Great Ocean Food – Fire up and have a dip in winter
I have been walking (and swimming) at Point Roadknight recently.
It is such a beautiful beach, particularly early morning and at sunset.
A few nights ago, there was an extraordinary sky where sunset’s pink light illuminated the sandstone from above to create an image which was nothing short of spectacular.
There was no one on the beach and it was very cold indeed.
Not particularly conducive to swimming you may think, but in winter there is a stark contrast between the air and water temperature at times, which perversely makes the sea seem almost “warm”.
My wife thinks this theory is completely ridiculous and has no interest in taking a dip outside January to March.
Our eldest daughter, however, is always keen for a swim and does so nearly every morning before work.
I must point out she lives in Sydney, so the iceberg factor is not quite so predominant. She was home for a family gathering on the weekend so we had a stroll and quick plunge on Sunday morning to wake the senses. It was fabulous.
She had a friend staying and with several family from Melbourne and the Riverina, our place was full.
This of course meant lots of cooking, eating and catching up; all of which we accomplished.
Dinner Friday night was meatballs with ricotta and a tomato and oregano sauce served on creamy potato mash. Washed down with plenty of Pinot Noir, it was a perfect way to start the weekend.
Saturday lunch was the celebration (girls only) about an hour from our house. We had a leisurely breakfast and I asked my wife if dinner was required for everyone on Saturday night. She mentioned they would be eating and drinking all day so would not need anything.
Eat and drink they did but instead of arriving home ready for a cup of tea and early night, they were full of life (and wine); hungry for more conversation and dinner! I quickly turned several tins of lentils and any vegetables I had in the fridge into a meal.
In a large pot I sweated onions and garlic to which was added diced carrot, celery and potato as well as the lentils.
Covered with stock and simmered for about an hour, they were the base of a meal with thinly slice pork belly garnished with avocado, sour cream and parsley. It took very little time and no one noticed that I hadn’t prepared anything in advance.
They were too busy chatting in front of the fire, sipping wine and watching the football. It was a wonderful weekend spoiled in a small way by the result of the game!
If I had more time, I would have made the following pork and lentil dish. Perfect for this time of year.