Kitchen Garden Guides

Friday, July 31, 2015

Whole Orange Cake

This recipe is from one of my gardening friends, Lou, in 2007. I more recently made this to share at the Cygnet Community Garden on my birthday 2015.

Gluten free, dairy free

Place into a large bowl and fold together:

1 cup coarsely ground almonds

2 oranges - blended to a paste

5 eggs and 1 cup sugar - beaten until thick

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup rice flour

Pour into a greased and lined 23cm tin

Bake 45mins at 180, even if it looks done before.

Meanwhile make syrup:

Boil together for 3 minutes: 1/2 cup sugar, a teaspoon of grated, fresh ginger and the rind and juice of 2 oranges

When cool enough to handle remove cake from tin and place onto serving dish. Prick all over and pour over warm syrup.

Serve with lashings of yoghurt.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fast and Slow; writing and typing, gardening and thinking…

It is so frustrating, to say the least, this whole facebook thing. I love writing and I have loved reading people’s blogs for years but now we seem to be losing our blogger community because more and more people, including myself, are following others on facebook, where everyone shares what a few write, instead of everyone writing. It is like civilisation in general; slow and thoughtful is losing ground to fast and mindless. Reading a whole article has given way to “liking” a few words on a poster or a photo.

Several readers of my local newspaper gardening column have commented that they liked this month’s piece. In it I urged all winter gardeners to…..

Relax… enjoy crunchy morning frosts as you head out to feed the chooks, the cloud sitting low across the hills and mountains, the quiet, silver waterways with their boat reflections, steamy cafĂ© windows, early darkness meaning time to cook, time to enjoy company by the fire and time to read, to blog and indulge your mind.

So here I am, in bed at 6am, writing, before the sun is up to interrupt my thoughts. I have a friend who achieves more in her day than I do in a week. I seem to spend quite a bit of time leaning on my spade, so to speak, thinking. Facebook is wonderful at stretching your boundaries, offering new and exciting areas of life, science and the garden from near and far. These snippets follow me around and make me think but often mean I am not focused on what I should be doing.

It is quite ironic, this conundrum; that the fast scrolling of facebook that stimulates my mind, slows the rest of my brain and consequently I get less done. Does it matter? I love learning of new things; of all the things I enjoy, new ideas and their possibilities would probably be leader of the pack. I imagine a future when everyone embraces sustainable living and new ways of running the economy, the country, the world, that benefits humanity and the earth as a whole and is not so self-indulgent as the current system.

Grammar is tricky…. theoretically that last sentence should read….I imagine a future when everyone embraces sustainable living and new ways of running the economy, the country, the world, that benefit humanity and the earth as a whole and are not so self-indulgent as the current system. But I think there will be new ways but only one system, in the end, that takes the place of the current one so I kept the singular. There is a facebook page I like called “Grammarly” where such things are discussed.

Grammar is going the way of handwriting skills; into history. Both are necessary for communication in any era, I think. Why handwriting, you ask? Well, learning to write with a pencil brings art to the written word and is a wonderful extra means of expression. It is like a scented garden compared to a visual-only one. I look forward to the day when I can write here, instead of type, and we can know a little more of the person than just their words. Then we’d see our crossing outs, vocabulary alterations and how our handwriting changes with age, seasons, time of day, available light etc. It seems that these days the main writing I do is shopping lists, sums in my shop and notes to remind me to do things like hang out the washing, turn off the sprinkler etc.

Our Cygnet Community Garden group has taken over the recipe blog I started for a previous group in Adelaide. There we are going to put the recipes for the delicious things people cook for our shared lunch after the work on Thursdays, at the community garden. It is called Gardeners’ Gastronomy.

It is cold this morning and my hands are telling me it is time to get up and move, go out by the fire and warm up. I will stand, check the various containers on my mantle-piece, full of sprouts and ferments, and think a little, before launching into my day. No-one much will read this, even though it gets posted to my facebook page, because it has no photos to capture an audience.