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.

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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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 [...]


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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Fresh Turmeric – Chicken & Mango Curry

2018-02-15T14:15:26+02:00February 15th, 2018|From the Garden, From the Kitchen, Interesting ingredients|

I was so excited when I found fresh Turmeric at my local supermarket last week  I just could not resist buying it. Turmeric comes from a gnarled root (rhizome to be botanically correct!) of the ginger family. Two years ago I bought a root that started sprouting and I have had a few leaves sprout [...]

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Tomato Chilli Jam

2018-01-25T13:47:04+02:00February 1st, 2018|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

My beautiful vegetable garden has been neglected this year as there is simply no water. I have not bought a single plant other than a couple of basil plants that are in pots on the cooler patio. The grey water from bowls in the sink is dedicated to keeping my lime, bay and pomegranate trees [...]

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Fennel Pickle

2017-11-13T13:44:39+02:00November 16th, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

Still on the subject of pickles! I enjoyed fennel pickle in a salad in a restaurant a couple of years ago, so I returned home, researched some recipes and came up with this one, which has become a family favourite. I make it in summer, and oranges are not in season, but it is worthwhile [...]

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Chicken with rosemary, orange and kale

2017-10-03T18:54:32+02:00October 8th, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

This evening I was ready to make yet another Asian inspired chicken dish. When I looked out into my vegetable garden and saw the huge kale plants and the rosemary with fresh spring shoots I decided to change direction. Chicken, garlic, rosemary, orange and kale came to mind. The huge kale plants (with the [...]

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