WELCOME TO OUR FARM GARDEN!
This blog is to record the progress of "the farm" at "Balmoral Park".It is our plan to grow a garden and be somewhat self sufficient while we enjoy the tranquility of the Australian bush.
Come in through the back gate and enjoy your visit.
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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 the sweetness but as I'm writing think that eggplant, capsicum and zucchini would also work.
400g crushed tomatoes
stock or water as required
salt and pepper
fresh mint and or coriander
Put some olive oil into a heavy based casserole or Tagine if you have one (I don't)
Toss in the onions, garlic, ginger and fry gently for a few moments until they soften a bit
Then add the dry spices and fry until fragrant
throw in all the vegetables
add the tomatoes and stock or water if you need a bit more water ( you don't want it to be too watery)
season to taste. bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer or place in a slow oven for an hour or so.
When the vegetables are soft add some preserved lemon cut into small pieces and the fresh herbs
Serve with large cous cous or small, chick peas, rice or pasta.
You can do the same recipe with chicken or meat or you can break a couple of eggs into the casserole when everything else is cooked and cook them for a few minutes.
We have six old citrus trees here, two mandarins, two oranges, two lemons. They have fruited quite well most years since we have been here but this year they have the most extraordinary crop. They are loaded.
We probably should have thinned them out but left it a bit too late. We have been eating the mandarins for a few weeks now, they are a bit tart but nice nevertheless. they are getting sweeter every day. We will have to give lots away and find some good mandarin recipes. I might have a go at preserving some segments as well.
The oranges are not quite as prolific but will still keep us going for many months. The great thing about the winter fruit is that you can leave it on the tree and just pick it as you need it.
We have planted some new citrus trees as well. they are very slow to grow but the ruby grapefruit tree has a decent crop this year. I really like grapefruit for breakfast.
I will have to look after the other small citrus a bit more this winter and hopefully they will grow…
We continue to have rain at regular intervals so far this year so our garden is a very different place. Lush green growth everywhere. This despite some extremely cold weather and hard frosts. I had two trombocino vines that survived the hot dry January and went on to produce a huge crop. We were eating them up until the end of May. About that time I found a few huge Trombocinos that were hiding under bushes or in the long grass so I decided to let them grow, just to see what would happen. They grew into Giants! Peter measured the longest one and it was a metre and a half long. At the moment they are decorating my garden but I am thinking I might cook one to see what it is like.
I've been playing around with my bread making a bit this week. I read a thing about maintaining the starter and it made sense to me so I've done that. Basically you just grow a very small starter and then keep it in the fridge and build it up when you need it. Already my starter is much more active. Last weekend I tried to make some pide, it didn't turn out so well, just like white bread really. I love pide and want to be able to make if for Katie when she is here as its one of the things she misses in the UK.
I couldn't find a recipe for a sourdough pide so i adapted the recipe I had, pretty much just letting every step take longer.
i took half a cup of nice fresh starter and added a cup of water and a cup of bread flour, plus half a teaspoon of sugar.
I stirred this until it was smooth, covered it with glad wrap and left it on the bench for a few hours and then put it in the fridge overnight. this morning I added 270 mls of warm water, 31/2 cups of flour and 1/4 cup …