Month: March 2010

First-time risotto and a plum sorbet.

Tonight I cooked my first ever risotto (mushroom and speck), at the grand old age of 31.

You might ask why it took me so long to make a risotto.  This is because I had to learn to cook from scratch.  My mother was on her own when I was growing up, and as a single working parent with four kids under 12, did not get time to do anything more than fish fingers or sausages.  Her one foray into cooking dinner was an interesting arrangement of rice, tuna, and apple.  No herbs.  Maybe onion.  My teachers have been Jamie, Nigella, Maggie, and Gordon.  It’s not a perfect risotto, in fact it’s a bit gluey – but the rice was perfectly cooked and it’s a damn good first try.  It was delicious anyway!  Too much speck but that’s Donna Hay for you, she always goes a bit overboard.

Plums were on sale so I bought a bag and made plum and Amaretto sorbet.

I know you’re supposed to sieve out the plum skins, but I like the way it looks with them in.

Yes, it’s in a teacup.  Teacups are training wheels for people exercising portion control.  It was a perfect finish to a heavier dinner, the Amaretto offset it perfecly.  If you use blood plums, the effect is very striking, but they weren’t on sale at Harris.

Miss-G-‘s Plum and Amaretto Sorbet


  • 2 1/2 cups of sliced plums, pits removed
  • 1/4 cup sugar (start with half this then add until you’re happy)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto


  1. Place the sliced plums, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a blender and purée until very smooth. Push the plum puree through a fine mesh sieve to catch and large pieces of skin and discard them (or not if you’re me)
  2. Mix the Amaretto to the purée just before churning. Place the purée in an ice cream machine and churn according to instructions, for approximately 25 minutes. Serve immediately or place in an air tight container and put in the freezer for two hours to firm up.  Makes just under  a litre.

$6 at the monthly market. Part 1.

As an epic declutterer, I try not to buy things that clog up my life, however I have several weaknesses. One of these is fabric. You do not get between a dressmaker and her fabric if you know what’s good for you, but it does result in a very big stash.

Lucky for me I found this pattern for $6 at a monthly market, and the stash contains a sky blue cotton/linen blend reminiscent of denim but far lighter.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  A knee length version in my sky blue fabric with big wooden buttons and gold thongs and messy hair is calling out to me. At $6 it was a bargain, the same pattern goes for $14 on Ebay.

The title of the post says part 1, because part 2 is where I make it and show you. Part 2 might be a while.