Recent Posts

13 July 2018 – New Moon, New Beginnings

13 July 2018 – New Moon, New Beginnings

It’s New Moon in July. It stirs my blood. Even as cold winter clouds hang low, and the midday temperature outside battles to lift from the low teens, I feel eager and excited: Spring is coming. Exactly 50 days to 1 September. And even then……

Edible Flower Cookies

Edible Flower Cookies

No secret I love edible flowers. No secret I love baking. And in our unschool-homeschool, Friday is baking and gardening day, so 1 + 1 + 1 = kids making edible flower cookies today! Extra points scored for our science experiment on which flowers will…

How To – Roast Garlic

How To – Roast Garlic

Garlic everywhere and garlic in everything! We’re a household that loves to cook with garlic, and naturally, I also have a few special garlic medicines ready to dispense for a variety of ailments.

Garlic, Allium sativum, is truly an amazing ingredient to always have on hand in your culinary and medicinal pantries! Used worldwide in an astounding array of cuisine, this pungent herb has a very long history as a folk medicine, and is, among other things, a very strong anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, tonic, stimulant, stomachic and antispasmodic agent.

I include garlic in my Tomato Tea for Sinus Congestion, and it is an important ingredient in the Cider Tonic I made recently. Garlic in Honey is a potent remedy for colds and flu, or if you can stomach it, a raw clove a day is sure to keep the doctor away.

Here is one of my favourite ways to make garlic – slow roasted to a sweet and delicious condiment. I serve this with roast Mediteranean vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant, or with sundried tomatoes and olives on Bruchetta. You could also enjoy it with a great cut of steak too! Or… when no one is looking, just slip a clove straight into your mouth. Mmmm!

Newsletter – June 2018

Newsletter – June 2018

Brrr! Cold and wet weather set in to most of the country over this past long weekend. Metservice published their June outlook, saying we’re swinging between cold and warmer-than average from week to week through the month, with rainfall predicted to be quite volatile as…

Crystallized flowers

Crystallized flowers

Crystallized flowers! These candied flowers are a favourite of my little girls to make. Here’s how you can also make the most of the pretty edible petals in our garden by making Victorian style flowery delights! A glorious project to get into on a rainy day…

Chimichurri – Argentinian Green Sauce for Grilled Meat

Chimichurri – Argentinian Green Sauce for Grilled Meat

The first time I made chimichurri was out of necessity – I had harvested handfuls of gorgeous Italian parsley, and after drying some, freezing some, and making a lot into parsley pesto, I had to do something else with what was leftover. A quick search in some recipe books I had, introduced me to a new favourite – chimichurri! Isn’t even the name just delicious to say!?

Basically, it is a raw sauce with loads of parsley, some garlic, oregnao, red pepper (chilli), olive oil and red wine vinegar. It does absolute wonders for grilled meat – and my favourite is to have it with steak. Honestly, I love steak for just being steak, and a good steak is great on its own, but chimichurri makes it even better. I promise. Even my husband who is not a great fan of parsley, loves this!

There’s many variations out there of this uncooked sauce, with every chef, and wannabe grill-master probably having their own special version. The recipe that follows is a very simple one, and my favourite to make.

 

Chimichurri sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed parsley, cleaned and dried (flat-leaf Italian parsley, or curly “fancy” parsley, or a combination of the two)
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons oregano, cleaned and dried
  • 3-5 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or some chopped fresh red chilli (optional, to taste)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Method
  1. Pulse the herbs and garlic in your blender until well chopped.
  2. Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chilli if using, and mix through.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Rose Panna cotta with rose jelly and a cardomom-pistachio biscuit

Rose Panna cotta with rose jelly and a cardomom-pistachio biscuit

I love combining rose with cardamom – it is a lovely Middle Eastern combination and puts me in mind of all the exotic places I visit \vicariously through the internet and travel books. Actually, the first time I combined these particular flavours, it was when…

Fire Cider Tonic

Fire Cider Tonic

Baby, it’s cold outside! Winter definitely has come a-knocking…  And with it, I’m already seeing an upsurge of colds and flu all around. Luckily, I’ve come into the season fully prepared – beating cold with hot! Ice with Fire! Fire Cider Tonic, to be exact.…

Newsletter – May 2018

Newsletter – May 2018

And just like that we are in the last official month of Autumn – but as always, for the gardener and herbalist alike, there are still lots to be done with herbs this beautiful time of year. In this Newsletter for May 2018, read about what can be done in the garden this time of year, and learn about the different commonly named balm plants – with special focus on the few we use as herbs. Included in this month too is a bit about Rosehips, Kale, Heartsease Viola, and some delicious recipes to share.

Remember to look at the downloadable monthly “Planting by the Moon” calendar for some ideas. And if you are interested, book for and diarise the next two workshops that I’ll be running – details in the newsletter.

Newsletter for May 2018

Recipe: Baked Earl Grey Cheesecake with Lavender

Recipe: Baked Earl Grey Cheesecake with Lavender

Ingredients Base: 1 packet biscuits (I used Tennis Biscuits from South Africa, Coconut Based) 115g butter, melted Filling: 500g cream cheese (2 tubs) 100g caster sugar 100ml sour cream 1.5tbsp cake flour 2 large eggs 1 egg yolk 1 tsp vanilla extract with seeds 50ml…