“What on earth is Jude talking about” ? I hear you ask… well a shrub is kinda like an old fashioned cordial, only it’s vinegar based (which preserves it). I love them, and last Christmas I started trying them out and feel pretty confident to tell you how I did it. It’s going to take about 2 weeks, so perfectly in time for Christmas. I just picked up those babies above the other day on my way home… seconds.
The Poole china…well, this year Christmas will be in my new home, with all the family coming. I’m setting the table (part of it will be a trestle table) and I thought to myself, I would love, love to use Mum’s glorious green Poole china. I warn you I may shed a tear as I write this, i’m a bit emotional at the moment… the stopping after a huge and massive year, and it doesn’t take much to get me crying. Mum is 96 and still lives at home, independently, still cooking but absolutely not as capable as she once was. She is at the pointy end of the stick in life, and wanting to move things out of the home to people. The Poole china was to go to me, and I asked mum the other day if I could use it for Christmas. Well, this week I packed it into boxes with mum watching and bought it home. “Check if there is anything else in the cupboard” she said, so i did, and there was – beautiful Kosta Boda glass bowls, stunning glass bowl… “take them too”. My mum has never had a lot, but what she had was beautiful – she has spectacular taste. And here was I packing them to leave her home forever, she was passing this onto me, preparing to know that this part of her life, and indeed her life was coming to it’s close. My mum has always been there for me, when i hated her, yelled at her, left her, she has loved and supported me no matter what. What value of a mother ? It’s everything. So that’s the Poole china. This Christmas, no matter where you mum is, give thanks to her for without our mums, who would we be?
So recipe below… it’s super easy and I hope you enjoy it. I haven’t given you a finished photo of the shrub because mine is still in the making, but if you look around the internet you will see them – THIS pic is gorgeous and will give you the idea. What I also do, when the shrub is finished is use the discarded peach (all sweet and vinegared up) to make peach chutney. Now, if you are looking for more Christmas ideas (like Marshmallow, Gingerbread House and goodness knows what, you can find them HERE. OR, you can just go to the blog and hit Christmas and have a look through.
May your days be merry and bright as we lead into this most special time of the year…
Hello there !!
Yes, I know – a long time between posts. I have to tell you honestly, that how much can we do ? Has this been an extraordinarily busy year for you too ? I just checked and my last blog post was in July ! I can’t tell you where that time went, but most likely into trips to the East Coast (Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast) for classes, talks and book launches. Oh my goodness. Then home finally to settle into my new house, and actually make it home (I still haven’t photo’s, but are working on that). Between settling in and unpacking, I have been down to Albany for the Food for Thought Festival, and Margaret River for classes and talks, and am now currently running a 4 week intensive – a kind of mini Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program (as I couldn’t run the full program in this crazy, busy year). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not whinging, and I love what I do, but certainly thinking that it seems that we are all being asked to just do so much more, and there is only so much more we can do. Somedays to be honest, social media is just a step to far. So, right now as the year comes to a close, and I’m super busy, I am making sure I walk in the cool, very early morning and smell the earth, listen to the birds, and connect deeply to why I do what I do,so that I can remember when you and I connected (perhaps it was on the Sunshine Coast at the book launch, or in Sydney in class, or in Perth when i saw you at the farmers market) so it doesn’t just become work, and so that I can – in all the working – also just be me. I do hope you are taking some time for you, and sometimes, just saying no to too much. x Jude
But for now, we did Barley, Asparagus Risotto in class the other day and it’s such a simple, easy dish that I thought you might enjoy it. Everything is in season right now, so it’s a great choice.
As the year finishes, I do have a couple of treats in – store for you.
- For those who couldn’t get into the free The Week Before Christmas class (or aren’t in Perth), I am running a free webinar – no date just yet, so stay tuned. It will be all about being organised with delicious food so that busy week before Christmas is so much easier, and more delicious.
- I have 1 set of all my books (yes, including Wholefood Baking) to give away. Stay tuned for that competition shortly. You will need to be subscribed to the newsletter to be in this competition.
- Many of you ask about Wholefood Baking, and truly it’s a crazy story. It sold out, won awards, yet Murdoch have not re printed… but I think (think) a reprint is in the works. Ebooks are available.
