October Newsletter

New L’Abbruzzese Organic Pastas
Adrian at L’Abbruzzese has introduced me to an expanded range of their organic, Australian pastas. Made in Adelaide by an Italian family, these are the best dried pastas I know of and are so reasonably priced, compared to others I have seen. See more here…..

Pat and Lina’s Wild Olives
Everyone loves the olives that Lina sends me from their farm, just north of Adelaide. Pat and Lina use no chemicals and just the old fashioned, Italian way of extracting the bitterness from raw olives by soaking them in barrels for months and months. The greener, jumbos take up to 9 months to be ready! Read more here….

Shani’s Kitchen Crafts
Shani helps me at the first market of each month and this Sunday we will have on my stall some of her fantastic, hand made pot holders and pot scrubbers, all made from recycled fabrics and fibres….. as well as her 100% natural Soap for Gardeners. I have bought some of each and can highly recommend them. These would all make fabulous, unique and beautiful  presents too. 

Minerals
Vitamins are made by living things (plants and animals). Minerals come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants and eaten by animals. If the soil lacks minerals, so will the plants (and animals) you eat and so will you. Low magnesium is something many people have. Read more here….

Hugh’s lamingtons and GF breads
Again you would be best to be to the market early to get some of Hugh’s very popular lamingtons, vanilla slices, lemon tarts and GF sourdough breads at my stall. No matter how much he makes, it always sells out!

Next Crop Swap October 7th, 11am – 1pm
More than 20 people came to our second gathering, on the Saturday morning of August 12th. It was a a blast, with 2 tables packed to overflowing with plants, seeds, produce, baked goods, books, lemons, rhubarb and more. Everyone was smiling. It was such a great vibe.

Everyone is welcome to our gatherings, whether or not you have anything to share. Come for a coffee and chat. Come alone or with friends and family. Gather in my front shed. Join the Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds facebook page for updates or ask me to put you on the email list. Read more here
 
Sundried apricots, pears, plums and peaches
Kevin and Cindy’s fabulous, new season’s organic, sundried fruits are selling like hotcakes! Read more here and my recipe….

Campo de Flori Saffron
Lisa grows saffron on her beautiful farm at Glen Huon. I am now stocking her glass jars of saffron and her recipe cards.  Economic jar refills are also welcome. This is my kind of ethical philosophy! Read more here…..

Square eftpos
The Garden Shed and Pantry now has credit card, debit card, chip and contactless payment facilities! Square is a simple and cheap system suited to every form of transaction. It may be cheap but it is not free, so I would still prefer cash but no longer will there be any inconvenience if you do not have enough cash with you! 

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Green Peppercorns…. a story

From The Pantry side of my business I want to stock your pantry with the purest products available; free from chemicals, low in food miles and direct from farmers and makers, wherever possible. This is how I choose to eat and I cannot sell anything that compromises this philosophy.  Since most spices, even today, are grown in their native country of origin, without any fertilisers or other chemicals, I research them carefully and only sell the best quality, freshest spices I can source.

One day at the Cygnet Market a young Frenchman came up to me and asked if, amongst all the beautiful, fresh spices I had displayed on the stall, were there any green peppercorns.
I replied that I did not have them as I only had dried spices, (not the little tins of pickled, fresh, green peppercorns I was familiar with).

He assured me that in France people make a beautiful sauce with ground, dried green peppercorns….. of course I asked him for the recipe and told him I would have the dried green peppercorns he requested, at the next market, if I could find them.

Well, find them I did and make the sauce I did. Typically simple yet unique and delicious, as French foods often are, I have written out the young Frenchman’s recipe below and hope you will try it. He recommended we have it with a grilled piece of meat so I used local chops (killed and hung for 2 weeks at the Cradoc Abattoir).

The Green Peppercorn is the seventh in the GaSP range (the others being Tas Pepperberry, Indonesian Long Pepper, Sichuan Pepper and Black, White and Red Peppercorns).

green peppercorns on the vine

green peppercorns on the vine

Peppercorns, and the ground pepper derived from them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (dried ripe seeds).  Black pepper is native to south India, and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions.

