Christmas Day lunch — a table laden with season's eatings. Roast leg of pork with crunchy crackling and a drizzle of apple sauce. Orange marmalade-glazed ham studded with maraschino cherries, pineapple and cloves. A platter of prawns with thousand island dressing. Dauphinoise potatoes and baked sweet yam with maple syrup. Sponge cake trifle layered with custard, peaches and jewel-like blobs of jelly. Bowls of cherries and a berry-topped pavlova. And, best of all — crisp and delicious green beans. Yes, green beans.
'Is not possible!. He tell me I not know how to make-a paella! I tell him paella is-a Spanish, not Cockney-stinking eel pie! I make-a paella like my mama! My mother's recipe is big in Barcelona!'
'If you plant it, they will come'. Well, at least that's what I told my niece when I explained to her that I love urban foraging. And if there's a plentiful supply of flowers on a nature strip, then I can't help but take a sprig or two to brighten my kitchen.
'My nanna always made Yorkshire pudding. I think it was to fill us up before we had the meat and vegetables. Back in those days, Yorkshire pudding was stodgy and made with beef or pork dripping. It's nice with roast beef, potatoes baked in their jackets, and carrots, peas and gravy.'
'Somehow I was never told that rhubarb was good for me, so I grew up loving it. I loved its beautiful rose-pink colour, its sharp and surprising flavour, and the way I could trail a spoonful of proper custard through my bowl of rhubarb and admire the patterns I made.'
It is with great pleasure that I welcome my friend, Helene Dsouza, food blogger at Masala Herb, to Good Things. Helene's blog is a melting pot of global dishes: Austrian, French, Indian and fusion; and is a visual and culinary feast. You will find recipes as diverse as Semolina Dumplings (Grießknödel); French Yogurt cake (Gateau au yaourt); and Red Spinach stir fry (Tambdi Bhaji). Helene was born in Austria and her family has both French and Austrian origins. After graduating from hotel management and commerce studies in Salzburg, Helene decided to take a break, spread her wings and travel to India. It was there that she met her husband and they live in Goa, which is (according to Lonely Planet) 'a tiny, glorious slice of India hugging the country’s western coastline and bounded by the Arabian Sea'. In this guest post, Helene shares her recipe for a mushroom and pea pulao. Now, over to Helene...
'I am absolutely in love with the south of Italy. It really is the soul and the spirit of the country. I’m talking about Siciliy, Campania of which Naples if the capital, Basilicata, Puglia, those sorts of areas, around the boot, the heel, the instep… and Sicily of course, the island down the bottom. In terms of food and wine, over the last twenty years I have made a personal discovery of those areas and I really can’t get enough of them.'
'Cheese courses are too often overlooked, which is a crime when you have [such good] camembert. Half the cheeses were split lengthways and layered with the earthy lushness of local truffles, while the others were drizzled with honey and thyme before being baked. Both lifted the already beautiful cheeses, but for me the oozing joy of the baked version was really hard to beat.'
With the approach of the festive season, I'm literally tickled pink to share this recipe for creamy coconut ice with you — mainly because it's the best, creamiest coconut ice I have ever tasted and I know that once you've tried it you and your taste buds will love it too!
'I remember the wonder of being a child, when food was always exciting. But that magic I felt as a kid has often disappeared in our adult lives. I want to bring back the wonder of food on a monumental scale, to remind us just how magical food can be... and make us all feel like kids again.'