Not many new things in my kitchen this month but look at these faces I entertained in my kitchen! John’s sister was due to come to visit last weekend and there was an illness and she couldn’t come and her daughter and grandson didn’t come either.
John’s family has always been so kind to me that I love spending time when they come up to visit the olds. There was a big boneless ham to have in the refrigerator in case anyone got hungry. It’s easy to say you want a sandwich when you know there’s a thumping big ham sitting in there.
I visited John’s dad, Rob, in the nursing home the other day at dinner time and I blurted out, “There’s a big ham, would you like to come for lunch on Tuesday?” We had such a good time when they all came for a before Christmas lunch. This time we had someone new at the table. Meet Elsie, who’s just moved in to Arcare, plus Maureen, Phil, Ruth and Rob who were here for Christmas lunch.
John bought and peeled some prawns and they enjoyed those while I finished up the lunch. They love prawns – another thing they don’t get at the nursing home.
They are the most wonderful human beings, funny, clever and quick witted. Charlie drove them all nuts but the food made up for the irritation. I thought about what food you might miss when you have institutional food.
The food there is good but they cater for quite old people so the food isn’t highly seasoned and they tell me that every other day it’s quiche of some sort and it’s boring. The vegetables are all (over)cooked from frozen so I went with a big platter of roasted vegetables.
I roasted the butternut pumpkin and then just before it was done, I drizzled it with maple syrup. I roasted the parsnips with a bit of cumin, fenugreek and nigella seeds and then the sweet potato, purple sweet potato, white potato, garlic cloves and red onion quarters were simply roasted in olive oil and kosher salt. I roasted whole baby carrots and drizzled them with a tiny amount of balsamic vinegar when they came out of the oven and then at the last minute I tossed in asparagus and roasted it at 220C/425F for only 10 minutes and then tossed all the veggies together and piled them on a big platter.
There were big smiles and comments of, “Parsnips? I haven’t had parsnips for ages! Sweet potatoes? Oh how I love sweet potatoes and we never get them.” Win!
I saw a recipe on Pinterest for a ham glaze of orange marmalade, pineapple juice and brown sugar and I loved it. I will do that again. We also had grilled pineapple.
For dessert I made a double layer pavlova and filled it with chocolate whipped cream and more cream on the top and sprinkled with chopped roasted hazelnuts and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Even Phil who’s trying to stay perfectly trim had dessert.
For me, having these wonderful people at my table (or in my kitchen) was way more fun than having things I could photograph. (Although, having things to photograph would be good too!)
- 1 to 1½ cups pineapple juice (I drain the juice from sliced pineapple in syrup that I grill to go with the ham)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- Combine everything together in a saucepan (make it big enough for the sauce to boil and bubble in)
- Stir occasionally and cook on medium for about 15 minutes and the sauce will reduce to the consistency of syrup.
- (When cool, baste the ham, cover with foil and bake. Baste several times during cooking)
This is part of the In My Kitchen group where many food bloggers show what’s going on in their kitchens. If you want to see all the other In My Kitchen posts, head over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and see the list on the side of her blog.