Well, there are a few Cooking Class posts banking up, but it’s been too busy to get them online. With any kind of luck I should find time away from the stuff that makes up our busy evenings sometime soon. Maybe. I’m not making any promises. The main problem is discovering Dowtown Abbey and Second Chef wanting to watch MOAR EPISODES.

Ah well.

Around here there have been some useful advances in suburban farming, with the garden giving up a pretty good supply of garlic this year, a kg of beetroots being turned into relish, the leeks coming along nicely, we have a few surprise self-seeding pumpkins coming along, and plenty of rhubarb, lettuce, bok choy, herbs and a HUGE crop of coriander seeds (the potatoes were woeful, the peach tree only produced one edible peach, the tomatoes failed, and the onions were put in too late). The coriander is really fragrant, so I’m very much looking forward to using them in cooking.

Also, a few weeks back I noticed that a friend on twitter was growing her own mushrooms in buckets. A bit of quick inquiry and a reference turned up these guys. Parkvale mushrooms will send you two buckets of pre-prepared mushroom mycelium for$NZ42.50. I followed the instructions, watered the compost, and put them in the sunroom under black polythene for a week or so, then parked them in the basement. Within another week I’m taking about 1.5kg of flat brown mushrooms off the buckets in the first flourish. Looking at the growth that still happening there I reckon we’d have at least that left to grow out. Based on an average price of about $NZ15kg for gourmet mushrooms I’d say we’d be pretty close to breaking even by next weekend, and they say that each bucket will flourish at least three times! And, they’re delicious.

Although, anyone with recommendations for mushroom recipes? They’ll be gladly accepted.

The further news is that the spent mushroom compost is excellent for the garden. With that and the chicken straw-poo the neighbour dropped around we should be well on the way to a big improvement in the former-packed-clay-garden next year. So all in all, pretty good.