Thursday, 6 September 2012

Urban Agriculture



This year again I bought some saplings of  plants of cherry tomatoes, Basil, Chives, Parsley, chili plant and beetroot(R wanted those little red radishes but instead he picked up thinking what radish plants were but only it turned out to be beetroot), you know husbands!!!¨Well, I guess you do!

Anyways Beetroot is still in the boxes, growing. We had about a dozen chili's and the flavour was "Awesome" The tomatoes which we got were and are extremely flavourful but most of all its the pleasure, the happiness and the satisfaction you get from fruits from your own little garden or in my case rather window boxes or balcony plants. It feels like your baby and that's how you also look after these babies.

Another thing what gives me a kick is that, these stuff which I could grow at home, I did not had to buy from the store. I mean I cannot even begin to count myself anything in this but I should still be proud of myself that I grew something. We are going so away from the nature in so many ways and are consuming more and more and growing less and less. Most of the time the children don't even know where and how and which season the things are grown. I am not at all a big Gardner but I want to try in my own little baby steps and this feels very good. Actually here I also have to thank my neighbour and her kids for watering the plants while I was away in the summer. Even she liked the Idea and said might do it the coming summer.

Here the saying from Mother Teresa comes to mind "If you cannot feed a 100 people then just feed 1". Now if you  know me you also know that my examples are always off the topic and out of the box and may be a bit weird but you will come to understand slowly and I hope this here makes sense.

I think nature is what we really have and there are generations to come. Sometime while thinking of the consumerism give me chills and all things ready made and frozen and fix und fertig but then I thought overwhelming myself is not going to bring me or anyone anywhere but only by doing very very little things we all will come forward and try and make this earth a better place for our kids and grand kids and great grand kids.

So here is how my plants looked like:

Flowers in the chili plant.
and some chili's 
Now what I learnt is, its super easy to maintain these plants and sometimes when you have a lot to do you can either beg or boss your husband and kids to water them. Chili plant gives white flowers and super tasty chili`s


just flowers



some geraniums 











 



My krauter box of Basil and chives

flowers in the tomato plant
green tomatoes

and finally the tomatoes
the two plant of tomatoes
    and as you can see as the chili plant gets white flowers the tomato plant gets yellow and I guess we must have got about more than 2 kg from these two plants of tomatoes, not bad at all. 

  
our radishes but only they are beetroots


Ok now back to Urban Agriculture now. Once I saw an article on Mexico city and how they are growing food in the cities. More on this here

Here in the Alpine country they also have a wonderful concept. On the border of the towns they have small gardens, called as Schreber gardens or Allotment gardens. They are usually between 50 to 400 square meters and they can be hired by the Gemeinde. They have a small shed for tools and  table-chairs but its not allowed to live or sleep here. They have to be strictly used for residential and not commercial purposes. I am still waiting in the cue to get mine for some years, until then its the good old window sill. Will click some fotos from these gardens in a day or two. 



The similar topic is of the use or less use or recycling of Plastic. There is an exhibition running in Zürich at the Museum of Gestaltung and I am going to go see it tomorrow with a friend. Shall put some pictures here too. You can have a look here http://www.plasticgarbageproject.org/en/












Thursday, 10 May 2012

Fresh Market 2

Spring is the best time to witness beautiful flowers, herbs and vegetables, if you just go to the fresh market it will feel "close to heaven" This was such a treat for my eyes and for my soul!


  






















Friday, 20 April 2012

Spring!


Spring is here and you see lot of life in plants and people too. The thing about weather is it can be perceived differently where you live. For example here in Europe a sunny day calls for a celebration and a good and happy mood but where as a rainy day........ja its a different story. Not that rains are not welcome but its different.

I was talking to my sister in law back in India this afternoon and she said....oh! we are enjoying the rain, its drizzling over here and there rain calls for a celebration, happy moods, good food especially pakoras, tee, chatting and just happiness.

Now is it not about humans, we run after things what we don't have. But that's just us......Humans!

OK, now back to the real story which I wanted to tell today.

I was also sort of feeling dull (Frühlings müdikeit) and schlapp or rather lazy but still I went out to do some of my chores.

