Coconut Jasmine Rice

I’m cleaning up some of my recipes pages, dear reader and splitting off the ones that have become too crowded. If possible I’ll update these with photos in the future, but for now this will have to do. I’ll schedule these so they won’t overrun the site.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup of Jasmine Rice
160ml Coconut Milk
90ml Milk
2 Tsp Desiccated Coconut

Method

1. Mix together the Coconut Milk and the Water and set aside.

2. Heat Olive Oil in a pot on a medium heat. Stir in Rice and Coconut and cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Rice should be slightly translucent and may brown slightly. Add Coconut Milk and Water and stir up the Rice, and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium (3 on hob) cover and let it cook for about 12 minutes.

3. After the 12 minutes is up, remove it from the heat. Let it stand for another 10 minutes or so. After 10 minutes, lift the lid and take a fork and fluff the Rice.

Autonomous Johannes

I’ve played a slight prank, a juicy jape, a clever ruse, a…hey! I’m dick, you have to be kind to me. Well, rather to quote, probably misquote Kurt Vonnegut, I have been sick and ow I am well and there is work to be done. If you’ve followed the weight loss posts, occasional as they’ve been, or read any recent posts you’ll know all about my abdominoplasty, if not, well, you know what, dear Spanky? I’m still a bit off so go do the thing. That’s as clever as I can be. For my dear readers know that I am bent, but happy. I’m on the final leg of this journey, three and a half years I waited and here I am, sans some seven pounds of skin and with a new bellybutton. I’m happy, but there’s a lot of recovery to do, so the posts that have been scheduled will continue, but new ones might be scarce. I’m finally here, dear reader.

Due To The Cancellation Of Summer

Thankfully in photos you can’t hear Jack weeping.

That’s not dew, it’s tears.

At least the roses seem happy.

The sun vanished a few months ago, taking it with it the Summer. I’m not sure what we’re calling this season, pre-autumn, perhaps, Meh seems fitting. The envenerating constantly dull weather seems aptly described by the diminutive word: Meh. Even in Meh the plants are doing well, they’d be better with sunshine, but thanks to the care taken with them, by Jack, dear reader, always and ever the gardener, they’re surviving and producing where applicable. I do like the splashes and spots of colour throughout the garden, even with the dull, overcast weather they still bring small joys.

Rescued roses are doing well.

Where they were has been razed.

Grown in a bottomless bucket filled with much and compost.

“Young love with with Summer fled, left, we are, sad and mouldering with Meh instead.” That is a real verse from a poem. Jack never lies, never prevaricates, he is as meritorious as he can fool you into believing him to be. I think I’ve had a year with all variations of good and bad weather and it’s only been three years so far. I’m always glad I go by the weather when planting, my cabbages were grown, harvested and free from pests thanks to an early start. They’d be long gone if they had to grow in this weather. The squash, mostly the harlequin, are just spreading all over and I might be helping them along with plenty of home-made plant feed. More vines means a better chance of fruit setting later in the year.

I think a second type of Dahlia is starting too.

There’s still a lot of colour left in the garden.

I think I’ll always grow pansies.

I’m getting close to my one post for every day of the month goal. I won’t force it, but thanks to all the squashes I’ve had plenty to create with. I suppose it’s as the old poem says: “Meh are the days and Meh is the season, but as always it stands to reason, that days will pass, however desultory and autumn will unfold in orange hued glory”. What? I’m not making that up, okay, yes I am. See? I’m so very honest.

I didn’t kill the fuchsia after all.

Clematis going strong.

My new rhubarb crown is doing well.

“Across the glade and through the glen, poor Father’s gone insane again, it tis the weather, it tis the curse, the meagre sunlight of Meh is hardly enough.” Okay, okay, I’ll stop If nothing else I keep myself entertained. I’m hoping that when this post finally publishes I’ll be over my surgery. It’s weighing on me, it’s also hit me how huge it is. They’ll be fixing my abdominal muscles and removing a large amount of excess skin. I’ve had to live with diastasis recti for nearly six years, near constant pain because of the skin and the severity of the separation. I’m hoping, dear reader, hoping so hard that it hurts. I need this to end, it’s tearing away at me. I need my new life. I’ll leave it at that and hope when I see this that I’l be finished with this wait. Take care, dear reader.

