A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Consciously Frugal

The temperature has barely hovered over the 14'C mark over the past couple of weeks, even though on many days the sun has been shining its golden light over our winter-bound city.
I am beginning to understand how northern hemisphere living would encourage winter days of home detention and hours of cooking hearty meals and calorie packed cakes, biscuits and pastries (among other things).
I have been a little guilty of such activities lately and although I have by no means kept a strict diary of what I have been concocting in the kitchen, I have shared a smattering of creations on various social sites, including this one.
On Saturday just gone, our Daughter and Grand Daughter visited for dinner before they head off to southern Western Australia for a short break.  I wish I could say they are heading for warmer climes but alas, although South W.A. boasts Mediterranean-like summers,  its winters can be just as brutal as the south East Coast.
Anyway, I made Brialliant Beef Bourguignon for dinner and at the last minute decided that a Portuguese Tart style desert would be in order.  I had an ample supply of left over homemade rough puff gluten free pastry in the freezer (after I'd made Beetroot Tarte Tatin during the week for Mr HP and I) which I lined a muffin tray with and filled with cherry conserve and crème brûlée-style custard (and which were heavenly).  So now I had used up some of the leftover pastry but had two egg whites left over from the custard, which, like I always do, I stored in the fridge.
So often it happens the egg whites are forgotten and some weeks down the track I decant them into the garbage. Wasted, a missed opportunity.

How often do we think we are committed to an ideology, or practice but only in our heads?  
I have been questioning myself lately as I lament about certain events as they crop up in the news or current affairs.  I ask myself often "What Is The World Coming To?"  Perhaps I need to be asking myself "What Can I Do To Change This?"

I ponder often, lately, how can so many have so much while so many have so little?
While the egg white dilemma is not going to save or not save the needy from starvation or death it has certainly flicked a switch inside me that makes me question how committed I am to my commitments.
The answer is not a pretty one:  When it comes to commitments, well, I'm lazy.  I said of myself to a friend very recently, "I work well under pressure".   You know what that means don't you?  Yes, when push comes to shove...I move. I do. I feel guilty, and I respond, sometimes while feeling resentful.
That's why the egg white ends up in the bin two weeks down the track.  Because there is no pressure to utilise the energy giving, high protein food source originating from a living thing, a living thing just like myself.
So I'm going to take this as my first step towards being consciously frugal which in turn will encourage me to consciously perform an act that will Change Something I Don't Like in the wider world of which I belong.
So today I made Almond Macaroons...high-protein almond cakes with a generous portion of sugar.  If I partake of them in a conscious manner they will not add centimetres to my waistline.
Here is the recipe:

Almond Macaroons

2 egg whites
120 grams almond meal/ground almonds
225 grams caster sugar (you can reduce this a little if you wish...to no less than 160g).
2 tablespoons ground rice
1 tsp orange-flower water
15 almond halves
Egg white glaze.

Line two baking trays with baking paper and preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
Whisk egg whites until fairly stiff.
Stir in almond meal, sugar, ground rice and orange-flower water.
Mix well.
Using slightly moistened hands to form 15 portions of the mixture into balls,place onto the baking paper. Smooth the tops down slightly and garnish with almond halves. Glaze with egg white.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, till they are pale golden. It is important to cook macaroons rather slowly, to allow them to colour evenly and to acquire a good texture.
Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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