I spent the morning feeling a distinct lack of inspiration. Lots of reasons, a lack of rain, a lack of funds and a lack of sleep (and that's the main reason I'm sure) to name a few. But I did my chores, went for a walk, read a little online and then went outside to plan a few things in my mind while I worked. And in the process, I found inspiration to do what I do.
|Bees and bottlebrush|
I took this picture yesterday when I was having new tyres fitted on my car. Oh my, what an expensive exercise that is. I was at the fire station taking a picture of poor Tim for today's photo of the day. Which by the way, I am participating in on my personal Facebook page. Of course if you are a blogging friend then you are more than welcome to send me a friend request so you can see the pictures or just to be friends .
Last week I decided to use a rather underused ingredient. I know the humble quince when made into a paste is popular on cheeseboards but I decided to use it in a savoury casserole type of dish. And because it is tart and sweet at the same time, I coupled it with lamb and spices in a Moroccan inspired combination.
Spiced Lamb with Quince
1kg lamb meat, fat removed(leg is good but chops are cheaper), chopped into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups vegetable stock
1 quince, peeled and cored. No quince, use a cooking apple, it works.
500 grams of pumpkin/ sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
juice of 1 lemon
5 dates, pitted and chopped
Preheat oven to 180degC.
Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb. Transfer the meat to a casserole dish.
Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened.
Add the spices and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the stock, sugar, and dates and bring to the boil.
Pour over the lamb and place covered in the oven for an hour.
Remove from the oven and add the juice, quince and pumpkin and bake for another hour. Remove the lid for the last half hour to reduce the liquid.
This time I served this with mashed potato and steamed vegetables but couscous and salad are nice too. A piece of crusty bread for mopping up the sauce is good too.
Tonight however dinner is looking a little less successful. I made a batch of baked beans using a recipe(from a popular television chef) which looked good but really hasn't turned out as expected. This is his last chance, I don't think I will be tempted by the pretty pictures again. They are still ok but not the wow that they promised.