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Mid-Spring 2020 Update

It’s mid spring here at VintageTrishGarden in outer Sydney Australia.

I’ve been growing my suburban food forest garden here for 28 years.
It’s a highly productive garden and this little trailer is just a taste of what’s happening here right now.

I’ll be back to writing regular blogs soon, but for daily updates follow me on Instagram @vintagetrishgarden on this link, see you there!

Garden to Table, Kitchen, Kitchen Preserves

Dried Banana Saver

Dried banana costs nearly $30 per kilo where I live. No way.

Instead, I made 438g dried Organic banana for recipes, and banana skin fertiliser slurry for my fruit trees/roses.

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From 2.1kg of purchased bananas, pre-treated in my homegrown lime juice before drying, I’ve saved a conservative $25 on both superior products. I know what’s in them. For example, they are sulphur-free, because I dried them.

My calculations include electricity costs and ‘paying myself’ for my time. Never forget those two because they can escalate a cost easily when it comes to home preserving.

These dried bananas ‘could’ last a long time in glass jars in the fridge. Whether they will with us around remains to be seen!

One purchase, two products, no waste.

Permaculture Principles for today’s task: Obtain a yield, Catch and store energy.

Pure gold 💚

Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making your Dried Banana.

#driedfruit #banana #homemade#organic #growwhatyoueat#savemoney #limejuice #dehydrator#dehydratorrecipes #preserves#organicfood #permacultureprinciples#ediblelandscape #organicfertilizer#permaculture #productivelife

Garden to Table, Kitchen, Kitchen Preserves

Thai Curry Paste from my garden & a lentil curry

I harvested fresh ingredients for Thai curry paste from my garden this week. A beautiful, aromatic, satisfying experience in itself..let alone the meals that can be cooked from it.

I made slow cooker red lentil curry with some of it, using pre-harvested purple sweet potato, carrots & butternut pumpkin, served with rice.

Nine out of fifteen curry paste ingredients I picked fresh from my garden:

Fresh ginger, kaffir lime, turmeric, tahitian lime, thai bantum chilli, lemongrass, red legs spring onions & garlic chives.

Then I gathered two preserved crops out of the freezer and pantry:

Frozen garlic cloves, dried chillies.

Together with other store-bought supplies in this recipe, they made a delicious paste which I’m sure was the star ingredient of the slow cooker red lentil curry I cooked. My best curry yet.

 

     

The rest of the double batch paste is frozen into cubes for 5 to 6 other meals.

The curry paste recipe shown here (makes 3/4 cup).

Stick blend it all together for ease.

The slow cooker red lentil curry (which you can look up yourself) used 3T of the paste.

Sorted 💚

Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making your Thai Curry Paste.

#freshingredients #currypaste#homemade #homegrown #thaicurry#gourmetingredients #growwhatyoueat#veganfood #vegetarian #potager#organicfood #ediblelandscape#permaculture #zerofoodmiles

Garden to Table, Kitchen, Kitchen Preserves

Bread & Butter Cucumber Pickles..A Fridge Staple

I know Bread & Butter Cucumber pickles aren’t exciting when you’re in the middle of a cucumber glut in summer.

But imagine how exciting they’ll be for that sandwich or salad you’re making in winter. The satisfaction of having grown and preserved a fridge ingredient, yourself.

Today’s recipe is one I’ve been developing for years. I’ve been developing it for taste, ease and simplicity… not complexity. You’ll see it has very few ingredients, but it’s flavourful and reliable. That’s how I like it when I’m in a preserving glut in my kitchen.

This process is not hard after your first time. If you’re not a confident cook, this process can be a little challenging on the first go. So be willing to make mistakes or have someone who you can call or be there to help. Never leave this process unattended and keep all children safely out of the kitchen – it’s hot work!

Important Reminders:

Jar sterilisation, jar sealing and refrigeration of your pickles are all vital steps to avoid serious illness, (especially botulism) with any preserves.

When you’ve cooked these pickles, make sure you reduce only so far that there is still enough boiled pickle liquid to cover the contents in the jar. This is what submerges the pickle in the jar, hopefully locking out air and the vinegar preventing bacteria and/or mould forming.

The jar sealing pop is what you need to hear for the air lock. That’s why you seal and cap in the hot mixture, rather than leaving it to cool.

Only glass jars should be used to store these pickles, because of the vinegar content.

If you’re repurposing glass jars, ensure you have new lids which can reliably do the safety pop seal. If you don’t hear the pop you can’t be sure.

I leave these in the fridge for a week to let flavours develop, before opening the first jar.

Always refrigerate these pickles from the day they are bottled, till consumed, and finished.

If it looks and/or smells wrong when you open a preserve, or you know/ don’t know if it has been stored properly-don’t eat it!

Educate yourself on food safety.

I’m not sure how long these preserves will last in your home and in your fridge – so that, and your safety, are up to you.

This is a delicious pickle. But if it’s not for you, Google a recipe that suits.

