She is one of those special people who comes into your life out of the blue and is a ray of sunshine. Not always especially happy or the life and soul of every party, but she’s Real. There is no pretence. She says it like it is but she also listens, understands, knows when to give advice, knows when to laugh, even knows when it’s right to share a few tears. She has been one of my rocks over the past few years when both my sister and brother suddenly passed away and for each of my lost pregnancies. Our boys are a year apart and I had visions of them growing up together and being friends forever, and she has assured me that that will still happen. They’ll just be a little further apart than planned and now with technology, they are able to FaceTime and hopefully we’ll be planning a little trip to visit soon.
Julie is Welsh and makes the best Welsh cakes I’ve ever tasted. Well actually, to be honest, the only Welsh cakes I’ve ever tasted, but they are delicious. I never did get her to teach me how to make them though…hmmm. Her husband is hilarious. He is a huge bear of a man but is not a fan of creepy crawlies and detests the very idea of germs. We’ve shared much banter and laughter over the rugby, New Year’s parties where we only ate after midnight (oh dear, that was one to remember!), held her surprise birthday party at our home when her middle son flew in from Wales to surprise her. It was awesome to be a part of that heart warming reunion.
I’m the first to admit I don’t have many friends. True friends. I know many people and have loads of acquaintances, but my true friends, people I have shared unimaginable losses with or that I know I can turn to in any situation, can be counted on my two hands. Very special people indeed and I am grateful to have them in my life. True girlfriends become like sisters – we don’t need to see them all the time to know that the deep connection is still alive. So to Julie, Ger and Ethan – we miss you and wish you all the very best on your new adventure. Keep living life to the fullest and grabbing every new experience as it comes your way. Next Sunday’s game will be an exciting one – SA vs Wales; the Boks vs the Dragons.
Now this recipe has absolutely nothing to do with Julie, but I came up with it the other night as an easy meal and today I got to thinking about Julie after watching the Australian team beat Wales, so this is obviously what was in my heart today and I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you.
These little potato cakes, also called rosti or fritters, are delicious and you can adapt the list of ingredients as you see fit. Great as a midday lunch or light evening meal. Prepared and on the table in a half an hour.
Cold rosti are also great with a dip in a lunch box. Leave out the smoked salmon if concerned about it lasting well, but provided your smoke salmon is fresh when made, it lasts very well in a sealed lunch box.
4 large potatoes, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp oil (rice bran or coconut work well)
2 – 3 Tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
2 – 3 heaped Tbsp flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
smoked salmon slices
sun-dried tomato chutney
red wine vinegar dressing (I’ll share this one with you soon)
- Wash and peel potatoes. Grate potatoes or use a thin blade on your food processor. Set grated potatoes aside for a few minutes as they will release a lot of water. Using your hands, squeeze the potato pulp and discard the liquid. You can also wrap the pulp in a clean dishtowel and squeeze, but the potato will stain the towel.
- Once all liquid has been removed, add the sun-dried tomato pesto and stir through.
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine.
- Beat the eggs and add to the mixture, mixing well. Season with salt and pepper if you think it is necessary. Most times the pesto will have sufficient seasoning so this isn’t always needed, but see what works for you.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and when nicely hot, carefully spoon mounds of the mixture into the oil. Take care that it doesn’t drop off the spoon and splash you. Flatten the rosti gently and allow to fry for a few minutes, about 3 – 4 before turning and repeating on the other side. You want the rosti to be golden and cooked through.
Don’t overload the pan as too many rosti squeezed in will cause the oil to cool down and they will boil instead of fry.
- Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside on paper towel for a few minutes to soak up any excess oil.
- Meanwhile, wash the rocket leaves. When all patties are done, layer them with the rocket leaves, salmon slices, cottage cheese and sun-dried tomato chutney.
- Drizzle over a little of the red wine vinegar dressing.