My projects this week have revolved around my gardens produce it’s summer here in Tassie and we have had some nice days lately and my garden is growing like crazy, it is turning into a veggie forest.
I harvested this huge basket of Kale, Baby Red Beets, Red & White Beet leaves, Fat hen (Chenpodium album) Purple Orach, Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.) Sugar Snap Peas it looked amazing…
I started off with a big pot of stew I make a big lot and freeze portions for later, I had defrosted the last of my home grown Muscovy drake just that night gone and thought this would be nice with the earthy flavours of Beets and Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.).
So I just fried of the Onion, Garlic, Spices and the Muscovy Drake portion until nice and brown I then added foraged rehydrated Slippery Jacks (Suillus luteus), water to cover and simmered for 2 hours then I added baby Beets and Potatoes, Squash my mum grew, salted to taste then simmered for another 15 minutes. Then I added the chopped Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.) a big bowl full I really wanted to get as much flavour from these as possible so I used heaps, I was a bit worried it would be to bitter but it was perfect, I then simmered for another 20 minutes, it tasted great the meat just melted in my mouth!
I had this meal with my latest fermented flat bread and the sweetness of the Millet flour and again the earthiness of the Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) seed flour went really well with all the flavours in the stew.
The flat bread consists of 1 cup of Millet flour, 1 cup of Stoneground Wholemeal flour and ½ cup Dock Seed (Rumex obtrusifolius) flour, 1 table spoon of fermented Spanish Onion Relish to kick start the fermentation and enough water to make into a smoothish batter, let this sit on kitchen bench for at least 3 days before use. I just leave mine in a little ceramic crock beside my stove it just keeps getting better over time.
While the stew was cooking I prepared the rest of the veggies, I just munch on the Snap Peas raw, they are a real treat and don’t stick around for long.
I had recently fermented some Kale and I really liked it I actually like the juice more than the veggie itself so decided I would just do a big batch and use the juice even if I couldn’t eat all the leaves my girls or worms will love them, Oh I also added to the White Beet leaves to this batch so it will be a bit different to the last lot.
I also had a heap of Fat Hen (Chenpodium album) and Purple Orach, I have to look up the botanical name for this one I know it as just a regular veggie and have been growing it for years but every time I say it’s name to people they look at me weird like I’m speaking Chinese so I guess it’s not so common, so here is the botanical name for Purple Orach (Atriplex hortensis).
You have to keep these two plants pruned or they bolt and go straggly so I always have heaps and thought I may as well just ferment them and see what they are like maybe another nice juice, so we will see.
I chopped these and push them in to big jar I bruised them by hammering them into the jar with the end of my rolling pin if you do this their natural juices start to come out and then I covered with a weak brine solution 2 table spoons salt to 1 litre of water with a few pickling spices then I placed a smaller jar of water inside the bigger jar to hold most of the veggie matter under the liquid, it is bubbling away very nicely as you can see.
Ummm what else did I do, oh that’s rite I also bulked up my Chilly, Zucchini and Tassie Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) fermented Relish with more Zucchini, I had another one in the garden, it was so big I will also have enough to make a Curried Zucchini soup, my favorite but that can wait until tomorrow I’ve had enough today…..
I actually had my first fire bath this afternoon I was burning some old trimmings from my fruit trees and decided it was a waste of good heat so grabbed a shovel and places coals and wood under my new fire bath, so afternoon bath it is!!
It was good it heated up heaps quicker than I thought it would I definitely need a wooden floor in it because the actual bath surface gets quite hot, it is a huge bath and it only took half an hour to heat up plus it is a warm day too so that helped. I need to make some sort of cover for it but because if there is a breeze which there was ash gets in the water everywhere, so that is my next project.
I though I may as well treated myself with a Shissa pipe as well whilst laying back there enjoying my first back yard bathing experience.
It was pretty funny my ducks didn’t know what to make off the situation they were looking at me very curiously indeed and when I was finished I had to lock them out of that yard because I thought they might jumped in after I got out, and they would get a hot shock if they did and I don’t want any more cooked duck thanks girls, these girls are for eggs not cooking!…..