- I have copies of all books (other than Wholefood Baking), ready to wrap and send to you for Christmas Presents. My elves are at the ready to wrap and post (and I will sign of course). Postage for 1 = $10.00, Postage for 2 = $15 Postage for 3 = $15, Postage for 4 = $20.00 (Australia only) All $AUD Just email me your order to firstname.lastname@example.org
- WHOLEFOOD heal – nourish – delight | this is my first book at a special price for you now of $30.00 (normally $50.00)
- COMING HOME TO EAT (Wholefood for the Family) | my second book, and whilst I love all of books, this book has some of my much loved family favourites. Must cook – Mango, Cashew Chicken. Oh, and Lemon Coconut Teacake – both wonderful for summer, and easy. ($30.00 normally $40.00)
- WHOLEFOOD FOR CHILDREN – Nourishing young children with whole and organic food | my third book, and wonderful for anybody also with a dodgy tummy or gut as the principles are the same. This is also great family food. $45.00
- WHOLE FOOD FROM THE GROUND UP | my latest baby – released in June this year. I am incredibly proud of this book (well all my books) but I can tell you, this has my most up to date, wholistic information – I see a better and more whole lay of the land so to speak, with many absolutely delicious, and not difficult recipes. $40.00
This little baby has been in my head for sometime as a distant image – I kinda knew what I wanted, but didn’t have time to work it out and thus it missed going into the new book. So you are getting it for Christmas dear reader. As I began to slow down last week, I finally could see (in my mind) how to go about this recipe. As it happened I had a play date set with my gorgeous friend Emma Galloway (My Darling Lemon Thyme) as a chance for us to really catch up before she heads back home to New Zealand. What a truly beautiful soul is Emma – and talented. Given photography is not my strength, and it most certainly is Emma’s, I asked her if she would mind bringing her camera and take some shots. These gorgeous shots you see here are hers, and the making of it was a joint effort :) Needless to say, we did not stop talking from the second she arrived to the second she left. Thank you for the beautiful photos Emm!
It’s very easy, gluten and dairy free. Now I say that not because I think gluten and dairy free means something is wholesome and healthy, but because I like my sweetness a little less rich and lighter when the weather is 40c (as it is want to be on a Perth Christmas Day). For those of you that follow my work, you will see it’s pedigree in the Vanilla Bean Almond Cream and Creamy Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Frosting from Wholefood Baking. Just a couple of things:
- You will need to soak the almonds for the milk overnight to make the almond and coconut milk (and please don’t be tempted to use tetrapak almond milk, it will be watery and not nice. You can however make the almond and coconut milk the day before, so you are ready to go the next day.
- You will really only need about 3/4 of the chocolate biscuit base, but I’m too tired to work that out. I would make it up, and perhaps make little tartlets with the left over !
- This really is best eaten the day it is made -it will also look it’s best. I know that’s not optimal for Christmas, but you could have the milk made, and the strawberry juice made and it really doesn’t take that long to put together.
- Use a good vanilla – I like Heilala
- Dont use a generic agar powder, go to a Natural or Wholefoods store and buy it there. Two good brands are Honest to Goodness or Lotus
- If you are wondering about kudzu, you can find it here (in Australia) here in the U.S
I’d like to ask you something here though… enjoy this recipe and I would love you to share it but please respect the copyright of both myself and Emma. There’s a lot of craziness going on in the blogging and instagram world. I (and others I know) will now often see a recipe that is mine (or theirs) directly posted with no acknowledgement, or a few small changes with no nod to it’s source. I would ask that you please respect this.
It’s been a big year for me, with lots of blessings and challenges. I didn’t run the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program this year as I was exhausted, and with a book to finish. That new book is just about put to bed, my family are well, I am loved and supported by that wonderful family and true friends, I have wonderful neighbours, I’m finally able to own my home and am building, I’ve been doing public classes again and I have the absolute blessing of doing work I love – and I hope, making a positive difference. I got the flu badly (twice), I didn’t balance work and rest too well and I’ve learnt a lot of about false friendships and those that are true – lessons are blessings in their own way as they free you for the new growth, deeper friendships and all that really matters. I go into the new year grateful, loving with arms open wide to embrace the new year with joy.
I wish you and your loved ones a joyful, peaceful and safe Christmas, may you be richly blessed with everything that really matters.
