I have my own herb garden for some years now. Lucky as I am with a small city garden, I grow tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, sage and other essentials in my own garden. Imagine a summer barbeque with not only home-marinated meats and fish, but also with lemonade with green limes and freshly cut mint leaves.
Now, in mid winter, my garden is covered with snow. But I can't keep myself from making plans for next summer!
For sure, I am going to grow my own tomatoes again. I learned by now that I have to be modest. While my cherry tomatoes are sweet and delicious, larger sorts simply don't get enough sun here in Holland. Another thing I want to do again is try and grow more strawberries. Although I only have two strawberry plants, the taste of just one homegrown strawberry definately wins from a whole pack of strawberries from the supermarket.
What I haven't got yet is a laurel plant. Delicious for stews. Last year I grew my own sage plants, I hope they will last through wintertimes. Otherwise, I will grow some new plants.
Nasturtium is a plant I am certainly going to grow again. This summer, I preserved the seeds of this flowering plant in vinager, laurel, garlic and peppercorn. A great alternative for capers!
I can't wait for summer!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I love food and stuff. So, logically, my favourite is stuff related to foods. I often spend my time in thrift shops and are a big fan of the clearing sale in specialised cooking shops. This is my current wish list:
- Vintage coffee grinder to use for grinding spices (I looked for one in every thrift shop I cross, why can't I find one!)
- A large pan for soups, for example the Royal VKB soup pan
- Cake tins in all forms and shapes
- A Le Creuset cast iron pan
- Peugeot pepper mill
- Cooking books from all the great ones (Nigella, Jamie, River Cafe, etc. etc.)
- Large kitchen stove with a large oven
- A kitchen aid kitchen machine
- Vintage tableware in all sorts and sizes, I love it all!
But most of all.... a large kitchen to fit all my kitchen stuff. My current kitchen is only 3 square meters big, which is quite limiting for my cooking aspirations!
Citrus fruits are fantastic. Some zests of an orange or lime spice up most dishes and make you forget about winter and cold. Today I ate a very simple pasta with tomato-pesto. I got inspired by a tv-show, but I changed some of the ingredients to suit my taste and kitchen supplies. I spiced the pesto with some orange zests and chilli. Something I never did before was popping garlic. I loved the very soft taste, so different than the sharper taste of garlic.
- wrap 1 garlic bulb in aluminum foil. Place it in an oven at 180 °C and pop it in about 45 minutes. The garlic becomes soft and gets a subtile, delicious garlic taste. You will only need a few cloves for this recipe.
- Weld 4 dried tomatoes in very hot water. Leave it for an hour or so.
- Chop about 1/4 of a large chilli very small.
- Heat about a teaspoon of fennel seads and crush them.
- Make some orange zest (use the zest of about 1/4th of an orange) and chop the zests very fine.
- Mix the dried and welded tomatoes, the chopped chilli, the orange zests and the fennel seeds in a food processor untill it becomes one substance. Add the flesh of 2 popped garlic cloves and put on the food processor once more.
- Add some extra virgine olive oil and orange juice according to taste. Mix thoroughly.
- add some grated parmezan cheese according to taste and mix the pesto again.
- If needed, ad some pepper.
I mixed the pesto with some tagliatelle pasta and served it with spring onions. Very nice on toast or a crostini too!