Friday, September 23, 2011

More Green Pumpkin

Now playing: Simon & Garfunkel - The Big Bright Green Pleasure
via FoxyTunes

I had more of the green pumpkin from the hot sauce adventure. I put some up in the freezer and used a pound of it in a curry, with bhatura on the side.

I used amchoor powder in the curry this time. Amchoor powder adds a fruity, sourness to dishes without adding moisture. Amchoor, Amchur, or Aamchoor are all dried green mangoes and used most often in North India cuisine.

Green Pumpkin Curry

1 lb. green pumpkin, cut in med. chunks, steamed
1 lb. mixed root veg. such as carrots, kohlrabi, turnip, rutabaga/swede etc., cut in med chunks., steamed
2 chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into medium chunks
1 large sweet pepper
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 inch piece of ginger
1 tsp. of each; nutmeg, turmeric, cayenne, amchoor
2 tsp. of each; cinnamon, coriander, cardamom
1 big spoon of plain yogurt

Marinade the chicken in the spice mixture and yogurt for at least 4 hours. In a large pan heat a small amount of oil and add a paste made from the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook through, then add the chicken/spice mixture. Cook the chicken , then add the steamed veg. Heat through. Serve.


Food is an important part of a balanced diet. ~Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bake Well, Especially When Making A Strawberry Bakewell Tart

Now playing: Neil Diamond - September Morn
via FoxyTunes

The Bakewell Tart's history seems to have come from a mistake. This story reminds me of John Cleese's character Basil Faulty giving Manuel very important instructions for a task....Always ending in a language barrier with pear-shaped results and a red-faced, shouting Basil. As the story goes, the landlady of the then White Horse Inn gave instructions to her Italian cook to make a jam tart. The cook didn't make a straight forward jam tart and spread a frangipane-like mixture over jam in a shortcrust. This pudding became popular at the inn. It seems it was a bit popular for brekkie in this house for a few days.

This is the next chosen recipe out of The Great British Book of Baking. Mine is garnished with fresh strawberries in a spot of spiced rum and I used slivered almonds on top. Start with a prepared short crust, blind-baked. Spread with jam, this time strawberry.

For the topping:

60g. unsalted butter
60 g. caster sugar (baker's sugar for US)
1 med. egg
30 g. self-raising flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
50 g. ground almonds

Mix well and spread over the shell and jam. Bake at 180 deg./350 deg./gas mark 4 for 30 minutes, or until golden and set.

Cool and drizzle with icing glaze ( 100 g icing sugar, 1 tbsp water and a few drops of vanilla) and sprinkle with almonds.

The tomatoes keep coming!

Remember this collage of not too long ago?

Well, here the little beauty is!

Unless a tree has borne blossoms in the spring, you will vainly look for fruit o it in autumn. ~ Charles J. Hare

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green...And Hotter than Hades

Now playing: Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends
via FoxyTunes

I promised myself to cook with a green pumpkin this year. Here is the perfect candidate for that vow. Not too small, not too big, just right Goldilocks! Armed with the information I recently read that says green pumpkins are a bit like chayote squash, I proceeded. The first recipe made with this lovely also uses other green items. The other green items are not cool customers....Habaneros!

Green Habanero Hot Sauce

10 green habaneros chillis

6 tomatillos

2 tsp. sugar

1/4 c. onion, small diced

1/2 c. green pumpkin, small diced

Heat to soften. Set aside to cool.

When cool, place ingredients in a blender and add:

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 c. white vinegar (white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar will be just fine)

juice of 1 lime

2 cloves of garlic

1 shot spiced rum

Process to a nice sauce. Enjoy carefully!

"Just needs a little hot sauce and it'll be perfect." -From the movie 'Ray'

Remember I asked, "Want beer?"

Our nice garden hops are being used for two different batches of home-brewed beer. Stay tuned!

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." -Dave Barry
We harvested the potatoes and have been enjoying those greatly.

“What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”

I'm hopping around the recipes in The Great British Baking book now, giving biscuits a break for now. Why not try the Naan recipe for a nice Chicken Tikka Masala?

