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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sewing and harvesting

Today I harvested my first garlic. Garlic is apparently very easy to grow but 2 out of my 4 plantings didn't make it. They were divided between two different beds so I'm guessing that's something to do with the soil types. It's been very interesting to see things thrive in one bed but do poorly in another.

I also pulled up a turnip the size of which almost required me to call for help from the cat, the dog, the duck (or in our case, budgie) etc. Unfortunately my camera battery is flat so you'll have to take my word for it but there seems to be a couple more doing well and hopefully I can take a snap of those. I'm thinking about making this recipe for potato and turnip patties. I have some spring onions (scallion greens) growing and might see if any potatoes are ready instead of using the store bought ones. I was also very excited to see that some asparagus crowns I planted are still doing well after I thought I'd killed them through lack of watering. They are positioned just under the edge of the eave so don't always get rainfall if the rain is being blown outwards.

Rain is forecast over the next few days so today I sewed some watermelon, cauliflower and, in an effort to try something new, kohlrabi. Also as part of the trying-new-things plan, yesterday I dished up some store-bought choko. I've read that choko is easy to grow but thought I should determine if the family would actually eat it before planting any. I tried two cooking methods - steaming and stir frying. Frying got the thumbs up and because of the texture I think it could be used instead of water chestnut in stir-fry recipes. So a second choko is currently sitting in the back of the veggie cupboard where hopefully it will sprout ready to be planted... if I can find a spot in the garden that is!

Tonight's dinner is salmon and spinach pasta bake made, of course, with homegrown spinach and the aforementioned garlic from the garden.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lemons keep falling on my head

Yesterday I pulled out the snow peas and will improve the soil before planting some carrots and possibly some squash. I harvested what seems to be the last of the broad (fava) beans and used them, along with some carrots and thyme from the garden, to make Don Burke's potato, beans and carrots dish which was had with some crunchy herbed chicken drumsticks. The double shelling of the beans does take a bit of time but I find it therapeutic and it's something the kids enjoy helping with. The dish was simple and rustic but full of flavour.

I also made some vegetable stock concentrate using celery, carrots and herbs from the garden along with some store-bought onion, tomato and garlic (I have all these growing in the garden but they are not harvestable yet). The stock should last a few months and will be used as a base for stews, risotto and dishes like the one above.

And because I literally have lemons falling on my head, I decided to use a few of them in this lemon delicious slice recipe - they were very delicious!