Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Biggest Pests

Well, the biggest pest I have found in the garden is not slugs, snails or worms - it's 3 kittens and two puppies.
The kittens are sort of mine, their mother used to hang around and turned up one day with these three.
A cousin of mine called his dog Dev, so in retaliation I named these three (left to right) Vladamira (after Lenin) Joesephina (after Stalin) and Leon (after Trotsky)

Vlademira is the quietest and shyest, Joesephina is exactly like her namesake, going into places where she is not welcome - but even though she is the smallest, she is a ruthless and successful little hunter.
Leon is just a scrounger, rarely leaving the front door - but of the three he is the most tame.

They are fairly feral, certainly not house cats, but their mum, Southpaw, died - and as she was a cool cat I kinda ended up adopting these three.

They have two pals from next door - two pups called Jack and Brownie who visit on occasion, so as I wander around the veg garden I am usually stalked by two enthusiastic pups and three howling cats - none of whom I regard properly as my own!

They do add character to the place, but the amount of work I have had to do to keep them out of the veg beds is nuts, I wish they did not regard them as the biggest toilets they ever saw.
It is true what they say, that dogs have owners, cats have staff - these three little hooligans seem to think my sole purpose in life is to feed them, and that's about the only time I get to handle them - but they do make me laugh, especially when they get stuck in trees, and their undignified descents

On the note of a kitchen garden and pets I came accross another blog, not unlike mine --
food flora and felines -- well worth a read

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Connemara Collard Greens

I don't want to be like Pvt. Bubba from Forrest Gump and his shrimp - but its another turnip leaf recipe.
Its a very economical way of using something we Irish would normally throw away.

Anyone with a kitchen garden will need to thin plants out, and that includes turnip.

The main leaves I used were from Milan Purple top, but cabbage leaf, beetroot leaf and mustard greens can all be used. Kale is ideal for this recipe.

We have great bacon and cabbage in this country, but as a change from the usual ham and parsley sauce all the cabbage and bacon recipes on this blog are variations on that tradition, its nothing unusual, just a way at looking at things a little differently.

In the states this is made a lot with ham hocks or salted smoked meats like turkey leg - the main idea is to get as much flavour into the stock as is possible.

Collard greens are a staple of the southern States of the US, served with the cheaper preserved cuts of meat like smoked pork collar is obviously based on what would be a poor mans food, but it is full if taste and flavour.
This, along with corn bread and gumbo, is the taste of the south.

I just fiddled around with it a little to suit the ingredients more to Ireland.

Anyway - these are the ingredients I used
3 rashers
1 pint chicken stock
balsamic vinegar
Chili powder
3 full onions - including leaf
Clove of garlic
Mixed leaves, about 2 Ibs mostly turnip with some beetroot leaf and Mustard greens
Salt and pepper

Prepare the greens by washing well. Remove large stems and fairly finely shred the leaves, just grab a bunch, ball 'em up fairly tight and slice into them

Melt butter in a heavy based pot
Put in chopped bacon (or other strong flavoured meat) diced onions, garlic and a good belt of Tabasco, a little vinegar and a good pinch of chili powder. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Saute in the pot on a low to medium heat until onion opaque and soft

Add 1 pint chicken stock, raise heat and bring to the boil

Reduce heat to a simmer - pile in the greens (I filled the pot)
Cover and allow greens to reduce

After about 20 minutes give them a stir, get the broth all over the greens - taste now to adjust seasoning, you can even add more greens if you like.
Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes

Serves about 3 people.

That's it - I served it with a simple champ potato's (mashed with some butter, milk and Shallots) and some spiced up pork that was diced and dusted with a flour/paprika/chili powder mix and fried with a little chorizo.

Simple, cheap southern staple, strong tasting - more an autumn or spring meal.

Goes very well with light, fruity whites - I had it with a Besthelm 2006 Muscat from Alsace, no great fan of whites but this was good - so I guess any Reisling type white would work well.
I'd also reccommend getting some Polsh sour dough bread to go with this - really sets it off well.

It freezes very well so if you have a lot of leaves, eat what you can and save the rest

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Nicoise Irlandaise

Nicoise salad is really the taste of the summer - a classic southern French salad with eggs, beans and oily fish. There are no beans in this recipe - simply because they have not grown yet, and you do miss the crunch, but its something to build on for later in the year.

