Tag Archives: Asparagus

A Stroll Through The Vegie Patch – The End of Summer

Today I thought you might enjoy a stroll through our Vegie Patch. Lots of photos and very few words – A break from the kitchen…

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Aubergine / Egg Plant

Beans

Beets

Berries

Brassicas

Corn

Courgette / Zucchini

Cucumbers & Cornichon

Flowers

Green Stuff

Herbs & Aromats

Onions

Other Stuff

Peas

Peppers

Potatoes

Pumpkins

Rhubarb from Navarre

Rock Melon

Seed Saving

The Bees

Tomatoes

 

My favourite pics…

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I hope that you have enjoyed joining me on a stroll through our vegie patch.  It’s one of my favourite places to be.  Can you believe that just three months ago, we did not have a vegie patch!  I am looking forward to working and watching it through the seasons ahead.

Until next time…

Happy gardening and…

Bon appétit!

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Links:

The Vegie Patch

A Parting Gift

A Parting Gift

Earlier this year, when I finished up my last job, my colleagues showered me with well wishes for our future and some amazing gifts, one of which was a voucher for a cooking class at Culinaire Cooking School in Swan Reach, which is a lovely little town down near Lakes Entrance. Well, what an amazing weekend!

I booked in for the Herbs and Spices class which was to be run over two days. Given that we live just on an hour away, I chose to drive back and forth each day. The first day, on my arrival I was met by a very energetic Christine, and was told that I was to be the only student, how luck was I! Given that we were concentrating on herbs, we headed into her herb garden to gather the majority of the ingredients for the class –

she has so many herbs growing, including lemon verbena, horseradish, tarragon, parsley, sorrel, thyme, marjoram, oregano just to name a few. After a nice cuppa, we got to work, making all manner of goodies including an Asian dressing to be used for our lunch, herb mayonnaises, flavoured oils and vinegars and pestos. I had such an amazing day and went home with a lovely basket of goodies and great enthusiasm about what the next day may bring.

Day two and it was spice day. The morning started with a cup of tea and a chat with Christine and John. Then we started, first up was to identify and group a plethora of spices from all around the world and then we got to use them. Coconut chicken and lemon rice was prepared for our lunch.

We also made a fresh laksa curry paste – so simple, so fresh – nothing like that that comes in jars on the supermarket shelf… Oh and Satay chicken, that you just wouldn’t believe the flavour – again, so simple and fresh. Then there was a mustard, in fact a horseradish mustard. The making of which, was rather funny, given that the day before, when we added horseradish to the mayonnaise, we just couldn’t get the kick that we wanted from it – today it was the opposite. We were using an older piece of horseradish and the more I grated it the more the tears streamed down my face – I said I had horseradish eyes! But boy-oh-boy, the mustard, it is sensational and I think we have used it almost every day since. To finish the day, we prepared a gorgeous sweet spicey wine syrup for fruits.

To my past work colleagues a huge thank you – this was the most amazing gift, I not only gained new knowledge about the use of herbs and spices in cooking, but I feel as if I have a new friend too. Thank you so much Christine, I will be sure to encourage anyone I know, to come and take a course at your cooking school. Oh and I didn’t mention the location, sitting up on a hill overlooking the Tambo river, it is so easy to get distracted by the view from the kitchen through the beautiful garden down to the river.

Feeling inspired, I spent yesterday pickling Asparagus, it is in season and who can resist it at this time of year. The off-cuts have been pressure canned to be used in soups, canapés etc.

And today, a lovely fresh herb sauce (with a little of the special horseradish mustard added) to go with our salmon for dinner.dsc06064-r

While I’ve been having such a wonderful time cooking, Gary has ordered the posts and digging holes for the espaliering of our fruit trees.

Here ends another week in “Tranquility”….

Links:

 Culinaire Cooking School

Pickled Asparagus

Crispy Skinned Salmon with a Creamy Herb Sauce.

Magnolia Bed

Side Rose Garden

Save

A Lot of Gardening and a Little Bit of Citrus

With the weather on the improve, the garden has been the place to be of late. While the garden on the terrace has been totally revamped,

Gary has been working around the pool, removing the existing planting and totally renovating the surrounds. He has removed a trailer load of nandina, rectified the irrigation system, barrowed in pebbles, sunk plinths and has urns ready for the planting. He has also erected our old canter-lever umbrella, and employed some local tradespeople to extend the paving – it looks amazing – but you’ll have to wait to see how it looks…

I have spent a little time in the corner patch, where we now have a raspberry bed, all planted, and with trellis erected.

But one must be patient, it will be a year or two before we see any real results from this little patch. I’ve also been leveling the ground and stockpiling soil in readiness for the creation of all the new beds.

In the kitchen, well, inspiration has come from our garden, to a degree. Our little patio mandarin had 12 fruit, so we could either eat them as is, or make some marmalade which would reward us for a longer period of time. We opted for Mandarine Marmalade which also has a little Cointreau added just at the end.

Then there are lemons, so this morning when I was making a batch of gluten free Friands, I ducked out and pulled one off the tree to liven the mix for the raspberries and almond ones.

Another recipe that has been brewing for a couple of weeks, is Blood Orange Vinegar, a recipe that I found in the wonderful book “A year on the Farm” by Sally Wise. This vinegar is not only beautiful to look at, it really livens up a salad. We have a blood orange tree ready to be planted, so hopefully in a few year’s time, we will be making it with our own oranges.

Finally, given that it is now asparagus season, and I had picked up some beautiful thick spears from our local farmer’s market, I made an Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart to have for our dinner.

It was so good to come in from the garden and quickly put a salad together to serve alongside – for Gary, I topped his off with some of our home smoked salmon.

There is lots to do in the garden still, the shed is to be erected on the new concrete slab, more leveling of the ground, and the building of the new beds, meantime the seeds have been planted and are showing their colour as incentive for me to get to work.

So until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

Mandarine Marmalade

Friands

Blood Orange Vinegar

Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart

The Terrace

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