I have mentioned before a rare treat one finds occasionally at markets and church fetes in Australia: Rosella jam. I was determined to make a batch for myself once Rosellas were in season.
Well, they must be in season now because as lady was selling them at the markets at Brisbane Square this week. They are much cheaper than figs, I have to say.
Rosella seed pod
Now, I had seen pictures on the internet of what a Rosella looked like, however, being a city-raised gen Y, hadn’t ever seen one in person. They were much smaller than I had expected – about the size of a cloaked strawberry. I also expected a few large seed inside, not a single pod filled with hundreds of tiny seeds.
As an aside, my mother is always shocked at the things I don’t know. Why is it those of older generations who criticize the young, never take responsibility for raising them wrong? Anyway…
Recipe: Soak 500g rosellas in water. Separate skin from pod and boil both in 1 cup of water until pods clear and skin soft (around 10 minutes). Remove pods, blend skins with water. Return to pot with 200g castor sugar and boil (will froth) until ready to set. Remember to invert jars to seal.
The recipe I followed said “half a bucket of rosellas”. Needless to say, measurements are liberal.
You may remember that a few weeks ago I bought a basil plant at the Rocklea Markets. It has been growing superbly, unlike any other basil I have attempted to grow. I have been able to use it frequently as it is sprouting so quickly.
Yesterday I noticed that the leaves were looking ratty. At first, I though it was just dying, like the rest of my plants. However, upon closer inspection I noticed it had been eaten. I looked around for a caterpillar for a few minutes before noticing a perfectly basil-coloured grasshopper. As cute as he was, I couldn’t have him eating my plants.
Not wanting to use chemicals (defies the point of growing my own), I got some old netting that I had left over from making a tutu-type underskirt, stapled it into a pillow-case and slipped it over the pot. Works a charm as Mr Grasshopper has been sitting on the outside of it for a few hours now.
I guess he’ll have to go back to plain old grass.
I went to the Brisbane Markets in Rocklea today for the first time in a very long time. They are recovering very well after the floods. After my poor experience with seedless lemons, I felt the need to find some vegetables which retain some semblance of being a plant once upon a time.
I had the aim of only spending $20 on fresh veges, but went a bit off track.
Does anyone know the name of these flowers? I usually just call them ‘brain flowers’. Will have to google this one.
I’m not sure if people outside the tropics get this one but I love it. The best description I could give of its flavour is it tastes like fruit. Nothing too overpowering, along the lines of grapes and apples. When I was in Cambodia I lived on dragon fruit as it was so cheap there but can be up to $9 a kilo here.
apparently there isn’t just ‘basil’. It comes in all sorts of flavours. Overwhelmed, I just took the genus I recognised, as the others seemed to lend themselves more to Thai cooking than Italian.
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, Home again, home again, jiggety-jig