Tasty Little Morsels from the Garden

As well as growing our own vegetables here on the Farmlet, we are hoping that we’ll eventually be able to grow a lot of the seasonings we use on our food. The first step in this direction has been to plant a variety of culinary herbs. We are also keen to grow as many spices as we can. Today I spent some time harvesting coriander and celery seeds. I’ll save some of the coriander for planting, but mostly those seeds are to be kept to fill our spice jars.

Coriander seed pods

In the future, we hope to try growing and harvesting other spices: fennel seed, caraway, fenugreek, cumin, mustard and possibly even saffron, though I’m not sure how it would do here. We are also enjoying the spicy flavours of jalapeño, cayenne and Thai chili peppers in our late summer meals.

Jalapeño and cayenne chili peppers

I picked a bowl of nasturtium seeds a couple of days ago to make nasturtium seed “capers.” They are a lactic acid pickle, the recipe for which I found in Sandor Ellix Katz’s book, Wild Fermentation. The recipe worked really well, and the nasturtium seeds do end up tasting very like capers! Wild Fermentation is a fantastic book with lots of exciting recipes in it. I recommend it for anyone who’d like to explore the delicious and health-giving world of fermented food. The recipe instructions are clearly written, and I love the fact that they are interspersed with anecdotes featuring Katz’s colourful collection of friends. There is even an anecdote about milking goats. This is my kind of recipe book! I tried out Katz’s recipe for “sour beet pickle” today with the first of the beets harvested from the garden. Can’t wait for it to ripen so that we can taste it! Perhaps by next Autumn we’ll be growing our own caraway seeds for making sour beet pickle.

2 Responses to “Tasty Little Morsels from the Garden”

  1. limukala says:

    I certainly hope basil was only left off that list through oversight, otherwise all those beautiful tomatoes are going to be lonely. Oregano is another essential, especially is the Mexican/Carribean variety (which isn’t really Oregano, but tastes better, and is far easier to grow, harvest and utilize) will grow in your area.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Actually, we are up to our eyeballs in basil at the moment, so fortunately the tomatoes aren’t lonely. I’d like to get hold of some Mexican oregano (that’s the kind with rather fleshy leaves, right??). I think I’ve encountered it in the USA, but haven’t seen it here in New Zealand yet. I’ll have to keep looking. As it is, we only have regular oregano. Still good!