Great Grandma's recipes

Dinner, Donna style. Baked potatoes.

Dinner has been decided on. So I go out into the garden with my basket to dig the spuds. And return with this.

So as well as the tomatillo salsa, I think I’d better do a tomato sauce as well.Perhaps with chilli. Especially as my window sill already looks like this

I have some onions and shallots from an earlier pick, and one more I found today, as well as some of this year’s garlic, and some chilli I dried and saved.

At this point I’m well past Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute ( and 30 minute) deadlines, so I’ve decided to make a double batch so I can at least look efficient.
The tomatoes are of mixed parentage

So now Jamie’s up to Thursday’s meal, and I have my tomatoes in the pot, simmering down.

So it’s back to the basket for the potatoes.

I could pop the cucumber and zucchini in the fridge, except that this is what’s already there.

So I’m going to have to deal with some of these babies. First, and most obvious is to start eating cucumber.

In total I have eight cucumbers and eight zucchini. I can use two zucchini for tomorrow’s quiche and maybe three more for Thursday’s meal, but the garden will have produced more by then, so I’d better deal with six of them today. Also, make that seven cucumbers. The first one was delicious.
I’ve grated the zucchini to freeze for later in the year. Each of today’s four bags is enough for a zucchini quiche, and they will go with the dozen bags already in the freezer. That’s quiche once a fortnight, almost until they are ready next year.

One of my favourite salads is a Japanese pickled cucumber salad. That is great the second day, so I think I’ll make that now. I’m going to toss these with salt and sugar and leave them for an hour to drain. The salt I understand, the sugar is a mystery to me, but it’s in the recipe, so I do it.

Meantime, Jamie’s filming series three by now no doubt. And before I get to the potatoes I have… Beans!

Just like with the zucchinis and cucumber, I already have plenty in the fridge from two days ago. I think I’ll go with a three pronged attack. Keep some of the best for salad tomorrow, parboil and freeze some for soup in winter, and give some away to my unsuspecting friend who’s coming to walk with me this afternoon.
So now it’s been two hours since I brought my basket of goodies in from the garden (longer since I went out to pick them), and what do I have to show for it? Zucchinis bagged and frozen. Beans ready to bag and freeze (see how the purple ones have turned green?)

A rather yummy rich looking tomato sauce.


Cucumber salad.


And… As yet untouched potatoes.


Is it worth it? I don’t know. I’ve been pondering this as I scrub the potatoes. (Also I’ve been wishing my accuracy with the spade didn’t leave so much to be desired)
At the end of the morning’s work, all I really have is a pile of vegetables. Now I know Jamie O will be proud of me later when I whip out some of that tomato sauce and get it onto pasta in 15 minutes flat ( unless we make the pasta – we do have a lot of eggs at the moment…)
I know that my family eats wonderful fresh food. And they really really like it. I know that my grocery bill this week is $18.22.
But I also know that I’m time poor, and that the garden often seems overwhelming, despite the pleasure I take in it.
We eat a lot of vegetarian meals, especially when the garden’s running hot like it is at the moment, and I’m sure our bodies thank us for it.
I know I’m able to offer large scale hospitality without worrying about the cost, which is minimal.
But I know that I’m sometimes very very tired.
Also sometimes very very excited by the garden. So , is it worth it?
And what should I do about the tomatillo salsa that I’m sure you noticed on the menu. I half made it yesterday….


2 thoughts on “Dinner, Donna style. Baked potatoes.

  1. Hi Donna,

    Wow, your garden is producing so well – maybe even better than a couple of years ago when we visited!! By the way, where have you been? I have missed my “playing House’ notes from you.

    Are you folk heading up to conference this year? We are so hopefully we can catch up while there.


    Ian & Lynn

    Ian & Lynn Williams

    Phone: Lynn – 0411289335; Ian – 0412412868

    1. Hi Lynn and Ian! It’s so good to hear from you. I’ve been hiding out, blogging at
      When I got involved with out local open garden scheme, I decided to blog at a different place, because the gardeners might not be interested in my cooking or grand crazy schemes. The preparation for open garden was so busy though that one blog was all I was getting to. Hopefully I can spread it around a bit more now. We’re not going to conference, although our big boy will be at the teen conference.

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