Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Smoking at home

We started smoking!

Here it is - our smoker. The other Gnome picked it up (dirt-cheap) at a garage sale. The previous owners had only used it once, so it was in pristine condition.
Some sawdust, sage leaves, rosemary. Put a nice piece of seasoned salmon tail on the grill. Put the lid on.Smoke till done. We didn't, because we are new to all that. So we finished it off in the frying pan. It was lovely smoky and super-delicious.
Served with a bit of freshly grated horseradish in cream. Divine!

It'll be fun to experiment - and get the smoking times right, too. :)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Ho Ho Horseradish!

Everything you read about growing, harvesting, grating & preserving horseradish is true!

It's easy to grow. I shall plant out this piece again and we'll have another good harvest next season. And any little pieces of roots that you leave in the ground will grow, too.It's a bugger to dig up, if the soil is rocky, hard and/or clay.Wash and peel the roots, then chop into chunks, and grate or grind in the food processor. Open the lid very, very, very carefully, and ideally in front of an open window. And away from your face. Don't breathe! The fumes are incredible. They'll clear your sinuses in no time!
Add some vinegar and salt, if you'd like to have some ready to eat. (Quantities are stated in a post written last season.)
Taste a tiny bit - it's potent stuff! You don't want it to blow off your head. It'll keep for quite a few months in the fridge. It will get milder in time.
Or add some cream to your grated horseradish for immediate use. Very, very nice! Especially with smoked salmon.
I've also filled several small containers with the grated horseradish and put them in the freezer. Nice! :)

Monday, 16 May 2011

A walk in the veggie garden

Word of warning - if you like a neat garden, do not go any further! You will see plenty of grass and weeds, amongst the veggies.

One bed with cabbages, cauliflowers, turnips, parsnips, lettuces and *miner's lettuce as living mulch. *I let that go to seed every year and it comes up with a vengeance with the first rain. It's a pretty ground cover, and easy to rip up, if you need to plant something. It's lovely in salads, too.
A carrot patch. With plenty of miner's lettuce as weed suppressant.
The Egyptian Walking Onions, surrounded by lush grass.
Time to harvest the Golden Nuggets. They were really prolific this year.
The leek bed. I usually just cut the leeks, instead of ripping them out of the soil with their roots. They re-grow nicely. Also, I always let a few go to seed, ensuring self-sown leeks.The other half of the bed is taken up by Red Russian kale (self-sown), rapa, some other kale (too lazy to look up the variety name), and Komatsuna. All lovely greenery to ensure a healthy diet in Winter.Here is a view of the whole area. In front you can see the leek and greenery bed. Behind that the Golden Nuggets. To the right you can see the tomato beds. They are still laden with green and nearly ripe tomatoes. The first frost a few days ago hasn't managed to kill them.
The garlic is looking good!
So are the broad beans.And the grass in this veggie bed.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Last few pictures of NZ

We have been back for a while from our absolutely amazing trip. Here just a few more pictures. Then normal broadcasting shall resume again.

Okains BayWalk to Le Bons Bay

Le Bons Bay
Hinewai Reserve