Kitchen Garden Guides

Monday, June 21, 2010

Winter food from the garden

I love the seasons. I'd hate to have tomatoes or capsicums and basil all year round in my garden. Yet, there are people, millions of them, who buy the same old vegetables, week in week out, forever.... They never stop complaining about how tasteless and expensive it all is; but never stop to think why this might be. I cannot understand it; truly, surely nobody could really be that stupid!

image It was -2C on my verandah again this morning and the world was covered in a delicious, crunchy white layer of tiny pieces of ice. The chook water was frozen, when I took them their hot breakfast, and I had a time of breaking it up so they could get their beaks into it. I picked a leaf of mizuna and enjoyed the frozen treat, before heading back to my warm fire. This photo is of very happy, very large and wonderful silver beet.... perfect for Maggie's spinach and spring onion pie.

Just because it is cold, does not mean nothing grows and does not mean you have to eat junk food to keep warm. So, what do I eat now and what is in my garden in the middle of a Tassie winter? Here's a little table of ideas, but please bear in mind I have only been here 3 months and do not have everything I hope to have in the garden by this time next year.

  Suggestions From
oats and nuts soaked overnight in apple juice. Heated, then stewed quinces added. (I have this about every second day) apples I picked, juiced and froze in 1/2 cup serves. Nuts from my garden in autumn. Bought oats from S.A. (Four Leaf). 
Quinces from neighbour.
image eggs, tomatoes, coriander on toast
(its hard to believe how orange, nearly red, this egg is that I had this morning... and the flavour! )
all from my place except the local bread
  Oat pancakes with stewed fruit, yoghurt and maple syrup (THE best thick, healthy pancakes in the world. Make them... and tell me if they're not)
Lunches: soup with lentils or beans and/or couscous and parmesan or Thai style pumpkin soup etc stock from local, org beef bones. Kale, potatoes, carrots, parsley, celery, tomatoes, dried beans, oregano all from my garden.
  toasted cheese and chutney sandwich I made green tomato chutney from community garden produce. And I have made Deb's sourdough bread. I need Gavin's cheeses.
Dinners: roasted veg reheated and topped with fetta plus salad greens or kale from my place, comm garden and local man's garden: celeriac, parsnip, pumpkin, swede, carrots, fennel, garlic, onions etc, lemon juice, olive oil. Tas fetta is not as good as the K.I. one! Spices bought: cumin, coriander seeds, fennel seeds.
  Pork chop and broccoli, pumpkin, apple sauce, potato and maybe salad. local, organic, free range Berkshire pigs!Lucky me!
  Big stir fry with Basmati rice and maybe a piece of incredibly good Tas ocean trout.... smoked in my fish smoker or fried. From my garden: bok choy, carrots, celery, Viet mint, coriander leaves plus bought onions, Erica's garlic, bought peanut oil and fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves from Jan, etc
  Avocado and ginger pasta Acocados are a winter thing. Enjoy them now!
Desserts: Apple pie, crumble etc ...with local pure cream or yoghurt.


Always there's salad, naked or lightly dressed with peanut oil and either Maggie Beer's verjuice or lemon juice, and pepper. Salad ingredients fully flourishing in the frost:

Various lettuce, mizuna, mustard greens, broad bean tips, mache, chick weed, pea shoots, spring onions, young leaves of kale, beetroot and other beets, carrots, parsley, plus in the glass house - coriander, celery, miners' lettuce, and still the odd ripe tomato.

Now, if you are not hungry after reading that then...well, I guess there's no hope for you! Sorry.... I am feeling rather annoyed with people who insist they can only afford bad food. Of course you don't have to buy expensive cream or Maggie Beer's verjuice BUT, if you grow lots of variety in your garden and learn about eating from the garden, you can save a lot of money and actually get a full quota of nutrition from every mouthful. Life is way too short to spend it adding sauces and chemicals to what should be the outstandingly distinct, delicious and incredibly health-giving foods we can all grow.


JOC said...

yes Kate, now I'm hungry and I've only just put the free range chook in the oven (not one of mine, it's okay). Tonight I'll be having roasted potatoes, pumpkin, jerusalem artichokes and steamed silver beet and broccoli, all vegs from my garden. So for a quick snack I'm going to microwave some poppadums to crunch on!
I love this garden thing, why didn't I ever do it before? Oh yes, something about working fulltime and no garden!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! and I couldn’t agree more on the topic of bought food and home grown food.

I didn’t know that winters are so cold in Australia. I don’t know why, but I always thought that it can’t get below 0C. Now I know better.

Unfortunately, today I’m going to cook with bought tomato sauce, as all of mine is gone. This year I’m going to make more of it.

Anonymous said...

Amazing Effort you have made dear
You are doing a good job by preparing the fresh and delicious vegetables in your garden.would you tell me from where are getting these Veg Seeds

Mr. H. said...

I love your breakfast of oats and nuts soaked overnight in apple juice and am looking forward to trying it.

Isn't a winter garden great, we attempt to expand what we can grow during the cold months every year and are always happily suprised by the results.:)

michelle said...

You are so right. It's mostly ignorance on the part of most shoppers, they don't know which vegetables grow in what season. It's sad because fresh seasonal vegetables are so good.

I'm more successful each year in managing my winter garden and I was amazed to find this past winter that my garden was producing enough fresh vegetables that I rarely thought of using the summer vegetables that I had stashed in the freezer. Tomato sauce, puree, and paste along with home canned tomatoes were the exception, but never once was I tempted to buy a "fresh" tomato.

I think that things are looking up these days with the popularity of the locavore movement catching on. Anyone wanting to eat more locally produced food is forced to learn about seasonality. Has that movement become popular down your way?

Romy Sai said...

my mouth is freaking out at the idea of your breakfasts. LOVE your foodie ideas, and beautiful to see the very local source of all!
can't wait to read more, just discovered your blog. :)