I woke up to a gloriously sunny, but freezing, crisp morning on the hill today. I grabbed my camera and, a picture of sartorial elegance in my pink pj pants, red fleecy top and aging brown uggies, wandered straight out to try to capture a few frosty frames before the sun melted the ice on the ground. Of course, on a particularly steep slope the inevitable happened and I found myself quite suddenly on my bum after slipping on the icy ground, but I think the photo’s are worth my small sacrifice. What do you think?
I adore the golden yellow of the wattle. Blooming so lavishly in the dead of winter, it’s a blowsy promise of things to come.
I love the way the colours on the trunk of the old gum are reflected in the weathering of the tin shed in this one. And the sole, eagle-eyed sentry checking out the perimeters!
But – back to food. I’ve been giving cauliflower some thought this week (as one does!). According to Mark Twain, “cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education”, but I’m not entirely sure I would agree. Introduced to European tables in the 16th century, cauli is an annual plant and a member of the brassica family which comes in some gorgeously stunning varieties. I don’t think that traditional English styles of cooking have done cauliflower any favours, as it releases some pretty pungent smells if it over-cooks – something my grandmother had down to a fine art! I suspect this might have had something to do with the custom of coating it thoroughly with a creamy cheese sauce, but other cultures use a variety of spices to bring out the absolute best in this vegetable.
I prefer cauliflower to be either raw or barely cooked and, besides cheese and cheese sauces, it goes very well with cumin, turmeric, chilli, paprika and cardamom. The New York Times published a very tasty looking recipe for spicy pan-roasted cauliflower here, back in June and this recipe by Heidi Swanson from 101 Cookbooks really gives the boring old cauli a chance to shine as the star ingredient supported by caramelised onions, ginger, chilli and sesame seeds. Whichever way you choose to serve it, it is in season and at it’s very best at this time of the year (in Australia) so why not try something a bit different and get to know cauliflower all over again.