NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry


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Mandarin Gems

Mandarins – those teeny little, easy-to-peel orange-type fruit – are everywhere in the Far North of NZ at the moment. They are truly one of the best things about winter around here. I have eaten my fill fresh, so it is time to start bottling. I picked these little beauties up from a roadside stall down at the end of someone’s driveway, just down the road. Continue reading


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Thai-inspired chicken soup

Well, I looked at my garden this morning and thought, “what exotic lunch could I make with you?” The answer that I came up with as Thai-inspired soup.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Soup

From the garden:  Lemon grass, capsicum, chili, spinach, spring onion, young celery, chives and coriander. Other ingredients:  cooked chicken, noodles, white onion, water, mystery-Asian stock cube, palm sugar, shrimp paste, fish sauce and mushrooms.

The time (all 5 minutes of it) was in the chopping of the vege and bringing the pot to boil. If you are like me and a bit unsure of how to prepare fresh lemon grass, watch this great vid. Continue reading


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Crime against beauty

I committed a selfish crime against my pretty little flower garden this morning, although it was for a good cause. There it was, all young and innocent and proudly sprouting its first bursts of colour – exactly what it was supposed to do. But, it is time for it to grow up (and out), so some tough love was needed. Continue reading


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Blooms and butterflies

I used to be all about the vegetables, when it came to planting and maintaining my own garden. I wanted plants that delivered something tangible to the [kitchen] table. At a bare minimum, it used to be the ingredients for a basic salad – instant gratification when it came to throwing a feel-good meal together at last minute. My view on that has changed as my vegetable growing objectives have grown and become more about the longer-term, sustainable output of an ever-increasing variety of fruit and vegetables for my kitchen and pantry. However, it has been a gradual, not an overnight, appreciation for what plants of the flowering, non-edible variety have to offer in aesthetic and more productive ways. Continue reading