Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Synchronizing my kitchen gardening with the culinary preferences of the house

Contrary to my expectations I still can harvest comestibles outback.

Looking about, I'm soon set to drown in tomatoes which have occupied my patch like weeds.

The greens survive the heat and lack of moisture while the spuds begin to flag their readiness  by  consecutively dying back above ground.Beans and peas are a waste of energy but the squashes have been generous while the loyal spring onions slowly point to the sky.

Who woulda thought that so little moisture can encourage such fare?

A garden is an amazing place. It's been brutalized by the elements but still produces.

Over this period I'm seriously come to appreciate the squashes -- a few zucchini varieties, Tatuma  and Cucuzza. Each harvest forces me to seek out recipes to accommodate their gastronomical qualities. So we're eating more of the Cucurbita. When you do that you learn to appreciate the variety on offer as the each tastes very different one from the other.

So with toms and squashes about you are exposed to a cuisine genre.

If I could only grow sweet corn...!

Which brings me to the logic that seems to be unfolding...

It has taken me years to synchronize my kitchen gardening with the culinary preferences of the house.I may be a dilettante, but for once I'm thinking I've pulling the menu together. What I eat for breakfast, lunch or tea is harvested -- in part -- outback on a daily basis. What I freshly lack is a supply of carrots and regular growth of sweet peppers.

I use celery leaf instead of stalk celery...and for now, I need to buy in sweet potatoes.

But the clincher for me is that I've worked out that the way to cook -- the way i like to eat -- is to braise with a heavy reliance on soffritos. .

To do this I've become pressure cooker dependent.

So quick. Flavour locked in.

On a day to day basis that means  what we may one-pot  'braise' for tea, is also eaten on the morrow as a leftover at lunch. Easily heated up for gormandizing.

I supplement this each week by  producing a bean soup.

I've been cooking meals for fam and friends for decades and I tell ya I've finally worked it out -- this three meals a day thing. Herein lies a basic template -- that i can occasionally ignore.

There's one other trick -- add vegetables or fruits at breakfast. (For me that's a little something fresh on rye bread. For the Greeks or Catalans that's a tomato.).

When you look at the menu as braised -- with a keen preference for soffritos -- you are really stuffing the veges into you. The flavour variations and nuances then kick in with selective uses of fresh herbs and/or spices. Indeed, its through the quest for variations that you get to explore so many culinary traditions. -- especially, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Central American and Caribbean.

As for the meats and fish: you get to buy and eat the cheap cuts.

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on September 25, 2017 at 16:00

You are not only a brilliant gardener but also a genius in the culinary department. I will be moving in next week.

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