Hi Everyone

I think this is the start of week 4 for the Big Blue Backyard team to be working from home…? To be honest I have lost track, but that’s okay.  There are certainly worse things to be have to do then to work from home and stay at home right now.   As we are SO good at being at home, we thought we might start a Big Blue Backyard Isolation Survival Guide and share the things we love doing and making at home.

This week the team has come together to share a couple of our favourite isolation recipes, card games & podcasts.

Recipes

Sian’s favourite Ham Hock Soup Recipe

Iso Survival Soup - recipe for Ham Hock Soup

HAM HOCK SOUP

Serves 6 – 8
20 mins preparation
2 hrs 40 mins cooking

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp coconut oil, duck fat or tallow or other fat2 onions, cut into thin wedges3 litres (12 cups) chicken stock, preferably homemade or salt-reduced, or water1 large smoked ham hock (1kg-1.2kg)2 each carrots and celery stalks, thinly sliced1 turnip (150gm), peeled, cut into 1cm dice3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced1 tsp ground turmeric½ tsp ground cumin300 gm pumpkin, such as butternut, peeled, cut into 2cm dice2 zucchini (330gm), cut into 1cm dice

METHOD

1.  Heat oil or fat in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and stir occasionally until tender (3-5 minutes).  Add stock or water, ham hock, carrot, celery, turnip, garlic and spices, and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, adding more water as necessary to keep ham hock just covered, until meat is very tender (about 2 hours).  Add pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes, then add zucchini, and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and meet is falling from the bone (15-20 minutes).

2.  Remove ham hock from soup and, when cool enough to handle, shred or coursely chop meat (discoard skin and fat), add to soup, bring to a simmer, then add silverbeet and simmer uncovered until just wilted (2-4 minutes).

3.  Serve soup warm, seasoned to taste with lemon juice, a generous grind of cracked pepper and chilli flakes.

Recipe by Pete Evans

Dig out your favourite cook books

Robyn’s favourite Choc Orange Almond Cake

This recipe has a lovely background story from Robyn.

‘I lost touch with all my high school friends after school finished as I didn’t live in the area so it wasn’t that easy to catch up.  When I was pregnant with my third child, I got a message out of the blue from an old school friend who had just returned to Australia from overseas in Scotland and was looking to connect with some old friends.  It turned out she was pregnant with her 2nd child and the two babies ended up 2 months apart and the have been the best of friends for many years. 

We caught up over lunch at my house and got along so well that we now see each other about every 3 weeks for lunch.  This cake was one of the first cakes she made for me and is a favourite of mine.  Given the current isolation, the last catchup we had was a virtual one thanks to Zoom.  Baking this cake makes me think of my lovely friend, Lisa and the fun times we shared.  Best served warm with a big dollop of cream!’

CHOC ORANGE ALMOND CAKE

INGREDIENTS

2 large oranges, washed
1 tsp baking powder
6 eggs, beaten
100g dark chocolate
250g ground almonds
250g sugar
Icing sugar to dust

METHOD

Preheat oven to 190 C/170 C fan forced and line the base and sides of a springform tin with baking paper.  Pierce skins of oranges with a fork and microwave in a closed container for about 8 mins on high.  Turn them a few minutes into cooking.

Blend oranges and remaining ingredients thoroughly in a food processor.  Stir through dark chocolate.  Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.  If cake is still very wet cook a little longer.  Cool in tin before gently removing.  Dust with icing sugar.

CHOC ORANGE ALMOND CAKE

INGREDIENTS

2 large oranges, washed
1 tsp baking powder
6 eggs, beaten
100g dark chocolate
250g ground almonds
250g sugar
Icing sugar to dust

METHOD

Preheat oven to 190 C/170 C fan forced and line the base and sides of a springform tin with baking paper.  Pierce skins of oranges with a fork and microwave in a closed container for about 8 mins on high.  Turn them a few minutes into cooking.

Blend oranges and remaining ingredients thoroughly in a food processor.  Stir through dark chocolate.  Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.  If cake is still very wet cook a little longer.  Cool in tin before gently removing.  Dust with icing sugar.

Our Favourite Isolation Podcasts

The Allusionist scratches the surface of why we say the things we say. English is a big messy mutt of a language, formed by military invasion after military invasion, plus countless tiny idiosyncratic decisions made by its users along the way.
Find this podcast here

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations
Awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world around you with SuperSoul. Hear Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. 
Find this podcast here.

Our isolation survival kit

Card Game of the Week

CRAZY EIGHTS
Age: 4+
Players: 2, 3, 4, 5+

Standard 52 card pack

OBJECT OF THE GAME

The goal is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand.

CARD VALUE/SCORING

The player who is the first to have no cards left wins the game.  The winning player collects from each other player the value of the cards remaining in that player’s hand as follows:
Eight + 50 points
K, Q, J or 10 = 10 points
Ace = 1 point
Each other card is the pip value

THE DEAL

Deal 5 cards one at a time, face down, beginning with the player to the left.  The balance of the pack is placed face down in the centre of the table and forms the stock.  The dealer turns up the top card and places it in a separate pile; this card is the “starter”.  If an eight is turned. it is buried in the middle of the pack and the next card is turned.

THE PLAY

Starting to the dealer’s left, each player must place one card face up on the starter pile.  Each card played (other than an eight) must match the card showing on the starter pile, either in suit or in denomination.

Example. If the Q of Clubs is the starter, any club may be played on it or any Queen.

If unable to play, cards are drawn from the top of the stock until a play is possible, or until the stock is exhausted.  If unable to play when the stock is exhausted, the player must pass.  A player may draw from the stock, even though there may be a playable card in the player’s hand.

All eights are wild!  That is, an eight may be played at any time in turn, and the player need only specify a suit for it (but never a number).  The next player must play either a card or the specified suit or an eight.

We know this Easter will be different from usual, and we won’t get to see you either.  We do want you to know that we hope you still have a wonderful Easter safe at home and that we look forward to having you come and stay again soon xx

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