Sunday, October 05, 2008

October 8th,2008

The homegrown tomato have been doing exceptionally well after the initial panic of the plants not setting fruit. I think there were lots of folks having the same problem with their plants as I did and they set fruit rather late. These were started from seed back in February here and I nurtured them and tended their every need until it was time for them to go outside in their grow bags. This year I had even bought special grow bag supports to help them on their way to huge plants. And that they were!!! One was so tall it was twining into the honeysuckle bush! And this was my prize tomato!!!

I went out every day and inspected it and could hardly wait till it ripened. And we could enjoy it. Every visitor to the garden had to witness it's growth and oooooh and aaaaaaaah over it. And yet I waited for it to turn red.... well it started to turn a bit cold here and I thought hmm not warm enough at night for it to turn red.... So I picked it and some others that were just starting to turn.... and it ripened inside and turned a lovely shade of red with it's tiger stripes.

And yes it was well worth the wait and how else to eat this but just on it's own. No adornments, no cooking involved.... just as it was and it was very lovely and had a flavour all it's own to just savour.

The garden has produced quite an abundance of crops for me to use in my cooking and if you could just see our little garden you would be amazed at what I get from it.

The tomato plants that I worried over are now finally gone, but we are still enjoying their fruits and I am already thinking of next years crop and I may well start this next lot in January!!!

Sweet Corn and Potato Veggy Cakes

The tiny sweet corn is from our garden. Again next year I plan to start these a bit earlier and maybe try more than just the three plants that I had. The potato cakes were a bit of an experiment. I took some mashed potatoes and added some leftover veggies from the supper the previous night. With the way the economy is and all the talk about recycling and using up food and stuff I thought I would have a go at trying to do my part. To the mash just mix in any leftover chopped veg you have and an egg. Mix together and add a handful of shredded cheese. Form into patties and dip into an egg wash and then into flour. You can let sit for up to an hour or so in the fridge to firm up. Then fry in hot oil until heated through and golden. I made a tomato red pepper sauce to go over them... Just heat some chopped tinned tomatoes or use fresh and some chopped red pepper and some chopped onion. Heat through with a tsp of sugar and some balsamic vinegar. You can add some oregano and black pepper too if desired. Serve hot over the potato veggy cakes.

Veggy Fritters or Veggy Pancakes

Again trying to do my bit and using up some leftover veg I mixed the chopped veg with some chopped fresh chard leaves and some finely minced garlic to about a cup and a half of bisquick mix (it is an American flour shortening mix that is a base for all sorts of things like cakes, pancakes, scones, breads, etc.... A very versatile mix.) an egg, and some milk to make the right consistency. Fry in batches in olive or vegetable oil. Keeping them warm in the oven until ready to serve. You can serve with the tomato sauce as described in the potato cake recipe, but I just love them plain. And are great cold the next day. Again a handful of grated cheese is also very nice as is your choice of herbs.

Grilled Goats Cheese and Beetroot Stuffed Peppers

Okay first off you start by planting and growing some beet root. Sorry, you can buy some too... But this was from our garden. And was just boiled until tender. Then sliced. Take some Romano peppers and cut a slit in the side and deseed. Then rub with olive oil and place in the oven to partially cook.... take out and fill with alternate slices of beetroot and goats cheese. Sprinkle over some balsamic vinegar and some olive oil and a sprinkling of pine nuts and a grinding of fresh black pepper. Then back under a grill until melted and golden. Serve with salad fresh from the garden if possible with more fresh tomatoes and some cucumber chopped.

For some strange reason I have been craving ginger lately. Maybe it is because the weather here has turned cool and we have had several days that would rival any winter day we have had since I moved here. So maybe it is the warming qualities of ginger that I am wanting to rid the chill of the approaching winter chill. There is one thing that I think could make these even better and I have yet to try it, but I am thinking maybe some chopped up chunks of stemmed ginger mixed in right before baking. I will report back on this when I remember to by some stemmed ginger from the grocery store.

1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine
1 egg
¼ cup black treacle or molasses
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking soda(bicarbonate)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon or more ground ginger
Preheat oven to 180C. Cream sugar and butter. Beat in the egg and treacle. Stir in remaining ingredients until well mixed. If desired, chill dough for easier handling. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet(I use the non stick Teflon sheets). Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the edges are set. About 48 cookies.
If you use self rising flour, omit the bicarb and salt.