Archive Page 2


Back of the house, hydroponic update

A sunny warm beginning to October, usually cooler in the early hours now, but not that crisp colder fall weather yet.

The DWC hydroponic has produced some greens , flowering brassicas and tat soi , the tomatoes have produced grape like clusters and with the beginning of cool weather pinching back any new growth. A clear type covering to the system in consideration to extend the growing season before it’s brought indoors. The outside limit will be the temperature of course anything near freezing the DWC will moved indoors. More greens should be started indoors.

For all you hydroponic geeks out there, I usually keep the PPM nutrient level now to about 900 to 1200, at the most bi weekly nutrient flush saponin.

Bonus pictures:

A simple chicken salad , Diane’s

Toasted, morning toast with onion, garlic and ginger butter, Good Morning!

window sash


Moroccan lamb with quinoa and steamed veggies

Moroccan lamb with quinoa and steamed veggies.

Roughly modeled  from the Great British Chefs recipe by Alan Murchison. This recipe spun to simplify and save time using available ingredients.

Great British Chefs

Moroccan Lamb with Harissa Spiced Couscous and Chickpea Salsa

Most ingredients were available for the marinade, cumin  powder was in place of cumin seeds. The paste was stored and the orange zest later added. Enough paste was made to have leftover for other use.IMG_3254


the spice paste




lamb shoulder chop with spice paste

Components of the full recipe share similarity of ingredients. The recipe was pared down to provide a meat, potato and veggie type of meal. The quinoa was in place of the potato and the available veggies, broccoli, zucchini and carrot  were steamed in an effort to use fresh ingredients available and to give the meal a different perspective.

The marinade paste was easily assembled and I had been down this path before, a pasty  spicy marinade and other spicy additions before and after cooking typical of this type of region of the recipe origin. The meat could also be grilled on the BBQ.

The meat was a single lamb shoulder chop.

For the quinoa, instead of a Harissa spiced couscous, I opted for a veggie broth with some cherry tomato, salt and pepper and a splash of melomel mead. Since time was not an issue, the quinoa was simply added to the boiling liquid off heat and set aside covered.


tomato broth for quinoa


boiling the broth


soaking quinoa

Just before serving, the quinoa broth mix was brough back to a boil and stood off heat covered for about 10 minutes.

 OK,  vegetables were steamed, the lamb shoulder was braised the quinoa fluffed. The seasoning of the lamb was enough for this dish. Splitting the shoulder chop, plated up, this was a two serving meal.




Grapenut Pudding

I can’t take credit for this simple nutritious recipe. My wife makes this periodically also known as a custard to some.


One of those handed down faded paper recipes folded and retained for easy access.


The recipe, doubled, just fills a rectangular glass ware baking dish, placed in a water bath in a large broiler pan.


The richness can vary, ranging from any combination from low-fat milk to heavy cream for the milk component. The  grapenuts are the type usually found along side breakfast cereals at the market. Fresh grated nutmeg a plus, an anytime snack  kept in the fridge that doesn’t last long !




shopping , local prices



Soup, yellow noodle, chicken

This is what I get for watching to many periscopes of traveling in Hong Kong , shops, markets, crammed along the streets , fast service at it’s best. Food from A to Z. Appetising !

Some chicken scraps tenders  from chicken breast that were trimmed for another use, some leftover mushrooms, in one small pot, a smidgen of duck fat, water, hot pepper pastes, diced white onion, ginger garlic paste, simmered with salt and pepper to taste. Later,  add the yellow noodle, simmer and drain using some of the concentrated broth as a base in a soup bowl. Spoon some the chicken mixture into the bowl.

In a stock pot,  a collection of vegetable trimmings accumulated over time added water to cover, simmer to render a vegetable broth.

Ladle the vegetable stock to fill the soup  bowl, garnish with the green onion.



choke berries of the Viking Aronia

What is the berry of the Viking Aronia ?  Googled, it resulted in the the choke berry.

Some also refer to the berries as black choke cherries.

A few years ago,  I planted some bushes to fill in from some overgrown shrubberies removed. Having a small patch of raspberries, I figured why not plant some berry producing bushes, small and manageable. One was the Viking Aronia a hearty bush that produces blueberry sized berries.

Viking Aronia Gurneys

Viking Aronia Stark Brothers

It took several years to get established and recent feedings this year from some of the nutrients use in hydroponics, produced numerous clusters of berries. Keeping it simple, I just mashed the berries and cooked with sugar resulting in a jam like preserve. There were some tiny seeds in the jam, probably next time will process the berries to remove the seeds.


The taste is a hearty blueberry type taste with a bit of a bitter finish. Very good though!

The other varieties are the Naking Bush Cherry, which I did not get to harvest in time, a treat for the birds.



Roasted vegetables have been made before but when following this recipe, I thought, would it worth the extra work? Yes it was. Bacon fat was utilized instead of the olive oil. The result was a delicious dish, seemingly better once refrigerated.

Here’s the recipe I more or less followed.


salting the zuchs and the eggplant, sea salt.


prep the rest if the veggies, some cherry tomatoes processed, served as the tomatoe juice.


Veggies, towel dried…


Fry time…


A pleasing colorful mix…


Added tomato juice…..


Stove top cooking….


Layering the veggies for final cooking.


Very savory dish, more flavor than I expected as I held back on adding additional herbs or spices. I would have to make this with olive oil vs. bacon fat for a comparison. Refrigerated, excellent side dish, such as with braised chicken thigh with cherry tomato.

and also as a pizza topping.

 One half of the sheet pan pizza with the ratatouille.



October 2017
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