Sunday 8th November '09

Instant Spicy Mushroom Ramen

Today's plan is to go to Marissa's place while she's at work and make some fruit liqueurs together with Teresa and Ramona. I quickly prepared a snack to bring.

Stuffed Bacon & Cheese Spuds
  • 10 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 rasher bacon, sliced
  • 2 tspn mixed herbs
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • salt and pepper to season

    1. Boil potatoes in a pot of water until tender enough to poke a skewer all the way through.
    2. Drain and allow potatoes to cool down.
    3. When potatoes have cooled down enough to handle, slice each in half lengthwise.

    4. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the insides of each potato half (being careful not to go all the way through to the skin) so that you are left with a bowl of mashed potato.

    5. To the mashed potato, add the bacon, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Combine.
    6. Return this mash mixture to the potato halves.
    7. Cover each potato half with grated cheese.

    8. Bake in the oven at 180C for about ten to fifteen minutes until the cheese has melted and started to brown.

    While waiting for the all clear to head over to Marissa's place, I got a head start on one of the fruit liqueuers that I'm making. We've been discussing getting around to doing this for a few years now. It began with just planning to make our own limoncello, but we thought we might as well go the extra mile and set up some other fruit liqueurs while we're at it.

    The basic recipe that I've found online by googling has been to steep the fruit in alcohol for about a month, strain the fruit out and then make a sugar syrup to add to the remaining alcohol. Each recipe I've found varies slightly but the general consensus is that the longer you steep the fruit in the alcohol, the more flavoursome the alcohol becomes.

    In Europe and some parts of America, they're able to obtain Everclear to make their homemade liqueurs with. It's a 95 proof spirit, which means it's 47.5% alcohol. In Australia, this alcohol content level is illegal. So, unless you have a pharmacist friend willing to get their hands on some pharmacy grade alcohol for you, you have to settle with vodka. I bought four 1L bottles of 40% vodka to use. This will ultimately be watered down by the fruit and the sugar syrup.

    I scooped the insides out of four passionfruits and put them into a glass jar I had sterilised. I topped up the jar with vodka and then shook it up. I'll try to remember to give it a good mix every week until I'm ready to add the sugar syrup.


    Simba watching me in the kitchen.


    Upon arrival at Marissa's house, I realised I was famished. But no need to worry, there is always food at Marissa's house. I was treated to some pizzas that Teresa had bought while on her shopping trip to Charlies with her parents. I haven't been to Charlies for quite some time...methinks I may have to go soon.

    There were a few different pizzas, all cut into convenient strips.

    Next, Teresa made me a coffee and dessert.

    Strawberries & Cream with Butterscotch Sauce

    Am I spoiled or what!?

    With my tummy full, we began our work. We're each making different liqueurs, so it will be interesting to see how they all turn out.

    Hard at work peeling lemons.

    Time for a well-earned break!

    Teresa's Honeydew Melon liqueur.
    Apparently it will end up like Midori.

    My Kiwi liqueur.

    Ramona's Lemon and Mango liqueur.

    Marissa came home to find herself in a time warp - the women sitting around peeling fruit to make homemade moonshine. I told her our bottles weren't large enough to hold the fruit, so we had to use her bathtub. Much to our amusement, she actually went to have a look! ha ha


    We organised some snacks and lazed outside with our drinks.

    Mango & Vodka Cocktails

    Crackers & Dips

    Teresa's Sweet Peppers Bruschetta


    Round Two - Strawberries & Kiwi Vodka Cocktail

    We finally all sat down to dinner. We had more of Teresa's bruschetta and some of Mr Pelle's homemade chorizo.

    Teresa's Mushroom Rigatoni

    These were sooooo tender!

    For dessert was a variation of Marissa's Mess. However, it was like eating a bowl of cream with an occasional strawbery because the meringue was crushed up too fine. Since I had loved the butterscotch syrup that Teresa had given me earlier, I asked for more. Cream overload! *groan*

    My gosh...what a fantastic night full of laughs, delicious food, and the love of family and friends.
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