Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beans and chutney

I intended to wait until Em arrives before harvesting any beans. They were planted, afterall, so she and I could share them. However, the little buggers are growing too fast and producing lots of lucious beans. To wait another week and a half would result in the loss of the beans that are ready now. Fortunately there are lots still growing so Em and I will have beans to share.

Here's the first of the crop:
I had a hankering for a Rivers steak sandwich with their signature tomato chutney. My mouth waters just to think of it. Em found me some chutney recipes online and I picked the one (see: recipe) that looked closest to what I craved. Because I didn't have 3 pound of tomatoes, I adapted the recipe. Well, adapt maybe isn't the right word because I didn't amend the measurements according to scale, instead I noted each ingredient and threw in what I thought might be about the right amount given how many tomatoes I had. Then, to really mess up things, I tossed in a bag of stewed apricots.

This is the end result after 2 hours of reducing and simmering:
And, yes, it is as delicious as it looks! And I have leftovers. I figure I'll freeze some to share in two weeks time! Hmmm... beans! 

Oh, and I cut into the Green Zebra (correction to yesterday's post where I said it was a Tigerella) tomato. This is what it looked like inside:

and another:
I took a bite, expecting it to be tasteless or worse, inedibly tart, and instead tasted the most delicious tomato I have ever eaten! I kid you not! It boasted full flavour from beginning to end, starting out sweet, rich and smooth and ending with a delicious subtle tartness that enlivened the tastebuds.

Doesn't it sound like I'm describing wine!? But, seriously, this is one amazing tomato! I can't believe I harvested only one. Though, I don't think I've uprooted the plant yet. Maybe I can coax another fruit out of it before the summer is officially over.

For dinner proper, I went all out with grilled steak (my secret is a burning hot grill pan and a smoked out kitchen. If the smoke detector doesn't go off, the steak won't be tender) on a bed of lettuce and rocket (home grown of course), sweet potato fries, steamed green beans (yes, from the garden), tomato/apricot chutney and because I didn't have bread I used a GF wrap instead.

I admit, it's not quite Rivers, but it was still pretty damned nice. I ate it all while Paddy stood beside me on the couch, drooling. :-)
Now I'm so stuffed full of food that I need to go sleep it off.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Garden update

On a cloudy day with storms forecast, I ventured out into the garden to do some maintenance.

The big tomato patch has almost finished. Here's one pot that's looking rather worse for wear.

I did find this though. Looks like one of the tigerellas fruited afterall -- one tomato. I wonder what it will taste like.
 Here's some produce that I found and picked. Who knew I had a red pepper ready for use?
 The beans have gone crazy. I've noticed flowers and baby beans, but who knows what could be in there? I'll send Em in to scout when she gets here.  ;-)
The strawberries are doing better. They now fruit like real strawberries and aren't even being eaten anymore... well, not by insects/wildlife anyway.

My idea of growing peas in a bag of potting mix worked. I need to plant out more.

Two new pots have mixed lettuces and chinese greens. They're taking a while to establish and I lost a lot more seedlings than I would have liked. I've not yet mastered the art of growing from seed. The bigger plants do okay, but the little greens have a poor success rate.
And I need to throw in some more radish... and start using the ones that are now ready.
Today I plan to refresh the soil in the big tomato pot now that I've pulled the dead plants out, and I'll go to the nursery and buy some spinach seedlings because it's evident I have no clue on how to germinate them from seed.