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.

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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!

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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!

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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.