Tuesday, 29 May 2007

homemade tofu debut

my homemade tofu made its debut at last night's dindin... a dindin featuring all veggie, mostly organic ingredients... the tofu paired up with a onion tomato corn sauce... YUM

Sunday, 27 May 2007

veggie patch progress

now my veggie patch is guarded by toothy gnome... i won't (hopefully) to put up the chicken wire fence for a while... lets hope the companion and random planting will confuse the rabbits and pests, as the terraced fields will be a challenge to fence off...

see... toothy gnome sitting up high...looking out for pests and intruders

plants moved in as well - there are shallots (dotted everywhere), garlic, beetroots, snowpeas, radishes, coriander and savoy cabbages... lots of mulch / shredded newpaper... mcduck reckoned it looked like a dump, but no more with the new residents...

my other veggie patch is doing well also... although there are no toothy gnome to guard the place, residents also moved in - including onions, more shallots, basils, corianders, and several caulis ooo and a garlic too...

the weeds have vacated and the 1st step of the lower terrace is looking much better... more cow poo and humus... it'll be ready in a month or two

Saturday, 26 May 2007

soy beans to tofu

i have been a busy bee using my ikon blender like no tomorrow - making diff types of milk - oat milk, oat & almond milk, soy milk. and now i can save $$$ as i no longer need to buy lite white twice a week - i just need to make my oat & almond milk a couple of times a week instead!

i have successfully made soymilk from scratch, but tofu with nigari was too hard in texture! (and bitter too) now that i have resolved the problem of the supply of "gypsum" and clarified the dangerous mislabeling of "borax" vs "gypsum", i am happy to proceed (again) with my "home-made" tofu making

here you can see my bargain tokyo-mart container with strainer ($2.50 only!), my hard-to-get-gold-dust "gypsum" and baby tofu settling after addition of gypsum... how was it done? i had 1.5-2 L of home made soymilk (made from 3L water, 400g beans)... i heated the milk to 75 degrees C, then stirred in the gypsum solution (3tbsp gyp with 100mL cold water dissolved)... once there was a teeny-tiny sign of coagulation, all stirring / touching / agitation stopped and the baby tofu let to settle for at least 10 mins...

after 10 or so mins and the baby tofu is set, with great care, i scooped it out into my bargain strainer in container lined with muslin (soup bag from chinese shop)... the curd settled and the whey (yellow liquid) drained out into the underlying big bowl... whey tasted yuk!

look at my pretty baby tofu resting in my in bargain containers!

then i had to fold them up like presents with the muslin and gladwrap ontop and weigh it down with my tinned pulses and tinned tomatoes... yeah... let the whey out!

and there it is after unwrapping - my 2 blocks of 1/2 bargain container full home-made tofu from scratch... my bargain strainer in container doubles up as a tofu container in the fridge! what a bargain!! remember to store the tofu in filtered water and change this daily...

so at the end of the day, 400g of dried soy beans which cost $1.45 ended up into 2 blocks of 1/2 tofu as well as my lovely "sweet silky tofu dessert" (one bowl only all devoured by mcduck - could only capture a pic of 1/2 bowl remaining)... the silky tofu was scooped out at the end of the 10 mins settling period and a brown sugar syrup was pour ontop (home made of course)... mcduck suggested ginger sugar syrup... may be next time...

Sunday, 20 May 2007

sprouting for food

on show here is my low cost sprouter. this original coles cookie container is recycled packaging - thus cost me nothing.... i was contemplating purchasing the biosnacky germinator (i only saw the flat roof option for $40 odd bucks at healthy life)... i usually get sucked into buying something quite quickly, esp after reading all the pluses on their websites... but i made my own germinator instead (hoping to save a few bucks)... and to my delight - it is working! i had my first wheat sprout stirfry with carrots, tofu and sarcha sauce the other day and it was delish! (the wheatsporuts were really sweet - on the sweetness scale it was v similar to aspartame with a v sweet after taste... the nutty sprouted seeds were chewy and added a nice texture to the dish)... now it has been tried and tested (in cooking), it is in mass production (as below)

i've got wheat sprouts going with their little green tips and also 2 factories of fenugreek sprouts... i have to say, fenugreek has a pungent smell! and strong colour too... the only thing i have to do with these sprouters is to water them twice daily and let them sit on the kitchen window seal.

how to make these lovely low cost sprouter?

  • collect clear plastic containers with lid (or purchase from $2 shop - more sturdy)
  • drill holes (diametre approx 4-5mm) at the bottom of the containers, evenly spread, 20-30 holes
  • paring container with hole with another (same size) container with no holes as the base to collect drained water
  • put lid on to provide greenhouse effect - keeping seedlings warm, moist
  • presoak seeds overnight b4 incubating them in sprouter, water them twice daily and drain xs water from bottom tray
  • ready to harvest in about 5 days

Saturday, 19 May 2007

toothy gnome for veggie path

this toothy garden "gnome" is destined for my veggie patch. it will have to stay indoors for the next few days (awaiting moisture to escape - there after it would become an indestructable garden guardian)... toothy gnome came to life today within a couple of hours during softstone sculpture day - which was most fun!
footnote: toothy gnome does not have caries or perio abscess, but it does have veggie patch guardian angels poking their heads out, and a sprouting seed on top...

Monday, 14 May 2007

my veggie patch

my veggie patch is still in the "composting" stage. i have just digged in the cow dung & blood n bone and compost. it is tugged in with lucerne hay and shredded newspaper - totaly unsightly - " a rubbish tip!" remarked by mcduck. the pots sitting on the porch are going well. many little ones have poked their heads out from the soil - i have tomatoes, sprouts, broccoli, basil, leeks... although carrots are no where to be seen...
i guess i have started the patch abit late... should have done so late summer...
anyway... looking forward to the veggie feast in b4 xmas...

Thursday, 3 May 2007

the living soil

last saturday was a really educational day! mcduck woke up early too! and we went to lane cove nursery for a workshop in composting and worm farming! (eco-gardening)... peter from kimbriki (www.kimbriki.com) was there to lead the way... and what an eye-opener! i've never thought of the soil being a balanced community (of microbes and micornutrients)... we learnt alot - about the importance of top soil, organic vs chemical cultivation... i am abit scared now to eat a bunch of broccoli (non-organic with pesticides permeating its high surface area)... this workshop certainly gave me some "vision" of what our garden could become... and enthusiatically, i have worked on our non-functioning compost in the garden the next day!
i really look forward to the other workshops!