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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My New Number One

I've got a new number one. Parsley.

I know, I know I keep getting new favourites but parsley is surely it right now. And I promise I won't make a new number one anytime soon.

As you may remember, I have been attempting to rid my garden of grass by filling all the spaces.  So way back in winter I grew a load of parsley from seed and then I planted it everywhere. And now I am reaping the rewards. Loads and loads of parsley.

I've got parsley with the silverbeet at my back door.

Parsley (and not much else) in the herb spiral.

Parsley growing in the cracks between the paths and garden beds.

And parsley growing with the weeds and grass (yep I've still got grass to be rid of).
I do love parsley.  A finely chopped parsley garnish makes any dish look better. Oh and taste better I think. Well at least it'll make it taste fresher and you'll feel better 'cos you are doing some good for your body.

Did you know that gram for gram, parsley has twice as much vitamin C as an orange? I only know this 'cos my sister is a nutritionist and I nag her for little tidbits like that sometimes.

Anyway, I was reading Vegetable Vagabond's Spring herb post a few weeks ago and was reminded that I wanted to make a parsley pesto. She recommended parsley and walnut. But I happened to have pine nuts in my cupboard so thought I'd try the usual sort of pesto - except with the parsley not the basil.
Now if you're expecting a parsley pesto to taste super yum like a basil pesto unfortunately in my opinion it doesn't.  Next time I will add parmesan to the pesto to give it a bit more bite. But anyway it looks good and it's good for you. And I kidded myself that when greens are smashed up like that my Littlest Monkey may not be able to pick them out and may just inadvertently eat them. But I was wrong. Little Monkey Boy just doesn't like all those green bits spoiling his pasta. So I decided to do a little tricky thing with my remaining pesto - put it in a muffin. What kid can resist a muffin after a hard hungry day at school? Once they get over the disappointment of it being savoury not sweet. And green.

Parsley Pesto Savoury Muffin 

(Makes 24 mini muffins)

• 4 T parsley pesto (the same as a basil pesto but with parsley)
• 50g melted butter
• 2 cups SR flour
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1/2 cup tasty grated cheese
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• salt & pepper to taste

Grease your muffin tray & pre-heat the oven to 180ÂșC.

Mix together flour, cheese, pesto, salt & pepper in a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle and pour in the eggs, milk & melted butter.  Fold it all in until just combined.  Be careful not to over-mix - that'll make a nasty, chewy muffin.

Divvy the mixture up in your muffin holes and cook for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dancing with the Hoses

I've just come back from a water fight with the garden hose. And I am cranky. Who else hates garden hoses? 

We have a whopping big water tank that has never run dry since it was installed 5 or so years ago. And I use it with a hand held hose for most of my gardening. Trouble is, it's out front and a long way for the water to travel so it only comes out in a bit of a trickle. It takes a long time to water things in my garden. But I am not going to get a pump for the tank. I just can't bring myself to use electricity to get water.

Monkey Man was always telling me I'd wreck the super long hose from this tank if I didn't pay more attention to the kinks and if I didn't stop yanking on it. And I have. Wrecked it that is. Anyway, I find myself constantly cursing and stomping and re-tracking my steps to figure out where the blasted hose has bent and why my water is no longer flowing.

Anyway, deep breath. Every now and then when things are looking dry I use mains water to give things a good drink. Like today. After I got fed up with stomping and cursing about untangling and unkinking my tank hose I resorted to the mains water.

Last summer I wasted money on one of those tough, curly hoses in the hope that it would be neater and stop making kinks. And that is attached to the mains tap - 'cos it doesn't bloody work on the water tank one 'cos that is too long. More deep breaths. Anyway, this hose just keeps getting caught up in the trees and rocks and is coming off at the trigger and spraying everywhere. So I was simultaneously pulling the trigger, pushing the rubber hosey bit into the connection, attempting to plug the spray that was escaping with my thumb and dancing about to escape the shower. I soldiered on but came inside sopping and my hippy hemp pants were stuck to me. I suppose they needed a wash anyway. But whew I really need to take a deep breath 'cos I am cranky. Actually, if only I had set up a a camera and videoed my antics with the hoses and set it up to some slapstick Charlie Chaplinesque music I would be a youtube hit.

Watering should be one of those peaceful, meditative garden actions that gives pleasure.

I really need to set up a drip irrigation system like I have been planning to do for many a year. But they seem way too simple! I wonder if my tank is too far away for the water to trickle to my veggies. And I fear all the clogs I am bound to get. How do you stop the clogging?  What do you do? Who's got suggestions to help bring back the peace to my watering before summer comes along? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Artichoke - to Cook or to Flower?

Oh dear.  Who's been a slack blogger eh?!  Well, I won't go into my excuses (I am sure I could come up with quite a few entertaining ones but I will spare you.) I will say that life has been a bit tricky lately. But I'm back. And wondering what to do with this artichoke that I've managed to grow.
Once, many moons ago, I decided to attempt to cook an artichoke. I recall that it was a big fat pain in the bottom that wasted way too much time. And it didn't even taste good. All I got was a measley nibble of artichoke flesh to suck on. I vowed that I would never again waste my life on an artichoke unless it came in a can. Or marinated in the deli section of the supermarket. So I'm not sure what possessed me to purchase this plant at the Melbourne Garden Show earlier this year.

The fellow who sold it to me made a point of asking whether I was planting it purely for ornamental purposes. And I lied. Because he looked like he was going to snatch the thing out of my hands if I wasn't prepared to eat it.  And he seemed mighty relieved with my lie. He told me a whole bunch of people had been buying them just for the flowers and that artichokes were truly delicious. And then he went into a lot of tediousness about peeling and searching for fuzzy hearts and olive oil and some other stuff that I pretended to listen to.

But I don't think any artichoke on this tree is destined for the pot. Not this year anyway.








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