Green Peppercorns: Green Peppercorns are the unripe berries of a tropical vine, Piper Nigrum. The same berries are processed to make black pepper. Green peppercorns have a milder but more complex and fresh flavor than most other peppercorns, and are commonly found preserved in brine or pickled. Pickled green peppercorns can be sliced or chopped, or eaten whole (pickled). You might not try that with black pepper, but the green peppercorns have a much suppressed pepper flavor. In their various formats green peppercorns are popular in French, Thai, and Western European cuisines. Because they are perishable, green peppercorns are usually freeze dried, or preserved in brine or pickled. I only sell them dried.

green pepperberries

green pepperberries

Green peppercorns, in addition to being a culinary treat, have numerous health benefits. They are good for the digestive tract, reducing gas while increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach which aid with digestion and helps reduce several types of stomach distress. They also help fight bacterial growth in the intestines. In addition, green peppercorns are high in iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants. The skin of the peppercorn is helpful in breaking down fat cells, so eating green peppercorns can even help you lose weight. A chemical found in pepper, piperine, may have some use in helping other chemicals work in the body, and it may have anti-cancer properties as well. In all, green peppercorns are a healthy and tasty condiment, and well deserving of their place on every table.

Green Peppercorn Facts:
Green Peppercorns are the unripe berries of a tropical vine
Green Peppercorns have a mild, fresh flavor
Green Peppercorns are not as spicy as black
Available freeze dried, pickled, or in brine

(Some info above sourced from http://www.green-peppercorns.com/ and from wikipedia)

French Green Peppercorn Sauce

(recipe from Romain, a local French customer)

Serves 6 (if the cook can resist sampling too much!)

125g butter

125g Four Leaf 85% flour

Make a roux : Dissolve the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour.
Stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste which leaves the sides and base of pan cleanly.
Cook for a minimum of 2 minutes, stirring, to cook out the taste of the flour.

Gradually add 5ooml good stock (I used the bones from the meat from the abattoir to make a stock) until the sauce is thick and smooth.

Reduce the heat and stir in :

1 heaped tsp freshly and finely ground green peppercorns

1/2 tsp salt (to taste and depending on the salt in your stock)

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar (a dash more, to taste, if you like)

Serve as a sauce with meat / or drizzle over roasted, steamed or mashed potatoes

Bon appetit!

green peppercorn sauce

green peppercorn sauce

Get these and other fabulous fresh spices from the Cygnet Market or home shop of the Garden Shed and Pantry 

Marvelous May Newsletter

Below you will find an excerpt from my May newsletter. To read the whole thing, including some new recipes, please click here. It is fun and fabulous!

Almonds
Everyone, including me, has been waiting for news on Richard’s fantastic Johnston and Somerton almonds, grown in the almond district, Willunga, south of Adelaide. I spoke to Richard on Tuesday. He told me there was a fabulous crop this year and he will be sending them sometime in June! Yippee!

swap crop logo

Introducing Crop Swap
Recently I came across an Australia and NZ group of people as keen as I am to share garden produce and, in fact, anything edible or related to food. So, I joined the group and made us a sub-group and website Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds. There are several others in Tasmania too. Please join the Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds facebook page for updates etc. If you would like to help me make this work, please contact me asap. I am really keen to get started! No money is involved at all. Whether you are a backyard gardener, home cook, forager, seedsaver, cuttings guru, pickle maker or bread baker, you are welcome.

Sundried apricots, pears, plums and peaches
Kevin and Cindy’s fabulous, new season’s organic, sundried fruits were supposed to be arriving this week but the silly freight people have not picked them up….. so it will now be the first June market before they arrive. Oh lalalalala, how do businesses survive that are run so badly? 

