A gaggle of ingredients

Over the past two months the kitchen garden has kept us in an engaging momentum. With various ingredients maturing, frequent harvesting inspires frequent cooking. With friends and recipe books there is never a shortage of ideas. Carolina’s kale and breadcrumbs, Mieze’s plum cake, grape jam, savoury polenta cake, and various tomato inspired dishes. We have had an excellent grape and tomato season. The grapes we have, well I wish I knew what variety they were. They are amazing. Super fragrant, sweet, and full of flavour. When I walk along the path to our back door the scent brightens me. The grape came as a cutting from a friend of a friend and never arrived with a name. I will be taking several cuttings with me to Eganstown to plant along our lengthy verandahs. With tomatoes aplenty, I have been cutting them in half, and with skin and all boiling them down to produce a thick sauce for our pasta dishes. This is a time for celebrating the colour red (rosso) during our dinners and the colour purple at breakfast time.

 

Grape detail.

Grape detail.

In the pot for making jam.

In the pot for making jam.

Artemisia and Jooles help to harvest grapes.

Artemisia and Jooles help to harvest grapes.

...

The grape vine provides delicious grapes and is an important shade cover from the setting sun.

The grape vine provides delicious grapes and is an important shade cover from the setting sun.

Apricots from our north facing apricot tree. These were simply poached and used with porridge.

Apricots from our north facing apricot tree. These were simply poached and used with porridge.

Kale, grated lemon, garlic and oil...

Kale, grated lemon, garlic and oil…

And later with the addition of pan fried (dry pan) breadcrumbs, and lemon juice, a really simple but really truly wooly delicious dish is made.

And later with the addition of pan fried (dry pan) breadcrumbs, and lemon juice, a really simple but really truly wooly delicious dish is made.

Baked tomatoes to accompany polenta.

Baked tomatoes to accompany polenta…

Polenta cake to accompany the baked tomatoes.

Polenta cake to accompany the baked tomatoes.

With our plum harvest we always make Mietze's plum cake.

With our plum harvest we always make Mietze’s plum cake.

Beans, basil, tomatoes...

Beans, basil, tomatoes…

More tomatoes, and cucumbers.

More tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Plums, corn and even more tomatoes and cucumbers.  I can't help take photos of the harvest. As there is so much joy in the fruit of one's labour.

Plums, corn and even more tomatoes and cucumbers. I can’t help take photos of the harvest. As there is so much joy in the fruit of one’s labour.

Arty tomatoes.

Arty tomatoes.

Preserved tomatoes and grape jam.

Preserved tomatoes and grape jam on the right.

Spaghetti rossi.

Spaghetti rossi with skins and seeds.

Risotto rosso.

Risotto rosso.

Baked carrot & pumpkin: mixed with ricotta and parmigiano.  Tart topped with tomatoes.

Baked carrot & pumpkin: mixed with ricotta and parmigiano. Tart topped with tomatoes.

Cucumber, pine nuts and black sesame salad.

Cucumber, pine nuts and black sesame salad.