The classic Nicoise uses Tuna, but for an Irish twist one could always use poached (as in cooked, not hooked) Salmon or Mackerel fillets.

After a day stacking turf, the last thing I wanted to do was cook, so this is a real cupboard meal, using things most people would have at hand
It is such an easy meal to prepare, and I love the fact that all the veg came out of the Kitchen Garden, so its really a big deal for me - this is what starting a kitchen garden is all about.

NOTE: I serve this in a deep plate
Cold new potato's
1 clove Garlic
1 large Shallot
Baby Lettuce (3 small heads that were being thinned out)
1 tin Sardines - You can use any oily fish, Herring, Salmon, Mackerel etc for a more Irish flavour - Crab meat as well, but this will change the texture of the meal. I would not use a smoked fish.
1 Egg per person
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Butter with herbs, garlic, smoked Salmon, Gravlax or Anchovy - whatever is at hand.
Squeeze of Lemon or Lime

If you have them, french beans lightly steamed or boiled, strained and allowed go cold - a small knob of butter while they are cooling and a whizz round the pot to coat does no harm.

Green Salad (plate base or edge)
Wash and dry salad leaves
1/3rd Balsamic Vinegar and 2/3 Olive oil
Pinch of salt and Pepper
1/2 clove garlic - I finely grate this in
spoon whole grain mustard - I tend to use a 50/50 blend of Lakeshore wholegrain mustard with Guinness and the old reliable Colmans English
Shake well and pour over green leaves, toss the salad.

Potato Salad (plate centre)
Cold potato's
Green part of Shallot to taste and a sprig Parsley finely chopped
Enough Mayonnaise to coat potato's
Pinch of Cayenne (adds spiciness) I really reccommend this
Put in a bowl and mix

If you have time, leave to chill in fridge, and it will keep for about 3 days. The longer it sits with the Cayenne, the spicier - great contrast with the fish and eggs

Egg, quartered, plated up with sardines - lightly sprinkled with a little paprika

Sardines: I drain them, give them a squeeze of Lime and garnish with the chopped bulb of the Shallot, but you have a range of suitable Irish fish like herring, mackerel, salmon, trout etc - as long as its oily, poached and cold.

Some toast fingers, or brown soda bread for a more Irish flavor - served with an egg cup or ramekin of butter flavored as you like, I just did a herb butter.

This is a really nice, easy to make meal - perfect for lunch with a cup of tea or these late summer evenings with a chilled Rose wine, or white of your choice. I went with a simple Chianti.
I did miss the beans, but the fresh Shallot gave a nice, tangy sweet bite to the whole meal.

Later in the year I'll do a more 'Irish' version with poached Salmon or trout and brown soda bread - but it is such a flexible recipe - fresh veg, fish, eggs - voila - Serve and enjoy - et Bon Appettit

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

More slugs and caterpillars

Another thing I have been doing lately is slug lamping, come sunset I go out with a can of salty water, and check the beds and their sides with a torch.
I also check the plants, their base and the underside of the leaves in particular.
If I find any of the beasties they are dispatched rather quickly.
Although labour intensive, one hour of hand picking will provide a noticeable reduction in snail and slug populations.
From what I understand, if you kill one by hand, its as good as killing 200 chemically
The beer traps are also doing their jobs, as I have seen a steady reduction in the numbers of slugs.

One particular job that I feel weird about is checking the leaves for butterfly eggs.
The white butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of leaves, and they are noticeable.
I have found them to be yellow or lime green.
Sorry about the focus on the shot, but the clusters are quite unmistakable.
The outer shell on the larger, lime green eggs are quite hard, like bits of grit.

On one of the pea plants I found a cluster of orange eggs - these may be from a moth.

I use a thumbnail to take them off and pretty mush squish them, feels quite bad, but then if they became caterpillars, I'd be annoyed at the damage. I have planted nasturtium flowers in window boxes elsewhere as a trap crop, to give them an alternative place to breed.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Creamed Connemara Kohlrabi

Despite my best efforts the cats are still not impressed, but my kohlrabi has started to come of age, and I want to use them.

