sábado, 17 de septiembre de 2011

Autumn is around the Corner!

Hello again readers! I thought of starting this post by showing you the picture of yet another finished knitting project. The Off-the-Shoulder Pullover by Vladimir Teriokhin.

I started knitting it in January 2008 and it certainly took me a while to finish it. I have found that this happens to me frequently, I love casting on and starting new projects, then when they bore me I start another one.....in the end I end up with so many projects to knit that then I take time to finish them. I just think that if by any reason one particular project starts being boring then there is no reason to keep on knitting it. Knitting should always be something you look forward to doing, not a chore. So yes, I have more than 3.....I should say more than 8 projects on my needles right now. I did however stopped casting on and decided to shuffle my choice according to my mood around the already started projects. Anyway, there is no better feeling than finishing something, isn't it?

On other things, I have just finished reading one of the best narrated books about the time of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. I praise the author for creating a book that traps the reader into a most fascinating journey through history: "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory.
In my view, the novel goes beyond a historical review and transforms itself into a most thrilling story. Very soon after I started going through its pages I realized something that has made this novel one of my absolute favourites: its capacity to relate to present times for women in general.

I think that the magic of Gregory was to challenge the reader into placing one's beliefs as women in relationships with men even in our own times. I am a woman of my time and getting to know the perspective and ever so difficult situations three main characters were always put through the story made me rethink about them and many times even see them as women of my time too. They were women of endless courage but moreover, women of high intelligence. I can only admire them now whatever their destiny was sealed by selfish men, particularly one, either that be seclusion, oblivion or death. This being Catherine of Aragon, Mary Boleyn and Anne Boleyn. Their reasons for acting in one way or another were always around the desires of men, and this relieves them from any guilt that fell upon them.

So keeping up with this post I want to share a recipe with you all. I caught it after a sleepless night while watching RAI International TV (Italian TV) and could not wait to do it. It is "Polpette di Melanzane"......"Eggplant Dumplings". If you are a fan of eggplant like I am then you will like it. An important note: there is some cooking experience required to do this recipe. The quantities for the ingredients varies according to personal taste, and what it may be required to make the perfect dumpling.

Ingredients: 2 eggplants, 2 garlic heads, parsley, oregano, salt & pepper, 2 cups of breadcrumbs (and some more), 2 eggs, mozarella cheese, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese.

1.- First you start by cooking the eggplant. After washing and peeling their skin off, you cut the eggplants in little dices. Then you place them in a saucepan with enough water to cover them and kosher salt. You bring everything to the boil, lower the flame and place a lid on top. You need to regularly stir the eggplant so it does not stick or burn. When you see it has already cooked, then take the lid off and wait for the rest of the water to evaporate. Then proceed to cool the eggplant in a cold dish.

2.- In a well sized bowl, place the cooked eggplant and mix it up with minced garlic, minced parsley, oregano, salt & pepper, the 2 cups of breadcrumbs, 2 eggs and the cup of grated parmesan cheese. Leave the mozarella on the side.

3.- Mixing everything with your hands it is important to have extra breadcrumbs ready on the side. This is because all the mixed ingredients need to stop sticking in your hands, so as needed, you add up more breadcrumbs. The mixture will be ready when it no longer sticks on the bowl or on your hands.

4.- Dice the mozarella cheese in little pieces and put them on a plate. Then using cooking oil (try to avoid olive oil as it burns very fast) use a stir frying pan.

5.- The next part is to start making the dumplings with your hands. Try to cover the palms of your hands with more breadcrumbs to achieve the balls/ dumplings with perfect results. Once the dumpling is made place no more than two dices of mozarella inside and cover the cheese perfectly. The key is that the cheese remains inside the dumpling and does not stick out as this will be a problem once you start stir frying them, because the cheese will melt out.

6.- Once the oil in your saucepan is ready, proceed to stir fry them until they are very hot and golden brown on the outside. Place the dumplings over paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Once they are cold you can keep them in your fridge. To reheat them I recommend using an oven dish with some cooking oil and heating them inside the oven at about 200 oC / 400 oF.


Finally, another picture of my roses. This time is the turn of my Blue Moon Rose. Lovely, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by.