Saturday, 25 February 2012

Growing, cooking, sewing

Marrickville fresh spring rolls
  • radish seeds -  in the ground
  • rocket seeds -  in the ground
  • fennel seeds -  in the ground
  • snow pea seeds -  in the ground
  • lettuce seeds -  in seed trays
  • basil seeds -  in seed trays
Pulled out
  • tarragon
Busy day in the garden and at the sewing machine. A bit like funkbunny, I grow, cook and sew.  I promise not to bore you too much with my sewing - perhaps just the occassional entry.

But garden first.  It was a beautiful day in Sydney town - the kind of day we  have been hanging out for. Sunny and hot enough to get up a sweat in the garden.  I put in some quick crop seeds - radish, rocket, basil and lettuce and some others that will be staples over the winter - snow peas and fennel. It 's the kind of weather that, if you listen carefully, you can hear the seeds swell and sprout.

I also decided to take the tarragon out.  It is a lovely plant and a tasty herb but I seldom use it and over several years it has spread far and wide.  I decided I could use the space more productively. Then onto maintaining the non-vegetable garden with a massive amount of weeding, transplanting of ferns, pruning the lilli pilli and mowing.

Baby bunting
If that wasn't enough busy-ness, I also made bunting!  A work mate is having a baby girl soon and thought that this would make a nice present.  Here it is! Shhhh! Don't tell her, it's supposed to be a surprise.

Some of the material was left over from making a summer cotton frock (that's the paisley) the rest I bought from one of the many fabric shops in Marrickville (I got a discount cause I am a regular!). 

Dinner is Marrickville fresh spring rolls.

Marrickville fresh spring rolls

I call these Marrickville spring rolls because it wouldn't be right to call them Vietnamese fresh spring rolls cause they are my version.  Sometimes I put prawns in them, often fried tofu - you know made a little crunchy. You can really put anything in these but tonight's version has the following. * from the garden

steamed beans* - steamed whole and cooled
cucumber* cut into batons
Vietnamese mint*
vermicelli rice noodles -  soaked and drained
beansprouts -  rinced
chicken thigh meat cut up into long thin slices and cooked and cooled
rice paper 

Prepare everything ahead, one by one soak the rice paper and lay out. Don't leave the paper in the water too long, I just dip it in and then take it out.  It starts off a little firm but soon softens and by the time you have put the filling in, its soft enough to roll. Place filling on the rice paper and roll tucking in the bottom.  I leave the top loose.

I made this Thai-style sauce to go with it.
Rice paper

3 cloves garlic
3 green chillies* split and seeds removed
3 coriander roots
3 shallots
2-3 tablespons palm sugar
juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons fish sauce

Wiz all ingredients, taste and adjust the sweet, sour, salt balance according to your taste using the palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. While this is a good sauce, I am not convinced  that it was a good idea to have it with the rice paper rolls. (Never mix 2 different Asian food  styles perhaps?). Does any one have a good sauce to use? 


  1. I use either a version of your sauce but without the garlic or shallots, and sometimes I add peanut butter to it if I want soemthing a bit more filling. Traditionally they're served with hoisin sauce aren't they? I'm not a huge fan of hoisin sauce though.

  2. Yes, hoisin doesnt excite me either. Like the idea of the peanut butter.



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