Also, today is important as it was the first new potato's I lifted.
In our family, my father would always grow crops for the kitchen. We always had them planted by St Patrick's day, and lifted for the first time for St MacDaras day (July 14th)

I was concerned about floppy-ness in the helms, or potato stalks, so I uncovered the bottom of one of the auxiliary ridges, and much to my delight I uncovered a few small potato's, they are still a little small and remaining plants will get a few more weeks - but those from the test dig get cooked tonight.

Dis still not cheezburgrz!!!

I haz had nuff 

The name is German, Kohl is cabbage, plus Rübe ~ Rabi, the Swiss German for turnip - so it literally means cabbage turnip, and is sometimes called German turnip.
But it can grow almost anywhere. They even have a word for it in Icelandic - hnúðkál !!
It must be one of the weirder looking veggies in the garden, like some kind of UFO.
It is easy to grow, does not take up much space - far less than turnip, so I wish I had planted more of them.

I grew the kohlrabi from seed. The variety I got was Olivia F1 - one of the few hybrids in the garden, it was the only kohlrabi I could find locally, bit of an impulse buy. Next year I hope to get Azur Star or Superschmelz.

Kohlrabi is commonly eaten in Kashmir where it's called Monj, and eaten with the leaves.
There is a spicy version called "dum monj" and non-spicy version is called Monj-haakh that will be dealt with in the future.

It can be cooked or used in salads - a very versatile veg.

The taste is like broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. Under 10cm I am told is a good time to harvest as most varieties can get woody.
The easiest way to adapt it to Irish cuisine is use it as a substitute for white turnip.

This first recipe is a mild cooked version based on a German recipe -
As they say in Germany - Mahlzeit!

1 c. finely chopped onions
1 lb. peeled kohlrabi, cut into stick pieces about 1 1/4 inches long and 1/4 inch thick (about the size of a small chip so a food processor is ideal.)
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
About 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1/3 c. finely chopped fresh parsley

In a heavy frying pan over medium heat saute onions and kohlrabi in butter until well coated with the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and cook, stirring occasionally until kohlrabi is tender, about 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and turn to mix. Gradually add milk and cook and gently stir mixture until milk thickens to a smooth sauce. Correct seasoning, adding salt and pepper generously. Stir in parsley. Makes 4 servings.

You could serve this with some stamppot which I have made here before minus the bacon.

But today I'm going for new potato's (first ones from the garden - Orlas) boiled in fresh Atlantic Ocean water.
I simply collected seawater on the flood tide (cleaner this way) and boiled the new spuds in it. Strained them, added a good chunk of butter to the pot after returning the potato's with chopped chives.
Simple, perfect and easy.

This was served with a pork chop dusted in flour and paprika to add a bit of spiciness to the meal.

As a bit extra, I took some of my Japanese Mustard Greens and stir fried them in the paprika/oil remnants for only about 30 seconds, it really added heat, depth and spice.

I found the kohlrabi dish and the mustard green to be a delicious contradiction, this creamy clean parsley/mild cabbage taste with the spicy pork chop and mustard greens with the saltiness and texture of the new potato's was a really nice meal.

There is a Grace that my family have always said with the first crop of new potato's, I guess its an old Irish post-famine prayer

Fogriam Fuacht agus Gort as Eireann,
Dia go ar tharlu
Is go mbeireagh muid beo ag an am seo ar ais

It translates as

I banish cold and hunger from Ireland
God protect us
And may we be alive this time next year.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Organic wireworm control, SuperNemos and traps

Well, when I pulled a few Milan Purple Tops for Caldo Vedi, mostly for the greens, I found fairly severe damage to the three small turnips, and found one obvious perpetrator.

Wireworms are a menace, and on research I found out this is particularly true on new gardens, where one had grass growing before.
I wished I had looked into it earlier, but that's life and I hope to limit potential damage.

Going on the usual offensive, I looked into active and passive means of combating these horrid little creatures.
Active attack was nematodes from and passive defence was a home made trap

On investigation, I found - on the excellent garden plans Ireland forum (link on right hand panel) that wire worms are the larvae of the Click Beetle. 
Click beetles come in a variety of shades and colours, but, pick them up and you will know them , they flick the body to escape and make a clicking sound. They themselves are harmless to crops, but - as always it seems  it is the juveniles who are the real delinquents.

