With the weather forecast to be 34 degrees Celsius and windy today, thoughts of cooking anything in the oven were initally ruled out.  However...

... it got much cooler around 1pm and thoughts turned to making a zucchini slice to use up some of the zucchinis that have been growing themselves out in the garden.  Now a while ago I mentioned on here that slices in Australia are really popular and I had recently acquired a tried and tested recipe from a friend so I set about making my first ever zucchini slice.
Zucchini Slice
©       5 eggs
©       1 cup (150g) self raising flour, sifted
©       375 grated zucchini
©       1 large onion, finely chopped
©       200g rindless bacon, chopped
©       1 cup grated cheddar cheese
©       60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 170’C.  Grease and line and 30 x 20cm tin.
  2. Beat eggs in a large bowl until combines.  Add flour and beat until smooth, then add all other ingredients, plus S &P and stir to combine.
  3. Pour into the tin and bake for 30 mins or until cooked through.

While the oven was on I thought I'd roast up a bit of one of the huge pumpkins that had grown out back.  I chopped it up into little cubes and sloshed a bit of oil over the top with a bit of S & P. (I find that I eat this with lots of meals if it’s in the fridge (great on pizzas and cold with couscous and feta)

THEN, I noticed 3 bananas that were too ripe for our tastes so I turned to the trusty banana bread recipe from Donna Hay’s ‘No time to cook’ book.  I have made some slight adaptations to this recipe to suit my tastes.  It’s so simple AND you can use up those bananas that are too ripe to eat.  I usually freeze bananas that are too ripe if I'm not going to use them to cook with. 
Banana Bread
©       145g plain flour (use wholemeal if you prefer or half and half)
©       1 Tsp baking powder
©       50g caster sugar
©       75g brown sugar
©       2/3 Tsp ground cinnamon
©       2/3 Tsp vanilla extract
©       2 eggs
©       70ml vegetable oil
©       3 mashed bananas
Optional : a handful of sultanas or / and a small handful of chopped walnuts, plus a few walnuts to garnish if you fancy.

1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugars, cinnamon and vanilla extract
2. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, oil and bananas & mix to combine
3. Add in optional ingredients at this point
4. Pour into a greased and lined 20cm x 10cm x 10cm loaf tin and sprinkle the top with brown sugar and lay walnuts along the top if you’re using them.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 160’C for 60mins (mine always takes at least another 15 mins extra)

While everything was cooking, I went outside to sit on the back step and my thoughts wandered to the successes and failures I had with my garden this year.  One hot 40+ day my poor runner beans got frazzled and my potato plants withered and died.  I still haven’t quite figured out gardening here.  It is so different to my allotment gardening back in the UK and I was never an expert there.  So anyway all these thoughts led me to trying to dig a bit of earth around the frazzled potato plants and see whether there were any spuds there.

I had planted kipfler potatoes because I just love them and they are pretty pricey in the shops.  I know they are small but they are in the steamer as I type and will taste just wonderful I am certain.  I will leave the others in the ground for a while and see if they get any bigger…..

So all in all I have had a lovely homely day with the wind blustering outside and the rain clattering on the roof from time to time.  It was so lovely to come in from the ‘cold’ outside to the warm, fragrant kitchen.  It reminded me a lot of my Sundays in England when I’d be cooking the dinner while the weather did its thing outside and I felt safe, warm and cosy inside.  And I'm so looking forward to eating the goodies from my garden for dinner.

Jo :)

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