Monday, 20 August 2012

Chickens hard at work

Our 6 chickens are enjoying eating the grubs and kikuyu in the south west corner of the garden. temp chicken run 1 (2)The yellow area of grass was covered by black plastic for 8 weeks. This started the process of destroying the kikuyu, and now the chickens are scratching around and finishing the job for us. We know they like the corner because they now run from their permanent run to the temporary one when let our each morning. They are already making a good start at cleaning up the corner, and we plan to finish the job before the Fresh Food Fair in November. When cleared this will be the site for an orange tree.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Basil Pesto Pizza

Could basil be our favourite herb? Possibly. It’s so easy to grow, smells and tastes fabulous, you don’t have to share it with many bugs, and you can make a whole meal out of it!

Basil leaves

Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 60g pine nuts
  • 60g Parmesan cheese
  • basil (about 1 cup of very well-packed leaves)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt, and a sprinkle of pepper

IMG_3356

What to do

  • Wash and dry the basil leaves, then remove the leaves from the stems
  • Place the leaves in the bowl of the food processor and the stems in the compost bucket.
  • Peel the garlic, crush in the garlic crusher and add to the food processor, along with the pine nuts.
  • Add the oil and process the mix until you have a rough paste.
  • Using the spatula, scrape the pesto into the serving bowl and add the Parmesan and salt and pepper and stir to combine.

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Pesto is delicious all sorts of ways. We made some quick pizza bases based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe. (Using about 1 cup of self-raising flour, to half a cup of water per base, a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt).

After we’d rolled out the pizzas we spread a few tablespoons of natural yoghurt on the bases, then topped with the pesto.

They were very popular and I think we should have made more!

Monday, 5 December 2011

You won’t fool us!

It may have been quiet on these pages lately, but that's only because we've been so busy in the kitchen and garden classrooms! The garden has been a hive of activity as Winter and Spring crops were removed, soil replenished with compost and mulch, making way for Summer seedlings.

So, what does that leave to eat, trusty rhubarb of course!

Rhubarb & Yoghurt Fool

Ingredients
•    1 tbs Vanilla essence
•    1 cup of caster sugar
•    6 cups of yoghurt
•    12 stalks of rhubarb
•    1 cup of sugar
•    Zest and juice of an orange

What to do
For the rhubarbIMG_2919
•    Preheat oven to 150C
•    Remove the leaves from the rhubarb and wash well
•    Cut the rhubarb into 2cm batons and place in a baking tray
•    Sprinkle over the sugar, orange zest and juice
•    Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes until the rhubarb stems begin to soften (test with a fork or sharp knife), but still holds its shape

For the yoghurtIMG_2920
•    Measure out the yoghurt and put in a large mixing bowl
•    Add the caster sugar and vanilla, taste…
•    Get 25 small cups ready to assemble the fool

To assemble
•    Put a 1/4 cup of the yoghurt mixture in the cups
•    Add a few rhubarb pieces on top
•    Distribute the mixtures evenly between the cups

Monday, 5 September 2011

Thanks Mt Zero!

Our garden is very productive but there are some things we can't manage to grow and make ourselves.

One example is olive oil. mount_zero

Olives require a special environment to grow and then extracting their oil takes lots of skill and passion.

Thanks to the generosity of the Seymour family from Mt Zero Olives in the Grampians, we are able to use one of the freshest, locally produced, highest quality olive oils in our kitchen.

Readers will have noticed that we use olive oil in almost all of our savoury dishes. We also like to use it in sweet things. In this class we talked about textures in food, and we all loved the crunch the polenta gives this delicious cake. Enjoy on its own, or with poached fruit and mascarpone.

Olive Oil and Polenta CakeIMG_2372

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon 
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal 
3/4 cup instant polenta
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 
3/4 cup Mt Zero extra-virgin olive oil
Icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 200ÂșC. Grease and line a large springform pan. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in an electric mixer until fluffy and pale. In another bowl, sift the flour, almond meal, polenta and salt together. While still mixing, add half the olive oil, then half the dry ingredients until just combined. Repeat.

2. Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. The cake should be slightly brown on top, have come away from the edges slightly and spring back when touched.

3. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before running a knife around and removing. When completely cool, dust with icing sugar.

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Enjoy on its own, or with poached fruit and mascarpone. Feel free to mix and match the citrus in this cake; it’s wonderful with Meyer lemons, grapefruit and mandarins.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Handmade Noodles with Bok Choy & Broccoli

Today we wondered how to make noodles before we had a pasta machine. We loved watching the video and thought we’d give it a try, but ended up having to do it the way we know how, with a machine!

