Firstly, and most importantly, thank you to Celia for hosting our monthly kitchen get together! And to so many who read and commented with wit and wisdom about my kitchen and garden adventures last month, thank you as well! There were many helpful suggestions and I will update you quickly.
Grasshoppers are still around, but have mostly moved out of the courtyard where most of my edibles are grown. There are still many around, but these later ones at least have a sense of style and colour!
It is lime time. We’ve had to empty the tree because the mealy bug has moved in and we needed to treat that. The limes are delicious this year and I wish I could send you all some. It has been a bad summer for growing a lot of things; insects we don’t normally have, in proportions we don’t normally have, and either too wet or too hot for a number of things. Welcome to Australia.
On the last day of February, I walked into my kitchen to find this lovely little creature poised on the edge of the kitchen bench. After taking her portrait, I gently assisted her to a nice fresh, green basil leaf that has regenerated after the grasshoppers cleaned most of them off!
The efforts to save my Bay Tree seem successful. I gave it a hit of Seasol once I could see it was shooting new leaves, and it has come on beautifully. I’m still scraping the occasional bit of scale, but once the weather cools I will treat it again, and that should take care of things.
The cast iron pan has gone for a test trial to Aunt B’s kitchen, where we have deduced the trouble is definitely operator error on my part (never was much doubt), and we will endeavour to correct that. Stay tuned!
I’ve been having some delicious breakfasts, and main course salads continue a favourite while the weather is still quite warm.
I’m currently on a broccolini* binge. I have it in omelettes for breakfast, or steamed for lunch and dinner with a variety of modifications from bacon to cheddar or Parmigiano Reggiano. I’m sorry I can’t be biased, I love it all.
Here is a recent discovery of something clever that actually works; a way to remove shell from hard boiled eggs. I usually use free range eggs, as fresh as I can get them, which means they can be difficult from which to remove the shells when hard boiled. But if you place them in a jar of water, and shake gently, but enough to crack the shell all over, 5 seconds or so, the shells will actually come off pretty easily. I shook one harder, just to see what would happen, and it peeled alright, but took a layer of egg with it! So, the shaking will be a trial and error thing depending on your own strength and style!! Do let me know if you find it useful, I certainly do!
Even though insect plagues and heat have ravaged my courtyard garden, I still enjoy looking out my kitchen window at it each day. The light is ever changing and inspiring. Wishing you light and lovely-ness in your month coming.
*Since one of the comments below alludes to the origins of broccolini I thought I would look it up to find some additional information for you. Here is what Wikipedia says:
Broccolini (original Japanese: ブロッコリーニ) is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks. Often misidentified as young broccoli, it is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan, both cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea. It was originally developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan, in 1993 as “aspabroc”.
The entire vegetable is consumable, including the occasional yellow flower. Common cooking methods include sauteeing, steaming, boiling, and stir frying. In Japan, it is highly popular as a spring vegetable, and usually eaten steamed. Its flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus, although it is not closely related to the latter.
The above is what I was led to believe were the origins, but it is useful to double check these things. Happy eating 🙂