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Showing posts from October, 2011

Seasonal food

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My quest to eat seasonally and from our garden has brought some huge changes in the way that we eat.
No more thoughtless following of popular recipes and food trends. If its not in season we don't have it. If there is food here that needs to be eaten we don't buy in other stuff.
Now don't think we are in any way deprived by this, I would say we eat better than ever, our diet is very varied, my cooking is more creative, more driven by ideas and less by recipes and neither of us has had so much as a sniffle in the past twelve months.
Having said that I must admit to be just a teeny bit over mandarins, (we've been eating them since July)
Now there are so many berries the leftover citrus doesn't really rate a mention. The Mulberries are in full production and just look at these strawberries. Luxury!




What I was  really thinking about when I started this post was the potatoes. We have never been huge potato eaters but I would have always had potatoes in the house. Now w…

Fresh goats cheese with smashed, minted peas

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We have a neighbourhood gathering here on the 4th Friday of every month. Thank Goodness its Friday or Happy hour. Each time i make something from the food we have produced.
This month is was soft goats cheese spread on home made sour dough bread with smashed minted peas fresh from the garden.
No recipes, just a soft white bread stick, cheese made by draining the home made yogurt for twenty four hours and fresh picked peas, simmered for a couple of minutes then tossed with olive oil and garlic in a hot pan for another minute or so, just to take the bite out of the garlic, then roughly mashed with a fork or stick blender and finally, a squeeze of lemon, some salt and a handful of sliced fresh mint leaves.
Yummo!

Moroccan inspired vegetable casserole

In the absence of any international dining around here, other than the dumbed down ubiquitous Chinese and Thai, I strive to keep my own cooking international and flavourful. Well I haven't been to Morocco yet but I like all the flavours that appear in recipes for Moroccan food so have come up with my own quick and easy Vegetarian Tagine or casserole. I like to make this when I feel we need something a bit special and have had a surfeit of meat. Monday nights when we have guests staying and have eaten too much meat, eggs and the like on the weekend.

Ingredients
 Two brown or red onions cut into chunks
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
1 dessertspoon finely grated ginger 1 tablespoon Turmeric, fresh if you have it, I never do so its the powder 2 tsps Ground cumin seeds 1 tsp ground coriander seeds about four cups of vegetables cut into cubes, you could choose from sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, carrots, celery, cauliflower, beans etc. whatever needs to be used up really. I think the carrot adds to t…

What a problem!

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We have too much of everything! Not mass produced commercial junk but way too much of many of the things that we grow and produce. Too many mandarins, too many lemons, too many eggs, too many mulberries and maybe even too many strawberries, definitely too much rhubarb and I grew way too many lettuces and cabbages.
Its all a bit too much.
After I come home from my holiday I am going to open my farm gate shop and hopefully sell a bit of the excess. I thought I could post my weekly specials on a blog and advertise in the nearby towns.
In the mean time I'd better keep on picking, preserving and pickling.
Just look at the beautiful strawberries we had for breakfast.



More about the roses

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The bush roses are flowering and they are looking a picture. This is how I envisaged them when i planted them three years ago. Essentially the plan is that they form an attractive windbreak in an  area that was quite exposed. They are now about a metre high and at least a metre wide and should grow much bigger than this. I am enjoying looking at them and remembering what that space looked like a few years ago.



The first blooms are in the new Joey bed, so the new baby cant be far off! Hope it waits for me to get to the UK though!
I am also really loving the Masquerade roses that I planted on the "structure" that Peter built. It is actually starting to look like a Rose Arbour and not like the skeleton of a Tardis.
Peter's mother has just spent a few days here and she enjoyed dead heading the roses and filled all the vases with lovely fragrant blooms as well.