Traditional noodle making

‘Today in kitchen I made the noodles and had heaps of fun. We had to make noodles from scratch. We skipped the noodle dough round and round it went. After we skipped the noodles we had to put it in the pasta machine. And then we had to cut up the noodles.’ Taylah

IMG_2332

‘Today I made the sauce for the noodles. It had lots of healthy and yummy vegetables. My favourite part was getting the noodles and plopping them in the BIG saucepan. I would love to make them at home. Kitchen is a great place to be. Come down and see!’ Chloe

Use any kind of noodles for this recipe, or make your own!

Ingredients

  • 2 bok choy
  • head of broccoli
  • Spring onion
  • coriander
  • 1 cm piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • dash of sesame oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Handmade noodles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges

What to do

  • First, gather the vegetables from the garden or the bench and put in the sink to soak
  • Put a saucepan of water on to boil the noodles
  • Then, make the sauce...
  • Grate the ginger
  • Finely chop the garlic
  • Combine ginger, garlic, cornflour, sugar, sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  • Now prepare the vegetables...
  • Trim ends from the bok choy and broccoli, wash well and then cut each leaf into about 3 pieces
  • Cut the onion into wedges
  • Dice the spring onions
  • Heat oil in a hot wok until the surface shimmers slightly.
  • Add the onion and stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Then add the bok choy, cabbage and spring onions and stir for a few more minutes until all hot.
  • Cook the noodles quickly (for about a minute until they float)
  • Add the noodles and the sauce to the wok and stir well
  • Serve in 4 bowls ready to place on the dining tables

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Preserving and Learning with Lemons

What a wonderful time of year for citrus in our neighbourhood, we continue to enjoy the bounty of lemons that appear at our kitchen door!

Which brings us to preserving as a way of keeping our lemons to use throughout the year. We will also have some to sell at our Fresh Food Fair in October.

To integrate our kitchen classes with the business studies that our  Grade 5/6’s are currently undertaking in the form of ‘Earn and Learn’ our groups have to work out how much their preserved lemons cost to make, and if we want to make a profit, what we should sell them for at the Fair. Some of our ‘employees’ also got special awards for showing initiative during the class (including Tyela, Eilish, Chloe, Max and Lachlan with several more honourable mentions).

IngredientsIMG_0017[3]

  • 5 lemons
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 bay leaf per jar
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick per jar
  • Extra lemon juice

What to do

  • Cut the lemons into segments
  • Put in a large bowl with the salt
  • Massage the fruit vigorously to get the salt into the flesh
  • Pack neatly into jars with the skin facing out
  • Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick to the outside of the jar (so you can see it
  • Keep packing the lemons to the top, squashing them down as you go
  • Spoon the salt that is left in the bowl over the top
  • Cover the lemons with extra lemon juice if needed
  • Put the lids on firmly

Mmmmm Marshmallows!

The kids were pretty excited to hear that marshmallows were on the menu today, most not being aware that it was possible to make them. We were able to guess what makes them fluffy (eggs) and talk about why we can enjoy eating homemade treats more than bought ones (without all the additives, preservatives and artificial colours). You could flavour these with most types of juice or syrup, and colour them with raspberries. Skill and precision was required as we separated eggs, while care had to be taken as we heated sugar up to 125C.

‘Today In kitchen, Ryan, Nelson and I made Passionfruit Marshmallows. They looked tasty but we’re not able to eat them yet because they’re not set, but we had some left in the bowl (as it was very sticky!) so we had a little taste and it tasted like heaven.’ Eilish

Ingredients

  • ½ cup passionfruit juice, strained to remove the seedsIMG_2297
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 20g powdered gelatine
  • 2 eggwhites
  • a pinch of salt
  • Mix of 3 parts icing sugar and 1 part corn flour for dusting

What to do

  • Lightly grease and line the baking tray. Make sure the paper overhangs the edges.
  • Dust base liberally with icing sugar mix.
  • Combine passionfruit juice with gelatine in a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine caster sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, then increase heat to medium and cook for 5-10 minutes or until syrup reaches 125C on a sugar thermometer.
  • Remove from heat, add passionfruit mixture to syrup and stir until gelatine dissolves.
  • Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until frothy.
  • Then, gradually add passionfruit mixture, whisking continuously on medium speed until mixture has doubled in size, then slowly decrease speed and mix until mixture is warm (about 40C).
  • Pour into prepared cake pan, and using a lightly oiled spatula, spread evenly, then dust top liberally with icing sugar mix.
  • Stand at room temperature for 3 hours or until firm.
  • Using a sharp, serrated knife dusted with snow sugar, cut marshmallow into squares and roll in the icing sugar mix to coat.