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Showing posts from November, 2012

Spiced lamb with onions and raisins; and couscous with toasted almonds.

If you have the ingredients, this is easily achievable when camping if you’re good at juggling pots and pans over a slow fire. Not literally, of course; although that no doubt would entertain your fellow campers should the river rolling by cease to amuse. In any case, couscous is just instant pasta and the lamb is just a straightforward stew with a few exotic spices. But the aroma! If you thought the last recipe was an outdoor drawcard, don’t cook this in a busy campsite. A kilogram of onions gently frying with cinnamon and raisins? Paddlesteamers would tie up. * Place one kilogram of cubed lamb, a big chopped onion and 1.75 litres of water into a large pot over hot embers. When it comes to the boil, throw in a teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon, four cloves and a good shake each of salt and ground black pepper. Too easy so far. Open a cold beer. Keep the pot on a low simmer for half the afternoon; i.e., from lunchtime to afternoon tea, or from that to dinnertime. (Or ditt

War of the roses.

'Big, sharp and dangerous' is how one gardening writer described rose bush Lorraine Lea's thorns. 'So don't plant one near driveways or pathways,' the writer continued.  I have one in the front garden but clear of the pathway. I did, however, almost sever a tendon when pushing the lawn mower under an arched Lorraine Lea branch, and a thorn cut through the top knuckle of my clenched fist like a shark's fin cutting the water. At least it was a clean cut. Lorraine Lea is also a climber. A few years ago, after pulling out a too-rampant jasmine, I put one in the east sideway where, once it reached the top of the fence, it could ramble. About twelve feet away, I planted another rose: Albertine. Twelve feet wasn't enough. Albertine is winning the turf war, its unusually narrow stems overtaking Lorraine Lea, and its soft, smallish delicate pink buds now appearing to grow on Lorraine Lea stems. Lorraine's are a denser pink with a faint yellow tinge. Both ar

Cook your beer by the river.

So they turned Victoria Bitter back into a beer, reissued the earlier pack design and brought back the old advertising line, a hard-earned thirst needs a big cold beer . Good*. I cooked up the following stew while camping along the Murray River recently. Browning the meat takes a little extra effort and an additional implement or two. Optionally you can throw the whole lot in together. When your pot starts steaming, the aroma will drift along the bank and you'll have visitors. Beef with beer. In a large pot over the camp fire, place one chopped onion, a dash of oil, 500g diced beef (dredged in seasoned flour and browned), a chopped carrot, two sticks of chopped celery, a bay leaf or two, a chopped leek, a sprig of thyme, two tablespoons of tomato puree or paste, a tablespoon of brown sugar, one can of Victoria Bitter and enough beef stock to cover. Let it bubble away for a few hours. Serve with potatoes wrapped in foil and buried in the coals for an hour or two - they'