Tag Archives: herbs

Seeds go Postal

9 Jul

A bit of a thrill today when seeds arrived via courier. The reasons I ordered them online were:

  • I was getting cross at the lack of herbs my local garden shop supplied (they’re great with veges and flowers though). Three times I went there looking for German Chamomile, with no luck for seeds or seedlings.
  • Getting things in the mail that aren’t bills is exciting.
  • It’s inexpensive.

It’s good to know there is no excuse for not planting your favourite herbs. It’s also a lovely winter thing to do so you can get some of the spring planting planned.

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Winter Pasta Sauce

25 Jun

The bottom shelf of the pantry is looking a bit empty of preserves. We’ve exhausted our supplies of homegrown tomato sauce and relish. Sadly, the midwinter garden vege supply is not very forthcoming. My solution is to make a massive batch of pasta sauce from tinned tomatoes. I’ve done this before in the summer, but below is my winter recipe.

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  • Buy the biggest tin of chopped tomatoes you can find, or use a whole bunch of tins (6-7 if you only have regular size tins)
  • Saute 6-7 roughly chopped onions until clear, in a dollop of whatever oil you have
  • Add fridge remnants like half a dozen anchovies, some preserved peppers, capers, spinach, broccoli etc
  • Add a good couple of tablespoons of sugar and salt to taste, and a few bunches of herbs (I used parsley, rosemary and thyme today)
  • Simmer the whole lot for half an hour or so
  • Whizz up with a stick blender if you have one (bit tidier than transferring it into a food processor), then pour into hot sterilised jars and seal

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You can see my ingredients list and measurements are pretty relaxed. The sauce is good with pasta, in casseroles, with rice and veges and all sorts of bits and pieces.

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Leftover Mashed Spud Deliciousness

10 Jun

Next time you make mashed spud, I recommend making extra just so you can cook this up the next day. Brilliant at any time of the day (or night). Plus it’s cheap, easy, and uses up leftovers instead of opening a packet of something.

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  • Take a couple of cups of mashed spud that’s spent some time in the fridge.
  • Add quarter-ish of a cup of flour, a teaspoon-ish of baking powder, some salt, fresh chopped herbs (whatever you’ve got), and a tablespoon-ish of soft butter.
  • Stir it up, wham it into patties, fry both sides in butter.
  • Eat, BAM! Instant comfort.

It’s a winner with bacon, eggs, and lots of homemade relishes and sauces on the side. Tonight I had it with my increasingly famous red onion relish.  So so so good.

Good Plants that Cost Zilch

2 May

Tonight I divided my Aloe Vera plants. I bought an Aloe Vera plant from my neighbourhood garden nursery about 4 months ago, but the nursery-bloke dropped it at the counter. He then ‘gave’ me the damaged one, and got a fresh one from out the back for me to buy. I don’t think he expected the dropped one to survive, but I made sure it did.

I need more Aloe Vera plants for my face and hair masks over the winter. Instead of spending money on them though, it’s a piece of cake to divide existing plants in the garden. With a bit of potting mix and recycled containers, I spent 15 minutes gently separating the baby plants from the Mummas, putting them in their new beds with a bit of water, then rewarded myself with a cup of tea. I’ve put some pics below, but this site shows you the process a bit more clearly.

Four months ago I purchased two plants for $3.95 (ok, one was a bit munted). Tonight I have 11 Aloe Vera plants, some of which I’ll trade for jam.

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The Miracle Two Minute Stress-Reliever

1 May

Yesterday I bought a $3.95 Pineapple Sage from my neighbourhood garden nursery. I had intended just to buy seed-raising mix and frost cloth. Not very exciting stuff. However garden nurseries are to me, what clothing boutiques are to others. I struggle to leave without buying something I didn’t intend to.

It didn’t break the bank. And it didn’t cut into Coffee Time. Imagine if everyone planted something once a month? No matter how small? That would be brilliant.

Today I spent two minutes in the sun, gently planting the pineapple sage in my herb garden. Instant therapy. I’ll use the leaves in salads, on pizza, and with tea in the summer.

Thank you herbs.

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