Monday, 24 October 2011

Vegetable Picking

I feel very blessed to have met Maya...  not only is she great fun, a fabulous cook and excellent company - but her mum is the most amazing gardener, with an incredible plot full of beautiful organic produce!  This weekend Maya invited Rob and me round to her parents' house with a couple of her other friends to pick some of the vegetables that were ripening.  Her parents were actually away, and I was a little worried that they'd come back to find the garden pillaged of all the veg - but when I saw the fabulous (huge!) plot, I could see why they were happy to let people harvest a little...  Maya's mum clearly loves gardening and delights in growing all the produce that the wonderful Brunei climate allows.

Gorgeous orchids.

Rambutan on the trees and vegetable beds everywhere.

Maya introduced us to lots of exciting new plants - in this picture I'm sniffing some garlicky-scented leaves.  Other plants were more familar, and Maya soon had us snipping away with the secateurs:

Lovely fat ears of sweetcorn.

And my favourite - pumpkins (or squash - we couldn't quite decide on which they were!)

Moving round to the OTHER vegetable garden (I said it was huge!) we then found long beans (still teeny!), Australian spinach and ginseng.  There were also aubergines too, but not yet quite ripe for the picking.

 Oh yes, and chillies - LOTS of chillies!  We picked the red ones (birdseye?) and a few of the fiendishly hot orange Scotch Bonnets.

Not edible, but beautiful - Papyrus from Egypt.  I took a stalk to show my class as we've been studying Ancient Egypt!

After a sweaty hour or so in the garden, we all went inside for tea.  In true Maya form it wasn't just a cup of tea of course, but beautiful purple sweet potato pie and delicious dark chocolate and caramelised orange tarts - drool!

Maya has more photos of the day on her blog here, along with a recipe for a ginseng-leaf salad.  I made something similar last night... but that's for the next blog-post!  We're having such fun using our haul of veg.

 We started simply, stir-frying the spinach with garlic and oyster sauce as a side-dish, but have plenty more excitements on the way this week...

Thanks Maya!


Foodiva said...

Oh my goodness, my mother's garden looks so ALIVE in all your photos! I don't think I've ever seen it in quite the same way. I also love the one of both of us perched on that little plank (thanks, Rob!).

Those larger red chillies are Thai Chillies and they're also very hot. I made hot sauce with the Scotch Bonnets and Thais today and I nearly fainted from the spicy fumes...haha!

So much fun, let's do this again :-).

Jenny VintageSugarcube) said...

I'm a huge fan of Maya. Your day looks absolutely perrrrrrfect!! I'm fo sho visiting Brunei in 2012!! :)

Norm said...

Hey Jenny, you should definitely come over! We could all spend HOURS in Maya's Mum's garden, it's amazing!

I like that photo of us too Maya - your hat is so cute!

At Anna's kitchen table said...

Lovely post Kate!
(I adore the photo of the red chillies, so cool!)

snowy said...

Amazing garden. Great to have all those wonderful veg to cook with. Your photos are inspiring.