Thursday, 16 February 2012

Moors and Christians

As you know,  my garden has been a disaster this summer.  This has meant a whole new approach to food.  The chickens are laying,  so I have eggs though I need to buy vegetables.  Tonight I had some leftover vegetables (odds and ends) and so I decided to make a variation on the usual "Moors and Christians" dish that I ahve often cooked and which my children all love.  
This consists of black beans (my favourite) and rice.... the name presumably indicates the racial differences between the Moors and their pale faced Christian neighbours back in the day.  I cooked the black beans in a pressure cooker with a few leftover vegetables... an onion, capsicums, tomatoes and some jalapenos.   The rice is plain.  I ate this with some salsa and a spoonful of yoghourt (instead of sour cream) and it was good.  I would have liked sme coriander, though that grows in winter here, and with my neglected patch for this summer....  there is none to be seen.

This week will be the beginning of the new vegetable patch, I hope.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

It's been three weeks

Yes, it's been three weeks since I have made another post here... and that's after a couple of years of almost daily posting.  It has been a chaotic few months, mostly due to other peoples' issues,  not mine.   I'm not the only person that has had to deal with such things and, while it's quite a blow,  especially during the summer in Kapunda,  it is also an opportunity to re-think a few of the garden plots and re-organise....  a new beginning?

Today is the first day that I have had time to get out and do anything at all... since well before Christmas!  And there is plenty to do....

....  but first,  I always try to find something good before I start.  The saltbush is flowering and fruiting.  The birds love these, and so do I.... slightly salty,  but sweet too....

My cactus plant that I transferred from the side of the road has some new pads,   but it is also shrivelled a bit due to a serious lack of water.  So far this year we have had a bit more than 17mm....
Jan 7th   6.5 mm
Feb 5th  4 mm
Feb 6th 6 mm
Feb 7th  1 mm
TOTAL (so far)  17.5mm
 .... and event he cactus is looking dry.  

The pond is no longer leaking,  I think.  The level only drops on very hot dry days (and it can go down a few centimetres on those days, but then I think that we have about a metre of evaporation in 12 months here.)   Now that the level doesn't drop on overcast or damp days,  I will put some more plants in there to use up the fish fertiliser (produced by the goldfish) and reduce the algae.... it looks a bit yucky,  but the birds still love it.

And here is the spot that I have begin to clear the cactus from.... quite a bit still to go....
 .... it's a horrible job, and my fingers are still prickling from this morning's effort, but I think that if I put a "green bin" full out every second week for the next few pickups,  I can clear this spot.  it looks so much better in the bin.....

The rest of the yard is very dry.....
 ... and the summer vegetable patch is pitiful.....
... I only ever keep a small amount of the garden for the summer,  but this year, with all of the other issues I have had to manage,  I have left it alone.  Next pay day,  I will be buying gypsum and straw and beginning the resurrection.

I am sure that I'm not the first person to have been unble to keep up with the various demands over time,  but as I mentioned in the previous post, I wonder how people in the "olden days" managed when things weren't going smoothly, for I'm sure that family emergencies are not new.  I have the benefit of the local IGA and a dole payment, but there are plenty of people without that luxury.  It really does put things back into perspective!