yellowfin tuna instead of your average white fish. No regrets. So delicious and so easy, though it is possible I made too much. I have never overindulged in Ika Mata. What a complaint. Half a kilo of raw tuna will stuff 3 people to the gills. I should make this again sometime in a smaller quantity or perhaps share with with more friends.
Recipe and write up here.
Make an edible gift for Christmas
I’m not one of those people that really get in to Christmas, or at least I don’t feel like I am. But it’s always nice to make some yummy treats to share.
I’m really no good at following recipes and missed out a vital step in the Edmonds Cookbook recipe for russian fudge. This meant that my fudge didn’t set and I was faced with having to conjure up a Plan B. I am skilled in System D so I fudged up these cute little puff pastry treats on Christmas morning.
Read about it here.
Roll sushi I completed this task just over the weekend. I was pleased with how these turned out but I know that I have plenty more to learn yet!
Read about the weird reproductions here.
7. Brew ice lemon tea
I had the ingredients. I just didn’t get around to it.
I had plenty of chances to indulge in Mamak’s ice lemon tea though.
Make ice cream
Surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. With my failed edible gift of russian fudge from number 5, I made russian fudge ice cream. The soft fudge was perfectly dreamy. No food processor or ice cream maker required, just an egg beater and plenty of bowls.
Totally impressive for the amount of effort involved. That’s what we like right? Easy recipes that sound impressive?
Read about it and see the recipe here.
So good. Made with Hakanoa Ginger Syrup and tomato paste, these were pork ribs were meltingly delicious. Not really a complaint, but perhaps these were a little too tender (if you like your meat to give up bit more resistance).
I think this recipe could work on the BBQ if you’re looking for a faster option.
Recipe for my Pork Ribs with Tomato-Ginger Sauce and write up here.
Do something with rhubarb
Crossing off this task was the first time I had ever tasted rhubarb on it’s own. Well, with sugar anyway. I loved it. I stewed a batch of it and used in pastries and as a topping on porridge.
Recipe and post can be found here.
Coming up next
I’m not ready to think about autumn yet. Maybe I’ll give myself a week to get over summer first.
For my new readers, the aim of these to lists is to tend to a growing edge. Your growing edge is the part of you that is still learning, trying new things and experimenting. It’s the area of your life that you are improving and working on. It’s often too easy to keep cooking your favourite tried and true dishes over and over again. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel like there’s so many delicious things to eat and and so little time so I need to push forward to get anywhere. I first started writing a seasonal to do list last winter. Not only will you learn new things, but the unfamiliar or things that you shrink away from can become familiar to you with practice. It’s the initial leap that is the hardest.
Read my previous lists: Winter Summary: BUH-BYE WINTER, Spring Summary: SAYONARA SPRING.
Mint is perennial and will come back. So will catnip, which seems to be related, unless you have voracious nip addicts prowling the neighborhood. We keep a plant in the cage so that the felines don’t devour it into nonexistence.
And strawberries are actually quite high on the allergens list. Alas, your problem.
I love the idea of perennials. Go zombie plants!
I will steer clear of cultivating catnip. We have enough cats visit our place without attracting junkie cats 🙂
Im making rhubarb, prickly pear and rose water sorbet. Never had it on its own either. Dont remember you making these pies but they look yum! Maybe Ill use the rest of it for pie.. mmmmm
I don’t think I’ve ever had prickly pear before. Sounds cute.
They aren’t cute. They are viscious cactus! You can’t actually touch them and they have warnings all over the box that they come in. Tyler did a little demo of cutting them up for me but I can’t find it 😦
I imagined a prickly pear to be like a cute green hedgehog.
I haven’t eaten any kind of cactus before or even seen it for sale. People will eat anything 😉 I wonder who was the first person to eat it?
We are just approaching Spring in this hemisphere, Genie. I’m sorry that your summer was not as good as you had hoped. You did manage to cross a lot of things off your list though. Mint is VERY invasive, so if you are able, pull it out of the ground and plant it in a pot instead, if you can…it will always come back, even with our very cold winters.
We used to run out of gas at dinner parties ONLY. When we moved into our present home, we installed a natural gas bbq, so the gas is endless. We’ve never forgotten to turn it off either…that would be expensive.
I’m afraid that our mint doesn’t seem to be very invasive, but it’s been planted in a raised garden bed with nothing else. At the moment there are only a few sprigs. I wouldn’t mind a whole section of mint one day 🙂
I know what you mean about running out of gas at dinner parties. We must have had about 15 hungry people over, we cooked the vegetarian stuff and right when the meat was about to go on, the gas ran out. We have a gas stove and a gas supply, not sure how to run it to our bbq though. It seems so silly that we have gas on the stove yet on the other side of the wall outside, the gas bbq is on empty.