seasonal cooking for June

The seasons have changed and along with it so has what comes out of the kitchen.

I like that. Seasonal menus and changing what goes on our plate according to availability and the weather outside.

Orange and Coconut Cake, an easy one to make up a head of time. Keeps well, using some of the delicious new season oranges about. Try to find some organic oranges, as they shouldn’t be waxed. You don’t particularly want zest of wax in your cake do you?

I was lucky enough to get a lovely load of my dad’s backyard citrus.

Ribollita adapted from this Jamie Oliver recipe. A really easy meal based on vegetables on hand and using up stale bread. Frugal, seasonal, healthy, local produce and tasty. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Will the kids eat it? If you have miracle children they might, mine wouldn’t touch it.

So what else is looking tasty round these parts in June?

mandarins…. eaten by the bucket load at the moment. Easy snack.

radish… finally sliced in salads

pumpkin… thai pumpkin soup with a swirl of coconut cream.

cauliflower… I’m thinking this risotto, with extra chillies please.

kale… raw or cooked green goodness. SUPER food.

leek… base for a hearty soup or sitting in the bottom of a quiche.

mushrooms… cooked up in some olive oil with a side of polenta. Yum!

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What seasonal cooking are you doing?

The secret of the picnic

To me the perfect Sunday is spent under a shady tree in the park, in the company of wonderful people, and with a  scrumptious selection of delicious-ness spread out on a picnic rug before me. Lucky for me this was just how Sunday was spent.

A group of people not seen for 5 years, but the conversation commenced like it was just the day before that we had all gotten together. We had all changed a little. Three little ones that weren’t there last time, some hair was lost, some hair was greyer, some weight was gained, and some was lost. The minor details were incidental, the excitement of being there and not a phone call away was wonderful. Catching up on events, news and wishes. Monkey Boy made a campfire of twigs and cooked us some ‘soup’ and the Little Monkey flaked out in his pram with his little monkey pal.

A gorgeous day followed by coffee and hysterical monkey giggles back at our place.

Thats what I love the most. Easy conversation amongst people that I respect and value their company… (with a little cake on the side.)

Orange and Coconut Cake

Serves 8-10.

2 oranges

185g butter

1  cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup desicated coconut

1 1/2 cups of self raising flour

Preheat the oven to 160C. Cook the chopped orange flesh up a little until soft, add the grated rind of the two oranges. Process them until lumpy consistency. In to the processor add the butter, sugar, eggs, coconut and flour. Process until smooth.

Line a 22cm round cake tin with non-stick paper. Bake for 1 hour 20 mins.

(Adapted from a Donna Hay magazine recipe)