Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy spring!

I do believe that my favourite thing about living in our tiny house is the way it makes us super aware of and in tune with the seasons. 

For most of the year, we eat our meals outside at our big hardwood table. It's beautiful, being as it is almost in our vegetable garden, and we can see what's growing, we can watch the birds and the wildlife and the changing sky.

But when the weather's cold (Bega gets cold in winter!), and darkness comes before dinner time, we retreat inside for our evening meals. This is pleasing in its own cozy way, but by the time the days lengthen and the weather warms up, we're busting to get back outside.
2 nights ago, it was warm and light enough to eat outside, so we made the transition. Just like that. And it was delightful! The kids did their thing of flitting back and forth between the cubby, trampoline and table, shovelling in mouthfuls as they passed us, as Pearl and I sat and enjoyed our dinner.
To celebrate this minor but also significant seasonal turning, I'm going to share the recipe for the dinner we had. I'm calling it Autumn Farm Fried Rice, and it's loosely based on the fried rice my mum made for us when I was growing up, though with a more seasonal, use-what-you've-got kind of ethic. It's a great meal for using up bits and pieces of veggies from your garden or the fridge, and you can adapt it in many sundry ways - go wild! Have a go! It's super delicious and nutritious, and you can make it with pretty much whatever you've got hanging around, like I said. Peas are nice, as is corn, in summer... This recipe is basically the quantities I used to make dinner for the 4 of us, with no leftovers.

First, you'll need to put your rice on to cook. We use rain-fed Australian brown rice, which is quite delicious! Cook 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water until all the water is absorbed. Set it aside, with the lid off, so that the rice kind of dries out. Of course, if you've got it, you could use leftover rice too!

Next, make an omelette. I used 6 duck eggs, a little bit of salt and 1 shallot, chopped up. Whisk this all together, then pour into a frypan with very hot oil in it. When it's cooked through, set it aside.

In the same pan, cook 2 chicken breasts, so they're nice and crispy on the outside. Set these aside with the omelette.

Now, in a big wok, heat a few tablespoons of oil (I used sesame oil). Add a couple of tablespoons of grated or minced garlic, and the same of grated or minced ginger. If you have shallots or something like that they can also go in now. I also added 3 smallish carrots, finely diced. Just fry them for a little minute til they start to cook.

Then I added the rice! Stir it all around, and add a bit more oil if you need/want to. 

I then chucked in the omelette and the chicken, which I'd kind of torn up into small pieces, and some sunflower seeds. Almonds are also nice if you have them.

Keep stirring!

Then I doused the whole lot in tamari. I have no idea how much - just til it tasted nice.

Right before it was served, I stirred through about 3 bunches of tatsoi that were grown by our awesome friends Thea and Tim who grow the most amazing veggies around. Luckily for us, they're happy to trade awesome veg for chicken. Yeah!

And that's it! We served ours (the grown-ups) with green tomato chilli jam, which just takes it to another level of deliciousness.

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