Arabella has bought herself a cookbook. It’s Donna Hay’s Fresh and Light. All inspired, she said she wanted to cook brunch for when we were down on the farm.
Arabella doesn’t cook very often. Case in point, she recently found a recipe she’d like to cook. She went out (with my wallet) and bought mountains of fresh baby spinach leaves, came home and put them in the freezer. By the time I’d discovered the two enormous bags of baby spinach in my freezer, their death had occurred. I did ask Arabella what fresh, uncooked spinach was doing amongst the ice trays. She said, ‘The recipe asked for frozen spinach’. I said, ‘You buy it frozen and it can be frozen because it’s already cooked’. She said she had no idea frozen spinach was available and this is despite me taking her to the supermarket at least once a week for the first five years of her life.
Anyway, back to the farm. While Arabella attended to the business of brunch, I stayed in bed. I knew she had about three recipes she was going to cook all at once and I thought I might enjoy my breakfast more if I hadn’t had to witness the stress and chaos of how it all came together.
I did get up to help set the table. It was a lovely morning and warm enough to eat out in the sunshine so I carried a few things to the outdoor table. Once we were all together around the table, I had to say that I thought Arabella had done an excellent job. Mind you, she had been barking orders at her poor father all morning who’d had to come in and be her sous chef and pot scrubber and most importantly, photographer. Because Arabella said to me, ‘You’d better put this on your blog, mum; I want a full blog post out of this. And tell everyone I washed my hands four times’.
We started with a mint, pineapple and yoghurt ‘power’ smoothie that was unusual but very refreshing. Alfie didn’t like it but the rest of us thought it was a great way to kick off a brunch. It’s made with milk, plain yoghurt, mint, pineapple, ice and a dash of honey.
Then we had ‘The Big Breakfast’. Organic poached eggs on sourdough (didn’t have any so used ordinary bread, toasted) with slashed vine-ripened tomatoes roasted with sprigs of thyme stuffed in the cuts, roasted mushrooms filled with pesto ,and wilted baby spinach with ricotta sprinkled with lemon zest. Arabella did a great job on this big breakfast. Poached eggs are my favourite and I loved the roasted tomatoes and spinach. But everyone’s favourite (including Alfie) was the roasted pesto mushrooms.
I could hardly fit anything else in but there was more. We had a whipped yoghurt and ricotta breakfast parfait. The yoghurt and ricotta are whipped with maple syrup and vanilla extract and then it’s served with fresh fruit. Arabella chose frozen berries that were thawed over night. The parfait was beautifully creamy and the maple syrup sweetener combined with the vanilla flavour was divine.
Apart from the carnage in the kitchen that Arabella thought would magically take care of itself, we had a wonderful and relaxing and leisurely start to our holiday at Oakvale.
Thanks Arabella for your lovely cooking and may there be a lot more to come.
If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it!