Wednesday, 13 March 2013

there's a snail in my mailbox ...

Yesterday evening I went to check the house mailbox. Why I don't know, all our bills come electronically and no one writes to us using traditional technology, or if they do they know to use our post office box and not our street address

Anyway, in among all the junk mail from real estate agents and car dealers was a snail. Quite a big one, nibbling on some junk mail from Amex.

Gives a whole new meaning to snail mail...

Friday, 8 March 2013

Exercise and a nature diary

I've already written elsewhere about my exercise regimen, and it's still going well.

There's another aspect about it that's good - it's put me in touch with the seasons and the phases of the moon.

Not that I'm going all new age - but starting early definitely makes you more aware of the environment.
When I started it was just getting light when I set off and you could see the sun gradually light the city. Now of course, it's dark, and nothing but a million orange lights.

Except that's not true, - between the first and third quarters of last month the moon provided a decent amount of light, but now it's most definitely waning I'm back to relying on the orange lights.

And the wildlife has gone. The birds are still asleep in their trees and the kangaroos have disappeared - I suspect more to the fact that we've had some rain and consequently a late burst of growth in the grasses making foraging on the hill a more attractive option than coming down into the suburbs to search for a feed ...

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Spelt Pasta with Tuscan cabbage and bacon

Last night we had a simple dinner - spelt pasta with tuscan cabbage and bacon and it was so good I thought I'd share it.

As always you can do your own thing - if you can't get spelt pasta, use a good quality durum wheat pasta, if you can't get tuscan (black) cabbage, improvise, use savoy and mix in some silver beet. Good hard traditional smoked sausage might substitute for the bacon nicely. Try it, experiment, it's what we do.

This recipe is for two people.

What you need

250g spelt based short pasta, eg rigatoni
2 rashers traditional thick cut smoked bacon - we use Schulz's
1 bunch tuscan/black cabbage say 250g
100 grams frozen peas
2 cloves garlic
olive oil, salt and pepper


Set the pasta boiling in a big pan of boiling water with salt and olive oil added. Cook until slightly al dente - say 10 minutes, but check first - some spelt pastas take a little longer.

While the pasta's cooking, chop the bacon into centimetre square lardons and crisp in a little olive oil. (if your bacon or sausage is slightly fatty, you might be able to cook it in its own fat) Then, shred the cabbage, de stalk if necessary and cook in a second pan with a little olive oil and two cloves of crushed garlic. Add the frozen peas once the cabbage is cooking nicely. Should be ready when the cabbage turns a nice deep John Deere green. Add the lardons and stir.

If you've timed it right the pasta should be ready at the same time. Drain the pasta, wipe out the pasta pot and then return the pasta to the pot. Add the cabbage pea and bacon mix, and stir well to combine. Serve in bowls with a generous serve of coarsely grated parmesan on top.

Goes well with a glass of something decent, dry and white. Shouldn't take more than 15-20  minutes from fridge to table.