explore food, homegrown, package free, winter

A little piece of home

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So winter school holiday times are fun for us. The garden grows so slowly as the sun is a low rider across our southern skies. Perfect time to choose our own adventure. Follow the coast and the sunshine.

In our attempt to be diligent travelers, participate in plastic free July and keep the scurvy at bay (joking!) we made sure to include a massive bag of these harvested right before take off. Luckily we grow for the seasons. Citrus right now is just the best. Super juicy and who knew – grow into their own biodegradable packaging !

I packaged our own shopping bags, knowing we’d be hopping from town to town, but trying to use zen instincts to find something nutritional and familiar was a little trickier. Sometimes we scored big time, other times it’s a matter of going with the flow, choosing the least bad and being thankful for choices.

A break away from the usual gig, a chance to freeze around a campfire spotting satellites and shooting stars comes highly recommended.

 

everyday, homegrown, seasonal eating, winter

Preservation time

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We’re a few days away from the shortest day of the year – Winter Solstice and I’m trying really hard to slow down, preserving this time and preserving the orbs of sunshine* (aka – lemons and limes) currently in abundance.

It really should be sleep season to totally recharge the batteries and dream about things to come. I’m trying to be a grown up and also take this time to review what’s worked over the previous growing season, accept feedback and grow from there.

Putting something away for later makes absolute sense. It could be dehydrating some of the citrus haul for when you’d love it’s zingy freshness mid summer. It could be going all out on pumpkin recipes, since they went crazy earlier in the year. How about dusting off an indoor skill (handwork like embroidery/ drawing/ baking) ? They may sound a little out dated, but you know what ? It’s such a treat slowing down enough to enjoy the process, being totally in the moment rather than watching the minutes disappear and racing around trying to fit everything in.

Try it out sometime, it is so worth enjoying those pockets of light.

*HOW TO DEHYDRATE LIMES

Preheat the oven to 95oC. Slice limes into 5mm rounds. Space them out on a cooling rack over a baking tray. Pop in oven and rotate/ check on them hourly. Should be done in 2 -3 hours. Let cool completely on tray before storing in a jar out of direct sunlight.

Can be used in soups and stews, drink garnishes, decorations.

Don’t forget by dehydrating, you’re concentrating the flavour of the lime – so it may be a bit of a shock to start chewing on one. Other citrus can also be preserved in this way, the times may vary.

produce, seasonal eating, winter

Seasonal offerings

Admittedly – my brain stalled a bit this morning as the rain poured down, saturating my every thought. There’s a special list of jobs I save for days like today – things that don’t seem as much fun when the sun’s out. Couldn’t remember a single one of them or where that list was. So I made it up. Cooking is right up there – thinking a chocolate brownie would be appreciated by all & show that I’d been productive. (Yeah – big tick next to indulgent procrastinating )

Also going for a quick wander through the market garden checking out what’s popping up and what’s happy. Peas – this year I’ve opted for bushing ones, the lower they grow, the less work for me. Super tasty, flowers taste heavenly too. There’s one little tomato plant I’ve left in a protected pocket – still very happy and coming up with the goods – it spraws all over the shop, birds get some, humans get some. I’m afraid if I try to stake it & tidy the tomato plant up now, I may jinx it & no more tomatoes, so for now it can wander to it’s heart’s content.

Salad mix goes year round, each batch is a little different to the previous, as that’s life. Now we’ve got more the the astringent & peppery flavours – mizuna, red veined sorrel, raddichio, rocket to boost digestion …with hints of summer – flowering lemon basil, sweet mint to counter the sharper notes & whispers of springtime with the fresh flavours of chickweed.

The garden and experiemnting keeps me on my toes and I’m keeping my fingers the carrot seeds will actually germinate this time in the cooler weather!