Allow me please to introduce my friend, fellow cook and food blogger, Kyrstie Barcak a.k.a. A Fresh Legacy. Kyrstie's blog is about what she and her partner, Mr Fresh, grow in the garden, what they cook with their delicious home grown produce and the simple pleasures they enjoy and share with their friends.
Kyrstie and I share the same food philosophies in that she also loves to explore her region and support local farmers and producers, and spread the word via Twitter and our web sites. Kyrstie cooks as much as she can from scratch and buys only a small number of items from the supermarket. So, let's take a stroll around the vegetable garden with Kyrstie and learn how her garden grows.
'Thank you, Lizzy for the opportunity to visit Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things as a guest. I always feel like I have learnt something when I visit here and the pictures are truly drool-worthy. We share a keen interest in supporting local producers of fine quality produce by spreading the word to our friends online, and offline. Like Lizzy, I am also passionate about growing fresh produce in my vegetable garden.
What motivates you to grow certain vegetables or fruit?
For me, the motivation is to feed my two boys (and of course Mr Fresh and I) home-grown, fresh produce from our garden throughout the year. We do not purchase many food items from the supermarket. The vegetables and fruits that we do not grow are purchased from our local farmers market, or local fruit store; and our meat is purchased and delivered from a local farm.
My vegetable garden began as three raised beds and a herb patch. The three beds now have no space between them, as I have claimed the area for more planting. I have also been slowly taking over the back yard! In short, I strive to have as many fresh vegetables as possible travel from my garden to my kitchen. The food from my garden is primarily grown to take pride of place on our dinner table each night. In addition to that, I have been honing my skills at preserving and now plant extra produce to have available for use in chutney, relish and jams.
The main things coming from my garden to our table right now include tomatoes, zucchinis, fresh herbs and lettuce greens.
As this produce finishes up for the season I will be:
Maintaining my vegetable garden in Autumn:
Lizzy invited me to share one of my favourite preserves recipes. This one, my end of summer chutney has previously been my secret recipe and has remained unpublished. It is included, along with my other favourites, in my new e- book, Preserving from my Garden.
KYRSTIE'S END OF SUMMER CHUTNEY
Cooking time: 1hr 40 minutes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
1 tablespoon cooking oil
200 grams onion – diced
3 cloves garlic – finely sliced
1cm fresh turmeric* – finely sliced
1cm fresh ginger – finely sliced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns – pounded in a mortar and pestle (not a fine powder)
2 bay leaves
1kg zucchini – peeled and grated
500 grams eggplant –peeled and grated
300 grams tomatoes – diced
10 whole fresh parsley stems, including leaves
500 ml white vinegar
100 ml malt vinegar
500 grams sugar
Add the oil to a pan and when it is warm add the onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger, mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf and cook until the onion is starting to soften. Add all remaining ingredients except the sugar
Simmer gently for one hour, stir occasionally. Remove the bay leaves and the parsley stalks. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Cook for another 30 minutes until the mixture thickens and darkens in colour.
Pot into warm sterilised jars. Leave for 6-8 weeks prior to eating to allow flavours to develop and soften. Store in a cool location and use in 4-6 months. Makes1200 ml.
*If unavailable, fresh turmeric may be replaced with dried turmeric (1 teaspoon).
Preserving – from my garden is an easy guide to bottling the goodness of a season. It contains recipes for sauces, jams, chutney and relish, plus instructions on sterilising, equipment, and all of the information, hints and tips to get you started, including jar labels. You can read more about the book here. Thanks for inviting me to visit Lizzy!' - Kyrstie
'Wow, Kyrstie, thank you ever so much for sharing one of your most treasured (and secret) recipes. It's my pleasure to showcase your work on Good Things. We do indeed share a passion for supporting local producers, cooking as much as possible from scratch and also growing our own fresh produce.'
NB: All of the above images appear with the kind courtesy of Kyrstie Barcak and are copyright to Kyrstie and A Fresh Legacy blog.
Tell me, like Kyrstie and myself, do you grow your own vegetables and fruit? What are your best producers? And how do you preserve the produce you've grown?
Hello, I'm Lizzy, the writer, cook and traveller behind 'Good Things'.
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Weights & measures
I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes. Viz: one tablespoon = 20mls; one cup = 250mls. For detailed conversions click here.