Mother in law would be delighted if I made the pud. Raisins yes, sultanas yes, currents yes…dried pineapple must get, figs also, beef suet must get, so much for being vegetarian….brandy yes, sherry must get - great chilled pre-dinner drink. Need a 1.5 litre bowl … and a space of
five 7 ½ uninterrupted hours. Need string. Mother in law provides bowl, suet from the butcher. All assembled. Have coffee and begin. Chop, chop chop. Suet rather smelly, minced, rubbed in. Mix into bowl. Paper lids on, teflon rubber bands replace string. Pud in pot. That took 2 ½ hrs only 5hrs to go….water gets in top of pud. redo paper still 5hrs to go...
finished pudding should look something like this, recipe in Ruth Pretty Cooks at Home or you can find it here..eat in 2012 or even better save for 2013. Another recipe from the book might also be good around Christmas.
After bringing armfuls of fresh baking home over the last couple of months, I will miss Alice and her kitchen. Alice has been fantastic to work with and her generosity showed no bounds. This was typified when on the last day of food photography she offered me a cake to take home. Aptly named Celebration Cake, Alice was celebrated when the cake was presented at a friend's house and held pride of place amongst fish and chips, burgers and a few beers.
Although the styling here differs from the more refined book version, the inside remained the same - three layers of chocolate cake. For those who like to bake, look out for the book in the middle of next year.
I have even noticed a few much neglected asparagus spears popping up in our garden. However you will need more than a few spears to make the Toasted Asparagus and Swiss Cheese roll recipe from Ruth Pretty's latest book.
Ruth's book was a great project to work on as the food images were complemented by editorial photography, landscapes and photos of garden produce.
In front of a small gathering in his trademark laid back style Brown talked about his backyard, his TV show, and more.
As guests ate their way through tasty morsels including chargrilled tuatuas (actually it was a gas barbeque), smoked kahawai potato cakes and marshmellow caramel muesli slice, Brown explained his philosophy on food.
It’s about savouring the journey to the plate; the prep, slowing down and enjoying. “By the time food arrives on a plate its dead”. Fitting with this philosophy Stoked is about cooking on an open fire (preferably your own hunter-gathered produce). A stark contrast he says to books of recipes containing only four ingredients, ten minute meals, and frozen sushi.
As Brown munched on a pulled pork sandwich (with apple cider slaw) he described his own backyard on the South Coast of Wellington; the big outdoor fire, a wood-fired oven, a chargrill, a Japanese teppanyaki plate and yet another oven that acts as a warmer. A set up Brown says was designed “to take cooking classes for Khandallah housewives if the phone didn’t ring after leaving Logan Brown”.
Despite a packed programme Brown has created a winning combination in his new Auckland establishment. Depot seats 70 and is already doing 300-400 meals a day. No dots on plates, formality left at the door and serving wine ‘on tap' are some of the markers of this fresh restaurant. Underlining Brown’s approach to food, Depot’s current menu includes freshly shucked oysters and cockles, wild pork salami, wild rabbit rillettes, kahawai, snapper, kingfish and food cooked over charcoal or hardwood.
Unfortunately for Wellington, a Depot style restaurant will not be arriving anytime soon. Brown says this is partly the due to the capital’s smaller population, but also to his vision of expanding into Australia. The audience left the garden room warm and contented with Stoked. They’ll be lighting their own fires.
Guests mingled in anticipation of the arrival of food royalty, Madhur Jaffrey to a book signing at Ruth Pretty's Garden Room. Imbibing hot spiced tea and munching muthries the gathering perused a selection of Jaffrey's extensive range of cookbooks.
Having arrived at Wellington airport only a couple of hours previous the spritely 78 year old was greeted with loud applause. She then spoke eloquently about her personal and public life. Meanwhile exotic food and drinks circulated. The recipes including dates, seekh lamb kebabs, cheera and shaka para were each from a different Madhur Jaffrey cookbook.
The golden sun enriched the already vibrant colours of the Garden Room, decorated for the occasion by the Ruth Pretty Catering crew. The setting struck a poignant note when Jaffrey said her biggest regret is not spending as much time as she would like in her own garden.
"Can you eat the food you photograph?" or "what are all the tricks to make the food look so good?" are the two questions I am most often asked about as a food photographer. Surprise registers when I say pretty much the only thing used is a little olive oil .
The only time I can remember a trick is when we put raw new potatoes in a salad, as with cooked potatoes the skins slide off . I would say lighting, fresh ingredients and props are the keys to a strong food photograph however some food photographers try other approaches - check this video out