"This curry was like a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony that I'd once heard.....especially the last movement, with everything screaming and banging 'Joy.' It stunned, it made one fear great art. My father could say nothing after the meal."
-Anthony Burgess

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Green Tomato Chutney

Now playing: Earth, Wind & Fire - September
via FoxyTunes

I have a recipe from a Shropshire friend, Pam. It is a recipe handed down in her family in England. This recipe happily uses green tomatoes, any gardener can tell you that is a good thing!

1 rather large marrow (In the USA that means an over-grown zucchini, here I used 4 regular sized zucchini/courgettes. Peel remove pips and sprinkle with salt, drain on a paper towel overnight.

2 lbs. onion, diced

2 lbs. green tomatoes

2 lbs. cooking apples, peeled and diced (Granny Smith for USA, and maybe Bramley for UK.)

1 lrg. cauliflower, cooked til slightly soft.

1 lb. brown sugar

Enough malt vinegar to come up 2" in the pan.

Combine in heavy large pot and cook until soft about 1/2 hour.

Make a paste with:

3-4 tsp. turmeric

3-4 tsp. cornflower (cornstarch to my American friends)

Enough white vinegar to make the paste with the turmeric and cornflower.

Fold into pot and cook until thick, about 3 to 4 minutes. Process in canning jars as need. Refer to a canning manual for chutneys. You could also refrigerate. I got 8 pint jars yield out of the recipe.

A progression of my first 2011 pumpkin.

The "biggest so far" pumpkin for 2011 prize goes to:

Maybe a future pumpkin, if it does the business soon, it may make it before the first frost. The bees are laden with pollen and are in a dazed state, when I moved the vine and flower they didn't budge.

Another shot of the garden mascot. This one is from the other side of the spider. I love my spider!

Salad anyone?

Beer anyone?

Garden views:

The bloody squirrel has continued to be busy. Chosing the Black Krim variety. expensive taste, huh mate?

I did some research on holding squirrels at bay from tomatoes. I found that they; don't like coffee grounds, dogs (I knew this, but the silly things comes back when Misty the collie isn't outside), ammonia soaked rags, You have to put up with very persistent squirrels, squirrels don't really like tomatoes and just eat them when they are thirsty (could have fooled me). So, I put down coffee grounds, ammonia soaked rags in a bowl near the garden bed, sprinkled dog hair near too. I also started taking partially ripe Black Krims inside and put them in the window.

The squirrel's solution to vanishing Black Krims is to start on the Beefsteak tomatoes. So yes, I have resigned myself to sharing with the squirrel.


“You can't be friends with a squirrel! A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.”
-Sarah Jessica Parker

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Now playing: Billy Joel - Scenes from an Italian Restaur
via FoxyTunes

Good morning!

Thinking clean thoughts, let us proceed to all the tomatoes we are getting. We have a tomato guardian. Isn't he/she pretty? We need a bigger guardian to take care of a persistent squirrel, however. The silly thing doesn't even eat whole tomatoes or cantaloupes, it just takes a few bites and drools on the rest. I'm not too keen on squirrel spit.

The vines are still hoaching!

Green Zebra, Amana Orange, Black Krim, Beefsteak

With colours like that, one doesn't really have to spend much time fussing with plating design.

A quick plate of Brushetta.

A quick plate of Caprese Salad.

Here is a dish that evolved from a convo with Robert. He wanted Courgette Parmigiana, I said, "hmmmm, that may be a good use of green tomatoes too." He said, "How about a medley?" I then got to work and made a plate of aubergine, courgette and green tomato Parmigiana, the different items separate on the plate. The sauce was made from Roma tomatoes in the garden and had more of the black garlic in it. It was really good! I then waited until I had all three approximately the same size from the garden. That was a little tricky, as my aubergine are the Japanese variety this year. They were stacked and breaded that way. This was really interesting and created a neater unit!

Look at the bounty of tomatillos again, more green pork chili!


"A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins." - Laurie Colwin