Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cat tricks and carrot sticks and a garden in my kitchen

Our little town has been inundated with rainfall deluges and windstorms to wipe out carports (our neighbours) - we have had more rain fall in our town than is a decent share for the entire African drought-stricken continent!  Winter rainfall, and now we are well into Spring and still it comes bucketing down!
Yellow winter/spring foods

Carrot Sticks
The foods we are harvesting of late, are hues of yellows and oranges!  Lots of natural lycopene and beta carotene!  Who needs to buy it in capsules when you can have the real McCoy!  Our carrots come in shades of yellow, orange and white - a visual delight!  We are having carrot sticks and houmous, grated carrot in salads, carrot stew and carrot soup.  Vitamin A in carrots aids the growth of healthy bones and teeth.  Carrots are packed with a nutrient called beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body. Carrots are actually one of the best source of beta-carotene.    Vitamin A is vital for healthy vision and being able to see in dim light.

Our grapefruits have sweetened up and we enjoy one a day - whole or juiced.  Our tiny little oranges too, although having just sweetened up to eat, are in full blossom again!  The smell is one of my favourite olfactory sensations!

 As I write this, I am listening to Brenda Fassie's Vulindlela,  a great reminder of our African roots.  
Wonderful stuff!
Cat Tricks
What can I say????  This is Shanti's latest trick!  We dare not leave the toilet door slightly ajar and she noses it open for a quick drink.  Uh, and she has a bowl of water half a meter away where we feed her but she seems to prefer this drinking hole!!!  Disgusting!

Our new cat trick!
Kitchen Garden
As gardening activites are somewhat severely curbed in torrential down-pouring or hurricaning weather, I have enjoyed my kitchen gardening.  Sprouting requires no soil.  Just a glass jar, a circle of netting or muslin, a tight elastic band and a selection of organic legumes, seeds or nuts.  My sprout of choice is mung beans.  They are sweet, crunchy and easy on the palate.  I pour twice as much water over mung beans and by the next day, they are fully hydrated and then it takes a twice daily rinsing and we are eating them in 3 days.  According to Ayurvedic practice, mung bean sprouts balance all three doshas, in other words, they are good for all of us!               

Sprouts.... kitchen gardening

Getting my bottles ready for preserving later in summer...

What do you do when you have a switch on your wall you would  rather not have?
Make it into a feature!!
Coming back from holiday, it was great to be able to walk out in our giant outdoor backyard supermarket and pick a basketful of Globe artichokes (yum), asparagus (not many), grapefruit, oranges, mandarins, a huge Violet Sicillian Cauliflower, leeks, silver beet, bunches of parsley and other herbs.  We are looking at planting up our new little secluded courtyard with yet more olives and frangipanis, to remind us of our tropical holiday!  Perhaps a hibiscus or two.  How for the soul!  If we can't change the weather, at least we can pretend a little.

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