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    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Fish Pie and a Celebration of 90 years of a Wonderful Life - Fun in Hamilton

    We have been very privileged to be invited to our friend Max’s 90th birthday.
    An excellent party. Thanks Max.
    If we could be as good as him, when we are even 70... I will be forever grateful.
    Max lives in Hamilton, not normally known as the hub of the Western Cultural World, but nevertheless a very lush beautiful area.
    The man himself, below, with speech of the day, we were lucky enough to get one of Max’s corny jokes.
    His specialty…
    Thank God they didn’t do 90 candles on the cake
    Could have been a major .
    We stayed in Rural Hamilton , Debbie is surrounded by beauty.
    Only minutes from the City.
    Rocky the Dog always alert.
    An elderly Cat,
    Peanut, The Ancient Goat, 13 goat years, 91 Human years...He's older than Max
    Elderly chickens…its all Lifestyle Farmer here.
    The weather was beautiful, time for gardening,
    As we sat and watched, wine in hand, Debbie and David attacked the lawns, hedges and weeds.
    With enthusiastic support from Dale, (hands in pockets!)
    It’s a never-ending story on a lifestyle block. As lovely as it is though, I am glad I just have a courtyard in Parnell.

    Sunday dawned, yet another sunny day, Debbie and I went to the Farmers Market.
    It was a fabulous market. It’s run like an English market. You must be a licensed grower to sell your produce.
    And beautiful produce it was. I managed to spend $100 in just under half an hour.

    Beautiful Steak from Wholly Cow, freshly caught scallops,
    And from the wonderfully named Soggy Bottom Holding, an excellent Pork Pie,
    Hard to find a good pork pie.
    I want to make one…see if I can do as well as these people.
    A project for me next week perhaps.
    That Soggy Bottom man also made very tasty sausages. Bought those as well.

    Fabulous orange flesh pumpkin, Only $2 for a huge piece.

    Marmalade, gluten free lavender shortbread, which was delicious.
    A gift for our friend John.

    So well laden, we came home.
    First meal. Pumpkin Soup
    I thought it would be a good idea to use the Ginger Marmalade in the soup.
    Orange and ginger both goes well with Pumpkin... The Marmalade was lovely and added and interesting background bitter taste. Unfortunately there wasn't enough ginger in it so I compensated and added some grated fresh ginger at the end.
    Pumpkin and Ginger Soup

    1 kg pumpkin cut in chunks
    1 large onion cut into quarter
    Olive oil
    2 tbs ginger marmalade
    1 tsp chili flakes
    sea salt and pepper
    1 litre chicken stock
    1 tbs grated fresh ginger

    Chives to garnish

    So I roasted the pumpkin (skin on) with the onion,
    All tossed in a little olive oil with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    Remove from oven
    Peel and chop cooked pumpkin and onion.

    Into a large pot
    Add 1 tbs olive oil
    Add pumpkin and onion
    Season salt pepper and chili flakes

    Toss around so everything is well covered with the oil
    Add marmalade
    Mix again and cook to carmelise a little
    Add chicken stock

    Top with water so the vegetables are covered.

    Cook for about 30 minutes till vegetables can be pureed

    Into blender
    Serve with chopped chive to garnish.

    Of course there was left overs and here is a recipe to use up your leftover soup.

    White Fish and White Bean Pie
    Gluten Free version
    For 8 people

    8 large potatoes
    100 gms butter
    200 mls (approx) hot milk
    1 egg beaten

    800 gms fresh white fish
    2 tablespoons Olive oil
    sea salt and pepper
    White wine

    1 tin cannellini beans drained and rinsed

    500 mls pumpkin soup
    300 mls cream

    Frozen spinach 100 gms (thawed)

    Peel and cut potatoes into small pieces
    Boil in salted water till tender
    Drain well and mash with butter and hot milk
    Test seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary

    Add beaten egg and set aside.

    Meanwhile season fish and gently sauté in olive oil in a medium pan

    Cook about 2 minutes one side
    turn over add wine turn heat up till wine is bubbling
    Cover and remove from heat and leave about 2 minutes
    (You may have to do this in two batches)

    Remove fish from pan and break into large pieces

    Place into gratin dish
    Add beans
    Spread spinach over the top
    Bring the juices to the boil and then add the cream.
    Simmer till reduced by 25%
    Add soup mixture to the cream
    Stir till combined
    Pour over fish mixture
    Let cool and then spoon over mashed potato
    Fork up for ridges
    Bake 30 minutes 190C

    You could serve with a salad. and some crunchy bread or just have it on it's own.

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