Acorn Squash & Swimming in the Creek

We started doing things like taking the kids to visit this creek, they really enjoyed it. I also did things like buy winter squash seeds from Eden Seeds. We had grown self-sown Tom Thumb tomatoes and herbs before our seachange.

Actually before corporate life, we grew a good vegetable garden every year. Right from the start hubby had a chook house and vegetable garden beds with edging. He had already planted oranges and grapefruit trees, and there was an existing lemon and peach tree, that grew preserving peaches.

He also had a Fowlers outfit and lots of jars and the equipment. I remember cutting up fruit and vegetables for preserving while hubby was at work. Sometimes he cut things like cucumber with the oldfashioned bread slicer. His ex-mother-in-law was fond of bread and butter pickles so we made those as well.

The garden had the same plants each year. In 1983-84 I saw the pumpkin vine growing over the chook shed. We had staked tomatoes, probably Grosse Lisse, silverbeet, carrots, beans, zucchini, cucumber, capsicums, possibly some basil. There were some chives. In the end we ended up with some Jerusalem artichokes, I think some eggplants, I remember because the last two ended up in bottles or jars. There were always enough tomatoes to put into jars and we didn't buy tomatoes for cooking. We always had our own homemade sauce. Once we tried gingerbeer, I don't think I would do that again, maybe when we don't have children at home. Also, if anyone is thinking about it and put it into bottles and store it under the house, don't. One exploded. I am so glad my son wasn't walking past at the time.

We always had our own homemade drinks, old fashioned lemon cordial with citric and tartaric acid in it. It also had a lot of lemon peel when heating it up on the stove.

When my step-children were living with us, the eldest helped me with the silverbeet, and we made gnocchi and lasagne. Silverbeet and carrots are vegetables that here can be still picked from the garden in winter.

We had to grow kiwi fruit along the side of the house to keep it cool. We made kiwi sauce as well, and had some plum sauce in the cupboard. The cupboard was homemade, and full. It is very big and doesn't fit in every room. After our first shift when still in corporate life it was made into a book cupboard. It can be flat-packed.

Great joys then were Jerusalem artichoke soup, we had a great time with our cooking. I made nice meals every night for years. With my child and two step-children I suddenly stopped.

I had a recipe scrapbook that we started by putting in the recipes hubby had been making as he looked after his son for awhile by himself. His recipes are Anzacs and sweet & sour fish sticks. I cooked from 80s Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks. Some of those recipes are still favourites, though we have found some recipes now that we like better than those rich dishes I cooked in those days. One was Osso Bucco and I liked to put in Anchovy Sauce. My bottle ran out and the only thing I can replace it with is an online Anchovy product that is similar. I had Anchovy Duck as a favourite hunting recipe, and grape stuffed quail, rabbit with onions. I had a nice big Beverly Sutherland Smith cookbook. My first try at different types of cooking was with a Ellen Sinclair book. We had an abattoir nearby, I sent my second stepson down there to get things like 1kg veal roast. I tried that here and didn't get the response I wanted. Things have probably changed. I like to cook veal roast with green olives and have the left overs for vitello tonnato.

We did actually get a larger vegetable garden on the block outside our fence. I think we grew beetroot too. Yes, we pickled it and it tasted exactly like the canned beetroot.

So back to our seachange and our very slow reacquainance with growing vegetables.

So at the end of our second year we had okra growing for a few short weeks until it died. We also tried collard greens. I just was inspired by the American world that was opened up to me on the net. I enjoyed seeing the collard greens seeding down. I had a go at the squash bread. Not something Australians would make usually. That started me cooking the odd thing. I tried a few acorn squash recipes because I didn't want to waste them. The last link shows what the squash looks like. A little hard to peel.

I did cook when my husband worked in the factory as he worked afternoon shift. At that time, with supermarkets so handy, there were lots of pies, and fish fingers cooked, but to be fair I was probably pregnant with my fifth child at the time. I do like peeling spuds.

Then the fried green tomatoes!! Hubby loved them. Some of the recipes I got from forums. I am pretty sure that in that summer that a unknown pumpkin came up in the scrap heap and turned out to have lovely pumpkins on it, we think Jarradales.


flmom said…
Yum, yum, yum ... sounds like you had many wonderful things growing (my mouth is watering thinking of it all).

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