Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Staycation Gardening and Reading

This is today's pickings from my small suburban backyard veggie garden.  Banana peppers, a variety of tomatoes, green dwarf beans, snow peas and spring onions.   Later on i picked oregano, garlic and basil to make the evening meal.   I am besotted.  Truly.  I could spend all day out there just fiddling with this and that. Today i had a visitor, Ella the Beautiful, and i was so proud to show her how everything is growing.  I've a crop of tomatoes just turning colour and if i can keep the birds away, they will be gobbled up, fresh, on salads or gently warmed with eggs.  I will admit to missing toast.

I'm finding that everything grows better when you pack it all in.   In just this small section of one of the wall garden we have rosemary, dwarf beans, basil, spring onions and several tomato bushes that reach the eaves, peppers, lemon balm, dwarf marigolds and alyssum .

Don't ask me how ill be picking these ones.  I tried pruning off some of the leaves and its way above my head even on a step ladder.  Plenty of flowers up there.

Ella believes they are so healthy as they are protected by the eaves, get the warmth from the wall (which faces North East and they are watered by soaker hose which is now well under the mulch created from leaves and grass clippings.  Birds are my only enemy, so far.

Under the protection of the sunflowers and corn are tiny yellow zucchinis.  I'm keeping my eye on them, no marrows this year.  
I think having the lavender bushes throughout my veggies are helping with pollination.  They are always covered in bees.

Small but mighty.  These dwarf yellow capsicums are so sweet and the dwarf beans are prolific for such a small plant.

  My lettuce are a bit small at the moment but throughout the bed i have baby tomatoes coming up.

Which leads me to these beauties.  What to do with them?  "Don't tell me she is actually going to pick something and use it instead of just looking at it" i hear Jessie say.

Stuffed Banana Peppers in Meat Sauce

If you are not on a carb free diet then you could do this with cannelloni.

Start by cutting the end off near the stem and using a knife, de-seed them and wash out, shake dry.

Mix together

250gms of ricotta cheese
2 cloves of garlic, squished and chopped (from my garden, of course)
2 sprigs of oregano and 4 large basil leaves (same again) chopped
2 slices of mild salami (which were left over from home made pizzas with meat base), chopped finely

Using a knife, stuff small amounts down the end of the pepper to fill and as it thickens just use a spoon.
Place on top of home-made meat sauce (because there isn't any other kind worth using) which was taken from the freezer.

I covered this with foil for 30 min on 200 (spooning sauce over)  and then took the foil off for 15 min on 180.

I served it with a sweet potato bake and my green beans.  Yes, i can use sweet potato on my diet on occasions.  It has such great nutritional value and is low on GI and is therefore acceptable despite being a carb.

Sweet Potatoes & Paleo

Just layer in a buttered dish, sliced sweet potato,  onions and cream with sprinkle of cheese, repeat several times, cover and put in with the pepper dish.  Take foil off the same time and serve together.

The stuffed peppers were really lovely and im glad i put the chopped salami in the ricotta for flavour. Funny when you are having no carbs or sugar how sweet veggies can taste.


My summer break started mid 24th and i will return to work on 5th.  Apart from gardening and doing a few projects i plan on reading.  I may have to do some housework in there as well but boring!!!!

So far I've finished the new Cathy Kelly book.

and I'm just finishing the last book in this trilogy by Nora Roberts.  That's 4 books so far which i highly recomment.   I love Irish writers or books set in Ireland.

I've got the third book in the series by Fiona McCallum  (following Saving Grace & Time will Tell) to read next

and then if i have time, i might squeeze in The Road Back and/or Gray Mountain.

Yes, i am a prolific reader and its been a while (maybe six months) but once i start, well..........

So, im off to read some more.  My next post will be about the raising of the great grape trellis.  I've squeezed in painting the poles today.   Living fences and no more neighbours clothes line, here i come.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. Your veggies look lovely, I'm also looking forward to reading Gray Mountain, will probably start it tonight.

  2. Oh my goodness, gorgeous veg, and that recipe looks divine. That is a brilliant vegie cannelloni. You are such a creative cook! I'll be putting those banana peppers on my planting list next year:)

  3. lovely garden! i went with throwing vegie seeds in the front with everything else, grows well like that i found
    have a great new year

  4. oh what a delightful post! lush green vegies and delicious food and I agree with you that squashing it all in together works very well. Am letting a lettuce and the silverbeet develop their seeds in the hope there'll be lots of freebies very soon.
    have a wonderful 2015 and I shall look forward to reading your posts and admiring your photos

  5. Lynda, your photos are a site for sore eyes. I'm so tired of grey and brown and we still have 3 and a half months of it to go! Thanks for the book recommendations too. :)


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