October 26th 2011

First newsletter back and already it’s week 3 – how did that happen?! This week we’ve seen it all: summer heat & humidity; wintry storms & sleeting rain…  the garden is bursting with life and we’ve loads of great produce to inspire us!

The globe artichokes have been a massive hit with the children! Not only have the plants been astonishing to look at, the flower buds that we know as the artichokes have been a source of much surprise: in how bitter the stalks taste (rub your finger over one at the grocer’s and lick it – you will be amazed and revolted!) and by how delicious the nibbled petals are, dribbled in our lemon vinaigrette – and of course the wonderful surprise of the artichoke heart once the choke has been scraped off. I’d forgotten how totally yummy it is and have been almost begrudgingly handing the cleaned up and garlicky hearts over to the children…!

We’ve made some fabulous salads using up the broad beans that have been springing up, Jack and the Beanstalk-like, in the last weeks, with shaved radish and the skinny leaves of wild rocket… the normal rocket has grown crazily and the large leaves are now too spicy for our salads so we’ve made a sauce by wilting them with a little garlic, mixing in some ricotta mixed with lemon zest and tossing it in our hand-rolled rustic spinach ‘corzetti’ coin pasta…

The garden beds have been bursting with beetroot so we’ve been a bit cheeky and made treats of beetroot and chocolate cupcakes dotted with whipped cream and edible flowers – delicious and beautiful too!

So, for the next menu I think borscht will be the go – steaming hot if this crazy cold weather continues or chilled if we get the summer heat back (!) made with our own carrots, leeks & veg stock – loads of silverbeet and spinach for some spanakopita… and hopefully some more artichokes for the classes that haven’t yet had!

The Big Ask: we’re on the lookout for large colourful side-plates to use as our share plates so if you’re thinking of updating your own or you see any going op-shop cheap, please think of us & drop ‘em in!  Also I must say a big thanks to all the volunteers who have seamlessly slipped over to us in term 4 but as always, we do need a few more saviours who are able to commit to a term’s worth of sessions… Wednesdays 11am & 1.30pm and Thursdays 1.30pm are most in need so please send along anyone that is vaguely interested!

Cheers & buon appetito! Melissa

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