Monday, 6 July 2020

Runner Bean Pasta Salad and Harvest Monday

In contrast to my harvest last week, this weeks harvest seems abundant. 

Everything is beginning to come along now.
We have raspberries that have been enjoyed both with homemade waffles and Greek yogurt and honey.
I have put the red gooseberries into a tub and in the freezer for later. The strawberries and wild strawberries were used last in a Wild Strawberry Cake
I was fortunate to spot this courgettes, a day of two later and it would have been more of a marrow. 

The small end was used to top a pizza along with nasturtium flowers and young leaves. The rest was used in a omelette that D made.  Omelettes are D's speciality, not mine. 
Purple dwarf Hestia climbing beans, Champion and Telephone garden peas and some Runner Beans.
The runner beans were used in this Lemon and Mint Bean Pasta Salad
Other harvest from the garden - Purple stemmed kale, the name escapes me at the moment and some Purple Top Milan Turnips.
am sharing my harvest with Dave over at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week.
I am also sharing this Lemon Mint Runner Bean Pasta Salad with Soup, Salad and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen
Like most of my pasta salads, not much to it.  Its olive oil and lemon juice, minced mint from the garden, sliced runner beans that were parboiled in salted water and spring onions.  Stirred into some cooked pasta, then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste and lunch was ready.  

Sunday, 5 July 2020

July In My Kitchen

Tomorrow is the start of my annual leave.  I have a week off from work and i plan to switch off the best that I can. It the first time i have take time off from work since the lockdown and I am so looking forward to it and to some self-care. 

I don't have very much in the way of new things from the shops to share, I do have some homegrown vegetables to share with you.   

The garden vegetable plot is beginning to produce.  Above is a courgette that was spotted just in time before turning into a marrow.  
The dwarf purple climbing beans have been prolific.  I am picking them every day enough as a side dish.  The peas are also starting to appear and the runner beans.
The purple stemmed kale is doing very well too, so far the white cabbage butterflies that often demolish them have not touched them.  I look at them wanting to be creative such as stuffing them will a flavourful filling, but so far - I've just shredded them and sauteed them in good olive oil.
I am also picking some raspberries and wild strawberries.  I made Wild strawberry Cake that went down really well with D. 
Last month I was rather envious of Johanna's Scrabble Cookie Cutters that she shared on her June In My Kitchen blog post, that I suddenly had the desire of wanting them too.  I had gone onto the internet, but everywhere they were sold out I was disappointed.  So when D asked me did i want anything.  I said yes, but you won't be able to get them. Then early this month he  presented it to me. I plan to make some savoury cookies with them this week. 
Like i said before, D has been going to the supermarket to pick up household essentials and food.  He said he was the only one in the supermarket with a face mask on.  

He brings me some new things to try and these were appreciated as a few days ago I was feeling a bit under the weather.  Strawberry & Cucumber and Aloe Vera tea and Citrus & Ginger and Echinacea.  I really loved this one more than the Strawberry one and have told him he can pick it up again.
He also came back home with this Cocoa and Coconut Rooibos Infusion.  I must admit I wasn't too sure about the Rooibos part, but my goodness i want more of it.  It is so good, the coconut flavour was spot on. I will be putting that on the shopping list for him.
I had asked D to pick up some dark chocolate so that we had some in the house for that urge to make brownies.  He came back with the priciest Dark Chocolate in the shop.
 He also picked up some Smoked Hot Dog and Cumberland Shroomdogs. 
A couple of weeks back he came home with chorizo style bangers.  They were alright, but i prefer making vegan sietan chorizo sausages at home.  He also picked up vegan salted caramel cheesecakes, that was good. 
I have had a jar of mixed nuts that i often use to make nut roast from scratch, but they have been there a while, that i decided to make Nigella Lawsons Union Square nuts. 
Like i said, I am on annual leave this week and one of my plans, amongst other things is to straighten up my dishevelled cookbook shelves. 
am sharing this post with Sherry's Pickings who host the In My Kitchen series. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Wild Strawberry Cake

I made this Wild Strawberry Cake at the weekend with wild strawberries and a handful of strawberries picked from the garden. 
The wild strawberries are growing like weed, but thankfully I don't mind that and nor do the birds. I sometimes from the corner of my eye spot a blackbird or a mistletoe thrush scurrying amongst the growth, its rather amusing. 

I then go to pick a lovely big juicy looking strawberry and i find a beak peck. I don't overly mind, good for the birds if they beat me to the ripe strawberries - as long as i get some; and  i have been getting my fair share. 

D liked this cake very much and actually had two slices at one point. It was light and spongy with the wild strawberries making the cake fragrant, but also giving that sweet intense strawberry burst.  It was rather enjoyable to eat. 
I had intended to bake a Strawberry cake recipe from one of my many cookbooks, but i did not have the energy to sit and seek one out, so resorted to the world wide web, typed in Strawberry Cake and this is the Strawberry Cake recipe I baked if your interested. 

Monday, 29 June 2020

Pea Shoots, Red Pepper and Potato Curry

Not the biggest harvest from the garden, but we are beginning to get some homegrown vegetables and fruit.

I don't think we are going to do well with the broad beans.  A lot of the plants were smothered in black fly. The climbing peas called Telephone and Champion - I am already pondering whether i would grow them again, as lots of height, but not much yeild, but they are growing. 

The Dwarf Purple beans called hestia are doing really well.  Of course, got to take into consideration they are a month in advance of the other climbing bean plants as it was given to us by our neighbour. We are gowing them in pots.

And first courgette. The courgette leaves are growing magnificently, they are huge like a fan, but the courgettes themselves have been a bit disappointing. I have had to cut of a number of the courgettes off as they were moulding.  I think the rain is to blame. I am sharing this very small harvest with Dave over at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week.

I also made this Red Pepper, Potato and Pea Shoots Curry with pea shoots from the garden. 
It's not a bad follow on from the Pea Shoots and Asparagus Pasta Salad that I shared last week. This Red Pepper, Potato and Pea Shoots Curry is adapted from my Marrow Curry with Fenugreek, rich, buttery and mildly spicy. 
Pea Shoots, Red Pepper and Potato Curry
Serves 4 - 6
100g butter or vegetable oil
3 medium onions, minced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch of ginger, grated or minced
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 fresh green or red chillies, sliced or 1 teaspoon of chilli powder or to taste
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes

2 red peppers, chopped into cubes
1 large potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes
Bunch of Pea Shoots, leaves removed from the stalk
In a large wide pan, heat the oil then add the minced onions, garlic and ginger and cook until transparent, add the spices and cook until the butter or oil rises to the surface. 

Add the tomatoes and cook until broekn down.  I tend to use a masher.
Then stir in the potatoes pieces and cook until beginning to soften, but still has some bite. 
Stir now and again to stop the sauce and potato from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add a splash of water if necessary.
When the potato is nearly cooked, stir in cubed red pepper.
Cook for a few minutes, before stirring in the pea shoot leaves.  
Cook until the leaves have wilted properly, like spinach that they almost coat the vegetables.
Serve with rice, roti or naan bread.