Right now we are gathering so much from the garden that many of our meals are almost entirely homegrown. I have just munched my way through this salad and apart from a little marinated feta cheese sprinkled over the top the entire bowl was picked fresh from the garden moments before I ate it.
As I enjoyed the fresh vital flavours of the salad greens, herbs, tomato, cucumber and capsicum, I realised how lucky we are to be able to grow so much of what we eat. The addition of our new poly-tunnel this season really has contributed a great deal to our garden's bounty (and it's not even finished!)
The cucumbers have gone rampant and we were in danger of disappearing under a mountain of them so I resolved to pickle some of them over the weekend. I dug out my trusty old book of preserve recipes, given to me by a friend many years ago. I found just what I was looking for, a recipe for bread and butter cucumber pickle. Much slicing and dicing later, and a little cooking, I had these gorgeous looking jars ready for use later in the year when the garden won't be so productive.
Today I've also been out picking blackberries. I have been keeping an eye on the roadside brambles while out and about, waiting for them to ripen. We had a little rain in the past few days and this seems to have really brought them on, so today I stopped on my way home from an errand and picked myself a bucket of these glossy, black jewels. I'll put them into the freezer so that they are there for us in Winter when a nice blackberry and apple pie might be just the thing to chase the winter blues away. Or even better adding them to a raspberriy crumble, where their inclusion acts as a foil to the intense flavour of the raspberries, creating an all together devine combination of fruit under an almondy crumble mix.
As for the studio, right now I'm working on a polar bear cub. He's just a pile of bits at the moment, but in the next day or two he will come to life as I work on him. I'm having to take things a little easy at present, my hands are playing up again. I have to mix things up a bit so I don't run the risk of further straining them.