Fire and Rain
Like most of south east Queensland and northern New South Wales it is wet here today.
The rain has been steady and rather heavy for the last 24 hours, the creeks are flooding,
the tanks are full and everything is looking very green. Unfortunately the weeds are vigorously growing and, I kid you not, you can see them grow in the space of a few hours. I have to admit I am feeling a bit despondent about the vegetable garden at the moment. It is a mess of plants going to seed, frizzled leafy plants, caterpillar eaten brassicas and of course weeds. That’s not to say that it’s not productive.
It’s just messy and I am disappointed with the way it looks, its not aesthetically pleasing I guess. I also feel I need to get a move on with planting again, my seed, seedling, planting out cycle has fallen by the wayside of late and with prime growing weather about to occur as the days get just that little bit shorter and cooler and I really need to get organised.
On the other hand I am feeling much more on top of the fire and batch baking as well as getting into a few more uses for the produce we are growing. I finally feel confident with the way in which to make and cook the bread now, with a great success rate.
We don’t have the doughy inside, blackened outside anymore and I can really feel when the dough is ready to rest and rise.
I have been experimenting with semi drying our surplus tomatoes in the bottom shelves of the oven overnight.
These turned out delicious (I just had some for lunch with pasta, feta, torn basil and anchovies – Yum!) and I have one bottle in olive oil and one in oil with feta, herbs and peppercorns.
Most batch days, along with the bread and one type of preserving (dried tomatoes yesterday, chilli tomato jam the fire day before and rhubarb and apple jam the one before that) I try to do a few trays of biscuits,
a quiche and some muffins or cakes. Our muffins tend to be made using left over juicing pulp or rhubarb.
At the moment our two favourite cakes are a coconut and lime cake, the recipe for which I got from my friend Debbie and chocolate zucchini cake from Jackie French’s book “The Best of Jackie French”. The zucchini cake is a great way to use up that extra zucchini after you’ve had all the spaghetti bolognaise with grated zucchini, stir fried zucchini and zucchini slice that you can handle 😉
If anyone has any great recipes for button squash I’d love to hear them, I think we’re about to be inundated!