Passionfruit Butter and Luscious Lemon Curd

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We have a fundraising stall on Saturday so I am working through the things I have a glut of to make items to sell. Eggs of every description, duck, turkey and chicken in abundance and still the lemon trees is loaded so I thought i would make some Lemon curd. this is a really nice recipe;

Ingredients
8 eggs (I used duck eggs)
juice of six lemons
400 grams of sugar 200 grams of butter
Method I like to whisk the eggs and then strain them Then add the strained lemon juice cubed butter and sugar place in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pot of boiling water and stir from time to time for about fifteen minutes or until you have a nice smooth consistency. then put into sterilised jars, seal and refrigerate. It keeps well in the fridge for quite a few weeks.
I also remembered that I have loads of passion fruit pulp in the freezer and as summer fruit is almost upon us thought I should use some up. So I made some passion fruit butter. I like this recipe as it is not too sweet. Ingredients 2 cups passio…

A matter of focus

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There is beauty everywhere you look in my garden at the moment. Of course it is a matter of where you choose to focus as there is also a fair bit of disorder, lots of weeds and much work that needs to be done.
However the amount of plants that we have grown in the time we have been here and their success delights me. The garden is full of stories, every plant has a story and we have thousands of plants.



Take the catmint at the back door. Originally planted for Mitsi the old cat who died not long after we moved here and maintained in an effort to inject some charm and character into our rather dilapidated back area. It was then whipper snipped into almost non existence by an over zealous house sitter and has now recovered beautifully. It lifts my spirits every time I come out the back door.
And the weeping Robinia. This was purchased just before we moved here and i dug it up and transplanted it here. That was before I knew about the suckering tendencies of Robinia's. Once I learnt …

A Berry good year!

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I apologise for the pun but I am very excited about my Berries this year.
We try to be self sufficient in fruit and this year we are succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. In fact we still have a store of summer fruits in the freezer and in bottles. Last year we had no citrus fruit to speak of and were hanging out for the summer fruits. The Mulberries were the first to ripen and we had a magnificent crop. We seemed to be picking Mulberries for months.
Berries are such a treat and impossible to buy decent quality except for strawberries in my opinion. When there is a glut of strawberries the ones in the supermarket are often quite nice. However who knows what chemicals and pesticides are on them, so best to steer clear of them I think.
There was one sad old Mulberry tree here when we came, not in the yard but out near the back shed. We have pruned it a bit and I have put the ducks pond underneath it so it gets a bit of food and water from that, otherwise it is on its own. It has respon…

Roses

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I have always loved roses and planned to grow hundreds in this garden. I know people say they are a lot of work but to me they are the most rewarding of plants. We already have about 150 I think. This climate is well suited for roses. In our old garden they struggled to have enough light, here there is an abundance of light, the air is generally quite dry and our sandy soil drains well and can be mulched heavily. Of course we have a ready supply of various animal manures and this year lots of cheap lucerne to mulch with.
There has not been a day in the past twelve months when there was not least one rose in the garden.
This year we have the best spring blooming of roses since I have been here. They are usually at their best in the autumn. but at the moment quite spectacular.
I am looking forward to the new Joey garden blooming and the first flowers on the standards. They are about a week off I think as are the bush roses which should be lovely this year.

the Just Joey's in Jemima&…

and Breathe !!!

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Last night in a moment of insomnia it occurred to me that I have recreated the over commitment of my working life for the past twenty five years in my non working life. For the past few weeks I have been finalising the Eugowra Community directory update, a mammoth job and not really my skill set and still editing the News which is also a big job but one I am getting the hang of and starting to enjoy. The lesson I have learnt is not too take on too much at one time either paid or unpaid work.
So I am back in the garden and really want to have it in good order before I go to the UK next month. At the same time I want to really enjoy it. We went to the Forbes open gardens on the weekend and while I enjoyed the gardens we went to I thought that their tidiness owed a lot to the use of round up and felt quite pleased with both the disorder of ours, its productivity and its loveliness.
Not the best time of the day to take photos but these are a few things I have been really enjoying.
Our bac…