The Larvae themselves seem pretty unmistakable.
A yellow/orange segmented semi hard exoskeleton, they are fairly easy - I think - to identify.
Certainly the pictures on the net look just like them.

With pictures from the forum, and the fact that I had found click beetles it is a safe conclusion that this is the major problem.

Cutworms are another parasite - the larvae of a moth.

Like the leatherjacket, these are insidious little creatures, banging away below the surface and damaging crops unseen until it is too late.

I had previously applied a packet of nemasys grow our own from which controls Carrot root fly, cabbage root fly, leatherjackets, cutworms, onion fly, sciarid fly, caterpillars, gooseberry sawfly, thrips, and codling moth.
Obviously, from the damage, it had not attacked the wire worms.

Recommended by me

SuperNemos are an Irish made bio-control product that contains a wider range beneficial nematode species.
SuperNemos is environmentally friendly, harmless to wildlife, earthworms,bees, bumblebees, pets and kids.

It attacks only target insect pests. There is no need for masks or specialized safety equipment.

This product will control Vine Weevil, Wire worms, Strawberry Root Weevils,Carrot Fly, Weevils, Chafer Grubs, Caterpillars, Cutworms, Leatherjackets, Beetle larvae, Cabbage caterpillar's, Flea beetle, Cabbage root fly, Fungus Gnats Larvae and many more!

SuperNemos will attack its target insect species; the nematodes enter the host through body openings or by penetration of the body wall.
Once inside they kill the host within 48 hours.
So, I dosed up all the beds, but went fairly heavy on the root crops, and hope the nematodes massacre the buggers that bother my bumper crops.

I found the SuperNemo easier to use than the nemasys type.
It is more economic, being a broad spectrum attacking insect, with the nemasys you need to shell out for each particular pest.
It was less lumpy/congealed than the nemasys I had used before.
It dissolved in the water easily, whereas the nemasys seemed to take more work.
I think this is due to the packaging.

Trapping is to indicate the level of infestation, it will trap some, but the primary safe, effective and organic way to deal with cut worms etc is still the supernemo's.

The simplest way to trap these buggers is just skewer some raw potato on a stick and bury it in the ground.
You could set some potato traps in your planned planting area about three weeks before you plant the crop.
Dig a series of four-inch deep holes throughout the planting area, pop in half a potato, cover with soil, and mark with a stick.
A day or two before proper crop planting, dig up the traps, which now hopefully contain the wireworms to be disposed of.

Because of my worries about infestation - and wanting a more robust system, I did a little further research.
These guys are opportunistic pests, they attack most root crops.
I also found out they are attracted to carbon dioxide, which plants produce when the germinate
I got an empty cat food tin and using a 6" ail punched a series of holes in the side and the bottom.
The nail stays in the tin to secure the bait.

Then I baited it with a potato and peels, a bit of carrot etc. - the crops that one finds in that particular bed.
Peelings and scrapings can be used for this.

In addition, for this experiment, I loaded the spud with some baking powder soda, which gives off CO2 when it gets wet, that's why it is used for rising bread.

I plan on getting one of those plastic tin sealers and perforating that to improve on the design.
I buried the tin about 10cm into the ground, so that means the trap is at different depths.

It was then marked with a flag stick for recovery next week and covered over
In the photo above you can see two home made traps in position and baited, the beer trap for slugs and the buried wireworm trap
Anyway, I will update on how it works as the season goes on, as these beasties dig deeper over the course of the year.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Carna Caldo verde (Portuguese green soup)

This recipe is based on one from my absolute favourite TV cooks, the BBC's Two Hairy Bikers, so I am delighted to alter it for local garden conditions.
Despite Leon here (after Trotsky) and his sisters - the biggest garden pests that I have - their best efforts at turning the garden into the biggest kitty litter box in the world have failed.
I am beginning to see the fruits, and veg, of my labour.

Oh Hai, dis not cheezburz, when I can haz cheezburgurz?
If you haz burger I iz in garden pooping on your plants.

David Myers and Simon King, seem to be the most unpretentious lads, they obviously love what they do, cooking around the world where they appear to constantly skirt disaster.

