Monday, February 22, 2010

Courgette/ Zucchini Glut Busters

Like a lot of Australian gardeners, I have a glut of cute courgettes and zephyr zucchini in the garden right now. To date I haven't been able to invent or find a recipe using zucchini that will convince my youngest that zucchini is edible. Even the choc-chip biscuits .She is an enthusiastic carnivore and fruit are ok but vegetables are just a chore to eat. Maybe next year she will understand the joy of a simple side dish of young courgettes drizzled in olive oil and garlic and baked in a moderate oven until tender but I don't think so.

On Saturday I cooked up 6 kilograms of zucchini for now and for the freezer when the summers crops will only be a memory (that is when we are no longer sick of zucchini).

Zucchini and Cheese Soup

1 kg zucchini

3 cloves of garlic

olive oil

100grams goat cheese

2 cups of milk

Slice the zucchini into discs and fry on a medium heat with the garlic and olive oil until they are soft . Around 20 minutes.

Mash the zucchini mixture or blend it. I use a stab blender and it still has some visible zucchini.

Stir in the cheese.Goat cheese is nice but I have used cheddar and it is good too.

Add the milk to achieve the desired consistency.

Top with some basil and pepper and enjoy.

Carrot and Zucchini Bake

3 large zucchini, grated
2 carrots, grated
1 large can of creamed corn
1 cup self-raising flour
¼ cup plain flour
3 eggs
½ cup olive oil
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Grease oven proof dishes to suit. (1 large or a few smaller ones)

Drain as much moisture from the grated zucchini as possible then mix in a large bowl with the other ingredients until well combined.

Spoon into the baking dishes and top with a little extra grated cheese. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes depending on the size of the baking dish.
Great with a fresh garden salad. It also hold up well to freezing and reheating

Courgette and Cardamon Loaf

350 grams courgette, grated
100 grams sugar
175 grams butter
100 grams golden syrup
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 limes, juice and zest
325 grams self raising flour
80 grams almond meal
3 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat oven to 180° C.

Grease and line a loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar. Add the golden syrup and eggs and beat to combine. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Start checking around 65 minutes.

This cake is nice as is but delicious with a frosting made with cream cheese, icing sugar and a squeeze of lime juice.

Now I just have to work on the excess tomatoes, corn and chillies.
Bye for now,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sowing Tomorrow

Today the weather was very condusive to light weeding and general pottering in the garden. It was overcast tending to light showers with a few downpours thrown in for good measure. Perfect.
28-spotted lady beetle

I did spend ten minutes dealing with the 28 spotted lady beetles that are enjoying our potatoes.

Part of our rustic veg patch
Tomorrow I plan to get an early start on some autumn/winter sowings. I subscribe to Gardenate which is a handy reminder of what to plant and when. It offers planting reminders for the UK, New Zealand and Australia which can be delivered into your inbox or you can just view it on the website.
My daughter's garden
Tomorrow I will be direct sowing some beetroot, broad beans, carrots, endive, parsnip, radish, swiss chard and kohl rabi. Into seed trays will go broccoli, kale and cauliflower.
Bye for now,

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pumpkin and Patch

This little table mat was made for my swap partner for Valentines Day. I'm not one for celebrating Valentine's day but a nice little parcel of five goodies devoted to friendship was something that appealed to me. It was quick to sew and could be hand pieced if desired.

The pumpkin for the Junior Landcare Pumpkin Challenge is starting to take off. It was 612 grams two weeks ago and is topping the scales at 5kg today. I don't think it will be a winner but it has been fun for my youngest to grow. The pumpkin has to have a name as part of the competition and her's is Bubba. That is also her nickname.
A slight glut of tomatoes has brought out our pickle making tendencies. I made Mustard Pickles last week and Bubba (the girl not the pumpkin) made some Chilli Jam on the weekend. She has a lot of chillies growing in her little vegetable garden bed along with a tomato bush, radish and dwarf beans. She is determined to grow as much in her 1 x 1 metre patch as she can.
Bye for now,

Monday, February 1, 2010

School's In

Today we started back with school work proper. There has ofcourse been some learning throughout the holidays but today we sat down to do 'school work'. Spelling, maths, geography, science and some baking too.

Last October my youngest started home school and is progressing nicely. Her older sister today started high school at home. It was a little daunting to sort through the NSW curriculum for all of the key learning areas but the board of studies inspector says we have it all covered nicely. I don't think that home education suits everyone but at this stage it is suitable for us.

There is a new hive in our paddock as well. These bees seem friendly enough and aren't bothered when we get a little close. This hive is situated close to the orchard but at the moment I think gum blossoms are their choice.

The pumpkin for the Junior Landcare growing challenge is growing well. This picture was taken for a monthly weigh-in in January and I think it is twice the size now.
Bye for now,