Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Am in the horrors as seem to have haemorrhaged money for the last 5 or so weeks. If result was lovely tan from lying beside infinity edge pool in 5 star resort and sipping expensive cocktails with little umbrellas out of a coconut, wouldn't be so bad. But reality was modest family Christmas then 7 days camping in tent by beach!

Camp kitchen well equipped with fridges, freezers and great big stoves. Most campers are longtime regulars, A result is certain routines evolve in kitchen as campers begin to prepare evening repast. cheeses are opened and sampled, one day blue cheeses, another goat cheeses, another creamy rind cheeses... wine is uncorked, serious cooking takes place.
Young people armed with dried noodles and canned stew have new foods and flavours thrust upon them and hush falls as "the engineers" 3 regulars, prepare for camp kitchen annual Master chef challenge - this year is curry competition.
Big mike is going for South African Vibe (big Mike also brought block of fresh yeast - kindly shared with me, a deep fat fryer - yup took it camping, he is BIG for a reason, and blender- for making cocktails naturally) other guys are doing Thai and North Indian curries. Smells are amazing - no premixes here - fresh ginger, chilli's, coriander and cumin seeds...Self makes fresh berry tart (went berry picking), my pudding looks so show stoppingly gorgeous cannot avoid being drawn into discussions, tastings etc. Berry tart was a hit with our lot, all curries were a sensation and budget took a hammering. We ate in one week 3 times normal grocery budget.
This type of free form tart is easy to assemble and works with all manner of sweet fruit fillings.

1 quantity of sweet shortcrust pastry, same one as I use for mince pies etc - a pile of berries and a few good handfuls of sugar. Roll out the dough on greased baking sheet, pile berries on - thin layer for big tart or in a heap for smallish one like mine. Sprinkle liberally with sugar (to sweeten and form a syrup with juices while cooking) press sides up around tart, brush crust with egg white and sprinkle on some more sugar. Bake @180 till golden. Mmmmm