Courgette tart with feta…and a potager.

The courgettes are overflowing in the potager and we eat it every way we can, this time around as a courgette tart. I love salty tarts and this tart is right up my alley. I always have puff pastry in my freezer, so while the puff pastry defrosts, I make the preparation and the tart is assembled as soon as the courgettes have cooled down. It is really a no-fuss tart and it can be adapted to suit every taste. I hope you like it enough to try it.

Pinch of salt:

  • Add goats cheese instead of feta cheese.
  • Add slices of tomato to your preparation.
  • Oven roast the courgettes for a different taste.
  • Add pine nuts to your preparation.
  • The tart can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge. Reheat at 200 degr C for 10 minutes.
  • The tart can be frozen for later use.

Our potager is my husband’s kingdom. A potager is a lot of work and maintenance, so every morning he is out there, cleaning, planting, weeding or just paying attention. We have had some good rains lately, so the potager is green and lush and looking good, which means the weeds are looking good too. The following photos tell the story of life in a potager.

Health rusks and a lavender field.

There are few things as enjoyable as dunking a rusk in that early morning cup of coffee. It being a very South African tradition, no home in SA is without a cookie tin of rusks. It requires no yeast or kneading and is quick to assemble and can easily be adapted to your own taste. This recipe is from a book by Myrna Robbins called, Bushveld banquets, a feast of Lowveld flavours.

I have about five varieties of different lavender in my garden. My favorite one is the lavandin Grosso with nice dark flowers and which grows about 70 cm tall. Behind the pool I have a large patch of the large lavendula Angustifolia, la vraie lavande, which adds a whiff of lavender all around the pool and lawn…it says Provence! How I love lavender!

Orange flower cake and garden corners in December.

This is a very easy, very delicious, seasonal dessert.

  • 280 g ground almonds
  • 220 g sugar
  • 200 g soft butter
  • 100 g all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp orange flower water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 160degr C.
  2. Grease a pan of 35x24cm.
  3. Zest the one orange and lemon . Bueat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the zest.
  4. Add the eggs one by one alternating with the ground almonds.
  5. Add the flour.
  6. Pour the preparation into the greased pan and even out the top.
  7. Bake at 160 degr C for 30 minute or until a skewer comes out clean when piercing the cake.
  8. Prepare the syrup: Mix the juice of the two oranges, the lemon and two tsp of orange flower water and 2 tsp of honey unntil the sugar has completely dissolved. Baste the cake with the syrup until all the syrup is absorbed by the cake.
  9. Zest the an orange and sprinkle over the cake.
  10. Serve with some whipped cream on the side.

How time has flown by. We are at the end of 2019 with a few weeks left before we start the new year. My garden also realizes that we are in December.

A few chicks made their appearance late in the season and now they have to grow fast to outrun the cold coming.

Some garden lantens not yet packed away, a broken pot with water and a forgotten garden bistro chair.

An ever so proud rooster on the garden table.

Seedlings to be covered soon, a wire basket to be filled with butternut from the potager and a garden lamp.

In the potager, late tomatoes , butternuts and rhubarb await action.

The geese are ever present in every corner of the garden.

And the horses are amused by what’s happening around them.

Wood forthe fireplace on the chilly evenings.

Oil chocolate cake

This is probably the best chocolate cake recipe out there. It is from the south African huisgenoot winning recipes and is truly a winner every time.

Baked with oil, it is easy, quick, light and fluffy and of course delicious. Someone also gave me the advice to bake it as cupcakes and freeze for up to six months without the icing. That way you can take out as many as you need and decorate as you wish.

Oil chocolate cake

  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 125 ml cacao
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 375 ml sugar
  • 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 125 ml sunflower cooking oil
  • 450 ml all purpose flour
  • 15 ml baking powder
  • 2 ml salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Oil 2 cake tin of 20 cm.
  2. Add the cacao powder tot the boiling water and leave aside to cool off.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and the sugar until fluffy and light and creamy.
  4. Add the sunflowr oil, vanilla extract and colled down cacao mix to the egg and sugar mixture.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture.
  6. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the two cake tine and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.
  8. Leave to cool, remove and decorate with a butter icing.

My garden is in a state of drought and we aren’t allowed to water. But that is summer for you and fortunately I have planted drought resistant plants, because this happens every year.

…The iceberg roses just keep on flowering profusely…

…In the potager, the agapanthus are lush against the backdrop of washing on the drying line…

…My chickens enjoy the potager far too much…so much so that I have no crop of radishes left…

…White petunias in the white garden, such a grateful summer annual..

A bientôt

Ronell