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A Beautiful Weekend

Good morning! 🙂 I am happy to report that I’m feeling better than I have in WEEKS! With rest, sunshine, and more rest, pain has ebbed and I’m so very grateful. 🙂

It was a lovely weekend, starting with Foyle’s War with Mike and Toby at Toby’s place. He made us all sorts of goodies – popcorn, chips and pico de gallo, but my favorite were oven roasted carrot chips with dill. Delish! Even though I’ve seen all the episodes of Foyle’s War, I can never remember whodunnit! It’s like I’m watching a new movie every time, and I’m not complaining one bit. 🙂

Saturday morning dawned beautifully sunny and after a lovely sleep in I trundled out to my sunshiny kitchen for breakfast. First I juiced a bowl of apples with a pile of grated ginger. Mmm, so fresh and tart.

Thus fortified I bustled about organizing my pantry, doing laundry and washing dishes until I was good and ravenous. Then I gathered ingredients for my absolute favorite hot cereal. Millet porridge with ground almonds, unsweetened coconut and dates. It’s my Mum’s invention and I love it!

Mixed with almond milk, honey and topped with slivered almonds, it’s a creamy, satisfying bowl of goodness.

By this time the afternoon sun was blazing through my windows, so I opened my door, spread a blanket on the floor and stretched out in the doorway with a good book. Protected from the icy wind all I felt was glorious warmth and I basked in it like a lazy cat, soaking up those healing rays, reading happily and eventually napping. Bliss. 🙂

Late afternoon I got inspired to try something I’ve been wanting to try for ages: molded gelatin. Of course I’ve made Jell-O salads and such, but these are different. I found them in an old Victoria magazine with a feature on banquets of old where chefs would create glistening molded jellies in wonderful shapes, colors and flavors.

The first one I tried was rich and creamy, two layers of almond gelatin sandwiching a thick, chocolatey latte one. Mmm! I did this in a Nordicware Bundt pan and served it in great quivery wedges.

Although the taste was great, the almond layers were softer than I would’ve liked (hence the photo not showing the mushed bottom :-)), and next time I will add more gelatin.

For the next batch I layered hibiscus gelatin with almond, and did mini ones in lovely molded muffin tins.

They were light and fruity, with delicate flavors that made me think of balmy summer mornings.

One day I will try the stunning, towering confections like they had in the magazine, but today I’m content with my little gelatin creations. 🙂

Sunday morning my friend Rose gave me a bouquet of pussy willows! (Thank you!!) I learned that you should never, ever, ever put them in water. If you don’t, they last for simply ages. 🙂

Sunday afternoon my pal Johanna did my taxes (THANK YOU!!!) and I made dinner for her and her man. I do love bartering. 🙂 Then we headed over to Mum and Dad’s for birthday cake (Happy Birthday, Johanna!!) and a good ol’ visit. After they left, Dad watched The Game and Mum and I cozied ourselves in the back room and had our own little movie day watching Foyle’s War and Campion whilst sipping Aussie wine and nibbling on Fritos, dark chocolate mint patties and crescent-roll-wrapped-smokies with sweet hot mustard. Clearly we were on a health food kick. 😉

I’m so grateful for such a good weekend, a grand mix of people and solitude, rest and accomplishment, sunshine and rain. 🙂

Millet Porridge
(From Mums)

1 cup millet
4 cups water
3 dates, chopped
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Directions:

  1. Combine millet and water in saucepan. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer 40-45 minutes. 
  2. In food processor blend almonds, coconut and dates.
  3. Stir everything together and serve with almond milk and honey or maple syrup.

Almond Jelly
(From Lynn Siy)

Ingredients:

2 pkgs. unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. almond extract

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle gelatin on cold water in a pot. Put on medium heat.
  2. Stir constantly until dissolved.
  3. Add 1 cup sugar, stir to dissolve. Remove from heat.
  4. Add almond flavoring to the milk and pour into the gelatin mix. Stir to blend.
  5. Pour into 9″ square glass pan and put in fridge to set.

Latte Jelly
(From recipezaar)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon gelatin
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
375 ml ca evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pour boiling water over gelatine in heatproof bowl.
  2. Stir till dissolved.
  3. Put coffee and cocoa in saucepan.
  4. Add sugar and milk.
  5. Stir over low heat till coffee is dissolved and mixture is hot but not boiling.
  6. Remove pan from heat, coll till lukewarm.
  7. Stir in gelatine mixture and vanilla.
  8. Pour mixture into 4 cup oiled mould.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours till firm.
  10. When ready to serve, dip base of mould into hot water then invert onto plate.
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