What a beautiful day we have in sunny, summery Melbourne today. The soaking we’ve had during the massive thunderstorms of last friday have left everything sparkling clean and fresh. As I look out of my window at the sad remains of my sunflowers I can’t help but smile at the vandals who are responsible for the demolition job: two sulphur crested cockatoos. They look like they are thoroughly enjoying life.
A friend brought me a couple of bags of little apples the other day. Out in the Yarra valley there are lots of little roads and laneways where you can find wild fruit trees growing along the road. Not a lot of traffic out there, so the apples are about as clean as they come. No wax or pesticides or herbicides or any-cides. They are wonky, small and irregular, some are bigger and others tiny, some have brown spots, some even have worms! (sign of an honest to goodness real apple that is!) There was about 6 kgs in total, no way am I going to eat my way through that many apples in a hurry, so I decided to do my mum proud and turn the lot into dutch apple sauce, (you can find the recipe on the recipe page). I would have preserved the lot in glass jars, but my collection is still a bit small, so decided to divide it into 6 batches and freeze them. Will see me right through winter hopefully.
I love gathering free foodstuffs from the roadside like that. There is something to be found all through the year, from onion weed, cleavers and nettles in spring (great steamed as green vegetables, but we’ll get to that in time) to dandelions, blackberries, apples, cherryplums etc etc. All you need to do is look around…Another way of saving money on foodstuffs is going to the markets and buying a box of whatever is cheap and in season. Mangoes are going for $10.00 a box at the moment..and they are soooo ripe and juicy. I bought a box the other week. All I did was peel them and cut segments of the flesh which I laid out in layers on a tray. Once frozen all you need to do is separate the pieces and put them in a freezer bag. Great for smoothies over winter, and it beats the taste of canned mangoes any day.
I’ve got my eye on a couple of boxes of big fat juice tomatoes for next week…will keep you posted.