Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Garden Party

Since work has gotten busy again (evidenced by my paltry posting), the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the grocery store. I'm still happy to hang out in the kitchen for hours, but something about fighting the crowds under artificial lights as terrible music floats through the air just doesn't appeal to me! So while we are of course still shopping for things we need, we have been making serious use of the garden whenever we can.
Here's our garden looking particularly lush after 200 mm of rain.

I'm not sure if you can make out the mulched garden bed in the middle right-hand side. It used to have a big cherry tomato, some dying kale, and a fruitless watermelon. Andy decided to clear the bed, put some compost in and let it rest for a few weeks before we plant again. So we harvested all the cherry tomatoes and made spaghetti.

Cherry tomatoes, olive oil, basil and garlic. Yummm.
With some lentil balls, in the background.

Our eggplant bushes fruit prolifically, and the skinny fruits are delicious cooked on the BBQ in a mixture of soy sauce, chilli and brown sugar. On the side, some malabar spinach - a tropical vine that grows well in the humidity. (And some no-fu love loaf.)

 Our basil plants are another fast-grower, and we have made a few batches of pesto. Unlike last year, now that I have a grown-up-sized food processor, pesto is a snap.

It might seem from this post that we eat an awful lot of pasta. That is correct.
Pesto pasta with eggplants and olives.

We've also, though, taken to making bowls of whatever we can gather, plus what we have from the markets. In this peanut-lentil stew, we have eggplants, cowpeas (aka black-eyed peas, but when they are still green in the pod), and garlic chives from the garden, plus some sweet potatoes from the market and a tin of tomatoes. Served over rice, with a big squirt of sriracha, this was a delicious rainy-day meal.

The garden has also thrown up some curry-related delights. On Sunday I picked a big handful of green chillies, some lemon grass, and some lime leaves, and blended them up with dried spices to make 6 dinners' worth of curry paste - green and jalfrezi - to have throughout the next few weeks. I filled the jars just a little, with one meal's worth of curry paste, so that we can store them in the freezer until we're ready.

We haven't yet tried one of these in an actual curry, but I prefer them to store-bought because it means I don't have to go to the store!


Cindy said...

Wow, Melbourne backyards do not look like that right now! They're rather yellow and crispy.

Your cherry tomatoes looking SO GOOD.

Anonymous said...

always awesome in your garden and kitchen!

Kari said...

Your produce looks amazing and that cherry tomato pasta has me hungry! You might be busy, but you are evidently still eating well :)

Joey said...

I hear ya - I like wandering around food markets, but going to the supermarket on the weekend drives me up the wall. How awesome to have a garden as an alternative - your veggies must come with food metres rather than food miles! Those little single size paste pots are a really clever idea.

Kate said...

Your garden and food looks incredible! Haha re eating lots of pasta :)

Moringa Delight said...

Your garden looks and sounds amazing, having grown all those vegetables! This is really the most convincing argument for home gardening. But of course, not every vegetable suits with the local climate or soil, so that's the time we have to take a walk around the market. It's a good thing that some specialty items are available for purchase online. As for the food; the cherry tomato and basil pesto is definitely heartwarming to look at! Lots of love to you and your family!

Wenni Donna said...

This is such an amazing garden party. All decoration is terrific. I loved the food served in this party. Thanks for sharing these pictures here. At finest garden party venue Houston I also got engaged last month and it was quite a great experience.

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