Well I feel like I have so much catching up to do!!I think it has been 3 weeks since my last post. I kept thinking of things I wanted to share with you, but a combination of different things meant I had to pause and come back, so here I am! I hope you have had a nice Easter and perhaps a break from your usual routine. We had a wet Easter which was very, very welcome, wet and cool, not as much rain as they predicted but still a decent amount to top things up and keep things green and happy. It has been lovely and cool again this week with a cool change pushing through on Sunday night. As I was walking around outside yesterday, I couldn’t help but think and notice how content all the animals were. The birds, the dogs, all the animals, all of nature happy and content, relishing the conditions (including the humans!)
I have been trying to plant out seeds in preparation for the cooler weather. I keep thinking with just the three of us here now I really should be able to grow and supply most of our vegetables over the cooler months. We got in and dug a trench and planted potatoes last week. Our garlic has gone in. Carrot seed and beetroot seed, my last crop of corn before it gets too cool. Tomatoes are still popping up here, there and everywhere! There is always a cherry tomato to be found somewhere in the garden.
I have my gardening table at the end of the house that has onions and leeks germinating. It’s a first for me growing onions from seed. I also have beans, pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchini ready to plant out. I like to cover all bases by having warmer weather veges mixed with cooler weather veges, you just never know what the weather will do, and as long as I get them up and going, I can get away with a lot in our climate, frost is the only thing that will put a stop to them. But I’ll also have my winter broccoli and cauliflower seed going in soon. And I am going to try and grow parsnip from seed, I have never grown parsnip, but I absolutely love eating it! Roast parsnip, yumm! We always have our green leafy vegetables such as bok choy, silverbeet and/or spinach growing too.
This is something I have never used before to germinate seed. It is used for horse bedding and comes in a bag as pellets. When you wet it, this is the result. The bonus is it is fine enough for small seeds like onions and it holds the moisture however, I’m thinking they will be needing to be planted out pretty soon after germination as I can’t see there being any goodness in it for them to feed on. That is why I’ve planted them in egg cartons so I can put the seedling in the garden, egg carton and all and not disturb them when they are so little and fragile. The egg carton will break down and the vegetables will grow, hopefully!
With the cooler weather I found myself wanting a hearty meal, so of to the butcher I went and brought us some Osso Buco and made a lovely casserole. However still adjusting to not cooking for an 18 year old male anymore we had leftovers, yes!! Leftovers!! : ) !! So to make it a bit different when I heated it up the next time we had it I made my potato dumplings to go on top. I have had this recipe for so long and it’s so simple and tasty, I thought I would share it with you today.
Cook 350g of peeled potatoes, drain then add 50g butter and mash. Add 2/3 cup of milk and stir with a wooden spoon, until smooth. Add 1 1/4 cup of sifted flour and 1 1/4 cup grated cheese. Stir until well combined and season with salt and pepper. Put spoonfuls on top of your casserole and bake uncovered in your oven at about 180 degrees celcius. I never really look at the time, I just take them out once they look like they are browning, check them after about 10mins they don’t take too long in a hot oven. They are very delicious and make a meal go a long way.
We have this little family of Willy Wagtails living here, they are teaching their young lifes lessons, it’s lovely to watch and have them darting all around you. The other day I had a very special moment where one of their young, I’m pretty sure it’s this one that visited me at my gardening bench : ) flew into my front door and landed on my window sill in the kitchen. I was standing on my verandah at the time thinking, now how am I going to get this bird outside???? It’s going to fly around everywhere, but would you believe this young bird, just stayed right there and let me clumsily scoop it up. What a joy to let it go after I had a quick look at it, indulged myself and said good morning to my little visitor. What a treat!! I have to say that’s the first time I’ve ever had the privilege to hold a Willy Wagtail : )
Take care, and I will be looking forward to sharing a new recipe I have made today. I found it when I was looking at one of my old gardening magazines, it’s called “Use It All Loaf”. I just have to taste it first to make sure it’s worthy of sharing ; ) xx