Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to make the most of a ham bone

I left a family 'do' recently with a whole heap of great food (which we have used) and a ham bone. I know that a ham bone is one of the great assets, way ahead of a roasted chicken frame and just behind a prosciutto bone.

So a searchon how to use this asset told me that I should create a solid "Lima bean" base. Lima or butter beans are big and sloppy - overcook them and you'll get mash.

These are perfectly done:

But a great recipe here showed me how to get them ready and then you can use them for three bean mix but better for a pasta fagioli.

Out of pure pigheadedness I will probably make pasta fagioli so that my kids will know what Dean Martin meant when he said "that's amore!"

Ow, now that I've looked at the Google images of pasta fagioli I know that it's like the tomato broth that beloved mother in law Dora does quite often. Better go buy some new shaped pasta.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Utensils drawer, cleared at last

OK so I put all the 'crap' in a box nine months ago. With the idea that 'if we need it we can go to the box'

As we get to summer cleanout it wad time to send the box away.

But then Christmas and 'where's the nutcracker?' Rescued.

Back in the drawer.

Tranquil all of a sudden

An hour's raking, pile up the compost and put up a few chook fences. Overnight, a garden of peace.

Never mind that it's a year round obsession.

I know what you're doin, and I don't like it

I can see you there. Self seeded and drooping over my navel orange. For sure you look stronger now, but you'll never give me oranges.

Yeh fine. I'll water you both, for now. But ther will be a time, not too far away, when I come around with a pair of secateurs and some Trichlopyr (mixed 1:6 with kerosene) and take all you fuckers out.

It's a once a year deal but all those crap trees - golden raintree,  date palm, alders, maples (acers) that are in the wrong place and too rooted in to pull out - gone. It's a 45min job. Tralala.

But I'll blog you when I've exterminated you.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas tomatoes

Zucchini seedlings: A great gift from Dora

My mother in law gave me three plants a couple of weeks ago. I know she didn't think much of it but I did. What a great gift.

Christmas ham: my plan

A little extravagant - after all a ham is a ham. Most of the work is done before we get it. But I like to dress one up each year.

This year I'll use some stuff from around the house. I still have a few Valencia oranges on a tree outside and our neighbours gave us some of their homemade mulberry jam last year.

So I'll do an orange and mulberry glaze this year, probably with some honey in it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Completed: Shittiest gardening job of the year

The only way I get any fruit is to keep the birds off the trees. And getting a net over them is a painstaking, monotonous job.

Grape vines next, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why nature rule 11: Freshness

When the garden rewards you it rewards with a vibrant freshness. I transplanted this blood orange very carefully six weeks ago. I fertilised four weeks ago, especially with zinc and manganese and pruned two weeks ago.

And kapow.

Mites: One I wouldn't have guessed

Halfb of my tamarillo tree has its leaves destoyed. Tiny leaves and tiny buds. Malcolm Campbell told me it's mites.

One I didn't guess at.

Why nature rules 10: Pandan plant and so much to learn

My friend Shyama bought in some Pandan plants the other day and gave one to me. All my friends who cook Asian food swear by it, and I'm happy to learn.

So to tonight I'm putting rice, coconut milk, some ginger and a leaf of this tied in a knot into the rice cooker.

How interesting.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why nature rules 9: So easy to do better than the commercial guys

It doesn't matter what it is - tomatoes, lettuce, flowers. At one time in every year - at least - you can beat the system. And this week for me it's Asiatic lilies:

Why nature rules 8: An insight to something bigger

The first ever lovebird I had was about 20 years ago. Its cheeky personality showed me that spirit and personality weren't confined to the human domain. I really felt that the bird had a soul as big as many people I knew, and that the life force I saw within my bird was a sign that something big was going on within the universe.

And again, now, with my kids I have the pleasure of three birds, two guinea pigs, a dog and four chooks. And they remind me that the universe is big.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Why nature rules 7: So much from so little

This lettuce seedling is an inch high. If I keep it alive it will grow as a stalk about 18 inches tall, with beautiful six inch lettuce leaves all the way up. And then it will give a seed head that provides 500 seeds for next year. Where do you think I got this one?

So much from so little.

Why nature rules 6: She's relentless

Under the right conditions, nothing will hold nature back. I cut this orange a week ago. A little heat, some moisture and (I know because I did it) some good nutrient and I already have two inch new shoots.

Why nature rules 5: Surprise beauty shots

Every day, it's there if you are able to see it. The right light, at the right time. I stood in my yard and took this: