Northern Outlook : August 30th 2014
NORTHERN OUTLOOK, AUGUST 30, 2014 11 the family meals outside. Of course, there is still a real nip in the air, so the only time to really enjoy eating al fresco is in the late morning sunshine. So, as winter sports draw to a close, it is Beautiful brunch munches A By SARAH TURPITT ll this talk of springtime has me eyeing up the outdoor living area and optimistically moving some of The batter should be a bit lumpy, so don’t over-mix it. Fold in the blueberries. Lightly coat a large non-stick frying pan with butter and heat gently. Using a 1⁄4 cup, drop the batter onto the frying pan. Cook until bubbles appear on top and time to reinstate the leisurely weekend brunch. Swap the manic scramble of soccer boots and brollies for an hour or so sharing a meal with your nearest and dearest. A good brunch should be packed with nutrients, and contain plenty of protein, fibre, and fresh fruit and vegetables where you can. Take some all-time family favourites and load them with wholesome ingredients for a great meal, rounded out with fresh fruit and homemade juices. Blueberry and LSA pancakes Everyone loves blueberry pancakes, and these are fortified with linseed, sunflower and almond (LSA) powder, which adds a nutty texture and extra nutrients with stick-to-your-ribs staying power. Add some cafe-style glamour with a dollop of lemonand vanilla-scented thickened yoghurt. Makes about 12. ❚ 11 ❚ 1 ⁄4 ⁄2 ⁄4 cups flour cup LSA powder ❚ 2 Tbsp sugar ❚ 11 tsp baking powder start to burst. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown. Repeat, wiping the pan clean between batches. Serve with the lemon and vanilla Greek yoghurt. Green eggs and ham ❚ 1 ⁄4 ⁄2 tsp baking soda ❚ Pinch salt ❚ 1 cup milk ❚ 1 cup natural yoghurt ❚ 2 eggs, lightly beaten ❚ 1 Tbsp butter, melted, plus more for pan ❚ 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries To serve, mix: ❚ 1 ❚ Juice and zest of 1 lemon ❚ 1 ⁄2 ⁄2 ❚ 1 Tbsp runny honey Whisk together the flour, LSA, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, yoghurt, eggs, and butter, and whisk until just moistened. cup Greek or hung yoghurt tsp vanilla essence One of my favourite Dr Seuss books brought to life, this cross between an omelette and a frittata serves four. Use a cheese of your choice – a sharp cheddar or creamy blue makes for extra flavour. A heavy-based non-stick pan is a great advantage when making green eggs and ham. Serves 4. ❚ 4 big handfuls spinach, trimmed and washed ❚ 6 eggs ❚ Salt and pepper ❚ 1 Tbsp butter ❚ 1 ⁄4 cup grated cheese ❚ 6 slices ham Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a 20cm frying pan. Add the spinach and cook it until it has completely wilted – about 1 minute. Drain the spinach, squeezing out as much water as possible, and chop it finely. Break the eggs into a bowl. Whisk them together, and season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and combine. Place the pan back on the heat and melt the butter. Add the egg mixture. Cook, stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the eggs begin to thicken – about 30 seconds.With the spatula, pull the edges in towards the centre allowing the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. When the eggs are mostly solidified, top with the ham and grated cheese, and place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes, until the eggs are just set. Serve immediately. Waikatofood.blogspot.co.nz. By ROBERT GUYTON and VIRGIL EVETTS REPAIR YOUR VEGE BEDS FOR SPRING With spring almost upon us, it’s wise to spend time getting ready for planting the myriad things that love to start life in spring. If you’ve suffered a wet season, you’ll need to take care not to go trampling all over your soil or it will squash down and not recover. It’s the oxygen that is lost when soil is walked upon that is the problem here – anaerobic soil can’t support root growth, so keep off until it’s dry enough to sustain your weight. You could lay down boards and walk on those if you’re itching to get under way, but waiting is the best option. To prepare your soil, use a fork. If possible, retain the profile of the soil – that is, don’t flip it over, turn it under, or stir things up too much, you’ll only bring weed seeds up and encourage them to grow. Cultivate your vege beds, then leave them unplanted for a couple of weeks, allowing any weeds to germinate. Then take your handheld hoe and run it through the soil, pulling and pushing the blade just below the surface so as to cut off the weeds without churning up the soil. Do this twice and you’ll beat most of the weeds in your garden. It’s a tried and true method to reduce your gardening workload. BUY AND PLANT ASPARAGUS CROWNS NOW Early spring is the right time to start an asparagus bed. Asparagus requires a large investment of space – at least 40cm per plant, and no fewer than 10 plants for reasonable harvests – and a degree of patience. Remember, you will be waiting at least two years for your first harvest. So, this is not a crop to be taken lightly. However, it’s far from difficult to grow, and once established, will produce spears every spring for at least two decades, although it is deciduous and accordingly dies down to ground level in winter. Asparagus likes rich, fertile soil, excellent drainage, and pH levels leaning more towards alkaline than acid. Based on its origins as a coastal plant, it’s often said that asparagus plants benefit from a splash of sea water now and then. This is likely to do quite a bit more harm than good, though – especially to soil health. Asparagus crowns are usually grown in deep trenches, covered in mounds of soil to encourage long, tender, blanched spears in spring. Dormant, year-old crowns are available in garden centres now. Alternatively, you can get seeds from Kings Seeds and Italian Seeds Pronto. Seed is a highly affordable means of producing lot of plants for very little cost. Asparagus seedlings can be grown in deep ■ This column is adapted from the weekly e-zine Get Growing from New Zealand Gardener magazine. For a free sample, visit: getgrowing.co.nz or to subscribe, visit: mags4gifts.co.nz or call 0800 MAGS4GIFTS. trays for the first year and planted out around this time next year. The plants are either female or male, and the latter are preferable for the home garden, as they produce the thickest spears and will not spread seeds all around the place. Start asparagus seeds in goodquality seed-raising mix. Bury them as you would a pea seed – although perhaps not quite so deep – and provide heat from below until the first tiny spear emerges. This usually takes about two weeks. After this, give them plenty of sun, water and food.
August 27th 2014
September 3rd 2014