It’s been a while! Thank you for all the kind messages after my last post. Some of you thought I was disappearing forever. And it seems I almost did! I merely meant to let myself off the hook. Grant myself the elbow room to post without obligation. So I could focus on Ellery, and try to reclaim some of myself. Anyway what I meant to say is that I’ll still be here, but only when I can manage it. Which, as it happens, is not often at the moment. But I’m hoping to wrangle a bit more time for blogging in the near future. Fingers crossed!
So what’s been happening? Lots of time spent babying in the blistering heat of a Queensland summer. Which has ever so thankfully eased into a blissful autumn. And now here we are, on winter’s cusp, and it is delightfully cool. The whales are making their return up the coast. We saw our first about a week ago. I’ve been (mostly) looking after myself. Trying to do something for me every day. Walking, yoga-ing, cooking, reading. Starting to knit winter things. A beanie, complete. And now a long-awaited blanket is taking shape.
I’ve been sky-gazing. Sunsets of lavender, smoke and burnt meringue. Icy twilight blues. Double rainbows and stormy brews. The sky here is constant, always in view. So different to the big smoke.
The boy and I have been rug-sitting. Under a large banksia in our yard, lately frequented by a hungry kookaburra.
The man and I have been trying to keep up with our dreams for the garden. Starting with a new grey-water recycling system.
We tripped down south to see family and friends.
We’re introducing Ellery to the wonderful world of food. Which we are all relishing.
I’m planning for a part-time return to work.
And I was awed to be invited to join some totally ace food bloggers in the ABC’s new release of their Foodi iPad app. Wowsers! I haven’t seen in yet, but if you have, I’d love to hear how it looks.
And of course, we’ve been busy raising a child! It sounds a bit daft, but sometimes, between the dishes and the laundry and the up-all-nighters, I sometimes forget. And I can barely believe he will be turning one in just two months time!
To be honest, I had no idea which recipe to share next. Such has been the lull in proceedings. This little number is not going to win any prizes for originality, but really suits this time of year. And I like it. Honey-slathered, cumin and chilli roasted pumpkin. Paired with barley. Chives. Parmesan. Those little bursts of roasty orange give a spicy-sweet kick. It’s a bit like a deconstructed risotto, of sorts. I roasted the pumpkin, cooked up the barley and slung it all together. Too easy. You could give this your own spin with different spices, or different roasted veg.
Hope you like.
What have you been up to?
I like to leave the skin on my roasted pumpkin, but take it off if you prefer. I also leave the seeds in – these crisp up beautifully and give a great nuttiness. I sometimes also like to add a spoonful or two of plain yoghurt on top of this dish.
small wedge jap or butternut pumpkin (about 200 grams), chopped into 2cm pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup pearled barley
1 tsp honey
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
small bunch chives
splash or two olive oil
3 cups boiled water or vegetable broth
sea-salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Heat olive oil in heavy based pan over low heat and saute onion and garlic til soft. Add barley, stir, and pour boiled water over. Cover, return to boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until barley is tender – it’s a similar texture to cooked brown rice, slightly chewy. Add more water as you go if needed. If you’ve got too much water, just drain it off when the barley’s done.
Once the barley is underway, place the pumpkin on a baking tray, lightly drizzle with olive oil and honey, and sprinkle the spices, sea-salt and pepper over. Place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, checking every now and then to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Spoon barley into bowls and top with pumpkin, chopped chives and shaved parmesan.