Their style of cooking is easy to follow, and I do a lot of their eastern cooking.
Being from the North of England they really know what they are doing in that area,

This is my take on their Caldo Verdi.

I think Si and Dave would be familiar with this blend of greens and potato, as there are traditional North of England recipes using turnip tops and potato.

Its a dish I am familiar with having spent a fair bit of time there and worked with several Portuguese and Cabo Verdian crews. 

Caldo Verdi is considered by many to be Portugal’s national dish, and is found everywhere — from posh hotels to the smallest country home.

It’s a versatile dish: Serve it as a one-course meal at lunch or as a light supper in the evening.

What’s most important when preparing it is that the greens are cut into extremely fine slices; that’s what creates the soup’s distinctive character.

Because I am using thinning's, trying to tidy up some turnips, it will be a little more turnipy than usual, but the type are Milan Purple top, which are a very mild Italian heritage variety.
All the greens came from those three small turnips

500 gm Potato, peeled and diced
100 gm Milan Purple top - mild white turnip, cleaned and diced
300 gm turnip top, kale or other greens
200 gm Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic
200 gm chouriço, choritzo or another dried Iberian pork diced A good Salami is a viable alternative
1.5 litres of chicken or veggie stock
2 bay leaves
Level teaspoon Paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil, about half a cup for drizzle

1. In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat until they are translucent.

2. Add the garlic, paprika and the sausage and cook until the onions have been well coated with the fats rendered form the sausage.
Veggies can leave out the sausage, but you will have to add extra salt or substitute sun dried tomato.

3. Add the diced potatoes and turnip, sweat them a little, they will absorb the flavours

4. Add the stock, seasoning and bay leaves, and bring to the boil, then simmer until potatoes are soft.

Season to taste, don't be afraid of the salt with this one.

5. Meanwhile, remove the stems from the greens and very finely chop the greens, really fine.
I just used the turnip tops in this soup, but kale, cabbage and other greens are good as well.

6. When the potatoes and turnip are soft, whisk the broth to make a thick base.
Some people say to use a blender, but I like some texture in soup 

7. Blanch the greens with boiling water to take off any bitterness, i.e put them in a strainer and pour over some boiling water, they wilt quickly.

8. Add as many greens as the soup will support - if you want heavy soup add loads of greens, if lighter, add less.

9. Simmer for a few minutes. The soup will go a really nice golden colour with a jade.
The more greens you added, the greener it will go - my limit was what I pulled from the garden with three baby turnips.

10. Ladle to a bowl - Swirl in a little olive oil into the soup. You can liven this up by adding a little Paprika, Tabasco or piri-piri which gives it an exotic red dash, and more spiciness.

If you want to go vegetarian, you can of course omit the chorizo and compensate by adding more salt to season the soup, but the final drizzle of olive oil when serving is essential.

I plan to try it with anchovies or smoked mackerel some time, but one would need to reduce the amount for those strong flavours.

Serve with some crusty rustic bread, or as I did a salty soda bread, and - as the lads say - wallow in praise!

As they say in Portugal, Bom apetite!


I also made dumplings for this soup to add volume, and reduce waste.

If you have saved any dough then this can form the basis of a dumpling.

I had about 100 gm pureed carrot and parsnip mash left over.

To this I added 250 gm plain flour, 1 tbsn of baking Soda and 50 gm butter.
I threw in some finely chopped parsley and chives.

Knead into a paste, then roll into balls smaller than a golf ball.

Drop them into the simmering soup (two per person) - they are done in 2 minutes (they float to the surface and begin to break - they are done)

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Going Greek

Adapted a recipe on the excellent food and travel blog -
Its an Irish twist on a Greek favourite.
For the original recipe visit the link above, its direct.

They are wonderful served warm as a snack with something like an expresso coffee and Tahini or Yoghurt sauce and perfect for a quick breakfast the next morning.

The greeks use caster sugar in this pastry recipe that I used honey for, and altered the original to potato, buttermilk and Soda dough.


For the pastry:
150 gm plain flour
100 gm cold potato peeled or mash
1 tsp of honey
80 gm of chilled, chopped good quality butter
teaspoon baking powder/soda
Teaspoon salt

buttermilk to finish
Mix all ingredients except milk in a bowl until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Then add enough milk to form a soft dough and mix thoroughly with a fork.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until it’s quite smooth Shape into a 35 x 20 cm rectangle. Trim the edges.

