Steamed Radish Cake

Wow! I did it! I made Steamed Radish Cake. :) I used Kebun Malay-Kadazan girl's recipe. Thank you!

I peeled and chopped some of the daikon radishes that I received from M-K Girl and Andrew.Bung them in the food processor and process until you have some slushy mush or mushy slush.
Mix with the other ingredients.
Cook, then put into a heatproof dish to steam until done. I don't have a steamer, hence this weird contraption. I had to steam it a lot longer, due to that, too.This is the end result.We had it stir-fried (also known as 'carrot cake' in Singapore. It's not a cake and does not have any carrots in it.) But this is another story. :)

Grapefruit curd

You may have noticed the pile of grapefruit in one of the pictures in the previous post. I took a few home to try and make grapefruit curd. A fellow seedsaver mentioned she'd made it years ago (thanks, Chook!), and I decided to give it a go. Couldn't imagine it not being nice.

I used this recipe for lemon curd (but I halved the quantities in the recipe), which works extremely well. It also appeals heaps, because it uses whole eggs. I modified the recipe slightly, instead of sugar I used honey.

Zest and juice your grapefruit. I used two biggish ones. You could use more, if you want a big hit of grapefruit.4 eggs - lightly beaten
100g unsalted butter
100g honey

Put all ingredients in a heatproof bowl.
Stir until it thickens, then pour into clean, sterilised jars.It's really nice, and even if you are not a big fan of grapefruit, you might like it. It doesn't taste too grapefruity. Just has a nice tang.

Curd does freeze beautifully. I just bung the jars into the freezer, and Bob's your uncle. Lemon or grapefruit curd, whenever you feel like it.

Visiting fellow gardeners... always great fun!

Here is our host, Andrew, happily chatting away.Left, right, left, right. Past the tanks and grapefruit.
There were still some pumpkins left on the ground. Looking good.
The winter vegetables are pumping away. Yum!
Gathering at the horseradish patch. Surrounded by heavily laden citrus trees and still fruit bearing chilli bushes.
Then gathered around the table with all the seeds, seedlings, produce, etc. to share. Lots of pointing going on. And HOW big does that grow?! :)
Thanks to the gardener and cook for having the crazy lot over. Lots of fun was had by everyone. Oh, and sorry, no pictures of the usual spread of cakes, dips, biscuits, etc. The photographer was too busy chatting. And sampling. :)

Pumpkin pickin’

The arrival of winter is always blessed by the pumpkin harvest, which will supplement our roasts and dips for the next six months or more.

Roast pumpkin

Pumpkins store well, and the sweet-flavoured Butternut Pumpkins that we grow each year are particularly fine-grained and tasty. The foliage that has covered one large garden bed has died down to expose the pumpkins lying on the ground; once the fruit can be lifted up without still clinging to the vine (which has now ‘dried off’) they are ready for storage.

Butternut Pumpkins by the barrow-load...

Storing this volume of pumpkins (and this is only half the crop) takes some planning, as they are particularly attractive to rats, well able to chew through the hardy shell to find nourishment within...

DSCN0126One approach (above) has been to store them down the back shed on fruit-tree netting in a large Perspex cylinder found at an irrigation exhibition; the sides are too slippery for rats to climb. The netting allows air to get in below the pumpkins to keep them from going mouldy.

Another time we stored our crop in an old chest freezer inside the house – again, with the pumpkins laid on netting to allow air to circulate.

Pumpkins stored in an old chest freezer

This pumpkin crop was planted out in late Spring from two packets of seeds worth about $7.00. This one-metre diameter ring of seeds is planted in fertile soil around a drip-line for irrigation. Once these pumpkin plants get going and spread out over all the available garden space nearby there’s no way one can get in close to the original seed bed to water, so an under-vine hose that stays in place all through summer and autumn does the job of getting moisture up to the vine roots.

Cabbage Earliball

The cabbages are powering along! This is the most advanced at the moment. It's the variety 'Earliball', and it won't grow as big as other varieties. That's why it suits us just fine.
I planted the seedlings in March, when the soil was still warm and they could get a good start. Planted a few weeks later, the soil would have been far too cold and they would just sit there, doing nothing.

Been there, done that. It's very frustrating, watching seedlings for months on end, doing nothing. But you can't blame them, who'd be keen to sit in cold soil? And grow?? It took me a while to figure all that out. :)

Purple Cauliflower

Look, what I found!
This was quite a surprise, as the plant was left over from last winter to go to seed. It may have gone to seed, I don't know, as I completely forgot about it. This is not a spot where I usually grow vegetables.

So, yesterday I happened to walk past and was startled by this purple beauty!

There is a smaller one.Then two more small ones coming along nicely.
Yum! What a pleasant surprise! :)

Shelling beans and planting garlic

DSCN5609 The shortest day of the year approaches, with the sun setting early in the northwest at 5.15pm in glorious palettes of red and orange below grey clouds that might finally signal the longed-for start of our winter rainfall. Cold short days bring the cook and gardener together before the fireside each evening, and a whole new suite of jobs  - notably bean shelling  and garlic splitting  - begin.

Dried beans (for seed storage ) pulled from the last of the Lazy Wife beans have been separated from the green beans, which will be cooked by boiling in salted water, pureeing, then mixing them through onion cooked gently in butter.

Dried beans for seed storage

 Green beans for eating

Garlic saved for seed last year is taken out of the store room and the best cloves broken out and prepared for planting. Some of these garlic cloves are beginning to sprout; nature’s signal that planting time is indeed here.

Seed garlic

Red and white garlic varieties are separated for plantingGarlic 'sprouts' when ready for planting 






Garlic ready for planting

The weekend comes around, and both cook and gardener can be found outside in the winter sunshine; 300 garlic cloves and about the same number of red, brown and white onions seedlings plus leek seedlings all get planted out in a single bed in a single day.

Night falls and the job’s done. By mutual consent, we declare ‘Feirerabend!’ – an evening off!