The First Week of Summer

The season cycles past us and spring has gone in a very busy flash of research, firings, workshops, more firings, exhibitions and kiln building. The garden took a back seat and now it’s time for catch-up. We managed to get some time in there, just enough to keep everything watered and growing. In the last week of spring I finally got the time to get in there and do a thorough weeding and cleaning out. We picked the last of the winter veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

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I managed to preserve the cauliflowers into Mustard pickles.

Take one large cauliflower. It doesn’t matter if it is a bit past its best and starting to ‘burst’. You only need the small florets, add a red and green capsicum and a cucumber, plus a couple of brown onions, all diced pop fine into small bite sized chunky pieces. Soak them in brine overnight of 1/2 cup of iodised salt in 2 litres of water.

The next day, bring this to a simmer and drain off the brine. Rinse and drain again.

Depending on how much you have to do, heat up approximately a litre of vinegar ,add two cups of sugar,  +1 Tb spoon of mustard powder, + 1/2 Tb spoon of curry powder and another of turmeric. Mix it all together well and bring it up to the boil. Once it’s heated, add in 1/2 a cup of flour and stir well until it thickens. Add in the drained vegetable pieces and bring back to the simmer fora minute or two.

Spoon into heated glass jars from the oven and seal with ‘pop’ top lids.

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Janine makes cauliflower soup with hers as well as a batch of broccoli soup, some of which she froze. The cabbage went into our own idiosyncratic version of Australian okonomiyaki and the beetroots got pickled and preserved in spiced vinegar.

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Although we have planted out all the summer veggies seeds and some seedlings now, it is still too soon to get much return. The tomatoes are flowering  and the earliest plants have set some small fruit. I was a bit late getting them in, so I can’t see us getting any ripe fruit before Xmas. However, now the hot weather is here, along with the regular Monday afternoon thunderstorm and its hail, we will just have to wait and see what fruit we can get. I hope that there isn’t another hailstorm tomorrow. We’ve had enough hail for the time being.