Blessings and thanks to Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, for providing so many poems celebrating food!
With the change in season, the kitchen garden and containers are flourishing. We're right into the heat of an approaching Summer, as you will see from the light in these postcards from my garden. Actually, this snippet should be titled 'ode to my kitchen garden and all the delicious good things that can be grown in pots'.
And in the kitchen garden beds...
The garden itself is a little untidy, as I had two full weekends away from home and therefore less time to dedicate to weeding and tidying at a critical time in the season. That said, we still seem to have a nice little crop. We'll be harvesting baby cos lettuces next week (see the first row of images below). There are also some tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, strawberries, carrots, a rockmelon, a watermelon, and tiny bok choy. The tarragon has grown like crazy and the mint has taken over, despite being planted into the beds contained in pots. At the next opportunity, I'll plant more basil too, as I love cooking with basil throughout summer. My first ever crop of celery is going to seed (see the picture bottom right), so I have the opportunity to save the seeds for a fresh crop next season. I'm also going to cut it down at the base and see if new stems will grow.
Best of all, we harvested our first crop of garlic a couple of weeks ago and the bunches are drying on a rack in the garage and I'm already using the tender bulbs in my cooking. I'll be compiling an article on growing garlic, so watch this space. There's also some useful information and links about why you should grow your own garlic on my post, here.
Incidentally, garlic marries particularly well with prawns and pasta. Here's a quick and easy recipe of mine. You need 250g fettuccine, 250g green prawns (peeled and deveined), 20g butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1-2 cloves garlic (finely chopped, more if if you like!), 3 spring onions (sliced), 1/2 cup light cream, salt & freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (finely chopped). Heat the butter and oil, add garlic and spring onions. Toss briefly over low heat. Add the prawns and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until are pink. Set aside to a warm plate. Add the cream and bring it gently to the boil. Lower the heat, simmer until reduced. Add prawns and season to taste. Serve over al dente fettucine. Yum!
Tell me, readers, how does your garden grow and what good things have you harvested of late?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.