Monday, March 30, 2009

Garden Project

The garden has had a lot of work done this week, but this post right now is about the cost analysis of the original haybale. We had a huge garden bee this weekend, and we are now the proud care-takers of a second raised bed garden, this one made with corrugated iron instead
of hay.

But back to the current garden.

Garden was started on the 13th of November.
Cost of Garden: $278
Dec 15th: Saved: $2
Total Cost $276

February 5th: $31.96
Total cost: $244.04

Since the above tally, we've had more! More more more!

One large butter-nut pumpkin has been plucked. About three kilos of tomatoes. 11 more decent sized eggplants. Eggplants have been so awesome. We got a HUGE watermelon, but it wasn't very sweet. Next time... there's three more coming along!

$22 - eggplants
$21.54 (3 x $7.18) roma, cherry, and other tomatoes
$6 of Butternut Pumpkin (2 kilos at $3 a kilo)
$20 of Watermelon. The website I am using for comparisons is
GroceryZone, and they have seedless half watermelons at $13. So a whole watermelon would be $26. But it wasn't the sweetest, so I've just guessed it at $20.
$2.88 for another bunch of beetroot roasted with balsamic vinegar and
enjoyed greatly.
$1.59 Zucchini x 1


Outstanding: $244.04
March 30th: $74.04
Total Cost (still) : $170.03

What's still coming? The broccoli are all starting to flower. The eggplants are going ballistic again. There's a trombone shaped butter nut pumpkin coming along beautifully, and two mature sized maxima pumpkins plus another two developing very nicely (past the football size). There's still more tomatoes on the plants, and more watermelons developing too. Plus the cabbages will probably start to develop shortly too. I was hoping to use this bed in the new bed, but I think this one will be going for quite some time yet!

Sarah P

Zucchini and Eggplant Stirfry

- Trio ginger/garlic/spring onions
- Oil
- 100ish grams of beef mince

- one smallish/medium sized eggplant in one inch cubes
- one zucchini in one inch cubes
- can water chestnuts, drained

Sauce (mix up ready to go)
- 125 mls chicken stock
- 125 mls chicken master stock (or just use normal chicken stock)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis
- 2 tablespoons CHILI BEAN IN SOYA OIL
- 1 tablespoon Chinese vinegar

- Cornflour slurry to thicken

1) heat wok, add oil, add trio, fry for ten seconds, add beef mince as
crumbled as possible. Let it fry for a bit until it's mostly brown,
and then start tossing it about a bit to make sure it's all done.

2) Add vegies and stirfry for a few minutes, tossing around. Add sauce
and bring to boil with lid on. Maybe 5 minutes? Then take lid off and
check it out. Eggplant should be mostly done, so stir it around a bit
more to release more water from the sauce and finalise cooking.
Eggplant should be in cubes still, not turned into mush. (I have
learnt a lot about cooking eggplants LOL)

3) Add slurry, stifry until it's thick and done, put in serving plate.
I had fresh chopped spring onion greens on top, but I think a drizzle
of toasted sesame oil would be the perfect trick. Chesh also suggested
toasted sesame seeds instead of oil.

Sarah P

Friday, March 27, 2009

Autumn Harvests

Autumn seems to have brought a sudden new lease on life in the garden. The eggplants have started to produce waves of fat black globes again, the watermelons now have three babies, and the pumpkins are getting very excited about the cooler weather. I'm still not sure when I am
supposed to harvest all these produce, but I'm learning.

Sarah P

Friday, March 06, 2009

Semi Dried Tomatoes

I had a whole lot of tomatoes in left over from my weekly veggie box last week, a mix of lovely little cherry tomatoes and some beautifully sweet black russians. One of the fun things about the random veggie box is thinking of things to do with the produce that you might not have normally gone out and bought. We are not huge tomato eaters in this family, owing mostly to their high salicylate and amine content, so while I have used a few in stews and sauces I still had plenty left over.Washed and chopped and into the dehydrator they went.

Several hours later I put the shriveled little red lumps into a jar and drowned them in olive oil and added a few cloves of garlic...