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.

baked pears with sage

2017-10-03T19:04:09+02:00October 3rd, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

These days I often combine the dessert and cheese courses. The first reason for doing this being the obvious that it makes dinner parties a lot easier, eliminating the preparation of an extra course and washing up. We are trying to eat healthier by reducing the excess sugars and carbohydrates that often easily ‘sneak’ into [...]

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Chicken Saltimbocca

2017-09-11T11:31:26+02:00September 18th, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

“Saltimbocca is thought to have been invented in Brescia, where the name loosely translates as ‘jump in the mouth’ – so you can be confident that it will taste great and the people you cook it for won’t be able to eat it fast enough. ” In Italy it is traditionally made from veal, but [...]

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Lemon and ginger creams

2017-09-10T16:07:52+02:00September 10th, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

My lemon trees are laden, so I am making all things lemon at the moment. One of my all time favourite desserts is this lemon cream recipe! The French call them Petit Pots au Citron, but I often steer away from the traditional, tending to alter the basic recipe by adding other flavours. The only [...]

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Limoncello – Italian lemon liqueur to make this week!

2017-09-04T10:23:31+02:00September 4th, 2017|Beverages, From the Garden, Travel & Adventures|

I was first introduced to this quintessential Italian lemon liqueur on my first visit to Sorrento, Italy in the early 80’s, but it is only in recent years when we have been ‘brewing or should I say infusing' our own, that I have started using it generously in the my cocktails and cooking. Wherever you [...]

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2017-08-28T12:21:53+02:00August 28th, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

I always have a dilemma in winter when we have beautiful citrus fruit, but the cold weather does not tempt me to make refreshing salads. Today was a lovely warm spring day so was drawn to make one of my favourite salads. It is so simple, but so refreshing. Serve it as a starter with [...]

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Easy rustic pressure cooker soup

2017-07-29T13:20:33+02:00July 29th, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

For part of my youth I was privileged to live on a Karroo farm. This was long before the farms in this area were linked to the national electricity grid. Farmers had to generate their own electricity if required. Luckily we had a diesel powered generator that clicked on at the touch of a button [...]

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Let’s Chimichurri!

2017-04-21T15:15:51+02:00April 21st, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

The word Chimichurri sounds like an exotic dance ..... well, it is, on the tongue! Chimichurri Sauce originates in Argentina where it is used as a marinade and also as a sauce on grilled meats, usually beef. Traditionally it is parsley based, with additions of fresh garlic, oregano, cumin and vinegar. I have used the [...]

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Quinces – fascinating retro fruit

2017-04-05T12:17:42+02:00March 29th, 2017|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

I regard quinces, one of the more unusual fruits that we find in the markets in Autumn, as retro fruits as I remember, with nostalgia, a crystal bowl of pinky beige wedges of chilled stewed quinces on my Grandmother’s table. They were served as a dessert, with pale yellow jersey cream or a rich egg [...]

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