We all love the times when we get together over a delicious cooked meal that is made with organic ingredients within 500m from your own home. Common modern vegetable varieties have their advantages as they are often more disease resistant and their fruits are more uniform. But they’re almost always far less tasty or interesting than most heirloom varieties, which come in wonderful shapes and colours.
We got together for a delicious Winter fare, a roaring fire with wood from the blue gums, a few bottles of delightful red wine, a selection of craft beer from local suppliers all in the Overberg Region.
A little bit of rustic sophistication in a magnificent country setting.
The best of all seasons, and Winter seems to reflect the produce we gather throughout the year. Ones eating and growing habits reflect these cycles. More root vegetables and soups are a comfort on miserable rainy days along with a variety of different meats that are delightfully prepared. Meats have many curing processes which involve smoking, the process of flavouring, or cooking. Simply salt prevents meats from going rancid.
Wonderful Hors d’oeuvres of Tuscan bruschetta’s and pickled artichoke done in a lovely herbal infused oil………
The Summer Citrus season starts with the arrival of Clementines in June followed by Navels in late July through to September, and traditionally ends in October with Midknight oranges. Having a lot of lemons around during this time of year too, a delightful dessert was prepared.
The children foraging in the garden for little treats, picking a few greens and unearthing the potatoes, selecting squashes along with a little list of herbs that they love and know so well. A healthy lifestyle to grow up in. A breath of fresh air. Not only do they love the lifestyle but enjoy the lifestyle so much they definitely eat all their vegetables…. Whilst preparation takes place all the left overs from butternut peels, to potato skins and more get put into a bucket for the pigs, chickens, ducks, geese and the peacock. All the seeds from the butternut and pumpkin are spread out on a tray for drying out are carted off to the scullery; awaiting a warmer day with some sun. What we do not use gets preserved, composted and turned into some wonderful organic produce of one kind to another.
The fragrance of a pork roast lingers around the house. A variety of delicious vegetable dishes to complement the roast. Gently steamed broccoli, scrumptious carrots and slithers of butternut with pumpkin cooked in farm butter & honey ever so slightly caramelized. Much like the traditional way of preparing sweet potato; but instead of sugar one uses honey, not just any honey, local honey!!. Not to mention the children’s favourite; grannies potato bake, not just any potato bake. Gently baked in the oven with a thyme butter and seasoned with freshly ground pepper and sea salt flakes. The choices are always out of this world. Beans gently blanched then sautéed in a hot pan with nutty butter and a hint of garlic which is gently seasoned……..
Food created in different ways help enhance food, different flavours and textures. Simply put. You eat it. You enjoy it, and you want more. It is really very basic: good cuisine is not boring. If after a few mouthfuls you are bored – this is not good food. There should be a balance of different tastes and flavours. The harmony should be within the dish, or the plate, or the meal. It should be between what you are drinking and what you are eating. That’s what constitutes good cuisine.
We all enjoyed the main course and as we awaited quietly with full bellies; pondering on what choices we had been given. What is life without a little indulgence????. We all just had a little bit of everything…………. The classic lemon meringue pie was a delight and along with that was a delicious
and thick whipped farm cream with coffee and delicious flavours of the entire day make one indulge on the memories created and the laughter enjoyed always……………. Until the next time………………
Lemon Cordial Syrup:
- 2 cups raw sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups organic lemon juice, strained without pulp
- 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
- 3 tsps citric acid
Place the sugar, water and lemon juice into a suitable pot over a high heat, stir with a wooden spoon until all the sugar is dissolved. Bring up to the boil and then drop the heat to a simmer for it to reduce and thicken. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes until it is slightly thickened. Stir through the citric acid. Strain and pour immediately into a sterilised bottle with a lid. Set aside to cool. Deliciously refreshing. Serve 1 part lemon cordial to 4 parts water or soda. Kids just love this mix, and yes once again at least healthier than most cordial syrups out there……. And it is “homemade!”.
Though everything is organic for anyone it takes a bit of research and know how to make your health and lifestyle a lot better in every direction. You do not have to have a garden to enjoy organic vegetables. There are farmers markets that are stocked with fresh local organic produce and majority do deliver. A weekly box of organic vegetables does everyone’s family a world of good. Not only fresher but the taste lingers and the flavour is there…..