This new summer rain has given a great growth boost to our bush food plants. We will have a great crop of finger limes and mountain pepper and the new anise myrtle plants are growing fast in their pots. I have been experimenting with grinding up the fresh leaves of our native herbs with salt and garlic, ginger would be good too – even better to use the native ginger. These ‘herb crumbs’ spice up any dish.
We are doing a lot of experimenting and love anise myrtle – have made an amazing ice cream with it that we teamed with our own strawberries and rhubarb poached in pomegranate juice. Last week we marinated pork belly with anise myrtle before slow cooking it – the result was amazing – it creates quite a different flavour.
That’s the thing about bush foods, the flavours they produce are hard to describe because there is often nothing to compare them to. Strawberry gum is a good example – the oil in the leaf smells a bit of strawberry, passionfruit and vanilla – quite unique. But when you team it with your favourite dishes it creates whole new wonderful flavours that defy description. Try it and let me know if you agree.
Here at Peppermint Ridge we are thinking about how to create a Christmas lunch for our family that is spiced with Australian flavours, we will then carry that on to creating a truly different Australia Day lunch on Monday Jan 26 as our first event for 2015.
I think the finger limes should be great marinating fresh salmon and we love creating fresh sorbets with them. Have a look at some shots I have just taken of some of our crops that are growing fast – finger lime and mountain pepper. I have added a pic of our kangaroo family that doesn’t mind coming up close to the house.
Copyright © 2014 Julie Weatherhead, Peppermint Ridge Farm. All rights reserved.
At Peppermint Ridge Farm we are passionate about Australian native foods and spices. We run bush food cooking classes, tours of our Australian Spice Garden, and foodie events on site in Tynong North, Victoria. We are also available for private functions. Find us on our website: www.peppermintridgefarm.com.au.