By MANDY SINCLAIR
Kiwi fruit & mascarpone mille feulle
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
25g plain flour
300ml thickened cream, lightly whipped
1½ sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
6 kiwi fruit, peeled, sliced
1. Heat milk on low, until just simmering. Using an electric mixer, beat yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Add flour and mix to combine. Pour over hot milk and mix well. Transfer to a clean saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Transfer to a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Fold through mascarpone and ½ cup whipped cream.
2. Preheat oven to 210 or 190C fan. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
3. Cut the whole sheet of pastry in half to form 2 rectangles. Place all 3 pieces on prepared tray. Bake for 15-20 mins, until puffed and golden. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Lightly press two rectangles to flatten slightly. Spread half of custard mixture along one piece of pastry. Top with sliced kiwi fruit and another piece of pastry. Spread over remaining custard mixture and kiwi fruit. Top with remaining pastry. Spread over remaining whipped cream and top with remaining kiwi fruit. Cut into slices to serve.
To save wastage of pastry sheets, cut the half needed whilst pastry is still frozen. Return unwanted half to the package and return to freezer.
Kiwi fruit & custard tarts
Mix together ½ cup store bought premium vanilla custard and ¼ cup whipped cream until smooth. Fill 180g packet store bought pre-baked pastry shells with custard mixture. Top with sliced kiwi fruit and refrigerate for 30 mins.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: desserts, fruit, kiwi fruit, recipe
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Rev Graham Long, CEO/Pastor The Wayside Chapel The Wayside Chapel recently opened a rooftop garden, filled with edible plants. We chatted with Pastor Graham Long to see what he had to say about this new venture.
Our garden is dedicated for the purpose of bringing lonely people and people struggling with long term mental health issues to life and health. The garden is a tool to this end but it is a wonderful tool because we’re creating produce, that is we are in production, in more than one sense. The one thing that everyone who walks into Wayside has in common is the belief that they are on their own. We know that they expect to be treated as problems to be solved or cases to be worked on but if they leave Wayside feeling met rather than worked on, we’ve had a good day.
As people learn to do things that they’ve never done before, they slowing become aware that there are others around with them and for them. A natural reaction that happens after this moment of grace is, “Wow, how can I help, what can I do”. This indicates to us that the work of grace is effective and that someone is on the move from “me” to “us”. Christmas time is the perfect time to remember that the baby was called Emmanuel, which literally means, “God with us”.
1. What’s your favourite produce at the moment?
I like peaches that come in those little containers that I can put on my week bix in the morning
2. And favourite way to cook/prepare or eat it?
Take the top off and pour it into the bowl
3. What are you growing/ cooking at home?
I’m growing a library even though I don’t really want to. If reading made you a cook, I’d be on master chef
4. What’s your biggest growing/cooking success or disaster?
I’m a bit hit with the grandchildren when I take them to McDonalds
5. What produce could you not do without?
Are chips produce?
6. What is your favourite tool?
I avoid tools altogether but I do own some screwdrivers
7. What’s your growing/cooking top tip?
Read the menu carefully
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By ALISA BRYCE
World Soil Day – the 5th of December – celebrates soil and its importance for human survival. The approach of World Soil Day causes many of us to think more deeply about our soil and how we manage it. As gardeners we may feel inspired to add some extra compost or organic matter, or maybe roll up our sleeves and finally get that worm farm we’ve been thinking about. World Soil Day is a great time to remember how important soil is – but do we really, and I mean really, appreciate what this subterranean rainforest does for us?
As a soil scientist I spend my days with my head and hands in this fascinating, underground ecosystem. But even for me, it was (I am somewhat ashamed to say) only quite recently when I finally cottoned on to just how much the soil gives us.
From the soil grows the food we eat, the fiber for our clothing and materials, and the trees for our buildings. It holds the coals and minerals we use for energy, the precious metals we adorn ourselves with and use in modern technology. The soil grows the plants that become our medicine, and is home to soil microbes have been a source of medical and scientific innovation.
It is not only us the soil provides for. It supports the plants that feed all herbivores, omnivores and by extension the carnivores. The soil grows trees and shrubs for shelter and habitat and it acts as a filter to clean our water.
