My parents and my brother came and stayed with us over Chinese New Year. We had lots of catch ups with family friends, and of course, we fired up Big Bill the clay oven for a pizza party one day.
My lilies ‘Corvara’ made a nice additional to the festivity of Chinese New Year.
As everyone’s appetite gradually became over satisfied, Aunty Sophie introduced everyone to some cheesy dessert pizzas, which is apparently an American invention. These were made by simply topping the base with a sprinkle of sugar and cheese. Pretty much every one of us was dubious to begin with, but these cheese dessert pizzas were actually surprisingly good and tasted like caramel and baked cheese cakes.
I started my usual horde of baking afterwards. I started with a sourdough focaccia using 25% rye flour, with added lemon zest in the dough, and topped with rock salt and rosemary. This flavour idea came from Bulmer Food, and the result is really lovely. Despite the rye flour, the crumb is still very open and airy.
Then I baked 4 x 300g sourdough ciabatta, as well as 2 loaves of caramel and apricot filled plaits made with the unfinished pizza dough.
The 3rd batch of baking contains 2 x caramelised onions and cheese sourdough loaves, and 2 x 50% spelt flour and pumpkin seeds sourdough loaves. I’m very much in love with the cheese and onion loaves right now. The smell of it is intoxicating! And my favourite way to enjoy it is simply on its own. Recipe to follow soon.
Finally I stuck a tray of pork ribs (粉蒸肉, in a seasoned sticky rice coating, over slices of taro), a pot of beef shin in a ginger and soy sauce broth, two wild ducks (thanks to the hunter uncle) in lots of shredded ginger and sesame oil, and a pot of wild plums (for jam) into Big Bill for the night.
Waking up to a table full of baking, then getting more goodies out of Big Bill (photo with the meats) is always massively satisfying. We enjoyed lots of these on the day, shared many with friends and family, and also stashed some into the freezer. I also packed a few doggy bags for my brother who flew back to Auckland the second day.
I took the seeds out of the plums and cooked them down further on the stove, then jarred them. They are the first batch of the preserves from this summer. Several of them already went to various families 🙂
Some of the ducks were enjoyed in a noodle soup with home grown veges, which was an excellent way to enjoy all the gingery stock the ducks were cooked in. The wild ducks are so lean and fragrant, I’ve now gone off commercial ducks… I’ve charged Diego, my puss in boots who also very much enjoyed the ducks, with the job of hunting wild ducks for the house. So far he has ignored his new charge, and still mainly focuses on catching butterflies…
Recipes you may be interested, and more to come:
- Beef Slow Cooked in Ginger and Soy Sauce (紅燒牛肉)
- Sourdough Ciabatta
- Sourdough Focaccia
- Caramelised Onion and Cheese Sourdough Bread
- Spiced Rice Steamed Pork (粉蒸肉)
- Duck Braised in Ginger and Sesame Oil