Rain-fed rice
The Qld floods inundated the Lismore freight depot but now they are up and running again. I am pleased to say that Slater Farms’ magnificent, fragrant, bio-dynamic, long grain rice did not get flooded and will be at the market, along with rain-fed medium grain rice and rain-fed rice flour too. 

May Sourdough Workshop-full 
I am pleased to say there are no places left for this workshop but I will be running another in late June or early July. Read about my sourdough workshops here.

More than just Permaculture
There are lots of permaculture design certificate courses but our Gumboot Gardeners group is helping to host something broader, deeper and more easily used for your own property. Please read about Julia and Charles’ course below, based on 25 years of teaching all over the world.

Just for a laugh
Here is a little video I made about 10 years ago, of how to easily dig in green manure. For some reason it is not playing as clearly as it used to! Check out the dry stone wall in the first few seconds. I built that, with stone from my yard when we were making terraces. I had to raid a roadside cutting to get a few bits to finish it off. It is a tricky, twisted circle, going above then below where I am standing, as it was on a massive slope!

Square eftpos
The Garden Shed and Pantry now has credit card, debit card, chip and contactless payment facilities! Square is a simple and cheap system suited to every form of transaction. It may be cheap but it is not free, so I would still prefer cash but no longer will there be any inconvenience if you do not have enough cash with you! 

Pine Nut Crusted Orange Cake

orange and pine nut cake

orange and pine nut cake

Ancient Greeks and Romans savoured pine nuts preserved in honey, and legionaires took them to Britain under Roman rule.  This recipe has several flavours of the Mediteranean – pine nuts, oranges and olive oil.  They blend together perfectly to give a subtle taste and wonderful texture.

50g Pine Nuts

150g rapadura sugar

120ml Patlin Gardens Olive Oil

2 eggs, separated

finely grated zest of 1 large orange

120ml of fresh orange juice

200g Four Leaf Organic 85% Flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Put the pine nuts on a baking tray and brown in the oven for 7-8 minutes.  Oil the base of a 20cm springform cake tin, then line the base with baking paper.  Use the additional 1 teaspoon each of sugar and flour to dust the sides of the tin, and shake out any excess.

  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then leave to one side.
  • Whisk the yolks and sugar until well combined and pale, then whisk in the oil, followed by the orange zest and juice.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the egg mixture.
  • Fold in the egg whites and transfer the mixture to the prepared tin.
  • Sprinkle the mixture with the toasted pine nuts and bake for 40-45 minutes until well risen and lightly springy to the touch.
  • Cool until you can touch the tin easily, then remove the cake and transfer it to a wire rack.

This cake is delicious served fresh from the tin on its own or with slices of orange or other fresh stone fruits.

Store it in an airtight container if not eaten straight away.

Enjoy!!

This recipe and 100 others appear in Kew’s Global Kitchen Cookbook.  Kew’s Global Kitchen Cookbook is a celebration of the amazing variety of edible plants.  It brings together 101 delicious recipes using plants from all corners of the globe, along with stories of their history and discovery, richly illustrated with historic botanical art from the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Kew's Global Kitchen Cookbook

Kew’s Global Kitchen Cookbook

Get this and other fabulous cooking and gardening books from the Cygnet Market or The Garden Shed and Pantry.

Spiced Orange Blossom Honey Muffins

Makes 18 patty pan size

Heat the oven to 180C.

Line muffin tins with patty pans.

Ingredients:

2½ cups Four Leaf 85% light flour

6 tsp. baking powder

90g butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 good Tbl. Do Bee orange blossom honey

2 finely chopped or grated cooking apples

1/3 cup Tasmanian walnut pieces

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/3 cups made up of the juice of 1-2 oranges plus milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.

Rub in butter to coarse crumbs.

Add sugar, apples, cinnamon and walnuts.

In a small bowl combine beaten eggs, liquid and warmed honey.

Gently stir the honey mixture into the dry ingredients only until roughly combined and there is no dry four left.

Using 2 dessert spoons, fill all the patty pans with all the mixture.

