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Monday, 15 July 2013

Okra and other stuff

Things are changeing in the garden. Ever since we found out the strange looking plants next to the aubergines were okra I have been worried about receiving the first batch. My only recollection of okra was many years ago when a supermarket got some in as a novelty and Dad had to have some for old times' sake (he was born and brought up in India) I can't even remember what he (or Mum) did with it but I do remember it had a nasty texture and flavour and I didn't want to repeat the experience!

But yesterday I was handed the first of the crop. I must admit they looked innocent enough, not the big green ones you get in supermarkets, but small pale ones with mauve tip. Having looked on line about the best way to cook them, I settled on battering and deep frying, making them into a 'treat'. I don't know if it was that I got the batter just right, or that the okra is OK, but we really enjoyed it. However, we will have to try one of the healthier recipes, can't have deep fried goodies all the time.

Also had another batch of aubergines, again, not a favourite. Dave likes moussaka and he had that the other day. This time I roasted them and made a dip with oil, lemon and lots of garlic. It was yummy and I wish I could bottle it for winter, but can't find out if it is possible. More research needed.

Haven't had any cucumber for a while, but I think we  can live with that. A rest from it after eating it at least once a day for ages will be good. I have my own growing in my patch, small ones which I used to grow in the UK, and they will be ready soon, as long as the crickets and ants allow it.

We have some animals of some sort frequenting the garden. I have seen shall I put this delicately.....poos deposited on walls and stones, but this morning Dave found a rather larger one which looked to be full of seeds and stained everything it touched black. We need to do some internet searching to see what comes up. I know there are pine martens around as Dave saw one at the end of the lane in the garden of an empty house. Our English neighbours have seen them in their garden at night too, but any slight movement or noise sends them running. I worry about my chickens and am happy at night when they are tucked up in their vermin proof shed. I am an early riser and have to be careful not to let them out too early in the morning too, and to let any creatures know that the dogs are out and about. I am happy to have the local wildlife around, just hope they don't take the mick.

Our guard dogs...hmm

Talking of which, I am sure I saw a jackal the other day when we went to town. We pass a large expanse of crop acreage with no houses or farms evident, and as we passed a track there was an animal, which could possibly have been a dog which looked like a jackal, or the real thing, trotting down the track. There is no house for miles so who knows? We know they are about. Of course, by the time my brain percolated all the relevent information we were well past......

Tomato bottling continues, another bucket full yesterday. Thank goodness they reduce to nothing! Also, the courgettes are still producing well, ans more chutney is on the cards today. I have plenty in the freezer, sliced, diced and hollowed for stuffing. It might seem ungrateful, but there is no point in freezing and bottling stuff just to throw it all away later. It's a waste of fuel, sugar, vinegar and spices. though my time comes free!

Dave has managed to break yet another door lock. They are a bit of a mixture, the door locks. This particular one is the outside door from the stairs to the bedrooms. It had obviously been 'fixed' in the past, and looks as if the door has been kicked in and a crude plate fitted to repair the door. We have not been locking the door at night, relying on the dogs to let us know (?) if anyone's about. But it , Dave locked it last night, wasn't satisfied with the movement and went outside, shut the door and couldn't open it again! So dogs and I were locked in and Dave out. He had to break the thing to get back in, by which time we were all thoroughly awake. Hopefully the hardware store we have discovered in the village will have a lock of some sort.

This was our Greek inspired meal yesterday, using our lovely fresh garden veg. As well as the forementioned okra and aubergine we had garlic and mint yogurt, courgette fritters, tomatoes, beetroot, olives and home made cheese, onion and garlic bread. We are eating lots of garlic to try to stop the biting insects. It doesn't work, but we love garlic!

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