The dual coloured dahlia, the middle will be white.

There was a surprising variety of colours in the gladioli.

I like lobelia, but next year I want a change.

Harlequin Squash, Apple and Sage Stuffing

Another year, another stuffing recipe.

Harlequin stuffing, familiar? We’re back with another potato recipe, traditional Irish recipe at that, being converted into a harlequin one. This time we’ve ditched the sausage and opted for apple. Now, less of this we, dear reader, it’s my show. I found I couldn’t tolerate pork, doubt I ever could, why? Who knows. Why is there so much Jack can’t eat and yet he has so many recipes? He’s a wonder, humble too. Stuffing varies from place to place, I see it often online as this bread cube lumpy concoction and that isn’t the stuffing I grew up with. This is childhood taste revisited, or as close as I can make it. Stuffing was mashed potato, onion, sage, rarely fresh, but I like it fresh, and sausage. It was billowy, creamy and crusty on top and delicious. It has been a long time since I have had it. Last year I made a meat version, this year, aside from the butter but margarine could replace, I never list until I’ve tried and soy allergy stops that trial, but you’re creative dear readers, I know you’ll manage. Er, rambling there, sorry, aside from the butter it could easily be vegan. I tried it unbaked and it is worth making. Tomorrow I’ll bake it and add a photo if I remember.

Rake the tops and hope for crusty stuffing. The taste of childhood revisited.

So, yeah, addressing the giant berry in the room, you need harlequin for this. It’s the best potato substitute I’ve ever eaten. It’s dry at first when you’ve freshly steamed it, but add the buttery onion and apple, a delicious aromatic variation I have to admit, and suddenly it’s this creamy, fluffy mixture. My sage wasn’t in it’s prime and I had to add a little dried to up the taste, but you could use all dry if you can’t get fresh, use a third of what’d you use in fresh. Three ingredients are from my garden. The squash, sage and onion. There is a huge benefit over the pork version, you can freeze this. My Mother warmed me of freezing sausage meat and I stay away from it, this though can be frozen. Handy as it does make quite a bit. I went by the squash, but you can adjust it as you see fit. Try other vegetables and let me know how it fared. I’ll see you again, dear reader.

Ingredients

375g Harlequin Squash, Peeled and Cubed
125g Cooking Apple, Peeled and Chopped Fine
50g Butter
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped Fine
16-20 Fresh Sage Leaves, Chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Makes about four 170g Servings

Method

1. Steam the Harlequin Squash and place into a bowl, Mash and set aside.

2. Chop the Onion and Apple finely and fry in Butter until Onion is translucent and Apple tender. Add the Onion and Apple mix, Sage, Salt and Pepper to the Harlequin Squash and mash everything together. Taste test and add more Sage, Dried if there’s no more Fresh, if required.

3. Scoop mixture into a greased baking dish and smooth down. Bake at 200c (Fan) for half an hour. For a crispier top grill for the final 5 minutes. If freezing divide and freeze in tin trays.

Creamy and delicious.

Fresh Parsley Jasmine Rice

I’m cleaning up some of my recipes pages, dear reader and splitting off the ones that have become too crowded. If possible I’ll update these with photos in the future, but for now this will have to do. I’ll schedule these so they won’t overrun the site.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup of Jasmine Rice
250ml Water and 1/3 of a Chicken Stock Cube
2 x 1/2 Tbsps Butter
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/8 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped Roughly
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Method

1. Heat 1/2 Tbsp Butter and Olive Oil in a pot on a medium heat. When Butter has melted stir in Rice and cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Rice should be slightly translucent and may brown slightly. Then add Chicken Stock, Salt, Black Pepper and stir up the Rice and bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium (3 on hob) cover and let it cook for about 12 minutes.

2. After the 12 minutes is up, remove it from the heat. Let it stand for another 10 minutes or so. After 10 minutes, lift the lid and take a fork and fluff the Rice. Then stir in the remaining Butter and Parsley and serve.

Roast Table King Squash, Sweet Potato and Pecans

You can use as much rosemary as you like.

