Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Eggplant Schnitzel

A great way to use an eggplant. Cut into 1cm thick slices lengthwise. Crumb. Fry in pan until golden brown and done. It will be crispy outside, with a soft-ish middle.
It's lovely drizzled with some Salsa Verde (made from our tomatillos). Or any condiment of your choice. :)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Mt. Pleasant Fruit & Veg Swap

The first Mount Pleasant Fruit & Veg Swap (organised by the Mt. Pleasant Natural Resource Centre) took place on Sunday, from 9pm - 12 noon. And what an exciting swap it was! We rocked up with 2 baskets. One with fruit and veg. The other full with a variety of cut leucadendrons. No photo of that basket. Sorry.
The concept is great. Bring whatever excess produce you have. Or anything you'd like to share. Produce, seeds, seedlings, your skills, worm castings, anything you can think of.

Put it all on the communal table. It's surprising how laden the table gets in no time. Then chat with fellow swappers over a good cup of coffee. Then do some browsing and 'shopping'. There was a lovely array of fruit and vegetables, seeds and seedlings.
We came home with a basket full of apples, green & purple beans, snow peas, some chillies, a new variety of garlic to plant, a Delicata pumpkin and a good bunch of silverbeet. What a great way to swap excess produce!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Autumn vegetables

Slowly I seem to be getting on top of things in the veggie garden.

The last of the winter veggie beds is weeded and nearly fully planted. There are cabbages, cauliflowers, brusselsprouts, lettuces, silverbeet, komatsuna, spring onions, salad burnet, wild rocket, potato onions, garlic chives and parsley. Still to be sown - more carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard, fenugreek, etc.
The garlic that I planted 12 days ago has started to shoot. I only have a few more cloves to plant, then I'm done.
The first snow peas have germinated. Let's hope the snails, slaters and millipedes don't destroy them.
It's an exciting time in the garden. Lots of planting and sowing. And hopefully soon there will be a glut of vegetables. Life is good! :)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Things to do in Autumn

Harvesting bits and pieces. Some capsicums, a pickling cucumber that was hiding under some leaves, a little bunch of very sweet grapes.
The table grapes were flowering nicely in spring, but this did not translate into lots of fruit. Only 2 vines have bunches of grapes on them.
It's also a good day to chop some wood. We've been using the wood heater the last few days, as it has cooled down incredibly. There is still plenty of wood around the place, so we'll be busy chopping and stacking in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Today's view

It is a very wet and windy day. Dark, too.On a brighter note, I finally preserved some tomatoes yesterday. And two jars of tomatillos.This season has been very weird. Spring was late to start (one month late, to be precise), and the summer was very mild (no complaints here!). We had good rains and all our water tanks are overflowing!

The tomato plants are laden with green fruit, but just not ripening up. Now with this wintery (very cold and windy) weather, I don't expect to pick much more. Yesterday, I went to pick some tomatoes and most of them had split and the millipedes, slaters, snails & slugs had moved in. What a revolting sight! I threw them over the fence and the chooks and sheep loved the food falling from the sky.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

Now this is a real treat!
Bought some organic almond flour at the Farmer's market on Sunday. And we happened to have some ripe bananas that needed to be used up. It was a rainy afternoon, so we couldn't do any gardening. The wood heater was doing its thing and it was cosy. The smell of the cake in the oven was fabulous!

This is another great recipe from Elana Amsterdam's "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook". She also has a blog with great recipes - Elana's Pantry - see my blog list to the right.

Here the recipe, but I changed a few things:

3 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 cup agave nectar (I used organic honey)
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I used rum)
1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (I used 85% dark, but probably only about 1/2 cup, as that was all that was left in the pantry)
1 cup (2 to 3) mashed very ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease cake pan with butter or oil, then dust with almond flour.

Combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and choc chips in a large bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the oil, honey (agave nectar), eggs and vanilla extract. Then add mashed banans.

Stir wet ingredients into dry. Combine.

Scoop batter into greased cake pan.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 1 hour.
Then eat. Try and only have 1 piece. We didn't. Try, that is. It's very more-ish!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna

This is one of our favourite summer dishes, when the zucchinis and eggplants are plentiful.
I like to throw the 1cm thick slices of zucchini and eggplants on the barbie until they are nicely browned and just cooked. This gives them a beautiful flavour.
Then assemble your lasagna as you would any meat-based one. We use home-made lasagne sheets, and they make quite a difference. The eggplants give the dish quite a 'meaty' texture. Yum! :)

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


This is only the second time I am growing tomatillos. The first time - years ago - we just did not know what to do with them - and threw them over the fence to the chooks and sheep. They loved them!
They are really easy to grow and quite stunning in the garden. From flowering, to fruit. And I am determined to make use of the fruit this year. I'll keep you updated. :)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Eating a Sweet Siberian

Watermelon!This variety does not take too long to produce fruit. 80-85 days. It does not produce gigantic fruit. So, it is ideal if you don't want a monster of a melon clogging up your fridge. Or if you don't have an army to feed.

Bright green skin and yellow-fleshed. Very juicy, very sweet!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

When gardeners and cooks get together

There will be plenty of produce from the garden that ends up on the table.
All kinds of salads and side dishes, accompaniments, main dishes, herbal concoctions, laughter.The table ended up too small for all the bowls and platters, so we had to have a sideboard laden with dishes, too. Sorry, no picture of the sideboard.