Saturday, April 10

gratin fever

Wow. its been a while. So long in fact that I had to think twice about how to log in. Despite the election being over and the Bloke missing out on a MLC seat (not unexpected) and the launch of Food Connect going well, life hasn't returned to the simple that I thought it would. We've had birthdays, office moves, Easter, LOTS of data management now that Food Connect has totally taken off, garden prep and a huge amount tidying up the months of neglect around the place (the downside to 2 acres..)and the winter veges in..

But I have been cooking. Forced to in some cases. The great benefit of working with Food Connect Adelaide has been the left over produce that occasionally comes your way! What to do with kilos of 'too ripe to send out' organic bananas? Banana bread! loaves and loaves. Ive been tossing this stuff around a bit too lately and the banana bread copped its fair share. Heaven in a small pot this stuff is. vanilla bean paste. Highly concentrated heaven.
This monstrosity got made for b2's birthday party the scary thing is I had the same cake when I was her age! appeased my conscience with some natural food colouring in the icing!

I have been busy with loads of fantastic meals made with our vege box contents. It really is a pleasure to get each week, knowing that its 100% organic, 100% local, and its all been picked in the last day or two and dont have to scout around for it all. Its all there in a box! The freshness and quality really is something else.

Its been great to have boundaries around food choices too. Box contents determines what we have each week. It really forces the local and seasonal. I must admit to having discovered a very deep relatinship with the gratin , gratin anything! Now, I grow chard in the garden and I get it in the box. Wasting garden chard was never an issue in the past, i picked it when i wanted to use some on pizza or to make a spanokopita and just let the plants grow and go to seed, but i have never used it as a vegetable on its own. I thought i really hated the stuff - too metalic in taste. So when we started getting big bunches in the box i was forced to use it. Remembering my fantastic experience with the zucchinis', I gratinised ?? the chard and now I am fully addicted and a bit miffed that the stuff growing in the garden isnt producing enough!
Seriously, if you've never eaten it, try it, its heavenly. But, like all good things to eat around here for dinner, they get eaten before I take a pic which is why you have a hot cross bun as a leader pic for a gratin appreciation post!


greenfumb said...

I think you need chooks!

We have had a similar problem, well situation rather than problem. We grow lettuces and they keep coming in the FC boxes but with chooks nothing ever goes to waste. I make vege stock with anything else that gets left over, and my freezer is full of banana bread.

I also made brinjal pickles with the eggplant that we also grow, haven't tried it yet though.

Gratin sounds like a great idea but probably not with lettuce :-)

Anonymous said...

silverbeet is also good stirfried with oyster sauce (good to see you back!)

Jacqui said...

welcome back Kelly! I don't know how you manage 2 acres - we barely cope with 800sq m. I do love gratin, esp. gratin potatoes. Mmm. Where does one purchase that vanilla paste? I have never heard of, nor seen such a wonder before. YUM! We love our organic food box too - I like just making something with what we get and always using up everything before the next one arrives. Much more economical. The birthday cake is a lot like the one I had when I was 6, and I got into big trouble from Mum for picking all the smarties off the feet. I bet the bean loved it.

Kelly said...

yes - chooks would make sense- cant quite convince the bloke and not sure i realy want that responibility especially the holiday hassle- besides we get great eggs from the Gnomes! I reckon Julia child would have something fab to do with a lettuce!

ICG- will give it a shot. Had it with grated zuke, garlic, chilli, pesto, ricotta and parmesn on penne tonight- that was pretty good. been running my ass off and 'topping' up with a gratin seemed a bit stoopid! thnks for the welcome back ! nice.

jacqui- hanks to you to for the welcome back. feels nice! see i thought nothing could beat a potato gratin..but weirdly it does- thats how good green veg gratin are! bloody divine. i buy the paste at our local bi market- you could google it- Hahndorf Vanilla bean paste- or i could send you some! She loved her cake alright! but Im getting old!


Kale for Sale said...

That cake is a treasure. Beautiful. But vanilla bean paste? I've never heard of it. I'll have to go and look it up now. Seems like it might be worthy of an entire post. It's very nice to hear you voice as the saying goes and the little guy just keeps getting cuter and cuter.