We have recently endured a spate of heavy frosts, and for us it was very cold – minus 7.6 celsius etc. The first morning I got up and wandered down to the vegie patch, before heading into the garden for the community in Stratford. As I worked in the garden there I was kicking myself for not having got up earlier and taken photos of the beauty that a frost creates. I know that it also causes devastation, but all I saw was beauty.
Fortunately Mother Nature was going to ensure that I had ample opportunity to get my beautiful pics, and the following morning it was even colder, I got up earlier and with camera in hand headed down to the vegie patch. You know, I really didn’t feel the cold while I wandered around snapping photos of my frozen herbs and veggies… I’ll let you be the judge, but I think that while Mother Nature can be cruel, she can also create moments of great beauty.
When I got back inside, my gorgeous Gary was up and getting ready to go down to water everything in an effort to save it. So all rugged up, he headed down, but there was a problem! There was no water – the pipes and hoses were all frozen, in fact one hose just snapped in two!! Not to be thwarted, buckets were gathered and filled, and with watering can in hand he set to work… With me in the house filling the buckets, Gary was down in the frozen Vegie patch watering all the foliage of the plants.
Now our vegie patch is not just out the back door, so I grabbed one of the trolley barrows and loaded filled buckets into it, and started my way down, a little water sloshed out along the way, but I must say, the majority of it found its way down there. With empties on board, I returned to the house and began filling again. When it was all done, there were hot drinks to wrap our hands around and the feeling of having done everything we could to save as much as we could.
With more frosts on the way, we thought we might try to cover the hoses and pipes in blankets that night, only to discover that they were still frozen! So the bucket brigade was on duty the following morning.
Inspired by the frozen beauty of the vegie patch, I knew exactly what I would prepare for our Sunday night Soup and Sweets meal – Blushing Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Kale and a Scattering of Brie ( I had planned on using a nice blue cheese, but when I went to get it out of the refrigerator, there was none!) For dessert Pears Poached in Wine nestled in a pool of Crème Anglaise?
Blushing Cauliflower Soup with Kale Crisps and a Scattering of Brie
Inspired by a spate of very heavy frosts that made the vegie patch look like it had been placed in the freezer, it was simply beautiful visually.
- ½ purple cauliflower
- 2 pink lady apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
- 2 tsp freshly picked thyme leaves
- 750 ml chicken or vegetable stock
- ¼ tsp freshly ground white pepper
- salt to taste
- 40g butter
- 2 tbsp diced brie
For the Kale Crisps
- 4 kale leaves
- olive oil
- sea salt
- Heat the butter in a large pan, or wok, over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté over gentle heat until the onion is soft.
- Add the cauliflower, cover with a lid and raise the heat a little. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the thyme and apple and continue to cook for another five minutes.
- Pour in the stock, add the pepper and season to taste with salt. Simmer until the apple and cauliflower are cooked.
- Leave to cool slightly before blending the soup in a blender or food processor.
- Reheat and serve garnished with kale crisps and a scattering of diced brie.
For the Kale Crisps
- Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Remove the centre stems from kale and discard. Tear the leaves into small bite size pieces, scatter on the baking tray. Drizzle over the olive oil and toss ensuring the leaves are coated in olive oil.
- Spread kale out in a single layer and bake for 12-15 minutes or until leaves are crisp. Sprlnkle with a little sea salt.
- Source: SBA’s Kitchen
- Ensure you keep the brie in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. When it hits the hot soup it begins to melt
Oh, and was all the effort worth it to try and save our veg – I think so. While we have lost a couple of things, and couple of more have been damaged, the majority of our veggies live on, including newly planted lettuce and coriander, parsley etc… I have talked to quite a few people who have lost so many plants, they are devastated by the loss. I feel so sorry for them and so understand how they feel…
Until next time…
Happy gardening & bon appétit!
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