Tuesday, 15 April 2008


The Americans may be ever so slightly un-environmentally minded (I gather from Pattie!), in general that is, but one in particular is exceedingly generous! I did an ordinary thing - sent seeds from my garden and Outback Pride spices to Pattie, of Foodshed Planet, and in return she made me an extraordinarily beautiful journal, out of her hand-made paper! The paper contains flowers and herbs from her garden and the little chicken on the front has rosemary wings and calendula feet and a seashell from the coast of Florida. The inside pages are hand-made paper from India and each page has the imprints of various leaves on it. The whole thing is so special I couldn't possibly write in it! And, like in the song in that old movie we all grew up on here in Australia (and elsewhere, no doubt), it is ...tied up with string, ...making it one of my favourite things !

Everyday I look at where the hits to the blog have come from and, until now, there has always been two big blank spots over Russia and China. Well, just now someone from Moscow arrived and I hope they will return and maybe even leave a message one day. Moreover, it was a direct hit! No searching, they just came bang into the middle of the Hills and Plains Seedsavers. China is still blog-hit-less except for the odd visitor from Hong Kong, but maybe some English-speaking person from mainland China too will one day crash in the land of Oz and find refuge with us. Feedjit is fun!

This may be the last major picking of these vegetables this year so I couldn't resist one more little effort of showing them off. What else could I do? Not only do these capsicums look good but they are mouth-wateringly fantastically great to eat raw or cooked. Last night I did the regular roasting thing but the skins are so thin I hardly bother peeling them at all. I just scooped out the seeds of some of the pomegranates I bought at Willunga on Saturday, mixed them with a tiny bit of Maggie Beer's superb Vino Cotto (a rich, syrupy, piquant, slow-cooked grape juicy, balsamicy drop) and spooned this over all the roasted vegetables along with a bit of salt and Barry Beach's pepper. Threw some mint leaves over (oh yes, it is picking-in-the-dark-time-of-year again) and voila, heaven on a plate. (I wonder how you say 'voila' in Italian.)

You may think that I have dozens of these capsicum bushes but nearly all those I have picking and photographing have come from 3 plants. There are 3 other plants but they have not been nearly such good bearers - soil, water, aspect - who knows really but the 3 best are in a group in the centre. Plus there is one plant of the round-shaped variety, which I planted very late but has still done very well.

I have just been out to water my seeds and I discovered that the capsicums are flowering all over again! Whether they will develop into anything of course depends on the weather and I, for one, hope it pours with rain and is cold enough soon to freeze the flowers in mid-flight, so to speak. But if we are going to have summer all year long, at least we will have capsicums, capsicums and more capsicums!


Veggie Gnome said...

Yum, yum, yum! That looks very inviting! Some of my capsicums are doing the same thing - flowering and setting fruit again. Strange, but lovely. :)

What are the small round ones? Do you have the name of this variety? They look great for stuffing and serving as nibbles.

Pattie, that handmade paper and notebook look fantastic! What a lovely idea! :)

Kate said...

The round ones are Pimento and the long ones are Red Cornos. The Pimentos are about the size of a tennis ball. Some of the Red Coenos are at least 20cm long.

Pattie Baker said...

So glad you got the package, Kate! Your capsicum seeds were tucked into my spring soil just the other day (the psinach seeds have been reluctant to show their little faces yet)! So, hopefully the growing abundance of our relationship will continue to flower.

chaiselongue said...

These look lovely, Kate! Encouragement for us in the northern hemisphere just about to plant out ours in the next few weeks.
Last autumn our plants continued flowering into October and November until the first cold weather and we were picking from them until then too. I think if you can protect them from cold they'll keep going through the winter.

Jumbleberry Jam said...

Gorgeous! And your roasting marinade sounds positively divine. Have you posted pictures of your capsicum plants? I'd love to see what these amazing producers look like :-)

Kate said...

Inanna, click on the photos link in the side bar and go to March 08.

Pattie, its not sounding good for the spinach seeds but they are so viable ...what's the temperature there now? Maybe sow a few in a pot and keep them aside and see what happens.I am sure they will suddenly appear once everything's right!As I said before, I usually sow them in autumn, in fact I sowed some yesterday!