It’s been fun watching the news with everyone’s highlights of summer. Camping adventures, favourite hot spots to visit, friends and family times, and of course long warm evenings to garden in .
Our eldest son was delighted last week to read in a fishing mag that 3 of the hot spots for catching are in bays near by. The article in the National Fishing read even gave GPS co-ordinates which he swore me not to share. I had to giggle at the innocence of a 12 year old, but did make the time to punch them into my phone for future foraging. Clearly it was a man that wrote the article and perhaps a woman’s touch to include the finer details like the intricate directions. I feel a fishing trip coming on in Autumn. With the haul, (not that we normally ever manage to catch a thing – our luck of course is about to change) I’ll snap up some tasty fish pies with fresh summer herbs that I’ve been freezing in bulk lots.
I learnt a tip years ago as my whole food obsession kicked up a gear, to freeze the herbs in good quality olive oil. The oil protects the herbs from being burnt. The easiest way to do this is in ice cube trays. The oil cubes are simple and ready to use in cooking when you need fresh flavour out of season. I love to add these herb cubes to home made aioli dip and fresh baked piles of herb, buckwheat and spelt flat bread. Dips, healthy breads and friends go together like retro rugs, mulled wine and braziers in winter. Oh the things to look forward to as we journey together here in the Palmers blog!
For now though I have some sharing of what you do with the glut of courgettes you may have if you’re like me. At spring planting time I always throw in extra yellow courgettes seedlings. I changed the name of yellow courgette to ‘butter courgette’ in our house. If you say ‘butter beans’, ‘butter courgette’, or ‘butter eggs’ then Mr 11 year old will eat them; what’s in a name eh! This year I didn’t plant my courgettes until two days after settlement on our house in late December and we still have an abundance. It was Si’s 40th birthday and I was building raised gardens and layering up self composting beds that I now don’t need to dig ever again.
It has been a great joy to harvest courgettes in abundance over the last several weeks. I see they are still so pricey at the supermarket; what a huge saving growing your own food is after the initial outlay. ‘Butter courgettes’ have being flung into flans, spirilised into raw pasta, grated into fritters and after a little play around, have even been hidden them in a moist plum buckwheat cake I conjured up to send something interesting to our youngest son’s nut free kindy yesterday.
I thought you might enjoy a try, so here we go!
Maria’s Hidden Fruit and Vege Cake
- 3 large ripe bananas
- 2 organic eggs
- 1 cup rough cut yellow or green courgettes with skin on
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1¼ cups buckwheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
- 2 cups plums with stones cut out
- small amount of coconut oil or olive oil for greasing pan
1. Peel bananas and pop into kitchen whizz with eggs and courgettes and process on high until batter is smooth. The rough cut the courgettes will blend to untraceable in the next step so save time by flagging using a cheese grater.
2. Add baking powder, buckwheat flour, mixed spice and vanilla essence. Blend again until combined.
3. Lastly add the de-stoned plums and pulse to smash up. Do not process until smooth or the cake will be soggy.
4. Pour into a greased 20cm tin and bake at 180 degrees for 30 mins in the middle of the oven. Test with a skewer that it comes out clean and if need be cook in 5 min intervals until skewer is clean.
5. Turn onto wire rack to cool and hide from kids and husband until ready to serve in lunch boxes or with a dollop of tasty coconut yoghurt for pudding.