Turmeric, garlic and sumac potatoes

Our home is an eclectic mix of the old and the new. Vintage pieces have either been collected or handed down. Our artwork tells the story of where we have been, who we once were, where we came from and perhaps where we are headed. The sentimental and the functional work alongside a healthy mix of Lego, too many books to count and endless drawers stuffed full of ‘God Knows What.’ Furniture is chosen for both comfort and design and in some cases, passed down or handed over.

I am drawn towards textural fabrics that provide warmth and please my eye. Our abode is a continual work in progress and our list of ‘things to do’ grows bigger by the day. We are not the greatest of ‘handypeople’ and we work at a snails pace that would (and probably does) frustrate those faster moving people out there. Our home doesn’t suit everybody but then nobody should really ever have to justify ‘home’ to anyone. (Except maybe those of you still married to the 80’s grey and pink decor theme but then, who am I to judge?)

This winter, it feels as if my heartbeat and mind have slowed. I notice the small things. A new crack in a wall, a particularly lovely leaf on an indoor plant or the iridescent glaze on a piece of pottery. The way the light moves throughout the house during the day, alighting on a painting or a section of wooden flooring. I have found great peace and comfort in my surroundings.

Today’s recipe is more of a delicious idea than a recipe. Mum gave me a turmeric plant a little while ago and I excitedly harvested it the other day. I peeled and grated a bulb then threw it into the dinner potatoes alongside some olive oil, crushed garlic, sumac and sea salt then baked them until golden brown. Earthy, slightly tangy with a garlicky hit, the lads loved this little twist on a regular side dish.

strong>TURMERIC, GARLIC AND SUMAC POTATOES

WHAT YOU NEED
1 kilo Pontiac or Desiree potatoes, cut into 3-4 cm chunks
2-3 tbls olive oil
7-10cm fresh turmeric bulb, grated
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp sea salt

HOW YOU DO IT
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Toss the potatoes in the olive oil, turmeric, garlic, sumac and salt.
Place on the tray and bake until golden brown and tender.
Serve with whatever takes your fancy.

A Cheergerm creation

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Roasted cauliflower soup and doonas

Hot soup is like a winter weight doona. It wraps it’s arms around you and bear hugs you into a calmer state of existence. (Put that on a card Hallmark.) Soup is by nature pretty forgiving. It’s a nifty way of using up spare veggies and other assorted leftover bits and bobs.

Rarely does it taste exactly the same twice and making soup is always a bit of an exciting adventure. (Please keep in mind that I don’t get out much anymore.) It reminds me of 1970’s flannelette pyjamas, Walt Disney movies on the television, Mum’s veggie soup and her homemade scones.

Autumn is upon us. The days here have been unseasonably warm but the nights are certainly cooler. As the Yak stretches up to the top of the linen cupboard for cosier bedding, I also dust off the soup pot, ready for heavy usage. (In other words, expect a plethora of soupy type posts over the new few months.)

Roasting the cauliflower emphasises this vegetables nutty flavour and gives it some gorgeous caramelisation. Preparing this cruciferous veggie in this manner is like eating cauliflower on steroids. (Without any uncomfortable enquiries from official sporting governing bodies.) This soup is soft and harmonious with a slight garlicky hint and earthy undertones from the cumin.

Keep in mind that roasting garlic will give it a it milder and sweeter flavour. My cloves of garlic were very small but it was all I had left. Next time I would use bigger cloves or add a few more in. At least it was Australian garlic, the upside being there were no food kilometres/miles/cubits/furlongs on it.

Roasted cauliflower soup

WHAT YOU NEED
1 head cauliflower cut into large florets
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Olive oil to drizzle
2 tbl olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large peeled potato, small dice
1 tsp cumin powder
6 cups water
1 teaspoon Massel vegetarian stock powder (or stock powder of your choice)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to season

HOW YOU DO IT
Preheat oven to 170C.
Place cauliflower and garlic cloves into a roasting pan lined with baking paper . Drizzle over olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and stir then for another 15 minutes.
Check at 30 minutes and remove from the oven if the cauliflower is tender. Place aside and peel the garlic when it has cooled.
In a large saucepan, pour in 2 tbl olive oil and sauté onion for 1 – 2 minutes then add potatoes, cumin and stir for a minute or two.
Add the cooked cauliflower and peeled garlic, water, stock powder, salt and some pepper.
Bring to the boil then reduce the soup to a simmer.
Cook for 30 min, until potatoes are soft then blend with a stick blender.
Check for seasoning and serve.
We enjoyed this soup topped with crumbled fetta and crunchy toast on the side.

A cheergerm recipe