We rain danced and we wished hard for it and it came – so much rain that it caused some flooding including the showground. BUT REST ASSURED the market is still on in our regular spot. It is drying out well now however some sections of the showground are still a little soggy and boggy so I suggest wearing suitable shoes that you don’t mind getting a little damp.
The GREAT news is that we have the uplifting music of TiN PaRLouR (art photo abelow) this Wednesday performing an eclectic mix of rock, folk, blues & pop original songs written by singer/songwriter Jane Garrett plus a great mix of covers.
I hope you are all safe and dry and enjoying the sunshine and some lovely down time this weekend.
Grab your pecans this week or next before they run out as sadly their season is ending! Kaye McNaught from Tweed River Pecans said that they may have enough to last until the end of February. So if you love pecans to snack on or toss through your salad or use in your baking please pick some up soon. Fortunately the rain means that we will see a new pecan season this year and although the buds have only formed on about 70% of their trees Kaye said at least now with rain and a dam full of water the fruit should fill out ready for picking and packaging from late March. New season pecans should be back at the market around mid April.
Bitter melon and okra! Are these part of your regular market haul. Possibly not as many of us know very little about these rather obscure vegies.
Do you like to challenge your diet or cooking by trying new fruit and veg? This week I offer two suggestions – okra and mamey sapotes.
Okra is an essential ingredient in most Creole dishes and as multiculturalism has influenced our cuisine – expanding it to include such rich and delicious diversity — we now enjoy many vegetables once unknown to us and this one is rapidly growing in popularity.
Apparently in Australia, the olive-green coloured okra is the most common variety available but here our market we have both the green (Summit Organics) and the purple-red variety too (at BioOrganic farm).
One of my favourite chefs – Yotam Ottolenghi says that anyone who loves okra will never stop trying to convert those who resist this vegie. In his recipe – Quick okra with sweet and sour dressing he stresses that you keep the okra whole and barely cooked avoiding what some call it sliminess that only results from it being chopped and cooked( but other say this is great for thickening stews and casseroles). His recipe plated looks delicious.
TIPS: When choosing okra small (less than 10 cm long) with smooth, small pods is best. Okra should be dry, firm and dark green or red and snap easily in half. Store okra in a vegetable storage bag in the crisper section of your fridge for up to three days.
Apart from Ottolenghi’s suggestion here are *some other ways to enjoy okra
- The sticky juice that appears when okra pods are sliced is excellent for thickening soups and stews.
- Sauté okra in oil with garlic, onion and chopped tomatoes – top with fresh chopped parsley, add a squeeze of lemon and serve as a side dish to accompany lamb or chicken.
- Add a hint of India to your evening meal – cook okra in oil until golden and toss in a cooked spicy mixture of crushed coriander, cumin seeds, garam masala and chilli flakes, then serve with a yoghurt dip.
- Coat okra in a light tempura batter (egg yolk, iced water, plain flour) and deep fry until golden – a scrumptious, crunchy side dish to go with a main meal.
This information is from Better Health Victoria.
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