Sunday, 3 June 2007

Little Foodies Australia & Something Seasonal & English

The Little Foodies are loving Australia... and I'm hardly surprised.

I worked for this company for many years. It's where I met my husband, it also allowed me to travel the world staying in luxury hotels all in the name of work. (Something I probably would never have been able to do otherwise - the luxury bit that is!). One of my trips was Australia. It was a whistlestop tour - in 10 days, I visited, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Kangaroo Island and Sydney. It was a tiring trip and left me feeling that I'd somehow missed something. Being a work trip I had to see all the tourist sights, visit all the hotels and fit in many meals hosted by various restaurants and hotels. All of which were delicious and this was before the whole Australian food scene thing had taken off.

One of the best bits about my trip was meeting one of my distant cousins. It was his 30th birthday and he came to collect me from my hotel in Sydney. He had a small party in his apartment and it was so lovely to be included in that. I think the reason I felt I'd missed something was because it was all at such a frenetic pace. I didn't have time to stop and just take it all in. I was there and then I was home again, so I'm enjoying this week learning all about the Australia I missed.

So far we've learned about kangaroos, koalas, possums, wombats, tasmanian devils, dingos, wallabies, emus, kookaburrahs, barramundi, sea lions, fur seals and of course the very cute fairy penguins. We've also learned about sheilas and tinnies, the didgeridoo and not forgetting the Aboriginal people. We've talked about Kylie and Australian soaps. We've done tourist sites and I've shown them about 1000 photos from my own little tour.

We really are loving our virtual trip to Australia and with all the bbq'g we haven't felt the need yet to sample any of the other great recipes on offer from famous Australian chefs like Bill Granger and all... I also have a book with a great title. Cooking under the influence, by Ben Canaider & Greg Duncan Powell. There are some fun recipes in there but as this is really for the children we wont be going down that route. I have a whole pile of stuff I want to cook this week. Bill Granger seems to be my favourite, recipe wise, don't know how anybody else feels..?

This picture is the dinner that Little assembled for himself... with the minty lamb burgers that his Daddy cooked this evening. Look at all that lovely salad. (Boring as anything without dressing and I couldn't eat it like that, but good for him!)

Something not so Australian but seasonal and English. I made this up today and I really like it. It's not too sweet, it's quite moist and it's gone down very well with the house.
Rhubarb and Elderflower Syrup Cake
125m sunflower oil
225g light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
225g self raising flour
150ml natural yogurt (I used organic fat free live bio)

5 big stalks of rhubarb
80ml/third of a cup elderflower syrup

Wash and chop the rhubarb into 2cm /1 inch pieces. Put in a pan with the elderflower syrup and cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the rhubarb breaks down. Leave to one side to cool down. You could make less but I wanted to serve some with the cake, as shown.
In a large bowl add the sugar and oil. Mix with a whisk for a few minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and whisk each time you add one.
Add the flour and fold in gently so as not to make it too tough (A bit like you would for muffins).
Then add 1 cup of the cooled rhubarb & elderflower syrup mix and the 150ml yogurt and fold in. It will look all gloopy - that's fine.
Pour into a greased tin or silicone ware. I used a 12 inch silicone round.
Bake for 1 hour at180C/Gas Mark 4
Leave to cool before turning out.

I was reminded of the elderflower syrup from Joanna's food. She also wrote of elderflower champagne. Yes, we know, we can't call it champagne, we know that champagne is French so we could call it Eldeflower Cava, Elderflower bubbly, whatever, it's good!


Asha said...

How lucky to travel and see so many countries! We have been to Europe mostly,never to Aus.Sounds like a great trip.Love the cake,so yummy!:))

Little Foodie said...

Hi Asha, Sadly I don't travel so much now which is why we're doing our virtual tour of the world from the kitchen table.. Hopefully one day we'll be off travelling the world again. Amanda

Joanna said...

Hi Amanda - LOVE the idea of cooking the rhubarb in elderflower. Great cake, too

And as for calling it elderflower Cava - PERFECT: Lucius refuses to buy champagne on the grounds that it's an overpriced overhyped blah blah product infinitely inferior to a good bottle of Cava! So, elderflower Cava it is!


Marie said...

Oh Amanda that does sound good! I love rhubarb in any way shape or form! Australia is one of the places my husband and I really would love to visit one day. My brother's brother in law lives in Melbourne with his Aussie wife. (he's Canadian Japanese)anyways, back to the rhubarb. I can well imagine it tastes splendid poached in the elderflower syrup! Well done!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, Amanda! I love your virtual trips. The food is always so interesting and looks so good!

I've never been abroad - I'm glad you had a chance to travel!

Cottage Smallholder said...

A friend of ours introduced us to Bill Granger. Great, tempting, sparkling food.

Other friends introduced us to Sean Moran, more complex recipes but great.

So we've tried a little Australian food in a converted barn, near Saffron Walden (Essex U.K.) and a Holland Park flat (London). We enjoy the occasional virtual trip.

I really enjoy reading about your adventures.

Little Foodie said...

Hi Joanna, Thank you, We're the same about champagne and cava.

Hi Marie, Thank you, it was.

Hi Patricia, It was good to travel for work but I don't imagine anything like how I would want to travel. In other words free and able to take it all in.

Hi Cottage Smallholder, Thank you, I enjoy reading yours too. I'll check out Sean Moran. Bill is top as they seem clean and simple.


Truffle said...

That cake looks absolutely delicious and I'm glad your boys are enjoying their culinary tour of Australia. Thanks so much for all your help with my Europe trip. You've been wonderful.

Kelly-Jane said...

I'm loving your trips as well :) It just adds a lot of fun!

Both dishes looks lovely, and probably healthily balanced if you put them together ;)

Little Foodie said...

Hi Truffle and Kelly Jane,
Thank you x 1 million


Gemma said...

I love your virtual tour - I may have to borrow the idea when my time comes to have kids!

Little Foodie said...

Hi Gemma, Thank you. You'd be more than welcome to borrow.


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