Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Snapper, veggie patch and the community spirit…...

I'm really getting into this gardening business…especially now that I can harvest my herbs, silver beet bok choy and strawberries.  I sit on my front porch and watch the world go by through my staked tomatoes, greek columns and garden ornament of the almighty Zeus watching over us. (My daughter thinks it's her pappou!)

I love watching my Greek neighbours walk by and peer in to admire the garden (even when they think I'm not looking).  Space is very tight here in Prahran so they all get very creative with what they plant and where. Most of the Greeks in the area have been here for 50 years.  They had planted olive trees back then in their tiny backyards and also on the footpath. It's like a stamp "A Greek has been here!!!"  Love it!!  Some of these Greeks have moved out of the area now and the new wave of yuppies paying a fortune for these houses on tiny blocks have moved in. The olive trees still stand in the front bearing fruit in season.  I have been known to walk the streets with a huge bag and scissors harvesting olives.  One of my neighbours with a tiny back yard and a magnificent olive tree walked by earlier on her way to the fruit and veg market an we got talking.  My lemon tree came up in conversation and my first exchange of home grown produce was negotiated…A bag of lemons for a jar of homegrown preserved Prahran olives!!  

Another Prahran local, Kirie Thisea, is known for his veggie patch in the area.  His house has rear access, which in real-estate terms, means a goldmine, in his eyes it means a HUGE veggie patch.  He told me the other day how proud of me he was.  So sweet.  He invited Evangeline and me to his house to give the little one chocolate and me a bag of homegrown cos lettuce and some of his heirloom flat bean seeds.  I've since planted them and they are growing. Can't wait for those.

My parents are also back from several months in Greece..and with that comes all the goodies like my favourite chocolate and all the presents from our beautiful friends for Evangeline…BUT it also means that snapper season in Port Phillip Bay is in full swing and dad and I can go fishing!!!!

We went to Dromana for a visit yesterday and dad had just got back from his first fishing trip with his mate.  He came back with a couple of whiting, a few flatties, and about 7 pinkies. My parents are also about to prepare the garden for all the summer veggies.  They will be ripping up all the wild greens so I just had to go in and collect a few bags worth of sorrel and silver beet.  Perfect for wild green pies and green super smoothies! 

So the question was do I go Greek with the fresh fish or Asian..I went Asian…I harvested bokchoy, lemon, coriander and silver beet from my garden and channeled my favourite seafood restaurant "Claypots".  

Asian inspired bbq snapper recipe

 4 pinkies
2 cups steamed jasmine rice
bok choy
several sprigs of coriander 
3 cloves garlic crushed 
1 tbs grated ginger
1 chili thinly sliced
1tbs fish sauce
1 tbs soysauce
1 tbs ketchap manis
juice 1 lemon
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1 tbs oyster sauce

To make the dressing
Mix together ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, ketcap manis and lemon juice.

Prepare fish
Sprinkle salt in the cavity and out.  Drizzle with olive oil and cook over hot coals..or gas bbq

Stir fried bokchoy and silverbeet
Add 1 tbs olive oil then add the greens.  Add 1 tbs of the dressing and the oyster sauce.  Pour in 1/3 cup water and cook till the greens are wilted.

To assemble

Spread the steamed rice on a platter.  The greens and sauce on top of the rice. Lay the fish neatly on top of the greens.  Drizzle the dressing on the fish.  Sprinkle with onion, coriander and slivers of chili.  Garnish with lemon wedges.  

Enjoy and have a lucky Melbourne Cup Day xxx

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