Retain buttermilk for egg wash mix.
If you have only regular milk, pour a little into a glass and add a squeez of lemon or lime juice, or a drop of vinegar if there no lemon or lime available.

Excess off-cut dough can be saved in fridge to make dumplings, or be used on a cover for assorted pies

For the filling:
300 gm of freshly chopped leaves.
Whatever you have handy really. I used mostly spinach-say 200 gm, with some beet leaf and Mustard green leaf thinnings
50 gm chopped shallots
Quickly blanch leaves and shallots, squeeze off any excess water. (makes approx 200 grams)
200 gm of crumbled feta
75 gm of crushed walnuts and almond mix
salt and pepper to taste

1 egg to mix with buttermilk for wash

Place all the ingredients, excluding the nuts in a food processor and whizz until you have a nice, creamy paste.

Spread the spinach mixture on the freshly rolled dough and spread the nuts evenly on top.

Roll the dough up until it resembles a log, or swiss roll, making sure to seal it with a little egg wash on the final tuck.

If the pastry board is small enough, just put it into the fridge like that, the less it is handled, the better

Leave the roll into a refrigerator and allow it chill for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.

Gently transfer the roll onto a cutting board, or just leave on pastry board - using a lightly floured serrated knife cut into 2cm thick slices.

Arrange the slices on a baking tray, leaving a little room between them to allow for spreading during cooking.

They will need more space than shown in this picture.

Brush a little egg and buttermilk on the top and sides and bake for 15 mins in the middle of the oven until golden.
I serve with a modified Al Fez Tahini sauce, but greek yoghurt is another option, which some would prefer at breakfast.

2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
1/2 cup well-stirred Al Fez, or ay sesame seed paste
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh corriander
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Im sure the recipe is adaptable to allow for collard greens and other fillings. If you want a less salty filling, perhaps try mild goats cheese in place of the feta, the only limitations are imagination.
I would, however, avoid using overpowering flavours as the idea is to get the delicacy of the dough and greens with the strength of the cheese.

Enjoy, as they say in Greece - Καλή όρεξη! (Kalí óreksi!)

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just some overviews

Just some garden overviews. The nets are more anti cat than anti bird. They are simply stitched in at the base with a fisherman's needle.
Then I put in T-supports made of waste bits of wood and spliced through some lighter line to give the nets a better shape.

It actually makes managing the nets easier, as when you lift them the tuck away nicely on top for weeding, thinning, harvesting etc.

The T-supports also are handy as they can be used for setting up trellises for supporting vine plants like tomato or achocha

In the top left of the picture above you can see the amount of bush that had to be cleared,

The shot below gives a decent view of the ash and pine needle pathways I put in as a kind of slug barrier.

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Potato Cake from Stamppot leftovers

Well, there is a recipe that can be used for any potato based mash.
The Irish make many types of potato cake, this is just my version.
Its simply a way of using up left-overs.

I used up my turnip greens stamppot in this way, and its a nice brunch/lunch.
I did find the stamppot mash made a really delicious cake.
With the turnip top and bacon bits in the cake, its like a cross between a normal potato cake with the English staple, bubble and squeak

It's very simple.

400 gm potato based mash
250 gm plain flour
1 egg

Simply put the flour, mash and egg in a bowl.
Keep some flour for dusting fingers and board.
Add some salt if it is a plain mash.
Mix with a fork.

Dust your pastry board* (see 2012 below for another suggestion)
With a serving spoon place a dollop of mix onto the board and shape into patties like burgers.
Finished they should be about 2cm thick, and a diameter of about 15 cm
These can be frozen for future use, just defrost the night before cooking. Just put greaseproof paper between them and store in a lunchbox container or a clingfilm wrap.

Fry in olive oil or Donegal Rapeseed oil. Serve with mayonnaise and chives or shallots.

* 2012 update
For a bit of variety, crunch and just to look a little different you can incorporate rolled oats
Simply mix some rolled oats with the flour

 Then pat down the potato cake onto the board, both sides

 Fry up and serve

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