Kitchen Garden Guides

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Fresh Feast

I ate lunch far too late.... a mixture of leftover rice and fresh coriander into which I stirred all sorts of other leftovers, like the rocket pesto I made a while ago and even some thick soup that was not enough for a serve by itself. Then, because it was raining too much to go back outside, I had a cup of rooibos tea and an ever so incy wincy piece of carrot cake.

So, as evening approached I began to realise I did not feel at all like cooking dinner. The fire was going really well, the house was warm and cosy..... and I really did want to sit down at 6.30pm and watch Gardening Australia live, instead of taped, later. There is nothing that gives me more of a weekend feel than Saturday night dinner in front of the TV watching my favourite gardening show.

Leaves..... I needed leaves, fresh, crisp, singing from the raindrops on them (the leaves, not me!) and brilliant green.... so out I went with my basket, to see what I could see.


A confusing group of salad ingredients seem to be gathered on my chopping board after the quick, pre-dinner walk around my garden.

I think these are the last of my tomatoes which have very successfully ripened whilst 2 dead bushes hang upside down in my tool shed. Mid September.... not bad for Tasmania!

The mushrooms grow from the compost you buy here!


The miners' lettuce are flourishing and the leaves are a delicious, juicy, beautiful shaped winter addition.

Chervil.... that fine, feathery herb with a hint of aniseed is one of my winter favourites. I never chop it, just tear it up a little or else their delicate flavour is lost.

At The Italian Pantry in Hobart I bought some tiny pickling onions which had been marinated in a balsamic vinegar dressing.... oh gosh, are they good or what!


A man near me had killed a pig last week and I was lucky enough to get some of it. I am not interested in being vegetarian but I prefer not to eat farmed meat if I can avoid it, even if its organic. In the same way I do not eat farmed vegetables or fruit if I can help it. A few slices of pork are all I felt like tonight, in my salad.

Celery in my little glasshouse is still providing me with stalks and the side shoots of broccoli on the verge of bolting add a nice texture to this meal. There is also some mixed lettuce leaves, a few mustard greens and a little bit of mint.

Soon I will have olives.... hooray for Jilli. How did I manage to get a neighbour like her; finding raw olives for me while I was away in Adelaide.... and in September! They are now happily marinating in jars in the kitchen.

I made a little bit of dressing from peanut oil (it has to be organic, or it is too processed and has no flavour), lemon juice (because I was too mean to open a bottle of Maggie Beer's verjuice) and a grinding of pepper.

Now, writing this, I am beginning to feel hungry..... maybe I will finish off the amazingly red rhubarb I bought from Gerard the organic beef man (who also sold me Pickle!) and have a tiny bit of cream on it!

And later I will read the book Pattie sent me.... Julia Child's "My Life in France". How did I get a friend like that? Life is good and getting better.