Maus and I have been busy of late (when I say busy, remember, everything is relative) so we decided we needed a break. Maus chose Augusta, a coastal town 1½ hour drive south west of us. We had a fab time.
We stayed at the local hotel (which is not recommended but was adequate). When booking in, Maus picked up brochures for local whale watching tours. I have had whale watching on my “must do list” for quite a while. We had intended to go to Albany later this winter for that purpose. I didn’t even know that you could go whale watching from Augusta.
I rang the tour operator the next morning and an hour later we were on the boat. As it turns out, they are seeing a record numbers of whales this year. Coincidently, we were there at a perfect time. They expect high numbers for a few more weeks.
It is amazing how close to the shore they come. We followed a pod of 4 that were so close to the beach, they nearly entered the marina. Only at the last minute did they turn seaward and then continue along the seaside of the groyne. Anyone on the beach would have had a perfect view of them. We also watched in awe as another pod did quite a bit of tail slapping. What a noise they make! We were so close we could see the markings on the whales and were able to recognise one with distinct white markings each time it appeared.
Of course, as I was just going to Augusta, I didn’t bother to take my camera. I kicked myself as these amazing sights unfolded. But … as we left the boat, we were given a disc with a large number of photos on it. I chose this one because it really represents what we saw. The day was grey and we saw a lot of tail slapping. We were told that whales communicate with each other by slapping their tails.
If you can get down to the south in the next few weeks, check them out. You will experience something spectacular.
Now for today’s recipe. I made this ages ago but never got around to writing a post. It is breakfast risotto from Essence, Discover Flavours from the West Australian Coast by Kirsty Carre and Kristen Watts. My old school friend, Alyson, gave me the book a couple of years back. At the time, I tagged a number of must try recipes including this one but, as is so often the case, I never got around to most of them. Then, not so long ago, Sandra from Please Pass the Recipe did a post on a breakfast risotto which reminded me of this must try recipe.
It is much like old-fashioned rice pudding but is a snazzy change for breakfast. Therefore, if one weekend you feel like something different, give this a try, especially if you have a pressure cooker. I made it in my pressure cooker and it took no effort whatsoever.
This amount would serve 3.
- 1 cup Arborio rice (do not wash)
- 5 cups milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, split with the seeds scraped out
- ½ cup caster sugar (we thought it was too sweet – you could halve the amount of sugar)
Pressure cooker method:
- Place all the ingredients into your pressure cooker.
- Bring to pressure and cook under pressure for 8 -10 minutes. (I did 8 minutes but think I will increase it to 10 minutes next time.)
- Remove from the heat.
- When depressurised, remove the lid and check that it is cooked to your liking. If it needs a bit longer, put back on the heat (with the lid off) and continue cooking until done.
Cook top method:
- Place all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Stir for about ½ an hour until the rice is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed.