Nostalgia:
A bittersweet yearning
For days gone by…

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A longing,
in my heart…..
for russet reds and golden rays

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And a sweet, sweet apple tart!
Bronzed and glittering
Leaf blankets and piles,
Pumpkins and squash…
For thousands of miles
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Crisp cold air – outside
The warmth of fall – inside
Tartan blankies
And mugs of hot soup
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Till, winter comes
And the yearning is gone….
Filled and stemmed by a scoop
…or two
of something special
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Or sandwiched between tim tams
I taste it….
the golden flavours of autumn
and the heartwarming spices of fall

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Come with me…..
Share some pumpkin icecream
…..a golden taste of the 3rd season!

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This week, I’m honoured to be cooking in tandem with Megan of Feasting on Art as part of a collaboration theme she has going on her blog.

Megan cooks dishes inspired by works of art….and is a bit of an artist herself! I love it. It never fails to amaze me how unique food bloggers are and this is just one example – to pair food and art: pure genius. Methinks.

Anyhow, in December, at Sligro’s Christmas party, I came across a book and the first person my mind went to was Megan. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten the name of her blog (forgive me….).

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Gritting my teeth in anger, with myself, I sulked for a day…….and then….I got a comment from her. About the party. And that fate was sealed. Boy, the desires of my heart…..met.

Weeks later, I received a large envelope in the post, full of Ozzie goodies. First up, there was a copy of ‘Delicious’ , which you know is my favourite food magazine – EVER.

And as you can see, I already have loads of recipes I’ll be sharing once they’re made…like Ben’s pumpkin and lemonade scones!

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There was a pack of Tim Tams, which have been gobbled up by my girls and I. The men in this home (thankfully) never set their wide open eyes on them, to covet! I did have to hide one though, ’cause I want to try the Tim Tam slam!

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My Anzac cookies and jar of Manuka honey are not yet open…..I’m treasuring all my goodies, slowly!

Moving on to what we made, which was  inspired by Willem Kalf  – a still life with a Chinese Tureen (1662. Oil on canvas, 64 x 53cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin).

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In the painting, the key ingredients are pumpkin and lemon.

I choose sweet…..and Megan, savoury!

Since I was blessed with a tin of pumpkin puree from Velva – I decided to make some pumpkin ice cream!

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I’ll have to repeat again, that I don’t believe in coincidences!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Pumpkin ice-cream with candied lemons.

Pumpkin ice-cream

adapted from Ice Cream by Pippa Cuthbert & Lindsay Cameron Wilson

Ingredients (for 1 litre)
375ml full cream milk
3 large egg yolks
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon (or more) fresh ginger, grated
1 X 450g tin, pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
250ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chopped crystallised ginger
White chocolate chips

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How to

Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan to near boiling point

In a separate heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar, using an electric whisk until thick and pale.

Gradually stir the milk into the egg mixture and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, along with the grated ginger.

Stir until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes, or more).

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Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

When cold, whisk in the pumpkin puree, nutmeg, cinnamon, double cream and vanilla extract.

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Cover the surface directly with cling film or greaseproof paper to prevent a skin forming.

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Refrigerate and chill for at least an hour. Before you churn, pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the ginger bits and other thick pieces.

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Churn in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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When it is churned, stir in the chopped ginger and white chocolate chips.

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Serve immediately or transfer to a freezer container, with the surface directly covered with greaseproof paper or foil. Freeze till ready to use.

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Taste…..autumn, in a scoop!

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Lemonettes /Candied Lemon

My first attempts at making this were a failure: I tore strips of peel off the fruit and went the whole hog……the end result was bitter, thin, ugly looking peels. That recipe was from a cookbook.

For my second attempt, I headed over to Jen’s and used her recipe. It worked a TREAT…and I can declare I’m officially in love…..with citrus peels!

Lemonettes, adapted from use real butter

Ingredients
2 1/2  lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, for rollingHow to

To harvest the peels, cut each lemon lengthways into 4 quarters.

Gently cut out the pulp (you could reserve it to make ‘surprise lemonade’ – recipe below) with a knife and clean the inside as much as you can. {Note that I didn’t remove a lot of pith – I learnt from my first batch that the end result is not at all pleasant!}

Cut peel into 1/4 inch strips and place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat on high until water comes to a boil. Pour off the water. Repeat twice more. Or as many times as you think. {I tasted along each step and ended up blanching it 6 times. And then I got a bit bored…..}

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Combine sugar and water in the saucepan and bring to boil over high heat until temperature reaches 230F. Add peel and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until peels are translucent. It took me about 20 minutes.

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Remove peels from syrup and roll in sugar if desired, and set on rack to dry. Mine were ready in a couple of hours!

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Store in an airtight jar….and enjoy. Like I am. Over ice cream….or just on its own!

Surprise Lemonade

I made some lemonade with the left over syrup. Remember the pulp and bits you reserved….well plonk them in the syrup, throw in some vanilla pods….taken from the sugar jar and heat up for a minute or two.

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Sweeten…if need be and then strain out bits from drink. Bottle and reserve for 6 year old daughter who’se been begging for lemonade since the summer :-) and who’s returned home the day I made this, from a night away. Watch her face brighten……as you tell her what you’ve done! *Mwah* What a blessing!

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Serve the ice cream with chopped lemon peel.

The verdict: I like the icecream, especially with the bites of chocolate and ginger! I would have liked it even more if I hadn’t overdosed on the cinnamon and nutmeg…….but it brought me back to the world of making ice cream so anything will be forgiven.
The lemonettes were definitely bittersweet….apt for a nostalgic post. Till they hit some ice cream….and then, bitterness was transformed into plain, good old fragrant citrus….with no hint of acerbity……or what other word could you use to define the complete sweetness that envelopes you?

Thank you Megan for taking me on this journey. Please visit her blog: enjoy the recipes while Feasting on Art!

I’d also like to encourage you support relief efforts in Haiti by participating in the H2Ope for Haiti - an online raffle, organised by Jeanne of Cooksister with BloggerAid – Changing the Face of Famine (BA-CFF) to raise funds for Concern Worldwide’s relief effort in Haiti.

6a00d83451960b69e20120a8c2c89c970b This raffle is a week long event, until midnight on Sunday 28 February.

On Jeanne’s blog, you’ll find the list of fantastic prizes from generous donors. Unless stated otherwise, all prizes are available for worldwide shipping and tickets cost £6.50 (roughly $10) each.  Once you have chosen the prize or prizes you want to buy tickets for, take a note of their prize codes (very important!) and click through to Justgiving’s donations page where you will find complete instructions on how to buy your tickets and specify your chosen prizes. 

Please read and follow the instructions carefully and if in doubt, send Jeanne an e-mail (emailcooksister AT googlemail DOT com).

Thank you very much! Stay blessed. With ♥.

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