Thursday, February 18, 2010

"How to Tell the Temperature by Looking at Your Rhododendron"

"You can tell how cold it is outside by checking the leaves on your rhododendron.

- The leaves begin to cup and curl at 35ºF.
-Half the leaf surface disappears into the curl at 24ºF.
-Leaves curl tightly, turn brownish green, and dangle at temperatures in the teens."*

Can I use this information in Southern California? No. Will it behoove me to remember this information for a temperate day in Norway? Yes. I suppose I first must purchase a large Rhododendron.

The Rhododendron is a must.

*Info from "Ben Franklin's Almanac of Hit Wisdom, and Practical Advice" by the Editors of The Old Farmer's Almanac".

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lemon Cream Pots

lemon cream pots

"500ml double cream
110g caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
60ml lemon juice

lemon wafers

35g plain flour, sifted
40g icing sugar
2 eggwhites (not a drop of yellow!)
40g butter, melted
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

Place cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon rind and juice and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Pour into 4x185ml capacity dishes and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or until set. (can be made the day before)

Preheat oven to 180ºC (355ºF). To make the wafers, place flour, icing sugar, eggwhite, butter and rind into a bowl and mix well to combine. Place a teaspoonful of mixture on a lightly greased baking tray and spread to create a 12cm strip. Repeat with remaining mixture, leaving space for wafers to spread. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until light golden. Cool on trays. (Can be made the day before- freeze to store- thaw on rack to crisp them) "
(Donna Hay Magazine Issue 45, page 100 Recipe by Jane Collings and Steve Pearce)

to serve

I used homemade lemon curd, double cream and lavender, toped with one lemon wafer. I then served them with unsweetened earl gray tea- the bergamot in the tea complements the lavender and lemon flavour, whilst not being too sweet- you will already have the sweet lemon flavour on your pallet, so sweetened tea with not be a good compliment.

Los Angeles Rains