Place into heated oven and bake 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and cover with foil if necessary.

When done, remove each muffin from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm with yoghurt and a little extra, warmed Do Bee orange blossom honey drizzled over.

Great cold, in lunch boxes!

For Gardeners and Cooks at the June 15th Cygnet Market

New Season’s Organic, Tasmanian Quinoa

It has been an anxious time for me, being out of quinoa and having to wait for the farmer to harvest, sort, pack and send it from Kindred, in northern Tasmania.

Also from Henriette and Lauran, the Kindred Organics farmers, I now have buckwheat flour, whole linseed and rolled oats, all organic and low in food miles.

Other Tasmanian goods: From Callington Mill at Oatlands I have organic, sifted spelt flour, delivered by Smithy straight from the mill. I use this half and half with the Four Leaf rye flour to make excellent sourdough bread. Spelt is wonderful for pastry too. And then there’s the Tasmanian honeys, of course!

1-DSC_0004
Solid brass. Last a lifetime.
Made in Turkey.
I am lucky to have made contact with a Turkish woman who sells these direct from the manufacturer. Her English is a lot better than my Turkish but our email exchanges are difficult and I am often bemused by her answers to my questions.However, she sends me these gorgeous hand tools for the kitchen and I absolutely love them. They all grind beautifully and should last a life time.Two of them have receptacles at the base into which the ingredient is ground. A twist of the wrist removes the base and allows you to sprinkle it into your cooking pot.One is for finely grinding spices, the other is slightly coarser and is perfect for grinding oily grains and seeds, such as linseed.The pepper grinder for the table does not have a base and allows you to grind pepper directly onto your meal.

The coffee grinder has an adjustable coarseness (and is not pictured) and a base. Doing this by hand allows you to grind the beans rather than cutting them (which an electric grinder does). This is similar to stone grinding wheat to make flour, rather than cutting the wheat to make flour (as in a Vitamix or Thermamix).

Books for the Fireside Cook and Gardener

Winter is a wonderful time to dream. I stop work at 4.30pm, bring in the evening’s firewood, get the fire raging then relax for a while. I like to either read something deep and mind bending or gentle and beautiful.

I am always on the look out for new books to sell and right now I have some great winter reads.

Lunch in Paris: A love Story with Recipes is a fun memoir by Elizabeth Bard about the unlikely liaison between an American food novice stationed in London and a gorgeous Frenchman who lives in Paris.

On a more serious note is Chemical Free Kids: Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World which begins by telling us about the chemicals routinely found in and on unborn children today. It is a vivid and important book for anyone with young children.

Gut Feelings, by Dr. Peter Baratosy delves into the foibles of the conventional medical profession, the unrelenting pressure on our bodies of food processing and leads us to some very common sense but not commonly explained conclusions about gut problems in this modern world. If you are feeling not quite right inside, then this could be the book for you.

Dr. Baratosy has recently moved from South Australia to Kingston in Tasmania and practices as a GP at the Kingborough Medical Centre. He and his wife are also regular customers of the Cygnet Market.

Free Range Chicken Gardens leads you through some wonderful ideas for coops and yards, for growing plants that chooks will and won’t eat and gets you inside a chicken’s head!

drying fruits

 

My Home Made Mueslis

 with apple-soaked, sun-dried apricots, peaches and / or pears

I make and sell two organic, raw mueslis. One is gluten free. Both are packed with all the organic, Australian freshly milled grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruits and nuts that I sell separately. I assemble them every Saturday before the market so they are totally fresh, unlike anything you will buy anywhere else!

If you have special requirements I can also make up supplies for you and your family.

My winter preferred serving method is to soak the muesli overnight in some apple juice and in the morning add some of my special, organic, sun-dried peaches / apricots / pears + currants + Johnston almonds which have been soaked in water or apple juice and stored in the fridge.

It all goes into the microwave to just warm through then I mix in a good dollop of kefir or home made yoghurt.

YUM and I feel great all morning!