Monday, 15 August 2016

Taking Stock

It is a cold misty morning and I am surveying my garden with despair, so much work to do and it is so sodden!  Time to rap my knuckles!  These are the days when you take stock.  I thought about what I wrote in my last post about planning.  I must not be such a hard taskmaster.

I realised that I could, if I wanted to, survive off my plot now.  I did a quick accounting of what I have growing – silverbeet (Swiss chard), swede, carrots, celeriac, celery, kale, yams, leeks, red cabbage, some manky Brussels Sprouts and some tough as boots turnips.  Also some broccoli and spring cabbage lurking about in the flowerbed by the house!  This is not counting the beans (green and broad), sweetcorn and broccoli in the freezer the pumpkins in the wash house and a multitude of bottled fruit and jams and pickles.  I realize that my problem is that I am focusing on all the weedy bare patches and that I didn't grow enough potatoes, onions and that my succession sowing was a bit hit and miss. For example, it is an ideal time to be harvesting cauliflowers, but I didn't put any in.  So, time to stop being negative and concentrate on the positive.  Also, I am so blessed to be living in an area where we can have a winter garden.

Here the snow stays on the ranges and we only get snow about once every 20 years.  This view is about 500 metres from my home.

The mist seems to be dispersing so I am going to venture out there to sow my broad beans! No peas this year, when I went to the garden centre to buy seeds, I was told that the Wairarapa can’t grow peas till 2018!  Apparently, our area has pea weevil and as there are commercial growers in our area, they are banned even for home gardeners.  The broad beans are seeds I saved from last year and I think I will sow them in punnets as even the ground that is under plastic tunnels is so wet, I am sure they would rot.  I have a plastic greenhouse that should suit them, but I think I am going to move it to a more sheltered spot as last week’s winds tried to make a kite out of it!  I had to tie it to the fence!

Later, Beans in.  .Now some soup – my take on a Pumpkin Soup.   Like all Kiwis I love Pumpkin Soup - it is almost a national dish.  But I said I was going to ring the changes.  So, I am adding Bacon, Potato and some spices, and a sprinkling of Swiss cheese.

 Spicy Pumpkin Soup

800 gm small pumpkin, squash or butternut approx peeled
200 gm potato peeled
1 onion sliced
half leek sliced
2 rashers of smoky middle bacon cut into pieces
clove garlic crushed
vegetable stock cube crumbled, or your favourite stock
half teaspoon cumin and 2 teaspoons coriander both ground.
Salt and pepper to taste
chilly flakes or grated cheese for garnish

Fry onion and leek in tablespoon of oil, add garlic, then add spices and fry for a minute or so.  Add diced bacon.
Chop pumpkin and potato into small chunks add to pan, stir and then add stock cube and cover with water.
Cook at a slow simmer for twenty minutes; do not overcook as you want the pieces of pumpkin to stay whole.  That’s it.  You can add cream, or a sprinkling of chilly flakes or some grated cheese. Serve with chunky home made bread.

Tip: When cutting up the pumpkin cut into wedges and microwave for a couple of minutes, it will be easier to peel.

This weekend a friend visited and presented me with a huge bag of walnuts, my favourite nut, so I have been cracking them open and putting in storage jars. I will leave half of them in their shells as they stay fresher that way.  I love them, one of my favourite recipes is in an Apple and Walnut cake, maybe next time I will share the recipe.

That is it for today, so till next time have a great week and thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sharon! What a lovely place you have! It's so true that we often focus on what is wrong instead of what is right. Even though it's been a terrible year for our garden, pumpkins have thrived, so thank you for the wonderful recipe. It looks delicious! What a nice friend to bring you all those walnuts. Our neighbor has a heartnut tree and it drops a lot of nuts on our property. We shelled and froze several pounds last year. Hoping to get some more this year. Enjoy your gardening!