Hello !!! Are you as busy as I am right now, finishing off jobs before Christmas (for me that is putting the new book to bed – going through last pages, checking it twice – and getting my new online tax system finished, making sure my builders are going to get the roof on my new house before Christmas to avoid delays in the new year, thank you notes)….. ? I’ve tidied up the blog a bit (but really it needs a lot more tidying up – as does my garden) and have rounded up some recipes that are 1) Christmas and 2) are great for this time of the year. Please bear in mind, some of these recipes are old (but not bad) and have not imported into the new website beautifully – and, I’m a bit better photographer than before (not a lot, but a bit!) They are still favourites.. especially the puff pastry. I’ll have a new post up next week for a easy, dairy + gluten free + vegan dessert – one of my favourites.
Till then… x jude
I know, we have Christmas in summer here in Australia, this year they promise a cool 30c rather than the general 40+. I don’t know if it’s because I am a child of tradition, or my age but I love to think of snow. Perhaps it’s because I love cold weather – the food, the clothes, the snuggling, the games, the reading etcetera. Whatever the reason and because of both I wanted to do a gingerbread home this year – just for whimsy. Whimsy is an important thing -you better not pout (with reason or logic) it’s your heart calling, and when your heart calls you better listen. When Nessie was growing up, her beautiful older cousins Kim and Lisa took charge of the GBH. They provided all the lollydom that she missed out on at home, and I’m incredibly grateful. Not for the lollies in all their chemical and fake glory, but the experience, the daringness of it all and the connection (even now her cousin Fran sends her a text the other day with a picture of the kids making a GBH with the caption ” look Ness, real lollies”). I’m pretty much of the belief that it’s actually not about the lollies, but the experience and if you provide your makers with enough fun, they will be very very happy indeed. Can I say a word about ‘wholesome’? I don’t belive that means no sugar – I believe it means close to it’s natural state as possible, moderation, connection, fun and deliciousness.
So let’s get to it.
I’ve chosen to use whole ingredients with a minimum of whole and semi refined sweeteners (namely rapadura, golden icing sugar and brown rice syrup). The home is built on a wholemeal spelt base with rapadura sugar – if I was in the U.S I would have chosen maple sugar as it would give an amazing flavour. I’ve made the royal icing glue using the Billingtons Golden Icing Sugar – a semi refined sugar which I love (in Australia it’s available in many supermarkets, even Woolworths). Because it’s semi refined, it will come up brownish when made and you can see that beige tone in the glue along the side of the walls. Because of this, I’ve not used this icing for ‘snow’ on the roof, or indeed even sprinkled it to resemble snow – as soon as it absorbs a touch of moisture it will be brown. SO, I thought I’d try marshmallow and very happy with the final result. I chose to press crystallised ginger (I bought some without sugar around the edges) onto the roof panels, and love the end result – and the more ginger for me the better. Children might not like to eat that, what about some roughly chopped pecan or walnut? Something just gives it a wonderful textural, roofy effect. I sprinkled cornstarch over the entire house for snow, and found some shiny cake sprinkly things in my pantry and gave it a touch of that also. You can see I was lazy and didn’t make windows – that’s easy to do if you would like, but with children involved, I would recommend you keep it simple.
Before we get started, I want to say to you how much I’ve enjoyed meeting you this year as I travelled with my new book Wholefood Baking, and through facebook and instagram. I spoke to a woman called Lisa from Sydney the other day who had rung, to ask which book she thought I should buy her friend for her birthday. In talking she said that her very, very fussy mothers at playgroup don’t blink when she brings and says ” this is a Jude cake / dish”. Please know I understand that trust given, and thank you for having me in your kitchen and home, and know I consider it a deeply meaningful honour and privilege. Blessings to you and your loved ones for a beautiful Christmas season and blessed 2014.
PUTTING THE HOUSE TOGETHER:
It is best to make the royal icing and glue the house together first, THEN start on making the marshmallow. The Gingerbread pieces must be absolutely cool before using. Decide also what you are going to put it on – I have simply used a chopping board.
You can find the Gingerbread recipe below, the Royal Icing /Glue recipe below, the Marshmallow recipe here with a few extra notes about it below, and you will also need 1 tablespoon cornstarch for the snow.
Place 2/3 royal icing into a large piping bag fitted with a 5 – 7mm nozzle.
