In this week's The Willowbee Tree story, “New Friends”, the Willowbee children visit the local park and see new children on the swings. At first they are frustrated because they wanted to swing, but when they hear the children speak French they are even further frustrated because the children clearly aren't from the neighborhood.
When the French children continue to swing and don't give the Willowbees a turn, Piper, Clancy, and Little Ty leave in a huff. Only when the Willow tree takes them to Southeast Australia where a group of wombats hatch an unfair plot to scare a group of traveling kangaroos, do the children realize why it is important to be welcoming to new faces rather than judgmental.
Since we're talking about Australia and being friendly, this would be a perfect time to make up a batch of sausage rolls. Similar to American “pigs in a blanket” sausage rolls are often served up as an appetizer or easy picnic food when Aussies are welcoming a big group of friends.
This simplified recipe uses store-bought puff pastry and easy-to-find mild sausage, but the addition of extra onion keeps it moist and flavorfull. In Australia, these are often served with ketchup, but my family preferred to dip them in tangy barbecue sauce.
Sausage Rolls (Makes 12 large rolls)
1 pound mild sausage
½ large onion, diced
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 sheets thawed puff pastry
Using clean hands, mix together all of the ingredients—except the puff pastry and one of the eggs—in a large bowl. Spread one puff pastry sheet out on a cutting board, and cut it in half. Spread ¼ of the meat mixture onto each half.
Roll the puff pastry around the meat, as if you were making a big burrito. Slice the roll into thirds, and gently place it—seam side down—on a parchment covered bake sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining puff pastry and meat mixture.
Using a sharp knife, make three little slashes on the top of each roll. In a small bowl, whisk the second egg with a small splash of water, and brush the egg wash onto the tops of the rolls.
Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 350 and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Serve with extra barbecue sauce for dipping.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.