The asparagus is really taking off now which is great timing because asparagus and egg are a classic combination, whether it be freshly steamed spears dipped in soft boiled egg or a more sophisticated dish of steamed or grilled asparagus dressed with a combination of finely chopped hardboiled egg, chopped parsley, finely grated lemon rind and crispy fried breadcrumbs (right).
Our pigs are getting bigger everyday, enjoying the weeds in my garden, and this week the time had come to thank and say goodbye to two of them. This week I am planning to make bacon....not the kind of bacon you find in packets at the supermarket, it will be salt cured and made without nitrates and therefore wont be pale pink but a pinky brown colour and it will be delicious! I haven't yet decided if it will be smoked in our homemade, 44 gallon drum smoker or left as is. This will be the subject of my next post.
The week ended in a frenzy of baking in preparation for the local Agricultural Show. Apart from the fact that I enjoy baking, my main motivation is that without contributions from locals there wouldn't be much to look at in the main pavillion. Sadly the number of exhibits was a bit low this year but on the up side this meant it was fairly easy to bag a few prizes :) The highlight of my day was that my scones seemed to really impress the judge. At the risk of giving away my secret, the recipe I use comes from one of my food heroes, Stephanie Alexander in her 'Cook's Companion.'
Stephanie Alexander's Prize Winning Scones
500 g self raising flour
100 g butter
300 ml milk soured with a squeeze of lemon
Preheat oven to 220 deg C and grease a baking tray. Mix flour, baking powder and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add milk and pulse until just combined. Turn out on floured bench or pastry mat and bring mixture together, quickly and gently kneading with your hands. Pat dough out to about 3cm thick. Cut into rounds and put close together on the tray. Brush tops with milk or dust with flour. Bake for about 15 mins, then cool on a wire rack.