In my kitchen in February was produce from the garden. Of course, being home grown, there is an abundance of the same ingredient. While it is lovely to have, you do have to be inventive to come up with different ideas!
Firstly there has been corn. I am amazed at how easy it was to grow. My vegetables grow in the front yard and I planted the corn by the side fence. It must have been the perfect spot ~ that and the Fella, who loves to make sure the area is well watered. (We call him the Undergardener, but lately he has been the one keeping everything going!)
Of course, when you have super fresh corn you only have to boil it for a few minutes, add butter and a sprinkling of salt and enjoy. A favourite of children as well!
I have made chicken and corn soup, which would have been better with proper stock, and corn fritters. These worked well. I cut the corn off the cob, added some finely chopped capsicum and chopped roquette, which is also growing well in the garden. Then I mixed in flour and an egg to bind, and fried lightly.
I am going to try a herbed corn soup tonight with the last few cobs.
After they have been pulled out the corn plants go on giving. They make great compost and I have used a couple of the stalks to stake the begonia. Gotta love a plant that gives so much!
There is an abundance of beans, super tasty when young and fresh and a treat as I picked them. Now they are becoming more fibrous. So I have been shelling them like peas, instead of cooking the pods. I have been tossing them into lots of things. I am thinking of making a dip. Any thoughts on how I would go about it?
Some of the pods are drying on the plants and I am collecting those seeds for dried beans in soups and stews.
There are eggplants too. One bush is rich, glossy and purple and the other is a heirloom variety that produces sensational stripy fruit.
Eggplant = ratatouille, of course. It’s a great dish, because it includes so many of the vegetables currently in season. I cooked up the eggplant, onion, garlic, a potato, capsicum, beans (of course!) with a tin of tomatoes and extra tomato paste. It was delicious just with a piece of toast.
Then I used the mixture the next night mixed with some cooked mince meat, added to a halved eggplant and roasted in the oven for a while. I do love these sorts of dishes, where I can just throw in a bit of this and an extra bit of that; no precision required!
Yesterday a little pot of sunshine was given to me. EllaDee, Kate and I (and the G.O. too. of course!) met up at the Botanic Gardens. We had such a lovely natter, and it was as delightful to meet these interesting, vivacious women as I hoped. EllaDee gave me a pot of honey that came from the area of NSW where she now lives. Doesn’t honey just sum up warmth and sweetness? Just like these wonderful bloggers ~ and the G.O. 🙂
I am going to leave you with photos of the rampant beans and sweet potatoes. If the bean plants had been able to reach the sky I am sure that Jack, followed by a giant, would have come skidding down. Th plants had to be satisfied with wandering here on earth. The sweet potato is growing from remnants of last year’s crop. It will be interesting to see how many tubers, if any, are being produced. The strawberry plants have stopped producing, but are still flourishing.
A big thank you to Maureen from Orgasmic Chef. She has had a horror time lately, and yet still hosts the In My Kitchen series with such dedication. I wish her all good things over the next while.
What’s happening in your kitchen this month ~ or indeed in your garden?