Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New look and La Nina

smaller chillies
  • chillies
  • 2 punnets of little tomatoes
  • lemons
I had to do it! The former design was driving me crazy, all that sprawling vegetation made a difficult background for text, it had to go.  But I am so sorry if it was pretty crazy for those reading the blog at the time – there were a few of you, I know.  I wonder what the on-screen experience is like for those viewing while I changed the design?  I am sorry if it was too weird! 

But back to the garden…
very long cayene chillies
It’s February!  It’s February? Really?  I don’t know what fellow Sydney gardeners are feeling, but this mild, wet, La Nina year has made the garden lag so far behind where it normally is. In an El Nino year,  February is usually my month for pulling some of the spent and exhausted summer vegetables out, feeding the soil up again, getting in the broad beans, the broccoli and the leeks, etc. Have we gotten used to gardening with the little boy?

But right now, while I am picking tomatoes each day, the plants still have loads of green fruit going nowhere. The chillies too! I am picking but still have so many green chillies struggling to ripen. I am growing two types this year -  a smaller chilli (which I have been picking) and a very very long cayene (which havent ripened yet). Aren't they amazing!

And the cucumber? I have 4 in the fridge and other 4 soon to pick and the plants look like they will produce until after Easter if the cold doesnt get them or if they dont mould up with the dampness!  The trouble is it’s just not the kind of weather where you want to sit down to plates of salad!  We did have one salad appropriate day this week - David made a Chinese cold noodles with cucumber and it was great, but I am really wondering what to do with all these cucumbers in such cool weather.  Anyone got any warm cucumber recipes? Do such recipes exist? Are they edible?


  1. Ah ha - so thats what they are - I bought some very long chillies at a farmers market once and saved seed and have been growing them ever since but until now I didn't know what they were. Thankyou - yay!. I have had stir fries with cucumber in before byut I have to say it wasn't really my cup of tea....Pickle them I say - I am a huge fan of Bread & Butter Cucumbers

  2. Yep the very long chillies are actually seeds I got from Diggers called Long Cayene. When I bought them I had NO IDEA how long they'd be. They are so beautiful. I'll be saving the seeds this year.

    Thanks for the idea of B&B cucumbers! Briliant!

  3. My MIL uses chunks of cucumber in her 'spaghetti bolognaise'. Can't say I'd recommend it ;P
    More my thing is a recipe posted by a friend of mine:

    I think all the Melbourne bloggers are sick of hearing me whine constantly about our weather, but you know what I'm talking about - it has been the most miserable summer ever!

    1. MMM , nice! Very like what the Chinese call la ban huanggua, or spicy mixed cucumber - even down to the smashing rahter than cutting. Spent a lot of hot humid summers in China eating this.

      Plenty more complaining about the rubbish Sydney summer in post above!

  4. There's a few cooked cucumber recipes I've tried. Baked cucumbers stuffed with cooked ground pork, eggplant, mushroom and seasoned with sugar and nuoc mam. Stir fried cucumbers with pineapple and ground beef or pork and seasoned with pepper and nuoc mam. I think cucumbers could be good in soup too.

    1. Gosh, thanks for these suggestions. I like the idea of the baked cucumbers stuffed... I think that is a definate.

      And you have reminded me about cold soups - I think a cold cucumber soup would be really lovely. Or even cucumber in a gaspacho.

      Thanks for visitng! I'll take a look at your site too.



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