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 

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February 1st Newsletter

Back to work for 2017

My home shop is open as usual AND I am looking forward to being back at the Cygnet Market from Sunday Feb. 5th.

Thank you to all the lovely people who continued to come to my home shop during January.

 Olives and Four Leaf flours Restocked
My shelves and store room are now fully stocked with fresh products. I have spent literally thousands of dollars getting everything back in and you will all be pleased to know that the Jumbos and the Black kalamata olives have just arrived as has a pallet of Four Leaf flours and grains. Come n gettum!

March Sourdough & Cultured Butter Workshop
I will be having my first sourdough and cultured butter workshop for 2017 in March. Check the dates and make bookings by adding your EMAIL (not your name) here. If you don’t put your email you have not booked, even if I know you!!

You will find more information about these workshops on my website here.

Weck Fermenting Jars
Finally I have decided on the best quality, best value and most ethical fermenting jars available; Weck, made in Germany. These are made from thick glass and guaranteed to be free of lead, cadmium and mercury, unlike cheap, glass jars. Read more below….

Too many zucchinis?
Check out my zucchini and mushroom lasagne recipe AND buy my organic, Australian lasagne sheets!

Thanks for the Wine Bottles but please stop!
I rely on my wonderful customers to provide me with wine bottles, which I sterilise and fill with the olive oils and apple cider vinegar I sell. You have been most generous and I now have quite a few. I will let you know when I need more but for now I have enough, thanks.

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! 

To read the whole newsletter click here.

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!

March Sourdough Workshop & GaSP Newsletter

Feb. and March Sourdough Workshops…..

I am looking forward to a new year of workshops, starting soon with sourdough. Already the Feb. sourdough workshop is full.

For my March sourdough workshop go straight to the booking sheet for dates and to add your email address. Click here for more info. on my sourdough workshops.

Amazing value for $45 

Why not organise a sourdough workshops for your birthday (or other special celebration), or for someone else’s? I am happy to fit in with your required dates. You arrange 7 people to come, and the birthday person (8th) comes for free!

Cultured Butter
Making of French style cultured butter will be included in the February sourdough workshop and future workshops, as long as local Two Cow or Ashgrove cream are available in the 2 litre size.

Makes the most amazing butter. A special treat .

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New Season’s Everything!

Fresh supplies are flooding in from organic farmers and makers in Tasmania and the rest of Australia to fill my shelves with the freshest possible ingredients. You will never have to check dates on my supplies as I am more passionate about using freshly milled and made ingredients than you are!

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GaSP Home Shop open from this Thursday,

January 29th

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 GaSP home shop opening times:

Thursday afternoons 2pm – 6pm

+ Friday mornings 9am – 12 noon

+ by request

4 Winns Rd., Cygnet

By request means that you are welcome to ring me or send me an email to arrange an alternative time to suit you.

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Next Cygnet Market, this Sunday, February 1st

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Fresh, stone-milling and your health2-DSC_0022-001

Everyone wants to be healthy. My mother is 92 and has been going to the same market for 90 years. She has no ailments at all. I recently went with her, when I was in Adelaide, and could hardly keep up! My brother and niece came too…. 3 generations shopping at the same market; nice. Here she is in this photo, buying organic and local produce only (she has all the answers for why you MUST!) from the Adelaide Central Market.

If you go to the trouble of growing, buying, cooking and eating fresh, organic food, why on earth would you then go and eat grains, flours, nuts and seeds that are not fresh? It all comes down to advertising. It is impossible for supermarkets to have freshly milled goods and fresh nuts and seeds on their shelves so they concentrate on advertising fresh fruit and vegetables and hope you don’t care about the.rest.

I only sell flours that are freshly milled. You can be assured that I am not popular with my suppliers for my refusal to accept goods milled months beforehand! I also only sell fresh nuts and seeds and am constantly ordering small amounts to ensure that my customers and I are eating the freshest ingredients possible.

Stone Milling

In the third century B.C., rotary grindstones powered by animals, and small rotary hand mills called querns, replaced stone or wooden mortars and pestles for the grinding of grains. Querns are still used in rural areas of the Middle East, Far East, and parts of Africa.

There are several advantages to stone-ground flour. The endosperm, bran, and germ remain in their natural, original proportions. Because the stones grind slowly, the germ is not exposed to excessive temperatures. Heat causes the fat from the germ portion to oxidize and become rancid and much of the vitamins to be destroyed. Rancidity is carcinogenic.This is one reason that I do not use a vitamix or thermomix, which cut rather than grind the grain and do so at high speed which causes heat.

21st Century Milling

A very sophisticated process is employed for the commercial milling of grain these days. Cleaning is accomplished by means of separators, aspirators, scourers, magnets, and washer-stones. The grain is tempered or conditioned in water to toughen the bran to reduce fragmentation when it is removed, and to obtain a moisture content resulting in particles of the desired size.

During the milling process, steel rollers crush the grain, and the flour released from the endosperm is separated by sifters into different grades or streams, according to fineness. Each of these has different mineral and protein contents, and may be recombined later to form a variety of flours to be sold for diverse baking purposes. The bran and germ, which make up about 28% of the grain, are totally removed in this process. They are used in the production of animal feeds as -well as by pharmaceutical laboratories for making diet supplements. For approximately 20 nutrients, there is an average loss of 70-80% in refined and enriched flour. Its consumption clearly places the body at a disadvantage, casting a burden on the rest of the diet.

Another concern with commercial flour is the possibility that it has been irradiated, which may cause more nutrient losses, the formation of radiolytes, and radioactivity in the food itself. Irradiated grains will not sprout and are devoid of life.

The flours I sell have had none of this processing. They are simply produced by stone-grinding of organic, non-irradiated grains. The 85% light wheat flour and the sifted spelt flour are then simply sifted to remove some of the coarsest bran.

Human Health and Fresh Milling

Only whole grain, stone-ground flour is sure to contain the grain components in their original proportions and to include the germ. The way the stones grind distributes the germ oil evenly and without exposing it to excess heat, so rancidity does not develop as quickly as it would were it ground by steel roller-mills.

Also, most research recommends storing freshly ground flour for no longer than two weeks, because rancidity becomes evident, and many flour components undergo chemical changes, when exposed to oxygen, increased humidity, high temperature, and light, and decreasing their availability to the body. After several months rancidity has caused carcinogenic amounts of  rancidity, no matter how well the flour is stored and a reduction of some nutrients of up to 80%.

Home Milling

If you would like to mill your own grains I have access to 2 mills; one a manual, stone mill, with a drill attachment option, the other electric but not a stone mill. You can read about them here. Let me know if you would like to order one and I will get the best price I can for you. I have a hand one which I use to coarsely mill oats for my breakfast.

If you wish to hand grind the grains I sell at my Pantry shop, you are welcome to use it as I have it permanently bolted to a bench in my kitchen. You will get a pleasant workout for your upper body and core muscles while you do it, at no extra charge 🙂

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My Favourite Hamburgers (with zucchini)

500gr mince

185 gr grated zuccini

1 small onion , finely chopped

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp ginger

1 egg yolk

Mix all together, shape into flat burgers and fry.

Assemble into rolls with mayo, lettuce, tomato and barbecue sauce.

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Products and Prices online
You can always find up-date (mostly!!) GaSP products and prices on the products page of the website.

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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!