Our Uncle Graham writes a beautiful grace. He’s so good at it he regularly gets the gig at family nuptials. He said grace at our wedding. It was thoughtful and considered as always. Years later I commended him on the grace he’d said at a cousin’s wedding. Turns out it was the same one. Whoops!
I take a leaf out of Uncle Graham’s book before special occasions now. I try to have at least written a few notes, so that when we all finally sit down, I don’t miss the point by getting lost in food preparation or worse(!) sentiment.
I found a great every-day grace last year, by none other than Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen. By saying this I am not inferring that we say grace every day in Casa de Cooker - I just mean it's a better go-to option than "Ta Pa, God bless the cook". It’s from the front of her Classic Country Collection cookbook that I bought in Kingaroy after meeting her and feasting on her famous pumpkin scones.
I’ll be drawing on Lady Flo’s expertise (cooking and other) more often now I’ve embarked on the time-worn tucker adventure. This week’s recipe is a cracker.
4 cups water
1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets
3 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 egg yolks
⅓ cup cream
chopped parsley to garnish
salt and pepper to season
Bring water to the boil in a saucepan. Drop in cauliflower florets and cook for ten minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Reserve two cups cooked florets and puree the remainder with one cup of the reserved liquid. Melt butter in a saucepan, blend in flour and cook, stirring, until a pale straw colour. Remove from heat and add remaining reserved cooking liquid and stock, stirring until mixture is smooth.
Add cauliflower puree, return to heat and stir until boiling. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved cauliflower florets , nutmeg, salt and pepper, and simmer for a further five minutes.
Beat the egg yolks with the cream. Stir a ladle of hot soup into the cream mixture, then add this to the remaining soup , stirring. Heat gently without boiling, then pour into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.
Lady Flo's soup was wholesome, practical and lovely - just like the lady herself. All the ingredients are standards in my fridge and pantry. This one will be on high-repeat in the coming cooler season. I'm often stuck with a few spare egg yolks - so I'll be pleased to use them in something that isn't as indulgent as home-made custard or mayonnaise.