One of the great things I've discovered about having our own veggie patch is that it makes us more connected with nature. We're now more mindful of what is in season. There was a time when I'd have thought nothing of buying peppers (or capsicums as they say here) in the middle of winter, particularly back in Ireland where food is relatively easy to ship in from all over the world year round. Now I'd actually feel a twinge of guilt, and of course with prices trebled or even quadrupled when fruit and veg is out of season, I'd feel it in my pocket too! Adventures with veggie patches do sometimes mean an overabundance of a particular fruit or vegetable. Recently, we experienced this with courgettes. Our one plant was tireless in rapidly producing courgette after courgette, some a foot long! It was somewhat overwhelming, but also a great opportunity to go on the Internet and discover lots of new recipes for, you guessed it, courgettes. Did you ever hear of courgette muffins? I certainly hadn't, and to be honest thought courgette muffins sounded a bit odd. They worked out great though, a little like banana bread or carrot cake. Check out the recipe here.
Something we currently have an abundance of is Thai basil. 'Himself' tried adding it to one of our standard weekday dinners, Thai green curry, but it didn't quite work for me. A search on the taste.com.au website yielded this recipe and having tried it successfully last night, I think it's definitely a keeper. I substituted 3 spring onions for the shallots but otherwise I stuck exactly to the recipe. The combination of flavours (lime, fish sauce, chilli, lemon grass and of course Thai basil) was really interesting - spicy and fresh at the same time. I can see myslf serving this up at a relaxed summer dinner party on the deck...oh yes, thats if summer ever really gets going this year in NZ!