Using What You Have on Hand

I have to say I have been really enjoying my passionfruit cordial of late. When I come up to the house after working outside it’s so refreshing, much better than anything you can buy from the shops. If you can get your hands on some passionfruit or have it growing in your garden, it’s well worth a go. It uses up a lot too, so those times when you have passionfruit coming out of your ears, cordial is a wonderful way to use them up. My recipe is in one of my previous posts, but it’s just a matter of mixing 1 cup of pulp, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of citric acid in a pot, then heat until the sugar dissolves and bottle, simple! For my last batch I doubled the recipe and ended up with this full bottle and half again which has already been consumed : )

Capsicum, shallots and silverbeet from the garden

I was getting ready to make mince chow mein the other night, and decided to use whatever I had on hand instead of exactly what was in the recipe and it turned out great. Seasonal cooking and adapting recipes to suit. The Capsicums in the photo are a Perennial Capsicum that can live for up to 5 years. It’s very hardy and produces a lot of Capsicums. They are a little fiddly to prepare, however I don’t mind because they taste great and are so easy to grow. I take the top of and with a little vegetable knife scoop out the seeds before chopping. You can purchase the seeds online through Greenharvest.

My Mince Chow Mein Recipe

  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 500g Mince
  • 1 Med Brown Onion (chopped finely)
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder (or to taste)
  • 1 Large Carrot, chopped finely
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1/3 Cup Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Soya Sauce
  • 450g Egg Noodles
  • 1/2 Cup Froz. Peas
  • 1/2 Cup Froz. Beans
  • 1/2 Small Chinese Cabbage

Heat oil, stir fry mince and onion until brown. Add curry and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add carrot and fry until they soften. Add stock, sauces and noodles, stir-fry gently until combined, bring to the boil. Add peas, beans and cabbage, reduce heat; simmer uncovered tossing occasionally for about 5 minutes or until veges are just soft.

Maudrey my milking cow

This is Maudrey, hopefully we will be very good friends and she will be co-operative in giving me some of her beautiful milk! We purchased her just before Christmas, so hopefully by Spring she will have a calf and I will have fresh milk again! It’s amazing the difference in some milking cows, I’ve had one that was of the mind, as long as she had a treat to eat while I’m at work milking, I could have all of her milk. Then I’ve had another that was so stubborn she would completely stop her milk flow, in the end I had to let the calf on and let it have two teats while I milked the other two. Which is a tricky business as they get older and are head butting the udder as they drink. The reward awaits though! It’s such a beautiful sight to have bottles of fresh milk in the fridge with all that cream on top, I can’t wait!

A little suprise down in the chook pen!
My Sunflowers just keep coming! I never have to buy seed anymore, hardy, beautiful and useful!

The Guinea Fowl are doing well, it’s like they have always been here. I have kept one of my young roosters that hatched out here and they are never far from his side. I thought they would fly out of the chook pen and do their own thing, but no it seems they want to be in here with everyone else. Even when I let them out in the afternoon, they go back in for the night with the rest of them, funny little things they are. At the moment we have an outbreak of grasshoppers and crickets, it’s very amusing watching them chasing after all these delectable delights! Certainly keeps them busy and us entertained : )

The garden is slow this time of year, however I’m still harvesting cucumbers, capsicum and chillies, the tomatoes are starting to come on again. Lettuce, silverbeet and shallots are in a cooler more shaded spot. And the rosella seedlings I planted are coming along nicely. Flowers such as Zinnia’s and Dahlia’s keep popping up all over the place and flowering along side the herbs and Salvia’s. I have my green manure crop in and am trying to improve the soil in time for cooler weather. The garden is alive with finches fluttering here and there as well as butterflies and bees! Sometimes I’m amazed at all that’s going on around me! xx

One thought on “Using What You Have on Hand

  1. Your blog is amazing Jo 🤩 I so much enjoy reading it, although I haven’t got a garden anymore, my thoughts are alive with what you’re doing and experiencing 😁 Love it ❣️❣️❣️

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