May has been a sad month for us with the death of our beloved dog, Cody. After having her in our lives for fifteen happy years, her passing has left a big gap in our hearts and our home. I miss having her with me when I work in the garden. She used to lie in the sun and watch me while I weeded and planted, and sometimes she would come and help me dig. For many years, she loved to play ball in the backyard, or lie beneath the orange tree and chew her bone. She still enjoyed her daily walks right up until the end, but for the last few months, when she was home, she just enjoyed basking in the sun, with a token attempt at chasing a ball. We’re going to make a special place in the garden for Cody. Her presence will be felt in our home and garden for a long time, but I know that she is out there somewhere, free from her pain, running and having fun like she loved to do.
I haven’t done very much in the garden this month apart from weeding and pruning, and planting some more lettuces to replace the ones that got eaten by snails.
The delphiniums that I planted from seed last spring began flowering early in the month. The beautiful blue blooms have added some colour to the autumn garden.
Silverbeet, or Swiss chard, is a good staple to have in the veggie garden. It is a rich source of minerals and vitamins, including potassium, manganese, iron, folate, and vitamins A, C, E and K. The young leaves can be eaten raw in salads, and the mature leaves can be sautéed or cooked in vegetable dishes. Hunza Pie is one of my favourite ways to use silverbeet.
2 cups wholemeal flour
140g butter or non-dairy spread
cold water to mix (about ¼ cup)
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 bunch silverbeet (6-8 stalks)
2 cups grated cheese
½ tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
To make Pastry: Rub butter into flour. Add water and mix to form dough. Line pie plate with pastry and bake for 15 minutes at 160ºC.
To make filling: Lightly steam or sauté silverbeet until just wilted. Squeeze out moisture and roughly chop leaves and stalks. In a bowl, beat eggs. Add cooked rice, silverbeet, cheese and seasonings. Mix to combine. Spread in pastry shell and cook at 180ºC for 45 minutes.