Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gardening in Winter

After the disaster that became of our earlier broccoli, when it all went to seed after a couple of late summer stinkers (three days in a row of over 40C) we've just noticed that our next crop is doing beautifully. Winter is well and truly here and the days are quite cold, I suspect today didn't hit 10C, but the broccoli and the radicchio are loving life in the side garden. The hothouse is still churning out tomatoes despite the drop in temperature, but that won't be for much more than a week and we'll have to make green tomato chutney with the last of the unripe ones. 

The chickens are very slack this winter, despite collecting three eggs a day last winter we aren't getting even one this year despite having three more chickens (although they're not quite old enough to lay yet). I'm wondering what we can do to get their shed warm enough for their taste - despite the fact that it was fine last winter!

We ate the rooster a fortnight ago, I was amazed by the intense flavour of non farmed chicken. It's a lot of work, all the plucking and gutting etc and it's not something I'd want to do routinely for poultry but the odd home brown rooster will definitely end up in the pot from now on.

TMX settles in

The thermomix is getting plenty usage, I use it a minimum of once a day, I can't believe how much easier things are with it. The other day I made lasagna in about half an hour. I made the tomato sauce while I browned the mince, then added it to the frypan and reduced it. While it was reducing I made bechamel in the tmx at the same time as I boiled the pasta, I added baby spinach leaves to the bechamel and blended them in. Then I assembled it all and baked it, and there was hardly any washing up to do!

Last night I made shepherds pie and even though I only steamed the vegetables and whizzed the garlic and onion up for it, I used the vegetable stock and beetroot relish to flavour the mince, so it really is changing the way we cook in less than a fortnight.

I made marmalade in less than an hour

Walnut bread with cheese, garlic and herb dip and beetroot relish (my new favourite breakfast)

Concentrated vegetable stock, ingredients vegetables, herbs, salt

Chicken green curry