Kitchen Garden Guides

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Living from the garden

What I mean by this is blending garden, kitchen and outlook on life. This is my religion and I am as passionate a follower as many people are of their various conventional religions. I truly believe in its value and, like any zealot, that it is THE right way and I try to persuade people to join me in it.

My mother is 88 and one day when I rang her to say I was calling in, she said "What will we have for lunch? You usually come on market day when I have things to eat but that is tomorrow and I am nearly out of everything." I replied unenthusiastically "Well you are going to the supermarket today, maybe you could buy us something there." She exclaimed so loudly I had to move the phone away from my ear "Are you crazy?! You can't buy FOOD at the supermarket!! I am going to get washing up gloves and toilet paper." Like mother, like daughter, I suppose.

This does not mean I spend hours tending my vegetable garden, although that is what I would like to do. It is simply a mindset; eat what is abundant. Some people will laugh and scoff at eating cabbages and kale all winter and say they cannot do without a tomato salad, basil, eggplants and pineapples all year round. I sigh and ask them to lunch....

I cook some vegetarian meals every week for a local family, so come into my kitchen and see what fabulous food can be cooked using totally seasonal, winter vegetables and herbs.....

  • Coriander,red lentil and black bean patties
  • Broccoli and potato pie
  • Leek / broccoli etc quiches
  • Radicchio and parmesan salad
  • Baked apples
  • Spiced cauliflower soup to die for
  • Fried rice with Asian greens and egg
  • Pumpkin soup (3 entirely different recipes)
  • Heavenly, slow cooked red cabbage and apples with local apple cider
  • Potato and rocket salad
  • Red cabbage and fennel coleslaw
  • Cauliflower and onion balls with chick pea flour
  • Decadent parsnip soup
  • Turkish spinach / kale / any leaves soup
  • Prune and apple tart with brandy-soaked black currants from my cassis experiment
  • Root veg curry / potato and peanut curry
  • All kinds of bean and veg soups
  • Baked beans with my bottles tomatoes
  • Middle Eastern salads.... chickpea / couscous / spring onion
  • Maggie's spring onion and spinach pie with sunflower seed crust
  • Spinach and fetta pie
  • Spiced potato bugers
  • etc etc etc etc

My food is laden with herbs picked from my garden and include the freshest spices I can buy. Even though I get a lot of frost, I am learning what to plant that will grow happily outside all winter. I also have Vietnamese mint, lemon grass and galangal in my hot house.

I would like to recommend 2 amazing seasonal recipe blogs. Both are by women who I stayed with on my vegetable vagabond trip in 2008 and they both also have food garden blogs. Then there is a 3rd blog.... that Maggie and I write but we have not been so diligent as my 2 friends!

Food from the Mediterranean (Teleri, South East France)

Kitchen Garden Recipes (Laura, Cevennes Mountains, France)

Gardeners' Gastronomy (Maggie and me)

I stubbornly refuse to eat processed food that has more than 1 ingredient, if it is at all possible. I do buy things like curry paste, vegemite, black bean sauce but I make my own breads, biscuits, cakes and cereal (or eat my son's gourmet Hughsli), etc. I get milk from a cow called Sophie and meat from local people, as I have written about before. It is a good life and VERY cheap. Get there fast, then take it slow.


veggiegobbler said...

That is a fantastic list of winter meals. I think I'll be printing that out to remind me next year. Thanks.

Pattie Baker said...

I'm gonna' take your lead and make the coriander, red lentil and black bean patties tonight! Thanks, Kate.

chaiselongue1 said...

Thanks for the link, Kate. As you know I agree with everything you've written here!

farmer_liz said...

Great post! We also eat what is abundant, it seems strange to go the other way now. Rather than reading a recipe and buying ingredients, I look at what ingredients I have in the garden/pantry/fridge/freezer and cook whatever is appropriate. I think the challenge is to freeze, dry or otherwise preserve excess produce so that it can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Thanks for the recipe ideas. I was getting cooking malaise. Lots of veg to cook up too!