Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Banana Trees

Just outside our garage door, on the verge we have a very big bunch of banana trees. Until this seaon we have not got any banana's. But all that changed when all of a sudden 3 bunches of banana's were spotted hanging off the trees. After weeks of patiently waitng, we were finally able to pick our first bunch. It was such a good feeling!

 We hung the bunch on our verandah until they started to ripen then cut them off the stem and kept them in the kitchen.
My boys thought they were in banana heaven, both love them and my 2 year old was at my side every half an hour saying "nana, nana"
Unfortunately the bananas ripened so fast that we could not finish them on time, but those that were left were peeled and frozen, perfect for baking and smoothies.

We have since planted 3 baby suckers along the boundary wall and they have taken well, so hopefully in the near future we will many more bananas.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Garden clearing and Loofahs!

I decided that it was time for the butternut vines to come out. They have produced very well and given us lots of food, but now the vines were looking empty and sad.

So yesterday we pulled out all the vines, weeded and gently turned the garden beds. I almost forgot how much space I have out there. Time to compost and get some winter crops in. I have a few trays of seedlings which I started myself but I might pop into the nursery for more.

After the big cleanup I was left with a very full chilli bush, 3 small brinjal plants, some spring onions and some very messy loofah vines.

For these beds I am planning on planting carrots, chard, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi and beetroot.

As for the loofahs, I had just about given up on them but was I in for a surprise!
Some larger loofahs:
 And many smaller ones
 I am really excited about these loofahs, as this is my first time growing them, and even though they took such a long time to flower, they are now full of fruit.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dreaming of the future

This weekend we attended a wedding in the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands, just an hour and a half drive out of Durban. It was a beautiful wedding enjoyed by everyone.
But for me the biggest thing about this weekend was reinforcing my dream of living out there. It is truly stunning, with the rolling green pastures and the beautiful country trees just starting to take on their autumn colours. We stayed in a cottage on an old diary farm and only had a short while on Sunday morning to explore a bit. Although the days were sunny and warm, the evening and morning definitely proved that winter is on its way.

 An old farm building covered with creepers

View from the cottages

Taking a Sunday morning stroll with my husband, nephew and one of the farm dogs.


The dam on the farm was huge and apparently filled with trout.

It was almost sad driving back into the city and back to the real world.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Creamy Avo and Coriander Pasta Salad with avo's from "our" tree

Linking up again with VeggieGobbler for Thursdays Garden Gobbles

Having an avocado tree in your garden is a real treat. They take so long to start fruiting that most people who plant them don't get to reap the rewards. We however were so lucky to have moved into a house with a huge avo tree on the verge. And over the past 3 years of us being here it has been very productive.  This year has been particularly good. Although a lot most of the fruit is stolen collected by passerby's we have still managed to get quite a few for ourselves. I am the only one in my house who likes them but I also share with my mom and gran who live next door.

"Our" avocado pear tree, just on the other side of our fence:

Lots of coriander (cilantro)

As is with avos, once picked they seem to take forever to ripen, and then all of a sudden you have 10 ripe avos and no idea what to do with them

Avo's in the kitchen ripening all at once:

So last night my kids had left over stew, my hubby had curry from my mom, and I had creamy avo and cilantro pasta salad, thanks to Two Men and a Little Farm (again!)
I am not blog stalking them, but seriously, they have some awesomely unusual recipes that are simply delicious!

So in the blender goes a large avo, a big bunch of coriander (cilantro), 2 tablespoons mayo, the juice of a lemon (I didn't have a lime on hand), and some salt and pepper.

Blend till smooth and mix into cooked, cooled pasta of your choice. I topped it with chopped spring onions, also from the garden.

Although the avo puree went well with the pasta, I think it would make a fantastic dip for chips or nachos as well as a filling for wraps or tacos.

I am going to have to find a way to incorporate avo into most meals over the next few days, I would really hate to see them going to waste.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Butternut Soup

Linking up again with VeggieGobbler for Thursdays Garden Gobbles

If I can pick one vegetable that I had the most success with this year it would be butternut. The vines completely took over my office garden and chocked out anything else I had growing there. There was however an upside, I was able to harvest an abundance of butternut, 17 so far and there are still some on the vine.

Butternut takeover:

 Butternuts curing on the windowsill of my kitchen. I love the comments when people walk by and I mention that I grew them myself.

 A simple, yet delicious butternut soup:

1 large butternut
1 cup cream
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Any herbs you like
Feta, whipped cream, and coriander to garnish

Steam butternut till soft.
Use a stick blender to mix butternut, cream, chicken stock and herbs.
If it is too thick for your liking keep adding cream, milk or stock until you get your desired consistancy.
Reheat before serving.
Garnish with whipped cream, lots of feta and coriander (also from my garden)