I was wandering through the garden this morning and noticing that the incessant rains we have been enduring have certainly made a difference to growth. Plants are beginning to grow in abundance - funny, I never notice that plants aren't growing as well as they could be when it's dry. When it rains continuously for weeks though there are definite changes. Beautiful changes!
More birds are being attracted to the garden now, and this Lorikeet made himself at home very close to the front patio. Here he is having a munch on the seeds from the Golden Cane Palm.
I have never shared a recipe with you before, but if you like olives and rosemary this is an easy peasy Rustic Olive Bread to die for! I thought I had lost this recipe but as I was moving a bookcase and flicking through all the mags, I was delighted to find the tattered and well used page from a 2003 garden magazine!
I baked two loaves last night and decided to give one away to my friend Joyce. I made the executive decision that it was no longer Christmas and we did not have to eat both loaves!!
Needless to say that within five minutes at Joyce's house, her olive loaf was almost half gone. Even her gorgeous husband wanted to slice his own for a thicker slice. It was hillarious! Sorry for sharing your secrets Joyce.
If you have the taste for the Mediterranean edge and prepared to get down and oily, this if for you...
Rustic Olive and Rosemary Bread
5 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup halved, pitted, cured and brined olives
300ml tepid water
1/3 cup olive oil
Extra rosemary sprigs, halved olives, sea salt and olive oil, to garnish.
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, rosemary and salt. Stir in olives. make a well in the centre. Add water and oil and mix to a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 10-15 minutes. Place dough in a clean, oiled bowl turning the dough to coat with oil.
Turn dough out and with oiled hands (love this bit!), divide and shape it into loaves about 25mm thick. Place on oiled baking trays and decorate with rosemary, extra olives and sea salt. Let it rise again for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 220 deg C. Drizzle loaves with extra oil and bake until cooked though and golden.
(You can pat this dough out into any shape/s. Strew with pizza toppings for a more substantial feast. Either way, it' delicious fresh out of the oven or the next day. Yum!)
A New Year means new challenges...Bring it on 2011!!. Happy New Year!