We value, very dearly in some instances, what comes out of the soil. We value the products it gives us yet it seems we rarely value the soil itself. It is not only the products of the soil we need to care for, but the complex ecosystem of fungi, bacteria and microbes that live down there. These tiny life forms have supported us since the beginning of time, and are the key to our survival.
It is said that “a single teaspoon of soil holds billions of bacteria.” These billions of not just bacteria, but fungi, algae, protozoa and nematodes are the key that bind the world together. It is these little guys that help transfer the water and nutrients in the soil to the plants. They fend off disease and build barriers to protect plant roots. Soil bacteria have been used in anti-fungal medications, can make diesel fuel, and some even act as anti-depressants by stimulating serotonin production.
There is not enough space to list all the reasons we should be taking more care of our soil, or to list everything we use in everyday life that has in some way come from the soil (trying thinking of something you use that isn’t at least in part from the ground). But I do hope that during this brief discussion I’ve highlighted one key point – we depend on the soil for our survival.
Unfortunately through over cultivation, agrochemical applications, and pollution we have severely damaged our soil. Fertility has dropped, agricultural land is acidifying, and more and more agrochemicals are needed to produce the same amounts of food. The soil is tired.
The good news is soil is a living, changing ecosystem that responds to help.
We can begin to undo some of what we have already done. We can improve soil fertility, and provide the soil food web with organic nutrients on which to feed. We can take action now, and with the impending unknown of 2 billion additional people on earth, right now is the time to act.
While watching a documentary on mining in Kakadu, an Elder who fought to keep mining off his land (and succeeded) summed up the idea beautifully. “You can make money” he said, squatting on a rock in the dry Kakadu scrub, “but you can’t make’m the land back.”
As gardeners, you are already helping take care of our soil. By understanding the needs of plants, by avoiding fungicides and pesticides that kill soil microbes and by adding organic matter back into the soil, you are helping build back up what we have lost. We have a long way to go, but what better place to start than our own backyard.
Alisa Bryce is a soil scientist and author of the Organic Soil Guide, an essential book for any land manager on the basics of soil management. Available on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: soil, World Soil Day
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By MEREDITH KIRTON
From farm fodder to fast becoming the hippest ingredient in town, these humble vegetables deserve recognition. Turnips, kohlrabi and swede are very cold hardy, and store well over winter, which is the reason that they have been used as cattle feed for so long, and also to sustain people in regions such as Scotland and northern Europe, where winters are harsh. Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea) looks like an above ground turnip, with the swollen stem being the part eaten, and has the added bonus of also being able to cope with hot dry summers, making it one of the hardiest veg around.
Turnips and Swedes are both botanically known as Brassica rapa. The Swedish turnip, or Swede, is the ‘Rutabaga’ cultivar and has yellow flesh with a purple top, whereas turnips normally have white flesh, but can be flat, round or long in shape depending on the type. The white mini type is a fast grower, being able to be harvested in 7 weeks, as is the lovely
lilac variety ‘de Nancy’. The trick is to grow them quickly to ensure a milder sweet root and good texture. All are best grown in open, fertile soil, planted in late summer and autumn and harvested in late autumn and early winter. In very cold areas, seed can be sown within cold frames in late winter and then the foliage is a valuable ‘green’ that can be used like young cabbages.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: grow from seed, kohlrabi, planting, seeds, turnip, vegetables
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By MANDY SINCLAIR
The longer turnips and kohlrabi are stored the more woody they become, therefore harvest as needed if possible. If this isn’t an option, rinse under cold water, wrap in damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to 10 days.
What to do with glut
Turnip and apple slaw
Place 1 medium turnip, peeled, cut into thin batons,1 granny smith apple, cored, julienned, 2 celery stalks, trimmed, washed, diced and 1 cup parsely leaves in a large bowl. Mix together 1/4 cup whole egg mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Season. Add to turnip mixture and toss to combine.
Peel and halve kohlrabi or turnip. Blanch in a pan of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain and refresh under cold water. Transfer to clip lock bags and freeze for up to 6 months.
