Posts Tagged ‘banana’

Harvest Monday and Garden Update, March 2017

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related.

February clicked over into March, and our stinking hot summer suddenly turned wet. It has rained and rained and rained. Couldn’t go outside because it was too hot; suddenly became couldn’t go outside because it was too wet. We lurched from an energy crisis (when industrial load had the potential to overlap with domestic “everyone gets home and switches the air-con on” load), to a severe storm and flood crisis.

The advantage of all this rain is that purslane has been popping up in my front lawn/dirt patch. Apparently, purslane grows in highly compacted soils (like mine) and is high in omega-3 fatty acids (this is new to me). Yay! I stir fried this with cabbage, and also added some to a cucumber salsa:

Cucumber salsa

Diced cucumber, pear, random herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon etc), s&p, apple cider vinegar & olive oil. Pretty simple!

I have never really understood the point behind a cucumber. Apart from turning it into a pickle, or eating it in a salad, what is the reason behind its existence? Then I found this salsa recipe in The Cook’s Companion, supposed to be an accompaniment to smoked fish… and I couldn’t stop making it, or eating it.

The armenian cucumber came from the February crop and swap event. I haven’t seen it in the shops before, I liked the taste, so I saved a few seeds to try and grow next season. The marigolds (edible flowers), also came from a crop swap event.

I checked on my bananas earlier in the week, and it appears that I had left them on the tree for too long. They’ve been forming since November, so about three months of ripening. After trimming the hand, clearing off the rotten bits, shooing away the cockroaches and the slugs, and cutting off the slightly nibbled bananas, here we have it.

Roll up, roll up, for the world’s smallest banana harvest!

World's smallest banana harvest

This is 1kg (including skins). Each banana was the size of your little finger, about 5cm or 2 inches long. They were very sweet. I couldn’t eat them all at once, and if I left them in the house unattended for more than a minute, he would throw them out.

Approx 400g tomatoes (no photo). I still have a few more left on the vine, but it is the last gasp of the summer crop. I must not plant tomatoes next year, I really need to give the beds a break.

Approx 10g random curcubit flowers.

The male flowers keep falling off the vine after they’ve done their thing. It seems a waste to let the snails get to them, so I have been adding them to stir fries like zucchini flowers.

Around the garden:

Random curcubit

My random curcubit is still going strong. I originally had three plants pop up in the full sun garden bed, and I transplanted two of the plants to the other two beds. They are taking over where the tomato plants are dying off. I still haven’t identified it, except that it is definitely not a cucumber or a pumpkin.

Random curcubit

I’m thinking winter melon or luffa. Any ideas?

I killed my two cherry trees, which makes me sad. I think over enthusiastic grass trimming killed the roots.

I killed the native raspberry (too much heat when I planted it), but hopefully I have a lead on raspberry or youngberry canes to plant.

I started putting in some seedlings for autumn/winter. I had a bet each way – kohlrabi (cold crop), okra (in case the hot weather continues), and red rosso onion (seeds slightly out of date, hopefully I get some germination).

I am also hoping that this plant:

Papaya?

is the germination of a papaya? There have been guesses for sweet potato, or papaya, but no firm consensus yet. Ignore the red stems, that purslane lurking underneath. What do you think, dear reader?

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Banana Cookies

I borrowed this book from the library, and I have been all inspired, and tried several recipes from it already.

I spotted the banana cookies recipe and paused. Hmm. Banana? In a Biscuit?


Pastelitas de Platano
1/2 cup butter (125g)
1/2 cup sugar
1 ripe banana (I used two that weighed 125g, skin on)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together. Mix in the mashed banana and vanilla. Mix in the egg.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.

Combine the flour mixture with the banana mixture.

Drop small drops of mixture onto the baking tray, and bake for 5-6 minutes and then rotate the tray and bake for another 5-6 minutes.

When done, leave the cookies on the sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Cool on a wire rack.


Assemble the ingredients:
ingredients

So this is what the mixture looks like:

mixture

The mixture got all puffy from the bicarb and baking soda interaction. I hadn’t quite it expected to puff up quite so much. As I had two bananas on the verge of extinction, I used both.

Result:

Banana Cookies

Mmm, tasty.

They were soft on the inside and crispy on the inside when I sampled some immediately after baking. However, when I pulled them out of a container the next morning they had gone all soggy, so I rebaked them to make them them crispy again.

And the taste? Very Buttery. Very banana-like in flavour. Quite sweet – probably because of the double banana. If you are someone who doesn’t normally use butter, the taste really stands out.

This will be added to the favourites list.