MuswellHillbilly


How to make home made elderflower cordial
May 19, 2015, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Ingredients

  • 30 elderflower heads

  • 1.7litres/3 pints boiling water

  • 900g/2lb caster sugar

  • 50g/2oz citric acid (available from chemists)

  • 2 unwaxed oranges, sliced

  • 3 unwaxed lemons, sliced

    Method

  1. Gently rinse over the elderflowers to remove any dirt or little creatures.

  2. Pour the boiling water over the sugar in a very large mixing bowl. Stir well and leave to cool.

  3. Add the citric acid, the orange and lemon slices, and then the flowers.

  4. Leave in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

  5. Strain through some muslin and transfer to sterilised bottles.

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Asparagus season!
May 16, 2015, 8:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

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May in England is the boss. Lilac, wisteria, asparagus (and voting – although that’s another story). We try to eat asparagus every day when its in season, as its gorgeous stuff and we can’t bear to eat it when its been flown half way round the world.

Some amazing recipes here.



Ain’t that the truth!
March 5, 2015, 9:30 am
Filed under: Edible Gardening | Tags: , , , ,

Growing your own food is like printing money



African recipes
January 13, 2015, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Seasonal Recipe | Tags: , , , , , ,

Right, today I am posting some recipes from Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Irio (Kenyan maize/corn and bean mash)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup/200g haricot, red kidney or sugar beans, soaked and cooked
  • 3 cups/ 450 g corn kernels, cooked
  • ½ pound/ 225 g potatoes, chopped
  • 21/2 cups/ 590 ml stock
  • 1 pound /450 g pumpkin leaves or spinach, chopped

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes in the stock for 10 minutes or until almost cooked; then add the beans, corn and spinach or pumpkin leaves
  2. Continue to cook together until the potatoes are ready, the beans and corn hot and the spinach is cooked
  3. Drain off most of water into a bowel and keep it. Add a little butter or margarine to the bean and potato mix and mash well. Add some of the cooking water to get the consistency you prefer and serve hot.

Covo: Traditionally cooked greens with tomato (Zimbabwe)

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 bundle Covo (greens, such as kale or cabbage)
  • Tablespoon of peanut butter (optional)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Method

1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions & garlic for 1 minute
2. Add the greens and season and cook for 1 minute
3. Add tomatoes, then peanut butter if desired and stir.
4. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 3 mins, then serve.



Marvellous Mushrooms
January 13, 2015, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Edible Gardening | Tags: , , ,

If, like me, you get a bit twitchy in winter without lots of lovely veg to grow, why not try an indoor mushroom kit?

Mellors and I bought a range of kits from Espresso Mushroom Company, which are cardboard boxes containing mushroom spores in a compost of coffee grounds. You just wet the contents and watch the mushrooms grow almost overnight.

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mushroom kit

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They grow so quickly (with almost creepy haste, like tasty, colourful Triffids)  – the kids love seeing how much bigger they are every day.  Give it a go. Mushroom risotto for the Hillbillys tonight!



Seasonal recipes for August
July 29, 2014, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Edible Gardening, Seasonal Recipe | Tags: , ,

Swiss-Chard

Sautéed swiss chard with garlic 

Ingredients
1kg/2½lb chard, Swiss, ruby or rainbow are fine
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
juice and zest 1 orange
2 tbsp sunflower oil

Method
1. Take the chard leaves off the stalks and shred the leaves and stalks finely. Keep them separate.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the onions and the chard stalks and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic, chard leaves and orange zest and mix together. Season well and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
3. Stir in the orange juice and serve at once.

Apricot and cinnamon fritters

Ingredients
100g/ 3 ½ oz self-raising flour
5 tbsp cold sparkling water
300ml/ ½ pint vegetable oil
2 apricots, halved and stones removed
30g/1oz icing sugar, to dust
1 tsp cinnamon

Method
1. Whisk together the flour and sparkling water to make a thick batter.
2. Place the vegetable oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat until a small cube of bread sizzles and turns golden when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
3. Dip the apricots in the batter and gently lower into the hot oil. Fry until crisp and golden.
4. Carefully remove the battered apricots with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
5. Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon while hot and serve



Celebrity gardener to narrate GardenAfrica radio appeal

GardenAfrica is delighted to announce that gardening enthusiast Monty Don will be narrating our next BBC Radio 4 Appeal!

Please listen in as Don tells the story of Beauty, a Zimbabwean woman and how GardenAfrica has changed her life.

The Appeal will be broadcast on Sunday 3 August at 7.55am and again on Thursday 7th August at 15.27. 

Monty Don presented BBC’s Gardeners World TV program from 2003-2008. He is passionate about organic gardening and is President of the Soil Association.

Read more about Radio 4 appeals here.

Monty Don