Pickled kohlrabi & turnips
Peel 2 kohlrabi and 1 turnip and cut into 5mm slices. Cut slices into 1cm wide strips. Pack into a sterilized jar. Heat 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns and 1/4 tsp of dried chilli flakes in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil for 3 mins. Pour boiling liquid over vegetables to cover. Seal. Store in a cool dark place for 5 days before using. Once opened, refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 1 litre.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: kohlrabi, recipe, salads, turnip, vegetables
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By MANDY SINCLAIR
Lamb stuffed kohlrabi
4 medium kohlrabi
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
200g lamb mince
180g haloumi, grated
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parley
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
1. Trim leaves and excess stalks from kohlrabi. Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, until par-cooked. Drain and refresh under cold water. Cut the top off each kohlrabi. Using a small sharp knife, hollow out kohlrabi, leaving a 1 cm shell around outside edge. Chop the removed kohlrabi and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 200°C or 180°C for a fan-forced oven. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium. Cook onion and chopped kohlrabi for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cumin and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add mince and cook stirring, for 5 minutes, until brown. Remove from heat and season well.
3. Add haloumi, tomatoes, parsley and almonds. Spoon into kohlrabi shells. Scatter over breadcrumbs and drizzle with remaining oil. Place in a baking dish and pour around 1/2 cup of water. Bake for 45 minutes, until kohlrabi is tender.
Cooking time may vary depending upon the size of the kohlrabi and the thickness of the shell. Cover with foil, if browning too much and cook until kohlrabi can be pierced easily with a skewer.
Turnip & kumera bake
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C for a fan-forced oven. Grease a 20cm springform pan. Peel and thinly slice 500g turnips and 500g kumera. Arrange a layer of turnip over the base of pan and dot with 20g butter. Sprinkle over 1 tsp chopped sage and season well. Repeat layers until turnip and kumera is used. Cover with foil and bake for 40 mins. Remove foil scatter over 1 tbsp sage leaves and drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake for another 15 mins, until golden and cooked through. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 6.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: kohlrabi, recipe, turnip, vegetables
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… Stuart Gregor is regarded as one of Australia’s best presenters when it comes to food and wine and is in-demand as MC at charity events such as the Starlight Children’s Foundation where he is on the NSW board.
He is the founder and creative director of Liquid Ideas – a Sydney-based PR company which has been a leader in the marketing and communications of many brands for more than 15 years and that was the 2009 Agency of the Year.
What’s your favourite produce at the moment?
I had some golden beets the other day that were superb (and your pee doesn’t change colour after you’ve eaten them . . .)
And favourite way to cook/prepare or eat it?
cWrap em in foil, whack them in the oven for an hour on 180-ish, peel them under some cold water and quarter them and serve them in a salad with feta, mint, peas and maybe even some lentils.
What are you growing/ cooking at home?
We have just planted, last weekend in fact, a few different lettuces, some baby beets, four different types of tomatoes (including a couple of heirloom varieties for the first time) two types of chillies (I’m a serious chilli fetishist), parsley, coriander and we have heaps of strawberries growing. We also have two new olive trees.
What’s your biggest growing/cooking success or disaster?
My greatest success is discovering the Hellenic bakery in Marrickville where you can order $200 of slow cooked greek lamb (pick up only on a Saturday morning) and it feeds 50 people and it makes you look like a genius and it is completely delicious. And all you need are some lemons, pita bread and some tzatziki. And chilli sauce.
What produce could you not do without?
Olive oil, chilli sauce (in fact multiple chilli sauces), red wine (any variety except merlot), anything from a pig, Will Studd’s cheeses, Maldon sea salt, Connoisseur ice cream, rump steak
What is your favourite tool?
I’m not very tool-hardy but I do like my little hand weeder, I’m a bit obsessive about weeds but they are just bloody everywhere and I am totally losing the battle. Weeds 1, Stu and his hand weeder 0.
What’s your growing/cooking top tip?
It would have to be meat focussed. I’m a keen barbequer and although it’s a bit obvious, the keys for mine are before and after. Make sure you put plenty of olive oil and salt and pepper on your beast before cooking and also make sure it’s at room temperature before it touches a flame. And then after be sure to rest, rest long time. I can be impatient and attack my steak too quickly but it’s always better with resting, at least half as long as the time it spent cooking. And NEVER cook red meat beyond medium. If your friends like well done steak find new friends.
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