Saturday, May 26, 2012

life without an oven or... the perils that come with rental living

Earlier this year, like in March, our old Westinghouse oven decided to blow it's element.  To cut a really long, and possibly boring story short, we are finally now just waiting for the part to come in.  Or so we are told...

When your oven is on the blink, at first you get all flustered, because you realise that you can't bake bread or have lasagne, or whip up a batch of muffins when friends pop in for coffee.  Then after a little while you forget all about the oven.  It becomes a useless box sitting on the wall.  Not even the clock on ours works, so it really is useless.

But then you start craving things... like roast lamb, with roast veggies.  Baked desserts.  Roasted pumpkin soup.  A little cake.  Even the smell of bread baking drives you a little crazy!


So in place of the oven this week, I have donned my creativity hat, and present you a Roasted Lamb and squashed potatoes dinner, with an Apple, Rhubarb and Pomegranate Crumble.

Roasted Lamb Leg, Weber style
Don't let the charcoaled appearance fool you.  Underneath that crusty exterior is deliciously juicy, tender lamb.  This was a pre-marinated leg from the supermarket, which we put into the Weber at around 2pm and let it cook for about 3 hours.

I used the Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Meals for the squashed potatoes.  Pretty much you boil the potatoes and then squash them in a hot pan with olive oil, garlic and rosemary!  Very Special Spuds indeed.  No photos this time, mainly because it was simply too delicious.  But if you have Jamies book, go to page 104 for his recipe and make some!

Now on to dessert.

Here's my Apple, Rhubarb and Pomegranate Crumble recipe.  This dessert is dairy and egg free.  If you don't have intolerances, you can use real butter (mmmm, real butter).  For gluten free, you will need to substitute the flour for your favourite gluten free alternative.  Maybe some almond meal would work?

For the Fruit:
Chop a bunch of rhubarb stalks, about 2 cms long.  Add these to a hot pan with half a cup of water and two heaped tablespoons of rapadura sugar.  Meanwhile chop about 6 small apples, skins left on and add these to the rhubarb.  Reduce the heat and allow to slowly simmer and soften.  While this is simmering away, seed the pomegranate.  You have to be careful not to lose too much juice.  I blitzed the seeds in my super kitchen machine, but you can do the same with a regular food processor.  You just want to break the pips down to extract as much juice as you can.  Push it through a strainer over the simmering fruit.  For extra flavouring I added a splash of vanilla essence and a few peppermint leaves.  You could add cinnamon, mint, a friend added fresh basil to her stewed rhubarb too, so it's really up to your imagination.  Stir the mixture together and taste for sweetness.  You want to be able to taste the rhubarb, but because the pomegranate is also a bit tart you may want to add more sugar.  Simmer on low until the fruit is really soft and broken down to your liking.  You can see from the pic below that it has reduce by a fair bit, but my apples are still in chunks.  I like it that way so I took it off the heat at this point.

For the crumble:
Add 60 grams of butter to a pan over medium heat and allow to melt.  In a bowl, stir together 1 cup of oats, 1/2 cup rapadura, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/2 cup crushed plain biscuits.  I used Digestives as they are egg/dairy free.  Add this mixture to the melted butter and toast in the pan for 5-10 minutes.  You will need to stir this to prevent it from burning.  The oats should start to go nice and golden.

Use it straight on top of your warmed stewed fruit, top with your favourite creamy stuff, in our case it was goat's yoghurt, and enjoy!

So there you have it.  You can live without an oven.  Although considering that even our forefathers had either an oven, or some kind of oven type equipement, perhaps we weren't meant to live without one.  I think there will definitely be a celebratory bake off when the oven gets fixed!  If it ever does!


  1. Oh no :/ We went with out an oven for 9 months once because it was a fire and we had to wait on insurance{{{crazy}}} Well good job on making it work I sure learned to use the crock post during those 9 months LOL.

    1. 9 months! Eek! That's a bit epic Tesha. Yes, the crock pot has been a sort of saviour for sure. I'm about to set it up now for some dinner tonight! Yum

  2. Replies
    1. ok, so I was thinking of you Kell when I posted the crumble recipe because I totally need to make it for you and you need to come and share some with me over coffee soon! Let's make a date xo

  3. Hi from Teshas! The food sounds yummy. Pretty sure I wouldn't survive without an oven. LOVE the name Oliver ;)

    1. Thank you for visiting Kristy :)

  4. Did you seriously not use thermy for the fruit...LOL. That looks amazing Nik!! Yummo!!!!!!

    1. lol Penny. I did use it to juice the pomegranate!


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