Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beetroot be Gone

Beetroot hommus with cheesy crackers
I just don't much like beetroot. I've given it a red hot go, but that's it for me now. No more. Sure it looks nice in the garden - even I can manage to grow it. And there is something appealing about eating pink stuff. But I find it rather tricky to think of a way to cook and eat it. Without wanting to tip the plate down the compost. Eating beetroot is like eating a forkful of pink dirt. Mind you I'm shamefully quite partial to a bit of tinned beetroot in a salad sandwich in summer. So maybe I should have tried pickling them in cheap vinegar or something.

This year the beetroot growing was unintentional. I scattered about a lettuce mix which served us nicely for baby salad leaves through summer. Then I forgot about it and before I could say "winter" the beetroot leaves had taken over and grown into fair dinkum beetroots. So I had to do something with them. I pulled the whole bunch up during the week and did a beetroot blitz. I tried cooking them up with some feta and other veggies. Meeeeh. It was OK. I ate it 'cos it was good for me.

Then I made these choc chip beetroot muffins. I'm trying to lose a few kilos so I resisted and left them to the monkeys. They were a hit - obviously if you put enough chocolate in a meal you can disguise the taste of earthworm.

Then I remembered the beetroot hommus that I made last year. And while I was browsing about pinterest (yes I've developed a pinterest addiction like everyone else it seems) I discovered these cheesy crackers that would be just right to spread the dip on. So I jumped up and made them. Naturally I had to taste a couple to make sure they were right. Whoa those crackers were good. Quick and easy and very cheesy.  So the diet went out the window - it was hard to stop at one. But I consoled myself with the thought that all that butter was being washed down with a lot of vitamin C from the beetroot. When the little monkeys came home from school they too scoffed quite a few. Littlest Monkey with just a smidge of beetroot hommus on every second cracker. That was the rule.

But I don't think I'll be doing beetroot again. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Little Tour as we Head to the Cold

Following that dose of dipel, my brassicas are coming along nicely. I haven't seen a single caterpillar and it seems to be too cold for the cabbage moths to be fluttering about. Fingers crossed I may actually get to eat a home grown cauli this year. 
Rainbow silverbeet
The rainbow silverbeet as usual is going great. No pests, not much work and an endless supply of greens all year round. You've gotta love the silverbeet.
Dwarf snap peas, snap peas and snow peas with various supports
I've constructed a whole bunch of tepees and supports from old clothes hangers and whatever else I could find for the snow peas and snap peas. I've never grown snap peas before but I have a good feeling about them - and I reckon the monkeys might actually eat them.
Snow pea in flower
The first snow pea - yay!
More snow peas and snap peas - but not sure which is which.
The celeriac seems to be working. Again it's the first time I've grown it but I'm feeling optimistic.

I didn't photograph the garlic that's taken off. And that's because I have been naughty and have not dealt with the weeds that have also taken off all round them. Tsk tsk.

And I have a bed of broad beans that haven't yet emerged.

I also have a bunch of beetroot that I planted with other greens over summer. I was snipping bits off for salads and then forgot all about them and before I knew it they'd grown into beetroot. Which I don't much like. But I did get inspired by Suburban Tomato's beetroot post not too long ago so I must get cracking and cook something with them.

But here's the thing. I have room for more. Quite a bit more. What should I do? I can't stand to see the wasted space. I will plant some potatoes but my mum gave me one of those potato growing bags for Christmas and I have a big rubbish bin that works quite well, so there's still space in the patches.

I'm thinking carrots. Even though carrots don't seem to like me I could give them another try. And what else? Any suggestions.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Window Dressing

The other day I realised that glass on a window looks rather lovely. When I cleaned out my pantry I decided these little jars that were housing spices were not very practical. So I lined them up along a window sill and put some green bits in them. Pretty.
Then I re-potted all the carnivorous plants I have on my kitchen windowsill into bowls and vases and jars. And I've been admiring them while I do the dishes ever since. They are the perfect plants for these sorts of terrariums because they like boggy conditions. I've had these beautiful old coloured glass fishing floats hanging in the window for a while but I decided that you can never have too much bling. So I relocated a couple of crystals and some stained glass stars and it all looks rather lovely to my eye. Pity about the view of the empty goat block and the neighbour's side wall and that rotten moth vine on the fence that I still haven't pulled out. Oh. And of course the window sill that still hasn't been painted properly. But fortunately my eye at the moment is focusing on the sparkles and colour. I'll eventually get round to the other stuff.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What to do with a pile of bluestones?

Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging about life.

I've been a bit lacking in motivation lately. Couldn't seem to persuade myself to do what I ought to do. Or what I enjoy doing. I don't believe this house has been properly cleaned for a very long time. The sheets are nearly crawling off the beds. There's dust and dirt all over the floors and I don't even want to look in the loo. I've been struggling to come up with ideas for my drama classes and stressing about whether they'll work or not. I haven't managed to get to a yoga class for well over a month. Not since in fact I cleared and mopped and cleaned and erected my very own little shrine to Iyengar for the very purpose of doing yoga at home. I won't go into all the other boring details of my slip into inertia apart from to say that I think I've lifted my game and turned a corner. As will be evidenced by my more regular blog writing.
Last week we had a bunch of workers digging up the road and doing something with the electricity in our street. And on Friday Monkey Man got very excited by a big pile of bluestone rocks that had been dug up right outside our door. Monkey Man has a thing for bluestone. Loves them. I think it's because he's a bit of a history nerd. And our suburb according to him is the bluestone capital of the world. A few days before, we had subjected our children to a movie night watching TinTin (if you haven't seen it don't bother). And Monkey Man pointed out (not for the first time) that many of those bluestones in the animated Parisian TinTin streets were shipped all the way from our suburb. And likewise lots of London is filled with our bluestone. Monkey Man's rather proud of our suburb and its rocks. Now I don't have evidence to back up Monkey Man's statements but they're probably true. He has a rather good memory for facts and figures and he's very often quoting them at me. I sometimes find myself asking if that's the "fact for the day" or if I should expect more. Anyway, we do live on a very large basalt plain and in the 1800s our area was littered with bluestone quarries. And you can read all about it here if you are so inclined.

Naturally when Monkey Man spied the bluestones he got chatting to the workers and asked if he could take them off their hands and save them a trip to wherever they were planning to take them. And for a couple of beers and some hauling to the front yard they were ours.

But what to do with a lovely pile of bluestones?

I was thinking about simply dumping them arranging them in an artistic heap out back to make a rock sculpture. Or replacing all the brick edgings around the veggie patches with bluestone instead. But then I remembered permaculture herb spirals. Sonya from Permaculture Pathways wrote about them here and I loved the idea. I'm almost set on making one with these rocks except I'm not sure I have the right sunny spot. And I'm thinking that if I just let the rocks sit out the front for a bit longer I'll come up with a better idea. Or maybe you have some suggestions?

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