Thursday, November 29, 2012

Broccoli soup and other garden delights

I have magificent heads of broccoli coming up in the garden. Never before have I gown such stunning specimens.

So what will I do with it all?

I've started with soup.

To make basic but delicious broccoli soup I made vichyssoise (classic potato and leek) and added the broccoli. Very simple, very quick and yes, most importantly, very tasty.

Two heads of broccoli - washed well and chopped into florets
One leek, trimmed and sliced
Two medium potatoes, peeled and diced
Vegetable stock cube
Parmesan, optional

How to:
Melt a small chunk of butter in a large soup pan. Throw in the leeks and cook until they start to soften, take care not to burn them.
Toss in the broccoli and potatoes. Add stock cube and enough water to just cover vegies. 
Bring to boil briefly, then simmer, stirring every now and again.
When all vegies are soft, poor the soup into a blender, in batches, to puree. You choose whether you want it completely smooth or a few small chunks are ok.
Pour it back into the soup pan and replace on stove on low-medium heat. You are not cooking it now just reheating.
Serve with a drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of parmesan and crunchy bread on the side.

This will serve 4-6. I only served two but we now have four serves in the freezer for another day.

There is plenty more broccoli growing in the garden.
I will need to monitor them daily now so that I pick them before the flowers start to open out and they are spolied.
As always my vegie garden is a sea of potatoes. So there'll be plenty more soup I think.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

late Spring day in Robertson

We went for a walk with friends yesterday on a clear late Spring day. These photos show just how beautiful my street is.
Taken by RachaelB.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Vintage car display at the races

I have a real soft spot for vintage cars. The romantic pull of yesterday, the dedication of the owners to keep such old machines in working order. Members of the local car club showed their beauties at the Bong Bong Races.
Owners of old cars are always happy to show their pride and joys and explain their quirks such as this hand operated windscreen wiper.
Ford Capri

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Greenpick for our chickens

The silverbeet and kale keep trying to bolt to seed so I am constantly pruning the tops off them.
Our chickens can't get enough greenpick so today I hung up some prunings, along with a few weeds: dandelions, nasturtiums and mik thistles.

I have thrown extra prunings and weeds into a bucket so I can keep supplying greenpick during the week with minimal effort while rushing off to work.

This healthy for the chooks adn keeps them occupied. Scarlet particularly likes her greens. If they get into the vegie garden Scully and Kate scratch around in the garlic while Scarlet goes straight for the celery and silverbeet to peck at the leaves.

How do keep your chickens happy?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fashions from the field at Bong Bong races November 2012

Today was the annual Bong Bong Picnic Race. We go every year.

I LOVE hats which you may have noticed. Here are some photos of the fashions from the field today.
My Howard

 and here's me

Making sushi for picnic races

Do you like sushi? I love nori rolls. We hadn't had them for ages so I made them today for our picnic at the Bong Bong Picnic Races. If you like them, but haven't tried making them, I highly recommend giving it a go.  It is so easy.

Reasons to make your own:
They are guaranteed to be fresh. Dried out sushi is such a disappointment.
You can choose the fillings of your choice.
They're yummy, so you can have them anytime you like.
Sushi is a great dinner party theme. Your guests will have great fun making sushi to share and think you are very, very clever!

All the ingredients are increasingly easy to buy from the supermarket.  The only equipment you need that you won't already have is a bamboo rolling mat.

How to:
  • Cook short grain or sushi rice until soft and all water is absorbed. 1 cup made enough for two people plus some left overs for tomorrow.
  • Place rice in a large bowl.
  • Add rice wine vinegar. 3 tablespoons per cup uncooked rice.
  • Stir rice with a wooden spoon. You want the rice to cool down so stir in a way that spreads it out, rather than clump it up.
  • Take your bamboo mat and place one sheet of nori (seaweed) on top.
  • Spread rice across the nori, about 1 quarter from the top edge. The amount is a matter of practice and preference.
  • Add your filling of choice across the rice.
  • Tightly roll the nori over the filling. The mat makes this really easy. I hold a butter knife or spatula against the edge of the filling while I start the roll. Keep the top edge of the mat above the roll and keep going until the whole sheet is rolled up tightly. Set aside while you make all the rolls.
  • Fill a tall jug with hot or boiling water. Use this to dip your sharp knife in between cuts.
  • Place one nori roll on your chopping board, use your hot knife to slice through making each piece approx 2 cm thick.
Serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Careful of the wasabi paste, it bites!

Our favourite fillings:
  • cream cheese with avocado and sliced snow peas
  • cream cheese and smoked salmon
  • tuna
What filling do you like?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back home and into the garden

I am back home and happy to be back blogging. Thank you to Very-Marie for her guest post. I commuted for years and it is really hard. I love that Very-Marie is sharing how she makes it work. Keep at it.

My parents house sat while I was away so the garden is in very good shape. I'm very fortunate.
We are currently alternating between sunshine and rain however so it is growing fast.  And I am tripping over myself to keep up.

Here are some pics to share the highlights.

The new lawn is seeding and a delightful shade of green. It is still a little patchy but coming along nicely.

Our first roses are breaking out.

Everything is green in the vegie garden.  The celery and silverbeet are trying to bolt to seed so I have to keep pruning. 
The cauliflowers should produce buds soon.
There are spuds everywhere, not just in the beds where I planted them.

Snow peas and sugar snap peas are climbng the fence behind the chicken coop.

I hung up dandelion and milk thistles for the chickens today. 
And have a bucket full of greenpick ready to give the chickens throughout the week. This is mostly celery, kale and silverbeet. This will keep them healthy and amused over my work days when I don't let them out. Daylight saving means that I can let them out each evening for a hour or so when I get home which they love.

Today's harvest included rhubarb, greens, celery, beets, potatoes, and peas. I cooked up my usual Sunday storm to make the week go smoothly. Today I cooked the rhubarb with some corella pears, roast a big plate of mixed vegies, eggplant and sweet potato lasagne, fennel and granola for breakfast. That is a couple of dinners and a few lunches ready to go.

How have you prepared for the week ahead? And what's happening in your garden this November?
I'd love it if you let me know.

Cheers, have a great week!


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