Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mmmm - Marinated Artichokes

It's artichoke time in the Patch. All the baby artichokes are starting to form in the side branches and they are delicious when preserved in oil. While they are still young there is no choke in the middle of the flower to remove so they are quite quick to prepare. Yesterday morning I picked several and after bringing to the boil in a mix of white wine vinegar and white wine, packed them in a jar and covered with oil. I threw in a few peppercorns and bay leaf to give a bit of flavour. They last for months and months and are great to add into a salad or top a pizza.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sourdough Panettone, Marinated Fetta, and Tasmanian Peppers.

Hmmm- lucky I tried this recipe for Sourdough Panettone before Christmas as it has not been the raging success I had hoped. It tastes very nice, just like Panettone but is very dense (almost puggy one might say!). I think I might go back to my original yeasted version to ensure success for Christmas Day breakfast. Ah well, it was worth the try. The original Italian Panettone from Milan was a sourdough type bread which took several days to make and ended up light and fluffy in texture. This is not what was produced in the Preserving Patch kitchen today.

Yesterday I decided to marinate some of the fetta cheese I made a few weeks ago. I threw in some fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs, chilli flakes and some Tasmanian native peppers then covered the cheese with olive oil. Tried it on top of a pizza last night and it was pretty delicious.

When we went up to our hut near Cradle Mountain a couple of weekends ago, I was hoping to pick some fresh Tasmanian peppers (Tasmannia lanceolata) but I was a bit late for this year's crop and there were hardly any berries left. Instead I was given the task of getting enough prunings for several hundred cuttings for Max to propagate in the nursery. The cuttings have to be from a female tree to be able to produce the berries but Max had his favourite tree just up the track from the hut. It was a bit chilly perched up on a ladder with snow on the ground below. The peppers add quite a different flavour to dishes from normal black peppercorns and as we have literally hundreds of trees on our land in the mountains, it seems too good an opportunity to miss to harvest them occasionally. Here are some I prepared a little earlier - along with some dried leaves. I am keen for anyone to give me recipe ideas to use them!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mulching in the moisture

This weekend in the vege patch and orchard I have been getting ready for summer. I planted the first batch of sweet corn seed and weeded all the other little seedlings popping up. I still think there might be a rabbit getting in the vege patch despite checking all the boundaries, as the sugar snap pea seedlings are looking a bit nibbled.
 The rabbits are becoming a bit of a problem this year as no calici virus or myxo flea has affected them yet.. Every morning I hear them under the house hitting the heads and often see them through the windows, chomping on things in the garden when they think no one is looking. Of course I never have the camera ready though.
A bale of spoilt straw found its way into the garden during the week so I have been busy spreading it around. Mulching the raspberries and potatoes now will keep the moisture in the soil and hopefully ensure bumper crops later in the year.
Instead of doing any preserving this weekend, I made my Christmas cake instead with lots of fruit soaked in alcohol for a couple of days. By December it will be well matured and ready for all our Christmas visitors.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pickled Beetroot from the Patch

Not much time spent in the Preserving Patch kitchen this weekend but while I was doing some more digging in the vege patch this morning, I thought it was a good time to pickle some beetroot. The start of daylight saving always brings with it thoughts of summer salads and I'll need that patch of dirt where the beetroot are growing soon enough. So into the pot went 4 beetroot, boiled until they were tender, sliced and then covered in a vinegar spice mix. I am going to keep it in the fridge in a Fowlers bottle, not because I am planning to preserve it, but just because there is not a lot of room in the fridge!