Wow what an amazing 3 days we have had. It all started at Warnambool Vic where we started our journey along the Great Ocean Road. There is one little twist to this 3 day journey along this well known stretch of road and that is Mr Lucas Lifestyle rode it on a push bike. That’s right you are reading this correctly, he hopped on his push bike in Warnambool and under his own steam peddled for 67Km and ended up in Port Campbell. Day 2 was a much harder and longer day for Mr Lucas Lifestyle with a 98Km uphill ride ending in Apollo Bay. Day 3 was a little shorter and not quite as hard as day 2 with only 90Km and not as much uphill with the day ending in Torquey. Matt will post a full count on this ride in the next few days (after he recovers).
Berries!!! Berries remind me so much of the Christmas holidays, the hot sun and refreshing cold berries for an afternoon snack or desert. So when opportunity came knocking at the door to go and pick some fresh strawberries and blackberries we all jumped at it. Berry picking took place at the end of day 1 of Matt’s ride. We took a quick little 15min drive inland to a town called Timboon, and headed out to the berry farm. We were greeted by the owners of the farm, an elderly couple in their 70’s. They had owned the farm for around 20 years and were very knowledgeable. At $8.50 a Kg we just couldn’t help ourselves and picked over a Kg of fresh berries, we where even permitted to have a little sample while we were picking. The biggest berry of the day went to Tiana who picked a 96g strawberry, and it was sweet and tasty. So with fresh berries and a look around the area we headed on home to our van where we had this divine fresh fruit salad and custard for desert.
Halve the strawberries and place them in a bowl, then spread the blackberries over the top. Cut the checks of the mango and scoop it from the skin, dice and add it to the berry mix. Mix gently and serve with custard. It’s so refreshing and yummy!
Wow what a busy yet wonderful Christmas and New Year we have just had. I love Christmas, it’s the time of the year where you can eat and drink as much as you can and no one cares. For me the festive season is all about family and great friends. My GFDF plum pudding went down a treat with the whole family, even those that are not GFDF. They wouldn’t have known if I haven’t told them. Plum pudding was about the only thing that I prepared for Christmas but my father in law did up the most wonderful hot ham with a cranberry glaze (sorry no photos, we were too keen on eating it). Christmas and New Years was spent in Cairns, but the week in between we went on a little road trip (little compared to the big road trip that we have embarked on). Leaving Cairns we trekked up to Port Douglas and then onto Cape Tribulation . What a lovely part of Australia! Such beautiful rain forest and being still in the tropics it is currently the wet season so it rained all night. While up the Cape we did find a guy that sold organic vanilla beans. If only this was smell o vision I would indulge your senses but the smell of the vanilla was just amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the vanilla vines as someone else came along. Take a look at this address www.daintreefnqedt.com.au
Before leaving Cairns we headed of to the markets to grab ourselves some fresh fruit and veg at Rusty’s , we bought so much that it filled our engel so it looks like its fresh fruit and veg for the Lucas family for the next few days.
Im so proud of this, I used my great grandmothers recipe and changed it a little so that it was gluten free. I hope you all enjoy making and eating this fantastic plum pudding.
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup dates chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup prunes chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup Almond flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp bi carb soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
Brown spirit of your choice (I like scotch or bourbon)
Crushed nuts of your choice (a little twist)
Ginger (a little twist)
Mix all the fruit into a bowl and add some of your spirits (about 2-4 tbs) and let soak for a couple of days.
After a couple of days you are now ready to combine the other ingredients together and form your pudding. First thing you need to do is in a big pot boil some water (this is what you will be cooking your pudding in).
In 1 bowl mix together the almond flour, bi carb soda, salt and spices. Now you need to add the soaked fruit to the dry ingredients and mix well so that all the fruit is coated in the flour mix. Set this aside. In your food processor mix your oil, sugar and eggs. Make a well in the flour and fruit mix and add the egg mixture. If it is a little dry add some more of your spirits (this adds great flavor to your pudding).
We now have to get our cloth ready so that we can place our pudding mix into it. First you need to fold the cloth into triangles then into triangles and into triangles again. Dunk your cloth into the boiling water about 2/3 of the way in with pointy end going in first. Take it out and open it up on your bench and sprinkle almond flour over the wet area (this stops the pudding from sticking to the cloth). Place your pudding mix in the middle of your cloth, gather your edges and tie up firmly.
To cook your pudding place it into the pot of boiling water making sure it is fully covered with water and boil for around 4 hours. Once done you can eat it or hang it up to dry and re boil for an hour or two when Christmas day is here.
Eat with coconut cream and dairy free custard.
The taste test is always the best part of cooking