School holiday cooking – microwaves and more

Spent a whole day with the grandchildren here yesterday, always such fun.  As always Charly arrived armed with her notebook she dedicates to writing the new recipes we invent while she’s here.

First order of the day – let’s make some ricotta to include in other experimental dishes of the day.

When that process was well under way,  next on the list –  some breakfast muffins for her mum to take to work. Charly had brought with her the electric patty cake maker.  We decided to cook some of the batch in there and then compare them to the others we would bake in the oven.  After that we tried different shaped tins.

The results were very tasty, only I should have taken note of my own recipe that said to merely grease the tins, not use muffin papers.  The mixture stuck in these a bit.  (Recipe is in “A Kitchen in the Valley”)

A bit of a disagreement broke out between Charly and Jacob.  The topic of dispute – could you actually cook in a microwave oven, or was it just useful for softening butter and reheating things? Only one way to settle that argument – experiment!!

Actually, some decades ago, I used to teach a Microwave cooking class in various Neighbourhood centres in and around Hobart.  Thankfully I still had the recipes, so Charly made a selection from these and off we went.

She was absolutely astonished that a lovely, light chocolate cake could be mixed in mere moments then baked to perfection in just 4 minutes in the microwave. (Recipe is in “Sweet!)

A baked blueberry cheesecake was her following choice, and that was made in a mere 10 minutes.

Next – potato cubes steamed  – they were needed to form part of a hot potato salad that would be served as a side dish as part of the dinner for her mum and dad later in the day.

Not to be forgotten, Hester the Big Bakers Oven roasted chunks of pumpkin for our planned large tray bake quiche.

As the day continued on, Charly set to work to decorate her chocolate cake masterpiece.

So by late afternoon, all was prepared for dinner.  The dessert of chocolate cake and blueberry cheesecake stood at the ready for dessert.

The ricotta she had made was used in the large quiche, a variation on green eggs and ham pie from “Out of the Bottle”.   It contained four different types of cheese, a dozen of our chooks’ eggs, herbs from the garden, fresh spinach, milk, pesto and the roasted pumpkin chunks.

There were  crispy, crunchy herbed zucchini and ricotta fritters, and Hester the BBO had baked and browned the hot potato salad beautifully.

Lots of fun with cooking, interspersed with outside activity.  Poppy Puppy loves it when the children come for a visit.

Late autumn is the time when she and Charly customarily play chasings in the fallen leaves of the elm tree in front of the kitchen window.  Exhausted, Poppy came inside and sat on the couch with Jacob, watching Rick Stein on the Food Network.

Speaking of exhausted, young Charly was so full of tastings and dinner, not to mention all the running with Poppy, that when she arrived home she needed a little rest on the floor to catch her breath.

What a great day!

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