Farewell for a bit

Just a very quick post to say that we are heading off today and that I will likely not post for the rest of the month. If there’s easy internet access in Kathmandu I may give a quick update, otherwise I will post again when we return.

In the meantime, we will be doing this.

very quick post.

Just a post to keep this thing ticking over. I feel like I’ve had no time to myself lately! I had my sister with us for the week (she was attending a swim clinic in town so she stayed here and I ferried her across town each morning and night before returning her to mum on friday).

I was also on call, and doing some running about trying to get a few more things before the trip on friday. I’m feeling a little stressed because so much of this trip is unknown – I’ve roughed it on a few holidays, but I’ve never been so far from civilisation for such a long time. Things like accessing funds or picking up extras if we find we need them – but I’ve followed the list the tour group gave us and have packed everything.

Saturday was more shopping, and getting our final items. I decided to pick up my own gore-tex jacket, as opposed to borrowing the one my friend offered to me. This provides me with two benefits: I have my own jacket later on, and I don’t need to worry if I damage my friends. I’ve packed my gear and can fit everything as well as my daypack into my larger hiking pack. Once I come back from the trip I will do up a list of everything we took and what was used/not used.

I’m a bit worried about my camera. It’s got the lithium batteries, not just simple AA batteries. I brought a spare and if I resist the urge to photograph EVERYTHING I should be able to get through most of it. I might pick up another spare battery and keep 2 spares fully charged. Apart from that…. we’re pretty much ready to go. We head off next friday.

holidays overseas can get expensive…

… especially when you’re trekking for the first time and have no gear yet.

I’ve spent a lot of money on gear for this trip, but at least I’m getting good quality stuff and we will have it for future trips.

and I’m still surprised by how little we will need for 18 days in the mountains. There’s a few things to pick up this weekend: self-inflating mat – optional and I’m not certain I’m getting one at this point-, gaiters (for tromping through mud/snow/rain), a pocketknife, and first aid kits. And then we are off on our adventure next week!

It’s pretty exciting.

Delicious roast lamb and also pumpkin seeds

I made a roast lamb on the weekend. It was very delicious.

Ingredients:
Rolled shoulder roast lamb
Some garlic cloves (I think I used about 5 for this one)
1 bunch fresh rosmary
salt
pepper
olive oil.

First, I brought a rolled shoulder roast. I turned on all four burners of the BBQ and put the hood down to heat it up.

Then I took the lamb and used the technique I always use with a roast lamb: I cut slivers of garlic from a couple of cloves, pierced the lamb all over with a thin knife, and pushed the garlic into the slits. Not only does this impart a lovely flavor to the lamb, but it also means that when you slice it, you get chunks of garlic embedded in the meat.

then for the coating:
I crushed the remaining cloves of garlic in my mortar and pestle, adding some rosemary leaves (saving 2 sprigs for decoration), rock salt, and a few twists of pepper. I ground that up to make a rough paste, then added enough (extra virgin) olive oil.

I rubbed that all over the lamb, and then pushed the two sprigs of rosemary under the strings. This would be optional for roasts that don’t have string though.

I then put it in a rack, in the baking dish for the BBQ – a BBQ roast works with indirect heat, rather than being directly on the burners. I sat it in the middle, and turned down the burners directly below it. I cooked it for about half an hour per 500gm as we like our lamb well done. I try and keep the guage at about a medium level – around 160 degrees C.

For the last hour I covered it with foil and it was deliciously moist when done.

here’s how it looked when I pulled it from the BBQ:

rosemary and garlic roast lamb.

I dished it up with a bunch of roast veg, including Beetroot and turnips fresh from the garden, and the pumpkin that we’ve had sitting in the bottom of the pantry all winter after we picked it from our autumn harvest.

Tonight I roasted the pumpkin seeds. I used this recipe for the tip on boiling first. I boiled them in the salted water for 10 minutes. Then I tossed them with olive oil and a cajun spice mix. A quick toast in the oven at 200 degrees C for about 15 minutes until they started popping, and they are done!

Also, I’m amazed at how long my hair is getting!