Showing posts from March, 2011

Blog holiday

I think I will have to have a holiday from blogging while the girls are here. Too much to do.

Yesterday I was going to.......

Write a blog post! among other things. Instead I made seven litres of Turkey stock from the carcasses of the birds we "processed" on the weekend. Also three litres of duck stock. I confited the legs and thighs of the ducks. I have never done this before so hope it will turn out OK. I just poached them for about ten hours at 80 degrees in olive oil with garlic, thyme and bay. After I had started I read that you should salt them for a few hours first. The ducks were dissapointinly meagre in flesh, will have to grow them bigger next time.
I then chopped up about six kilos of tomatoes and onions for relish
and a further kilo of tomatoes for Chilli jam,
scooped out the flesh of a bucket and a half of passionfruit and put it in the freezer for later use. I made dog food and yogurt, picked the beans,
tomatoes and cucumbers
and dug out some of the kikuyu from the vegetable garden.

forgot to mention picking green tomatoes for green tomato relish

 and cleaning pumpkin seeds for drying


After the disappointment of my Very Large Pumpkin turning to mush I decided I should start picking some of the other pumpkins in the garden. I am never quite sure when to start to pick them as the folk lore is to wait until the first frost, but we may not get a frost until late June and some of these look pretty much ready now. I decided to pick the one that seemed the most vulnerable to rotting because of its situation in the garden. It is a beauty.
I don't know what the warty looking things on it are but think they look OK. I had carefully marked all my pumpkins so i would know what was what, but the markers have disappeared and the pumpkins are all intertwined so I don't know what variety this is. One of the heritage ones for sure. When I cut it open it looked fine.

It has beautiful seeds that I am going to dry and roast as well. Normally I throw away pumpkin seeds and then buy some to put in bread etc. The Pumpkin was very nice in a red curry with beans and tofu. The great …

Fried Zucchini Flower Recipe

I was feeling quite overwhelmed by this monster of a garden on Saturday. I have been away three days a week for the last few weeks and things are quite out of control again. The tomatoes are in urgent need of attention as are the pumpkins. Zucchini vines and pumpkins are covered in mildew and my giant pumpkin has dissolved into a rotting mess. Not to mention the lawns need mowing, the edges need trimming, the cat heads are flourishing. I had hoped for a tidy, orderly garden by the time Katie and Jemima arrived but it is not to be. At least it is a productive mess. I was considerably cheered up by the very first decent eggplants I have ever grown.

Aren't they just beautiful. I don't know why they have failed to fruit in the past but this variety in particular is doing very well this year. The eggplants inspired me to make a sort of tasting plate for our dinner fresh from the garden. The beans have come good again so there were: beans with olive oil, garlic and preserved lemons,…

Looking at Dried Beans with new respect

Dried beans have always been one of our pantry staples. Cheap, nutritous and delicious. We use them in lots of ways. I have never thought or drying them until this year. I haven't had a decent crop of beans here until this year either. I have planted quite a lot of beans this summer, both climbing and bush and we have been enjoying them for about six weeks in various ways. A couple of weeks ago they seemed to get away from me and I noticed lots of extra large ones that would be too tough to eat in the usual way so I decided to dry them. After picking I put them on racks in the cold frame to dry out. Today I decided to shell them.

All those beans, came to just 270grams of dried beans. enough for one delicious meal no doubt. It got me thinking about how cheap they are to buy, although they can be hard to get up here, but usually about $4-5 for a kilo. I will dry more beans as I wonder about the growing and drying methods of anything that cheap and I am looking forward to making a lo…