Friday, 30 August 2013

some like it hot

Well some like it hot and the weather is endeavouring to please them.  It is hot here today, far too hot for the time of the year, with still one day of winter to go by the calendar.  I had on a 3/4 sleeved cotton top earlier and have changed it to short sleeves with a scooped square neck.  It's beautiful, but unseasonal and it makes me shudder at the thought of summer after 46° here one day last summer.

I have also cooked something hot.  Macadamia chilli brittle with a recipe from an email from   BoxFresh,  my fruit and vegetable supplier. I have cut and pasted the recipe.  The packet of nuts was just slightly over the half cup in recipe so I used it all.

Macadamia & Chilli Brittle 
24 August 2013

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 Minutes


  • 1/2 cup coarsley chopped salted macadamia nuts.
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes


Preheat oven to 250°C. Lightly oil a large sheet of foil on a baking sheet, then warm in oven.

Shake the nuts in a sieve to remove any nut powder (this will create a clear brittle).
Cook sugar and water in a deep heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly
with a fork, until melted and pale golden.

Cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan, until golden. Immediately stir in red pepper flakes
and macadamia nuts and cook, stirring, until nuts are golden, about 1 minute.
Quickly pour onto foil, tilting baking sheet to spread brittle evenly before it hardens.
(If caramel hardens too fast, put in a 250 c  oven until warm enough to spread)
Cool brittle on baking sheet on a rack until completely hardened,
then break into large pieces. Brittle may be made 3 days ahead and kept
in an airtight container at cool room temperature.

These are great to add texture to a desert, eye catching and totatlly delicious.
Perfect for parfait, Ice cream or soufflés.
My toffee is not as golden as I would have liked.  The smoke
alarms here are very finely tuned and while the sugar/water
mix was not burning, the steam set the alarm off.  It was
 going crazy.  I turned on the exhaust fan over stove
and opened doors and windows and it still went on.  So
I turned off the toffee and stirred in the nuts and chilli.  >/c>
It tastes good.
My birthday pizza evening went very well.  A constant supply of pizzas and lots of friends and family.. Two of my ex-husbands cousins gave me a birthday cake.  Flourless chocolate so it was suitable for the coeliac granddaughter.  The only word I can think of to describe it is "decadent."  Very moist, very dark, very yummy, although very difficult to serve.  I had tried to specify no presents, but no one seemsd to have paid attention to that.  A herb garden for  my balcony, some good designer jewellery, some bits and pieces my sister had bought at a tiny secondhand shop in Gladstone in the Flinders Ranges  in SA.  And more.

I've been plugging away on my sister's socks but only slowly.  Otherwise no knitting.

My sister has had bad news in that there is another spot on her lung.  It's now seventeen years since the first diagnosis of breast cancer and that has returned three times.  She had a spot on her lung removed two years ago and  it was exactly the same cancer as all the others with no mutation.  In a way this is good news as it means it is not a secondary.  She said she has never felt such pain as after that operation.    She sees specialist next week for tests only he can order.

My friend has been ill since Easter and has had many tests  done.  The latest from an immunologist have prompted even more.  To my mind they remind me of the tests mum had done when she was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, CLL.  I've not mentioned this to him but will if he asks.  That disease is treatable and many live a very long time after diagnosis.  Mum started chemo at 85 and hated it so much she stopped it.  Her blood tests remained fairly normal for many years and she died of a stroke.

However, I had these two pieces of news in half an hour.  I was somewhat shell shocked most of yesterday.  I'm better today and more able to cope.  Both sets of news were unexpected.

I've turned to some basic cooking in an effort to restore normality.  Dinner tonight will be duck breast and vegetables baked with some duck fat I bought yesterday.


2paw said...

I am so sorry to read you had two unexpected pieces of news. I hope that all goes well with the treatment. there are always new drugs and protocols and so we can hope for the best outcomes.
MrsDrWho's smoke alarm goes off at the slightest whiff of smoke, which is good, but Very Annoying.
Oh the brittle sounds great. I love it because it isn't chocolate: I can eat it. Yum.
I like to give gifts so I can understand why people ignore your request!! I like to find something that will make the birthday person happy and surprised.
I am in fear of the hot weather, it will be 20 here this weekend and that's a heat wave. I will have to break out the dresses soon!!

Lynne said...

Oh dear! You are going through a rough patch with your family and now your friend. Sending you hugs and praying for peace for you and healing for them.