It’s still winter in Australia, but you’d never know it with these gorgeously warm days that are so balmy I’m barefoot and in sundresses from morn until night.
Our sheep and goats have been giving birth to the cutest little bubs. Lillypilly is a sturdy little lamb, already starting to kick and leap and munch on grass beside her mama, Emma.
Jemima is a gorgeous little kid who is snuggly and sweet and has a stalwart babysitter in the form of our Maremma, Apollo. He faithfully licks her clean and keeps her safe while her mum is off feeding with the other goats.
It’s been a busy week on the farm as we work hard to get the gardens and orchards ready for spring.
I’ve been hauling armloads of soybean hay to mulch garden pathways, and finished pruning the last orchard and used the good cuttings to start new trees and the measly cuttings for the smoker where we’ll soon be hanging the eight hams that are currently curing in a brown sugar and molasses brine.
I’ve been spending hours each day in the gardens, harvesting rhubarb, golden beets, chioggia beets, celeriac, rainbow chard, peas, leeks, and purple carrots. I love seeing all the different colors of these gorgeous vegetables, and coming up with scrumptious ways to use them.
I made a moist rhubarb cake with crumble topping, and roasted the rest of the rhubarb with honey and cinnamon to stuff in crepes. The beets were luscious roasted, and the carrots and celeriac were lovely mashed with potatoes and olive oil. Rainbow chard is beautiful sauteed with garlic, raisins, and pine nuts.
Today I harvested these oh-so-cheerful watermelon radishes. I am utterly charmed by their lime green rims and fuchsia middles.
They have quite a kick at the end, so I decided to slice them thinly and quick pickle them with cumin seeds and pink peppercorns. The sugar in the brine offsets the heat of the radishes and the cumin pairs well with the intense flavor. They’re so nice and refreshing, just what we need as we face a coming heatwave.
Today I’m taking more cuttings of elderflowers, hoping to be able to plant a gorgeous new hedge that will provide us with elderflowers and elderberries for many years to come. They’re such nourishing, healing, and delicious things to have in the pantry to make herbal tea, elderberry syrup, and elderflower cordial.
Quick Pickled Watermelon Radishes
4-5 watermelon radishes, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 pink peppercorns
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- Using mandolin, thinly slice radishes and pack loosely into a small, clean, sterilized jar. Set aside.
- In medium saucepan combine remaining ingredients and bring to boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, pour over radishes to cover by 1/2 inch, gently tapping jar on counter to release air bubbles.
- Cover and refrigerate 2-3 days until ready to eat.