Roots

Button Squash: Golden Nuggets from the New World

Monday, March 09, 2015

The early morning summer harvest always evokes a sense of joy, wonderment and culinary excitement. Within minutes the basket is full of zucchini, button squash, eggplants, a traffic light collection of capsicums - red, green and yellow orange - chillies and an abundance of tomatoes and basil. The next culinary journey will be inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean or with a touch of turmeric and coriander seeds - the Middle East.

Hunting through the cucurbita garden bed is full of surprises. There are nubile zucchinis - more flower than zucchini - perfect  for the delicate Italian speciality, stuffed zucchini flowers. There are supersized ones.  Undetected for a few days, they keep growing, growing and growing, longer and longer and wider and wider. They are best relegated to the soup pot. Then there are the ones that are just right to be stuffed, pan fried, grilled , roasted and for something special - pickled zucchini.     Read More . . .

 

A Plum Passion

Friday, February 14, 2014

The South Australian summer is upon us. The garden beds have been prepared with layers of mulch, brown in-line dripper hoses that snake through the vege patch and temporary shade structures that promise to provide some relief from the scorching heat during the endless days of 38 degrees celsius and above.Only the most robust of the mediterranean vegetables; tomatoes, eggplants, capsicum, zucchini and chilies can withstand the desiccating northerly winds that threaten to strangle the life from all and sundry that dally to long in the mid-day sun.    Read More . . .

 

The Globe Artichoke: An Expression of Civilised Living

Monday, December 23, 2013

The globe artichoke, an edible thistle, the aristocrat of the Renaissance kitchen garden was seen as the vegetable expression of civilised living. With its dramatic silver gray architectural leaves and elegant flower buds comprised of a tight head of pea-green and purple-tinged leaves, it was a botanical curiosity. It wasn’t the roots or leaves that were edible; it was the young flower buds and the succulent heart of the unopened flower that was protected by a fibrous ring - the choke.    Read More . . .

 

Our Kitchen Garden

Monday, December 16, 2013

Our kitchen garden was carved out of a neglected backyard and built upon our love of food and a commitment to reduce our footprint on the earth a little more each day than the day before. It’s been a nine year journey starting with the establishment of the espalier fruit tree and screening beds of callistemons (callistemon citrinus) around the perimeter of our block and seven large raised vegetable beds. Why seven you may ask? Well, after consulting various organic gardening books and based on our somewhat adequate vegetable gardening attempts in another space and time, we decided we needed a four bed rotational system.    Read More . . .

 

Kitchen Garden Sentinel

Sunday, November 17, 2013

 I heard her footsteps long before I heard her voice. The sound of leather on concrete announced her arrival on the footpath. With each footstep, I could hear her getting closer, closer, closer. They echoed deep in my consciousness, swirling and whirling and consuming it. I was heady with excitement and captivated by the rhythm and resonance of each footfall. When I heard the sound of leather on stones, I knew she was at the entrance. She walked into the yard, confident, purposefully and accompanied. Although I was nestled amongst my own kind in the far corner, I sensed a change.   Read More . . .

 

A Root that's Worth its Weight in Gold

Saturday, August 03, 2013

It’s old, it’s bold and has been around for more 2000 years.It’s cured the privileged and commoners alike. Its reputation of being fiery and untameable has tempted and tickled the palates of kings and ordinary people for centuries.Although in England, it was initially described as a sauce suitable only for country folk and robust labouring men as it is too strong for the tender and gentle stomachs of the landed gentry. It’s a perennial herb with large bright green leaves with prominent veins and toothed edges, which rise directly from a thick white root and it’s propagated by root cuttings.    Read More . . .