Spring Renewal at Robinson Gardens
Those of us that tend gardens know that we can grow great treasures, as well as have a few disasters. Gardening involves both growth and change. We learn from plants and what they can tolerate... too much sun, water or nutrients... or too little of those same variables. All change, even for the better, can be accompanied by discomfort and drawbacks. Feeling bad or worrying long enough about something cannot change anything whether it be in your garden or in your life. We learn from our gardens how to deal with the urgent question of timing... when to sow, when to reap, when to lie dormant. How much is enough?
In this reflective time, we must realize that in order to change anything, we must start with ourselves. Only when we are more self-aware can true change begin. We don't have to change everyone, but we need to ask ourselves, "What are we putting out there?" Change comes with difficulty even when we are changing for the better. Let's not allow the chaos of change to prevent us from learning and growing. Let's plant the seeds of change and hope in our own gardens and in our own lives.
With hope and gratitude,
Cucumbers climbing up the wall, an espalier apple tree, two varieties of lettuce,
tomatoes, radishes grown from seed, thyme, basil, eggplants, peppers, garlic, chives
and spearmint in a pot.
This week we thank Fellows Member, Ellen Levitt, who has sent us photos of her Kitchen Garden as well as a delicious recipe using eggplant. I ask that you share photos of what is growing in your garden too. Just send them to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 medium or 3 small eggplant
- Olive oil to brush
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped coriander
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 red chili, finely chopped
- 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
- 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped, very ripe
- 1 x 400g can of tomatoes in puree... I use San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4-6 eggs , depending on how many each person wants
- Coriander, extra, roughly chopped
- Feta to serve.... I like halloumi cheese... sprinkling it on top it gives it a kick
- Salt and pepper
- Spinach to serve
- Preheat the oven to 355 F. Line a large (or 2 small) baking tray with baking paper.
- Slice the eggplant into a little less than ½" thick rounds. Brush each side with olive oil using a pastry brush and place in a single layer on the baking tray.
- Bake for 25 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes so both sides cook evenly.
- Meanwhile, combine the the garlic, parsley, coriander, paprika, cumin and chili in a medium bowl.
- When the eggplant is done, remove from the oven. Chop into smaller pieces (usually quarters work well), and add to the spice mix. Stir to combine.
- In a large frypan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped onion, sauté for 3-4 minutes over a low heat. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook a further 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the canned tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes.
- Add the eggplant spice mixture to the tomatoes in the pan. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
- Add the brown sugar, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Form small hollows in the mixture using a spoon, and crack an egg into each. Scatter with crumbled feta. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Check frequently during the last couple of minutes as the eggs cook quickly. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle extra fresh coriander on top.
- Serve with crusty ciabatta bread and spinach (optional).