From the Garden

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I consider our garden an extension of my home. The kitchen overlooks the specially designed vegetable garden. It contains many herbs, 3 olive trees and couple of lime and lemon trees, two fig trees and various vegetables in season.

My inspiration in the kitchen often comes from the garden. I am motivated to start cooking when I harvest a bowl of freshly picked tomatoes or a handful of crisp spinach, herb or kale leaves, but more about that as the seasons progress.

We are managing to handle the water restrictions during the severe drought during the summer of 2016/17 by fitting a hose to the waste water of the washing machine and using a plastic bowl in the sink to catch every drop for the vegetable garden. Buckets in the showers serve some of the flower garden. Hopefully the winter rains will give us some relief. The flower garden also impacts on our meals as I always stroll around the garden to see what is available before I plan my table setting. Other than on the roses, I do not use insecticides, so edible flowers are also used.

I love visiting gardens on my travels. The formal gardens of Europe and the exotic Asian gardens fascinate me. My passion for beautiful gardens and outdoor areas has awakened my interest in another field. During 2017 I will be launching a garden and patio décor business, Rustic Rose, specializing in importing second hand garden and patio furniture and accessories from France.

Tomatoes Provencale

2020-01-21T12:12:08+02:00January 21st, 2020|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

The most successful vegetable from my garden is tomatoes! Every time a tomato does not look as fresh as I would like it, I toss it into the garden. It either adds welcome organic matter to feed the soil or the seeds come up the following year. The cherry or cocktail varieties are most prolific [...]

Red Potato Salad

2020-01-12T11:49:00+02:00January 12th, 2020|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

A couple of years ago I found red and purple potatoes in our local supermarkets. At first I was intrigued by the exotic colours but what made them really special was the lovely buttery texture and the flavour. Red & Purple potatoes from a couple of years ago! Sadly we have not seen them [...]

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Lesley’s Lemon & Limoncello Mousse

2019-05-23T13:18:43+02:00May 27th, 2019|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

I have been eyeing Lesley Orr’s Lemon and Limoncello Mousse for a while and thought it would be ideal for a ladies’ supper party last week and then I made it again a few days ago as a refreshing end to a rather rich lamb curry. Lesley is married to my cousin Robert. [...]

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Grape sauce for fish or poultry, my version of classic Veronique

2019-01-25T15:01:14+02:00January 25th, 2019|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

It’s peak grape season It is amazing how our tastes in food change according with new developments. Some of you may recall when table grapes usually had tough skins and huge bitter pips! I do, as kids we had several grape vines at home. The grape covered pergola near the farm house was so big [...]

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Watermelon feast time!

2019-01-17T13:18:28+02:00January 17th, 2019|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

Versatile watermelon to celebrate summer! I always feel that summer is in full swing when there is an abundance of watermelons in the shops and markets! We buy mainly from supermarkets, especially when you can choose a quarter or half fruit. But when our local little market stall has melons directly from the farm we [...]

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Blueberry galette, inspired by my visit to the US.

2018-11-15T12:48:17+02:00November 15th, 2018|From the Garden, From the Kitchen, Travel & Adventures, Uncategorized|

Blue berries are native to the US On our recent holiday to the United States we spent some time in Maine, New England and Vermont. Seeing the ‘fall’ (the autumn) has been a bucket list item for some time. The autumn colours were breathtakingly beautiful. It is mainly the maple trees that turn spectacular shades [...]

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CAULIFLOWER & CHEESE SOUP

2018-06-09T12:51:16+02:00June 9th, 2018|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

On Fridays I clear out my fridge. Sometimes it is a boring routine and on other occasions I discover foods that need to be cooked or consumed. This week I came across a pack of cauliflower and broccoli that was at the edge of expiry and when I checked the cheese drawer there was a [...]

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Hey Pesto!

2018-04-15T12:45:47+02:00April 15th, 2018|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

It is Italy on a plate! I’m not sure when I first tasted pesto.... all I know is that it was one of those memorable food moments. It must have been in the 1980’s when the South African palates underwent a ‘renaissance’ and Italian cuisine suddenly extended beyond stodgy mac & cheese, lasagne and spaghetti [...]

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Schiacciata Italian Grape Bread

2018-03-07T15:14:15+02:00March 7th, 2018|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

It is harvest time, time to make Schiacciata! This version of Focaccia (Italian flatbread) is traditionally made in Tuscany during the harvest season where red wine grapes are usually used. Wine grapes are smaller berries than table grapes and the pips give the bread a nutty flavour. I have tried seedless red grapes, [...]

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