Tag Archives: Green

Grow your own Chilli’s – Week 2

Last week, I wrote a post about my ambitious attempt to plant 15 varieties of Chilli’s, bedding down 4 seeds of each for a total of 60 plants.  What I am going to do with 60 Chilli plants, should they all be successful, is beyond me, especially as one of the varieties will grow to be 4 metres tall and produce more than 20kg chilli’s in a season (and I planted 4 of these seeds too).  I guess those who have followed my blog thus far have realized that I am not one to think things through to their conclusion much of the time.

Still, the start of week 2 is here, and what an exciting week 1 it was!  It was way more exciting than watching grass grow, which is odd because here there was not even any plants to watch grow.  That was, until this morning…but more on that later.

It turns out that I really do need to water these things daily.  The paper egg cartons are a great idea, but they wick the water away from the soil very readily, especially with the ocean breeze blowing across them.  I learnt very quickly that a 2 day watering cycle wasn’t going to work.  Not only were they bone dry at the time of watering, but one occasion I found one of the cartons on the floor, contents partially spilled.

I am not sure if it was the wind that blew it of the table, I actually doubt it, or whether it was some wicked local animal playing mischievous games with my crop.  Number one suspect is my English Staffy, Brunson, but he denied any knowledge.  As you can see by the photo, however, he is hardly a dog to be trusted.

Brunson: Suspect #1, can’t be trusted.

I recovered about 4 seeds from the mess, and given the bulk of the soil was still in the cartons, I am pretty sure that most of the seeds stayed in the carton.  I did replant the escapees, and topped up the lost soil, so let’s hope that tray sprouts some time soon.

Today we are going to reveal the seeds planted in tray 1.  The seeds in tray 1 were given to me by Cecil at work, and I am not 100% sure of the actual varietal.  I can only go by what he has described, and maybe make some assumptions.

Tray 1, with 3 kinds of chilli’s

As it so happens, tray 1 is also the home of my first sproutling.  This morning, when I opened the cartons to water them, I noticed one of the seeds had burst forth a pale green shoot.  Very excited, especially as I didn’t expect any action until mid way through week 3.

My first chilli!

Seed #1:  Round Red Mild Chilli.

This is the seed that has sprouted for me already.  If it is as described, I will probably save these chilli’s for one of 2 uses:  stuffing (with a cream cheese mix) or pickling.  From the description, it is either a Pimento (very mild) or a Cherry Chilli (mild).

Seed #2:  Mild Bell Chilli

So, to me, this is a capsicum, or Bell Pepper.  It may end up being something more similar to a pimento, which is pretty much what I imagine Seed #1 to be, given the vague description given to me.  This blog entry is rapidly going down hill!  If it is the Pimento or Cherry Chilli, I’ll be looking to do the same as seed #1.

If it is a capsicum, I will be eating these raw…or roasting them and preserving them in oil.

Seed #3:  Long mild chilli

Again, a very vague description that could mean anything, however I am thinking they are the generic “Red Chilli” and “Green Chilli” which is common in mega marts around here.  Quite mild, i’ll be using them to give flavour to salsa’s and mild curries, as well as using them for Taco night, given the kids are not exactly chilli heads.

Pickled Chilli’s
(recipe courtesy Jamie Oliver)

  • 600gr / 1lb 5oz medium green chillies
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 6 heaped tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 litre / 1 3/4 pints white wine vinegar or rice vinegar

Stuffed Cherry Peppers (or Pimento’s)

  • 100g chopped and seeded Kalamata Olives
  • 100g soft goats cheese
  • 50g plain yoghurt
  • 1 lg garlic clove, minced

Blend ingredients and stuff the chilli’s.  Serve raw.  Pickled chilli’s can also be used here.

or

  • 150g cream cheese
  • 100g dried apricots, diced fine
  • 20g slivered almonds, toasted
  • pinch salt

Blend and stuff into chilli.  Wrap chilli with bacon or proscuitto, and bake in a hot oven until tender.

Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Next week we’ll cover the seed that have been planted in tray 2.  Hopefully i’ll get a few more sproutlings, and hopefully my wife will remember to look after whilst I am out of town this week, lol!

As always, enjoy the meal.

Cheap Feta Cheese: and Kiwi Fruit Cup Cake Muffin Thingies

If you’ve read very many of my posts you will know that I have a compulsion to purchase food that is on sale.  Probably the worst manifestation of this low grade mental illness was the day I came home from the store with 5kg of Feta Cheese.  What can I say, it was reduced to less than $5/kg, and who can pass up that…am I right?

Who can't use a block or two of feta?

Unfortunately, my cunning plan involved storing it all locked away in tubs covered with Olive Oil, and my financial calculations failed to take into account the 4 litre can of Olive Oil I used.  On top of this, my food chemistry calculations failed to recognize that all that Olive Oil would gel in the dark recesses of the refrigerator rendering feta extraction to be so messy and impracticable that half of it remains today, 8 weeks later.

Come to think of it…a few lemons and my food processor, and I might have enough feta salad dressing to feed a small nation.

I think that sub-consciously I am playing a game not dissimilar to Masterchef’s Mystery Box challenge, except the Mystery Box ingredient selection is made by the mark-down Genie at my local grocery store.  Now obviously, due to free market economic forces, it’s never the sought after good stuff that’s marked down.  It’s usually something just a little obscure.  But occasionally, like the surprise my wife left me when she unloaded 2kg of Kiwi Fruit in the fridge, it can be downright delicious…and wonderfully in season.

Thank-you taste.com.au for the beautiful image

Well, dear Jeri…and the Coles Markdown Genie…CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Kiwi Fruit Cupcakes

  • 2 Cups Kiwi Fruit (about 6) peeled and finely diced
  • 4 Cups Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Cups White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter or Margarine (room temp)
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 2 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

All the stuff you need to make this simple cake

Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius (350f)

Cream the butter/margarine and sugar.  Add the honey, and beat.  Add the eggs, and beat to combine.  While beating, sift in the flour and cinnamon.  The mix will be a bit stiff, but that is how it is meant to be.

Spoon the mix into some greased muffin/cupcake tins, and bake for 30-40 minutes (check after 30 using a skewer).

Ready for a quick trip in the hot box...look closely you can see the green chunkiness

Cool them on a wire rack, and when room temperature, add your favourite frosting/icing on top (I love a good cream cheese icing, personally).  For a bit of fun, top that with some slice kiwi, and you’ll be the coolest kid in the class.

I really need to get a better oven...damned uneveness

That only leave me with 15 more Kiwi Fruits to use….hmmm….I wonder if I can make a jam with them.  Green Jam should be fun.

If only St. Patricks day hadn’t passed by 2 weeks ago.

Enjoy the cup cakes.

Found some leftover Green Cream Cheese Frosting...PERFECTION!!