Archive | 9:03 pm

Meat Deprivation

4 Apr

We eat vegetarian meals about 50% of the time at the moment, and my children are clearly deprived of meat.

Tonight I served rump steak, baked jacket potatoes and a pumpkin and carrot soup. I gave J her piece of steak, and it was only when she asked for more that we realised that (in almost no time) it was gone. Neither of us even noticed her eating it, and bizzarely, she didn’t even have a knife.

So I gave her some of mine (a bit rarer than her piece), and thought I’d observe a bit more carefully. She gripped it in her hand, tearing pieces off like a lion, blood dripping down her chin and arm. Seriously gross.

When she saw that I was watching, she briefly interrupted her carnivore display to ask, “Mum, does meat have juice?”.

“Yes J, it’s called blood. Steak comes from cows, and cows have blood”.

She shrugged.

And continued ripping pieces off with her teeth.

At least the poor animal didn’t die in vain…

I feel like I need to take a lesson away from this, but I’m just not sure exactly what that is.

A. Feed the girl more meat

B. Teach her some table manners

C. Keep her away from pets

D. Never serve her fava beans with a nice chianti

Our low animal protein diet has had some benefits though. I dragged P to the doctor yesterday for a general checkup, and his weight, blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect. I’m sure that would not have been the case in December.

How often do you eat meat? Every meal like we used to? Or are you reducing your intake too?

Australian Native Finger Limes and Speckled Finger Lime Curd

4 Apr

After much resisting, Louise from Garden Glut‘s boasting about her finger lime tree just made me too jealous. In a moment of weakness I ordered a tree of my own, and it arrived from Daley’s (in Kyogle) yesterday.

It is beautifully structured and incredibly spiky. Might have to position it strategically to stop Little D from climbing the retaining wall towards the street.

If you have never encountered a finger lime, you are in for a treat. They are an Australian native citrus with a flesh that resembles caviar – tiny little balls of limey deliciousness. You cut them in half and squeeze out the flesh – great in salad dressings because you get little surprise bursts of acidity with an amazing texture.

They also come in a great range of colours – from clear  through to light green, dark green, pale and dark pink. The flavour varies too from quite sweet to very acidic like a normal lime.

I had 2 finger limes in the fridge (a gift from a friend) and a handful of beautiful tahitian limes from my next door neighbour that I wanted to use.

The finger limes were dark-skinned and vivid pink in the flesh. The limes were large and juicy – freshly picked from the tree. I thought they all deserved to be used in a special way.

So I planned a lime curd – a special one with little pink speckles. Very decorative and appropriate for Easter I thought.

I based the recipe on this one from

I added half the finger lime flesh before it thickened, then reserved the remainder until it was finished – concerned that I’d overcook and curdle the mix, then need to strain it to salvage the situation. It was fine in the end – induction cooking is incredibly good for fine control at low temperatures.

I agonised about the level of thickness. Recipes use useless descriptions such as ‘so it coats the back of a spoon’. What does that mean? I wanted a thick curd, but I knew it would thicken further when cooled. In the end I let it thicken to the point that it wasn’t quite thick enough for my liking, but passable if it didn’t get any thicker. Whenever I stirred it vigorously it stuck to the sides of the pan without running back down on its own.

The finished product was quite pretty in the jars – I gave a jar to my neighbour who supplied the limes and I have another for my friend who gave me the finger limes.

I planned to water bath preserve the curd at the end so I could store it in the cupboard, but I chickened out, concerned that the eggs would overcook and go lumpy in the jars. Maybe some things are just better stored in the fridge.