Monday, 29 June 2009

Community garden and dinner at home

This afternoon I went to a gathering of people interested in starting a community garden in Kapunda.  In fact,  quite a bit of work has been done, and it is now a matter of facilitating some of the networking with the local hospital and the council and I can probably help there.  
The meeting was quite late in the afternoon.  
I had to call in to sort out a mobile phone issue for my mother,  and then home again, at last... tired but happy!
I am involved with a "Transition Towns" initiative in South Australia and with some work, I think we can introduce the idea of resilient communities here... I look forward to more events that are associated with these ideas of a resilient, sustainable communities for the future.  My wish!
Now to dinner....
I had cooked some chickpeas on the fire after breakfast while the fire died down (they had soaked over night) and they were ready to include in the dinner plan.  
Firstly, I washed some rice and put it on to cook while I went to get the vegetables. I cook rice with just the right amount of water to cook and steam without taking the lid off.  
Here are the chickpeas (garbanzos) cooked, with a little salt and nothing else,  but just soggy and tasty (the beginnings of either dinner or hummous!)
I arrived home just on dark, so I raced straight out to collect some vegetables to go with the chickpeas....  it is quite different when you need to pick vegetables from the garden, rather than choose them from a supermarket shelf.  Here they are....
....  Chinese broccoli and yet another cauliflower...  in fact this is the one that I photographed some time ago with aphids on it, and it was treated with soapy dishwashing water.  The treatment worked perfectly.  The leaves are laying by the garden bed and I'll take them to the chickens in the morning for a treat.  (They are back "on the lay.")
Then I made the curry sauce...
... olive oil, fried onion and garlic, then spices (fairly average, even a bulk powder, but with extra fenugreek, tumeric and asafoetida) until they were hot and smelled cooked.   Then I added water and salt and brought it to the boil.  Once it was boiling and smelling like a curry,  I added the thickest stalks of the broccoli,  then the cauliflower and then the leafy green bits (last because it cooks more quickly) and the already cooked chickpeas.  This is how it looked...
There are two saucepans on the stove (below)rice and the chickpea mix...  dark picture!  except for the fire... but that's what you get on my stove!
By the time it was done (20 more minutes),  it was a bit thicker and smelled very good.
The rice was cooked  and so, while it steamed I added about a teaspoon of aniseed to steam as well on top of the rice.  (You can do this with anything at all,  including raisins or currants or a number of different seeds.)   Aniseed bits just swell up and flavour the rice when steamed....  and it tastes very good.  After about five or ten minutes, you can stir it through and it looks like this....
Dinner was really good, though it should have had something acid added to it.  (I usually use tomatoes for that,   but didn't on this occasion!)  Verjuice would have worked.  Instead,  I had my dinner with some yoghourt and some pickle that was slightly acid!  (The pickle was made about a  year or so ago,  it is a zucchini and onion pickle made with produce from the garden also.)
Then to the wine...  as they do in all of the fancy articles in newspapers here, though their wines are always outrageously expensive, mine aren't!  
This is lovely to drink with a spicy meal... it is a champagne style wine produced at Cockatoo Ridge... right between Nuriootpa and Tanunda, on the main road.   I drive past regularly, so I'll have to get some more next time I go past.  We are lucky around here,  aren't we?
There will be another meeting of the community garden people soon,  and I will take my camera!

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