Kitchen Kapers


I have spent the best part of today in the kitchen.  The first thing was to juice the 60 limes I picked from the tree.  Some is in ice-cube trays in the freezer and the remainder in a jug in the refrigerator.  I will freeze this in trays as well once the others are completely frozen and can be removed from the trays and placed in a bag.

Next were 5 pumpkins from the garden.  Unfortunately, I cannot leave them on the vine until the stalks dry out completely because some of the wildlife starts to eat them once they are mature.  Because I have to pick them before the stalk has withered, this means that they will not store.  So my plan was to cut and peel them (a mammoth job), roast in the oven and then mash the pumpkin.  I have frozen it in batches so that it can be made into soup as required.  By just freezing the mashed pumpkin I save space in the freezer as compared to making and freezing the soup.

I also sorted through the freezer and pulled out this bag of chopped onion tops.

2012-04-22 01These are from the onions I grew last winter but our winter is not long enough for the tops to die down before I have to harvest the onions.  Otherwise our wet weather starts and they would just rot in the ground.  I diced all of the onions and froze them in 150g packs and I could not bear to waste the fresh green tops so chopped them and pt the bag of them in the freezer while I considered what to do with them.

2012-04-22-02I decided to thaw them out and then put them on the trays in the food dehydrator.  My plan is to dry them completely and then grind them in the spice grinder to make my own onion powder for seasoning. I will post about the success or otherwise of this venture in a day or so.

The other thing I retrieved from the freezer was a bag of cherry tomatoes.  These were picked from the neighbour’s garden a couple of months ago when they were away and I didn’t have time to do anything with them apart from wash, hull and freeze them.

I found a tomato sauce recipe on the internet and made a couple of adjustments to suit the ingredients I had.  I cooked up the sauce and 1.9 kg of cherry tomatoes made up into 1.75 litres of sauce.

Here it is – bottled and ready to add to the stock cupboard.

2012-04-22 03I made 3 batches of muffins – lime and coconut, fig and almond as well as banana ones.  This is some of them packed and ready to freeze.

2012-04-22 04While the oven was on I made another zucchini quiche.  We have an abundance of eggs and since this uses 5 eggs it is a good way to use some up.

I had planned to make so more fresh pasta – using eggs again – but the day was almost over.  I will save that job for Wednesday which is a public holiday here (Anzac Day).

Most of my cooking and preparation was a direct result of produce from our garden, either fresh or frozen.  Since we are blessed to be able to grow this food I feel it is important to make sure that we use it to the best of our ability.