Well I’d say Happy New Year, but we’re already a quarter of the way in, so I’ll just say Hi! It’s been a very slow start getting back to The Urban Nest, and I’ve missed you, really, I have.
Things slowed to a halt at the end of last year when my sister, George, and family came over from the UK for a Christmas visit. We had such a wonderful, relaxing time eating, drinking and lazing on the beach at the Mornington Peninsula, and exploring Melbourne through the eyes of visitors. No time for blog posts.
When they left, the relaxing continued with the four of us spending ten days in Bermagui. At this point everyone says “where?” Bermagui is a lovely little holiday spot on the NSW coast near Bateman’s Bay. A bit too far to drive easily from either Sydney or Melbourne, and with Canberra a good 4 hours away, it’s just a little too far from everywhere to make it too touristy or overcrowded. Perfect! There was a good deal of lazing on near empty beaches, cavorting in the ocean, vintage wares fossicking, eating delicious locally grown food, tasting all the amazing and unusual flavours at the Bermagui Gelati Clinic; the perfect antidote to the stresses of the year.
Of course we came home to the beginning of the new school year busyness, with the Misses E and S starting year 11 and their VCE journey. Apart from that I’ve been seriously working on improving my food photography. I bought a new 100mm macro lens for my camera, had an excellent one-on-one food photography coaching session with Rachel from Two Loves Studio, and finally got my hands on the out-of-print Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin, otherwise known as the food photography bible. I just seem to have gotten side-tracked with life, but it’s all good.
Here’s a recipe for some deliciously healthy, crunchy, bitey, sour pickled vegetables I made the other day. The original recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, with a few tweaks from me.
- 1/4 green cabbage
- 1/4 red cabbage
- 1 red capsicum
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 cucumber
- 11/2 cups white vinegar
- 11/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4 teaspoons table salt
- Mix brine ingredients together in a medium sized bowl or jug and set aside.
- Using a food processor slicing blade, or just a sharp knife:
- Remove outer leaves and core of the cabbage and shred finely.
- Core and de-seed, then thinly slice the capsicum.
- Peel and julienne the carrots.
- Thinly slice the cucumber - I quartered mine first as suggested by Smitten Kitchen.
- Mix all the vegetables together in a large bowl.
- By now the salt and sugar should have dissolved in the brine. If not, give it a bit of a whisk.
- Pour the pickling brine over the vegetables and mix well to combine. I used clean hands.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.
- Keeps in the fridge for up to a week, becoming more pickled as it rests.
- Handy to serve with lots of things.
Gluten Free, Vegetarian
So far I’ve added it to wraps and rice paper rolls, other salads for a tangy element, noodle bowls alongside barbequed salmon, avocado and edamame, and tonight’s lucky last serve as an accompaniment to vegetarian burgers. You could give it a go.
Thanks to Safari Living for the loan of the serving bowl.