Today was the perfect day to do spend some time in my (balcony) garden. The weather was kinda bad the past two weeks so I stayed indoors al that time. But the weather wasn’t too bad cause my veggies were growing like crazy. So far I have the usual herbs; basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary and I thought I’d try purple basil this year. I discovered it doesn’t grow as abundant as Genovese basil but the purple color sure makes any pasta dish look more vibrant.
All herbs aside, the veggie that has been growing so well this year is my spinach. I planted it in February and by the April it was ready to eat. Since I do love my pasta, I thought I’d just toss some spinach pasta and mushrooms together. I sautéed the spinach with some garlic first then I added some sliced mushrooms. I poured in a bit of cream and some black pepper and salt. Finally the pasta was added and YUM, YUM.
Nothing beats sowing your own veggies, picking them and enjoying them at dinner. I’m excited to see what other veggies will be ready for eating and figuring out what to make with them. I spotted some radishes that are ready for picking so my next post will probably be about radishes.
I absolutely love all sorts mushrooms; shi takes, button, oysters and even the ones I haven’t yet tasted. I cannot imagine not loving every single type of mushroom. If you would’ve asked me a couple of years ago if I would ever consider eating a meal without meat I would have adamantly said “NO”. I did not know what I could eat without feeling that I replaced my precious meats. My thought is that it shouldn’t feel like a replacement but rather something equally yummy. And I am happy to report that I found something to fulfill this need; portobello mushrooms. I tried it the Nigella way, with lots of garlic butter in the oven which is also quite nice but I liked stuffing mine with garlic and pine nuts even more.
Portobello mushroom on a bed of bulgur
I started by scooping some flesh out of the mushroom. Then I sautéed the mushroom pieces with the spinach, garlic, pine nuts and put it aside. The portobello mushroom needed a sprinkle of olive oil, salt and pepper before filling it with the spinach etc. I made some bread crumbs out of a few slices of old bread and topped the mushroom with it. Then into the oven for about 15 min. In the meantime I stirred some bulgur with cranberries and raisins for a sweet bite.
Portobello mushroom with spinach, pine nut filling
Making the portobello mushroom like this did not make me miss meat one bit. Actually I wouldn’t mind eating this once a week, yum! The drawback I feel with mushrooms is that it doesn’t keep well for a couple of days. I usually prepare them the same day or next day otherwise they get slimy. With this new-found fondness of mushrooms I am curious to find more delicious ways to prepare them so that a meat lover like myself would not think about the absence of meat. I will keep you posted!
It’s January so it’s time to start thinking about what I want to sow this year so that I can order the seeds in time. Last year I ordered my seeds at 123zaden which I was happy about. If you only have a small order like I had, it fits in your mail box so I only had to pay for the stamp which is perfect for people with small garden(balcony garden). The delivery only took 4 days so I am definitely paying their website a visit again. Other websites I visit for seeds are Vreeken’s zaden, Garant zaden, Bolster,
Fast forward a couple of days, I ordered some seeds from 123zaden and within 4 days they were delivered to my mailbox, perfect. Wanting some more seeds I visited Vreeken’s zaden situated in Dordrecht( about 15 min by train from where I live). I remember from 2 years ago that if you order in January or February it might be a while before your seeds get delivered because it gets really busy around that time. But I was happy to go to the shop as I always see so many useful things there for my garden. When I see the large greenhouses I can picture myself having one of those in my back yard along with my Continue reading
The weather is improving; it is bearable to go outside again and we even had a few days when the sun peeked at us. Since the temperature is a bit higher I have begun to plant some more veggie seeds. I started with the chillies, peppers and eggplants in late February since they need more time to develop. The seeds that I sowed in March were coriander, thyme,marjoram, carrots, beets and peas. I was a bit worried because the eggplants took so long to sprout but a few days ago I finally saw it coming through. Here are the pics:
The veggie that has also been growing well is spinach, I planted a few seeds outside about a month ago and I believe I will be eating spinach in another 3 weeks.
Most of the seeds I planted came out already so I’m happy. My goal this spring and summer is to be able to eat veggies from my garden and since I am determined to do just that I found the perfect thing to help me with that. I have been eyeing a plastic greenhouse for my balcony. I thought it would be perfect for my small balcony and I could protect my veggies better against the weather. An added bonus is that I have more room to grow whatever I want. So last week I went to buy it at Vreeken’s zaden in Dordrecht for 49,95 and it was quite easy to set up. It fit perfectly on the balcony and I was beaming at the prospect of having the room to grow so much more. So I did what any other amateur gardener would do, I went and bought some more seeds. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and afterwards I wonder if there’s gonna be a place left for me on the balcony. Oh well, I’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted on what’s happening on my balcony.