I really dislike when recipes call for very specific ingredients, now, setting that aside get your freshly harvested, recently cured table king squash and….I’m joking of course, any firm mild tasting squash will do here. This is a little different from my normal method in that usually I like the vegetables to try and crisp up as much as possible, but this instead locks in the moisture and keeps everything tender. It’s a different method, but one I’m very happy with. Let’s see how much of a post I can squeeze out of such a simple recipe.

Less shrinkage as there’s less moisture loss.

One twist to he norm is the salting of the pecans, it adds a really amazing contrast to the sweeter vegetables, the boiling water helps the salt adhere. I’m aware I’m not selling this much, but recipes like this always seemed daunting to me when they were oversold with hyperbole, you only realise how much of those posts is window-dressing after you’ve been making these recipes a long time. As I said above the moist is held in by the coating, there isn’t much in it but it’s more than enough, any more and you’d end up with soggy vegetables. The taste is pretty subtle, just a pleasant sweetness accentuating the natural sweetness of the vegetables. Of course you could do this with any vegetables you’d like. I think of recipes like this as American, there always seems to be something like this whenever an American holiday recipe post appears anywhere. I’m not sure what country squash is most popular in, if my love is to be held against entire countries then obviously Ireland will win out.

I still have different ideas as to what the squashes will be used for. There are two currently sitting in the shed, one of each, but the rest will take a few more weeks, nearer a month for some, before harvest. Hopefully by then, dear reader, I’ll have found even more wonderful uses for these brilliant berries. Until later

Ingredients

200g Table King Squash, Peeled and Cut into Medium Chunks
200g Sweet Potato Peeled and Cut into Chunky Strips
25g Pecans
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
1/8 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Ground Nutmeg

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220c (Fan) and line a tray with grease-proof paper.

2. Add the Pecans to a sieve and pour over hot water, drain and then toss with salt. Set aside.

3. Add the Everything but the Squash, Sweet Potato and Pecans to a bowl and whisk together until Sugar has dissolved. Add the Squash and Sweet Potato and mix together until coated, tip out onto prepared tray and bake for 30-40 minutes or until Vegetables are tender. Add the Pecans 10 minutes before end.

Then harvest another Table King afterwards.

The Garden Isn’t a Harsh Mistress

Getting a few saved bulbs down early just in case I might be busy later.

There have been a lot of posts recently, haven’t there, dear reader? I’ve been making recipes and harvesting what’s come into readiness, it’s been a hectic few weeks. But I doubt anyone will complain, I’ve tried to balance them as best I can. It’d be fun to have a post a day for the entire month, I won’t force it, but if it happens that there’s enough to fill the month then it’ll be an accomplishment, of what merit, well, let’s pretend great things.

I’m honestly shocked they grew.

I can’t tell if you can remember, mind reader isn’t in my bag of tricks, but let’s recap the carrot situation. There was a heatwave that destroyed the carrots, twice no less, I learned that the top soil needs to be moist as moist can be. Crust kills. So, I did what anyone would do, I angrily threw down seeds and they grew, then in spite of warnings I split up clumps of carrots and transplanted them. Then, rational being that I am, I added two squash plants to the raised bed and left it to fend for itself. Lo and behold onto your hats, dear reader, I have carrots!

I had to chase this all over the garden.

Of all shapes and sizes, lumpy and bent, straight and narrow, all natural, organic carrots. Grown with little care, some feed, whatever the squash got they did too and when I pulled one up today to see it was large, shaped like a horse, and I took a few more. A bunch later and I was awed, my first ever harvest of carrots. I can take all I’ve learned and hopefully do better next year, but this is an achievement for me. I failed last year, but now I have grown carrots.

I’m going through all the shapes it seems.

I haven’t eaten any yet, but the skins are thin and the flesh tender. These are flyaway, supposed to be safe from carrot fly, well, they must have been with all the moving and thinning they took. It really is an amazing feeling to harvest your own vegetables, no matter how many, how large or how ordinary. Fresh produce is special in taste and the sense of accomplishment. There is so much that can go wrong from planting to harvest. Next year I plan a bigger harvest and do all I an to insure it grows. Okay, I’ll see you later, dear reader.

Peeled, blanched and frozen already.