If this recipe is for you, and you’d like to share it great…but an attribution to Trish McGill  @vintagetrishgarden on IG, or this website link for other platforms, would be kind, and good manners.

Hope you enjoy these as much as my family and I do. I’ve just heard the first jar lid pop. One down, two to go 💚 Trish

Recipe Ingredients:

Makes approximately 3 medium sized jars

  • 5-6 large cucumbers sliced
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 1TB Salt (for salt rub/ overnight soak)
  • 1 Cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup raw sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Large pinch ground turmeric

Method: Follow the method steps outlined below.

**

Stage 1 Salting the Cucumber and Onions Overnight (Allow 8-12 hours)

This is as important as any of the other stages in the recipe. Slice the cucumbers and onions as coarse or fine as you prefer. Rub the 1TB of salt from the recipe ingredients through the cucumbers and onions until all is thoroughly mixed. Store in a covered glass dish overnight in the fridge.

In the morning, drain the liquid that has formed from the salt cucumber and onion mix. You don’t need that liquid any more. Rinse the cucumber/onion mix quickly. Set the mix aside.

Stage 2:

Bring mustard seeds, vinegars, sugar and turmeric to the boil in a pot on the stovetop, stirring till combined well. Reduce heat to medium and add cucumber and onion mix. Stir thoroughly.

Stage 3:

Add the rinsed cucumber/onion mix and simmer on medium heat until the cucumber and onion goes completely soft and the pickle juice goes a little syrupy.

Stage 4:

Simmer till the pickle juice just covers the mixture

Stage 5:

Use tongs and kitchen gloves to transfer the still hot finished mixture, into the sterilised jars

                      

Stage 6:

Cap with sterilised jar lids (still using kitchen gloves) while still hot. Listen for ‘pop’ seal…that could take a while. Let cool, then refrigerate. Enjoy!

© Trish McGill 2020

Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making your Bread & Butter Cucumber Pickles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen, Life and my Garden

Chimichurri Inspired Sauce

Parsley has to be one of the most delicious and abundant herbs in a spring kitchen garden.

This morning I had no idea I’d be harvesting a large amount of parsley, or potatoes etc. A story you’ll find on my Instagram post 

I decided that with most ingredients to hand, both in the garden and pantry, a Chimichurri inspired sauce was what I would make. The fresh parsley taste at this time of year is unbeatable, and this sauce features it beautifully.

The chimichurri sauce I make uses the food processor to speed things up. I’m not Armenian, and I don’t pretend that this is anywhere near the expertise of the traditional recipe. However I am constantly looking for world cuisine inspiration, and the fresh ingredients this sauce uses from the garden is delicious. I keep the finished sauce in the fridge for about a week, and use it in a number of things.

Uses

My Chimichurri Inspired Sauce can be used as a marinade, folded through a green linguini and nut pasta, as a flavourful ingredient in a pizza base sauce, or savoury yoghurt, dips and cheeses. I’m sure you’ll think of other uses too.

Substitutions

The recipes I make are always based on what I have ‘to hand’. Fresh food moves directly from garden to kitchen to table where possible, in my home. So substitutions become necessary sometimes.

A traditional Chimichurri would use wine vinegar, however I use concentrated lime juice from my tree, stored in my fridge. Whereas fresh garlic is preferred for this recipe, I used dried garlic granules. You could use minced garlic or garlic paste if you have it. I used curly parsley, whereas flat parsley is traditionally used. I don’t like coriander, so I used all parsley. If you’re interested in traditional chimichurri just do an internet search using those key words.

Garden to Table

The opening pic shows all the fresh ingredients I used from my garden, which you’ll find in the recipe below. To this I added 2 tsp dried garlic granules, 1/3cup concentrated lime juice, 2/3cup extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of brown sugar (optional).

What I enjoy about this fridge-fixer recipe is, it involves no cooking and can be used as an ingredient in vegetarian, vegan or meat dishes.

I like to let my Chimichurri sauce ‘cure’ its flavours for a day or so before using. But you might need it in a hurry. It works either way.

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Chimichurri Inspired Sauce

Makes: Approximately 1.5 cups or 1 large Jar

Ingredients

100 gram parsley  (flat or curly)

15 gram spring onion/shallots

2 small sprigs oregano

2 very small chilli, seeds removed

2 teaspoons dried garlic granules

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

Pinch sea salt

Pinch brown sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Roughly chop spring onions, parsley, oregano, chilli.
  2. Measure the olive oil and lime juice into the same measuring jug, for ease of use later
  3. Put half the greens, chilli and garlic into the food processor, add half the lime juice & oil
  4. Process on high till smooth.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and process till smooth
  6. Put your sauce into clean sterilised jars and store in the fridge
  7. Use the sauce within a week

I hope you enjoy having another idea to use up your beautiful homegrown or gifted, parsley supplies.

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Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making your chimichurri inspired sauce.