Start by piping a good amount of cement along the sides of the front and along the sides of the side panel. Join together on the board – you will find you only have to hold them for a few seconds or so, and leave to ‘set’ for a couple of minutes before continuing on with the back and other side panel. Make sure it is nice and sturdy/set before doing the roof. Be generous with your cement, and nothing says you can’t go along with the piping back and add more to the gaps if needed. For the roof panel, you will need to pipe cement along the top of the house sides, front and back tops and along the top of the roof panel. Place them on one at a time, and then pipe more as needed. Using a finer piping tip, use the remaining icing to decorate as needed (window’s, etc).
NEXT STEP IS TO MAKE THE MARSHMALLOW. I made the recipe in a vanilla version without the strawberries, and did a couple of different things. Firstly, replace the strawberries with water. When adding the gelatine to the water make sure you sprinkle it in and mix it until smooth – no lumps. Secondly, reduce the amount of sugar – there is no acidity from the strawberries to buffer the sweetness, reduce it to 280 – 300 – no less, or you won’t have what you need. Thirdly, I used 3 kinds of vanilla – all my favourite Heilala brand – I scraped out vanilla seed from 1 pod and added the seeds to the sugar, water, brown rice syrup mixture + the paste and extract as per the recipe. The trick with using the marshmallow to decorate was beating it for ages – easily about 15 – 20 minutes which helped it to cool and set up a bit. You can see how I used mine, but even at this stage it would still run – I couldn’t make snow banks against the house, as it just ran down so I would say practice before you commit yourself. You will have left over marshmallow (terrible I know). I’ve set mine up to use in a rocky road – you can read how to set it in the recipe.
When you’ve snowed it with marshmallow, add twigs, trees etc as desired and stick them with the glue.
That’s my beautiful Christmas Fairy on our tree – we put it up yesterday. It was a gift from my daughter Nessie – she keeps trying to entice me with Christmas Angels/Fairies hoping to replace the one that sits atop the tree – the one she made when she was four. But nothing will ever replace that angel, but I have to say I adore this fairy. So, after goodness knows how many months, here I am. I imagine that you have given up on me, having had no blog for months. I wouldn’t blame you. For me, it’s been a very good year, and truly I have a lot to be grateful for. It’s a profound thing to see your dreams come to life – to see my books on the shelves (thrilled to see 2 of them sitting on the Book Depository top 10 for weeks), to meet you as I travelled around Australia to launch my new book Wholefood Baking – to be a part of so many peoples lives is a deeply privileged thing. To see my dream of training a new generation and skill base in Australia with the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program realised – now in it’s third year with the program running from August through to November was deeply rewarding. But in all that, I can tell you honestly, I ran out of ability to give to the blog – right now I’m just a tad emotional, exhausted and wanting to nest. I want to bake and watch Season 4 Walking Dead, Season 4 Downton Abby, Season 6 Mad Men – you get the drift. Mostly, I think I want to be IN my home, IN the experience of my Christmas and with those I love. I want to be IN my life and let my day take me wherever without me worrying about the list of jobs to do, places to be or – the person I sometimes expect myself to be. I want to enjoy this view of my life where I now sit – I turned 60 a couple of weeks ago, and can I say it feels very good – for the first time I’m actually IN my life, the life I wanted, in all it’s glorious imperfections. Thank you for being a part of that.
But, we do have to eat. I don’t know about you, but life gets pretty busy and I like to have quick easy things on hand in the fridge with which to make a meal. I have 3 recipes for you today and next week when the children are home I have a wholesome gingerbread house for you. But before we get into the recipes, this is what you will find being cooked and eaten in my home over the Christmas season at some point – recipes from my books. What you see in my books is very much everyday food and how we do eat at home. From my new book Wholefood Baking – Trifle, Buche de Noel, Rustic Tarts of Seasonal Fruits, Puff Pastry mini pizzettes and Danish, Barley Wheat and Rosemary Crackers, Rugelach and Christmas Crescents. Yes I hear you – that’s all sweet stuff :) Savoury wise – I try to stock the fridge with good basics – home made mayonnaise (Wholefood for Children), the recipes you see here today, pesto, pate, organic nitrate free ham, home made chutney’s and my it pays to have pastry in the freezer (I like puff and shortcrust). Recipes I love from Coming Home to Eat, Wholefood for the Family (my second book) include Poached Chicken with Asian Flavours, Chicken and Bread Salad, Puff Pastry Tart with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto, Market Vegetable Enchilada’s, Japanese Ginger Fish Balls with a Sweet and Sour Sauce and Bok Choy, Little Savoury Chicken Cakes, Rice Paper Rolls with a Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce (it’s a fab sauce). From Wholefood – heal, nourish, delight (my first book) Chicken Fajita’s, Berry Nice Pancakes and Eggplant Parmigiana are big favourites. I haven’t even touched Wholefood for Children!!
I’ll be back next week with the Wholesome Gingerbread… x Jude
Gluten Free Dairy Free
This is a recipe inspired by Lorna Sass, a fabulous American wholefood writer – it’s a great way to include mineral rich sea vegetables in your diet. Arame can be a strongly flavoured sea vegetable – using the robust flavour of olives helps to balance this out. Whilst Arame is rich in iron, it is wise to keep in mind that it is non – heme iron and not absorbed the same way as the heme iron in red meat. Adding some food rich in vitamin C (here lemon juice) helps you to absorb that non heme iron. This will keep for 2 weeks in a sealed, airtight jar in the fridge and just gets better. Use good quality olives and capers – for olives I like the Mt Zero Kalamata or their little green ones. If you’d like to add fresh rosemary or thyme to the tapenade that’s lovely also.
1- 2 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup pitted olives
3 tablespoons capers – drained, or if packed in salt rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
sea salt to taste – consider here your capers
Put the arame in a large bowl and pour enough boiling water on it to cover it by at least 5cm. Stir through and leave for 10 – 15 mins or until it is soft. Drain well.
Add all ingredients to a food processor and process to a rough pate. Taste and adjust – a lot depends on the quality of the olives and capers – add lemon juice and sea salt as desired.
BEETROOT AND GREEN LENTIL HOMMUS
Gluten Free Dairy Free
This is a recipe developed by one of the 2013 Whole and Natural Food Chef Training students – Camille Reid. It is incredibly delicious and easy. It’s best to use the classic ox blood beetroot for this dish as they will give the best colour. Store for up to 2 weeks in a clean, air tight container in the fridge. I also prefer to use hulled tahini, which has a milder flavour – many people think the unhulled tahini will have more calcium, but this is bound in the hull with oxalic acid and not bio available.
1/4 cup small French green lentils – in Australia I like the Mt Zero
2 teaspoons why or lemon juice
2 small – medium beetroot – washed, scrubbed and chopped into rough 5cm peices
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons hulled tahini
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, with extra for drizzling on top as required
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Begin the night before by covering the lentils with water, adding the whey and leaving to soak overnight.
Drain the lentils and add to a medium size saucepan with the beetroot and stock. Simmer over a medium heat until the liquid is absorbed and the beetroot and lentils are cooked – about 13 or so minutes for the lentils and until a sharp knife can easily pierce the beetroot – about 20 minutes. Add extra stock if required. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Add the lentil and beetroot to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until silky smooth. Taste and adjust flavour as required – more lemon, more salt etc.
HERBED LABNE BALLS
Incredibly easy to make, great for giving this is a variation on the labne recipe here. 1 kg of Paris Creek Yoghurt will make about 10 balls. Make sure you fold the muslin over the labne, then place a plate on top. Then place a can or something heavy to put pressure on the yoghurt, this will give you a nice thick labne, easy for rolling into balls. Covered in oil like this, they will keep for at least 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge and make a wonderful gift. How to make these? Once the labne is ready, spoon it out and gently roll into small balls, then gently roll in finely chopped herbs – you need a lot, more than you think. As they roll and take on the herbs, they become easier to manipulate. I like rosemary, lemon thyme, chives, garlic chives, marjoram, oregano and parsley are all good – be careful with basil as it tends to oxidise very quickly – so instead if you have basil on hand, put it in the oil to flavour that instead. Gently place the balls into the jar and cover with extra virgin olive oil. Add a couple of cloves of peeled garlic (and that basil) to flavour it. When the labne balls are all used, the oil makes a wonderful dressing as the garlic and herbs infuse it with stunning flavour.
- Afternoon Tea
- Chef Training
- Core Recipes
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Grass Fed Meat
- Late Summer
- Making a Book
- Meals from my Garden
- Quick Dinner
- Ramble and Roam
- Seasonal Cooking
- Soaked Grains
- Sustainable Fish
- Wedding Cake
- Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training
- Wholefood Kitchen