Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Elderflower Wine

When our elder tree flowered madly, we were busy making champagne and wine. This wine has been maturing quietly in our spare room, and I decided it would be interesting to have a little taste.

Nice colour! Very pleasant and subtle elderflower taste, too! Let it mature a few more months and we'll have another little taste.

We were rather pleased with our first wine making efforts. :)

Monday, 29 March 2010

Armenian Cucumbers

I haven't had much luck with cucumbers this season. The slaters were decimating all my seedlings faster than I could replant them. With 2 exceptions: my Bari cucumbers seemed to be on the 'not-to-eat' list of the slaters. They were in the same bed as the other cucumber varieties. So at least these gave us the odd juicy, crisp cucumber.

Then there are the Armenian Yard-Long cucumbers that I planted into a different bed in February. They have started to produce some cucumbers now. This is a favourite variety in this household. They are juicy, crisp and even when they get very big, they are still lovely to eat. Let's hope the slugs, snails or millipedes don't discover them before we have a chance to harvest them.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Summer Pasta

Just throw in whatever you find in your garden. Or any leftovers that are rattling around in the fridge - if that ever happens.Here I had a piece of smoked trout that needed to be used up. So flake it, set aside. Grate some zucchini, chop onions and garlic. Add to a pan with hot butter or oil. Sweat a little, add chopped tomatoes, capers and season. Add cooked pasta of your choice (we had organic spirals). Stir. Add trout pieces and freshly chopped parsley. Done! :)

Monday, 22 March 2010

A figgy dessert

...or how to make a non-fig eater love figs! (It works! Really. Ask the Berry Gnome.)

Heat a good knob of butter in a frying pan. Halve figs lengthwise and add to pan. Turn over once or twice. When they are getting slightly soft, add some golden syrup. Amount varies on your sweet tooth. Stir to make sure the syrup does not stick to pan. When it's all a nice caramelly colour, it's ready. We like it with some icecream, a dollop of cream and some fresh strawberries, if you have any.
Next day, work in the garden or get some other exercise, so that you don't feel bad about indulging.

If you don't feel bad about indulging - even better! :)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Our first Food Connect box!

How exciting is that?! Today we picked up our first Food Connect fruit & vegetable box.

All produce is organic and locally grown. Except for the bananas, they are from Queensland, but still organic.

So whatcha reckon? 30 bucks for a box full of organic produce? I reckon that's pretty cool! The produce was picked on the weekend and now it's here. On our table.

This is the small box for 30 dollars. Feeds 1-2 people. Due to the heat, the produce had to be packed in recycled polystyrene boxes. When we pick up our next box, we'll return this one to our City Cousin.
Right. The suspense is killing us! Let's lift the lid.
Looking good!

Let's spread it out for a better look. YUM! I'm happy!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Our kitchen bench in summer

The kitchen bench is the centre of our kitchen. There is always something cooling, fresh from the oven, or our yoghurt is sitting there and doing its thing.

Come summer, it is havoc, though. There are times when you can't see much of the bench surface. We constantly plonk something on there, freshly picked from the garden.Here we have a basket of Gala apples, a colander full of plums, a big pile of tomatoes (waiting to be processed), some zucchini, an Austrian Hull-Less Oil Seed pumpkin, one lone pear (the only one on the tree this year), some Physalis "Aunt Molly" (related to the Cape Gooseberry), a chilli, a capsicum, a rock melon, a few autumn raspberries, some garlic. AND you can see a loaf of bread cooling and in the background are our jars of yoghurt.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Bonsai Rockmelon

That's not really its name, of course. I received a packet of mixed melon seeds from a gardening friend. The shape and colour of the seeds did indicate whether they were watermelons or rock melons. But that was it. So it was a matter of wait and see.

This was one of the melons that came up. A handful of a melon. I suspect it might be similar to the variety Minnesota Midget, which is an early maturing rock melon. 70 days to maturity.Wow! If you have never tasted a home-grown, freshly picked rock melon, you have missed one amazing experience. Fragrant! Juicy! Sweet! Ever the alert seedsaver, I scooped out all seeds and they are drying as I type. They may not come true to type, ie. they may be cross-pollinated, as they were grown with other melons in the same bed. But it's definitely worth a try. :)