I finished my chores and while I was on my way home, there on the corner we have a Turkish food shop, what nice, colourful and beautiful veggies they have. I had nothing to buy except Bulgar, but as soon as I entered I bought these nice colourful veggies and these just made me so happy and gave me an instant shot of energy. I was in the cue to weigh my Aubergines and as soon as I was done another old lady had to weigh too. The moment she finished weighing I asked her what she is going to cook with them. I love to talk to those cute old ladies, which you can feel are friendly and would share or discuss a recipe or two with you, and they have so much experience in cooking and what if they are from Rome or Turkey, ever better! So, I told her this is the one vegetable which everyone loves in my family and so I am always looking for new ideas for these babies. She said she also love these babies and she is going to cook Parmigiana (the Italian dish) of course, what else a woman from Rome would cook and as we were talking another face peeked out now a Turkish woman and she asked me what I am going to cook, now my mind went through almost a dozen recipes of Aubergines I know and I said, something nice.

And you know what "Aubergine is also called as a King Vegetable" and I don't think any one can argue with that. At least I wont.

Actually so many cuisines around the world cook Aubergines in fantastic ways. I love the Greek Moussaka (Recipe from our Koch club), Italian Parmigiana, The Turkish cook them as well  stuffed with Rice and cheese....mhhhhh!! YUM and I have some more names what I like to cook, so lets see the list, even I have never counted:

1. Aubergine Caviar(my little invention, also on the blog)
2. Parmigiana (Italian, on the blog)
3. Grilled Aubergines (The Italian way)
4. Aubergine with Joghurt (Yes and it tastes heavenly)
5. Aubergines with Lentils (on the Blog)
5. Aloo-Baingan (Potatoes and Aubergines, should do soon)
6. Capilinni with Baked Aubergines
7. Hydreabadi Baingan (done with baby bringals, very oily, hot and veryyyyyyyyyyy good)
8. Bharwa Baingan (baby Aubergines stuffed)
9. Greek Moussaka
10. Stuffed Aubergines the Turkish way  and I guess there are some other improvised one which will come to mind later.

OMG! What a vegetable, if someone of you have some new or an innovative recipe or a family treasure do share, would love to hear it and try it.

Today's shopping, Cherry tomatoes, fresh mint, Peterli and fresh Cilantro.....what fragrance!


     

Cornichons or small Cucumbers, the lot together along with Bulgar and of course The purple Vegetable, The king of veggies, the great Aubergine.


       


So I am going to play around these babies and try and cook something nice, make the weekend a good one. As we all know a way to a man`s heart is through stomach, very true and another wise thought I am going to share with you. A way to everyone`s heart is through YES!!! food. So lets get cooking.

21.04.12

So last night I finally made Parmigiana and it turned out pretty good. I couldn't resist to take the pictures. So here you go.

Two big Aubergines sliced and salted, kept in the sieve for about 20 mts. Dry them with a paper towel and grill them in Olive oil from both the sides. Now if you have a stripy kind of grill pan then you can also have these lovely checkered marks on your slices. Out of this dish you can make two different things as well. With these grilled slices you can make grilled sandwiches or also open sandwiches served on a baguette. In the fourth picture I have one chopped onion, 1 chopped zucchini, 1 red capsicum chopped, 2-3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp of grated ginger and 1 red hot chili.

          

In a pan, saute the onions and then the rest of the veggies and ja I also took about 5-6 black pepper corns and two boxes of tin tomatoes (pelati). After the veggies are done for about 5-7 minutes add the tomatoes, salt to taste, chili flakes, and let it cook covered for about 20 minutes and then puree it with a mixer, I always use a hand blender. Secondly, this sauce makes an excellent pasta sauce.

                               

Now one grated mozzarella cheese and just assembling the parmigiana just like lasagne and off in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Serve it with a little salad, I served with the cherry tomatoes and chornichons i bought. I always make a bit more sauce, because it tastes so good when you dunk your bread in the sauce and enjoy it. Yummm!! My family was happy even R, he is difficult to please but this time..... it was a different story and as I said you cant go wrong with the "King of vegetable"

      

   




Sunday, 1 April 2012

Le Salon du Chocolate

 The world`s most famous Chocolate exhibition is happening in Zürich and unfortunately I am and was unable to go. I had so many things, commitments and stuff to do. But M has gone today and she promises to bring photos with her. I hope I will be able to enjoy a pinch of what I could have had I gone. Oh!!¨what fun it would have been to try all the chocolate eclairs, attend the talks, seminars and know more about this wonderful thing "Chocolate". But next time. Some more info on the Meese is here http://zurich.salon-du-chocolat.com/infos.aspx

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Some pictures from the fresh market


Spring is here and there so many fresh markets around. I love to go around in these markets. Sun shining and beautiful and fresh flowers and vegetables.....ah! What food for the eyes and some to be taken home too. The below pictures are from the fresh market from Helvetia Platz.