Garlic Scapes, Romanesco and Jasmine Tea

 We've been eating so much Romanesco Broccoli I think it's giving me a tummy ache. The down side to planting a punnet of eight plants is the glut you receive at harvest time. I'm always scouring the pots at the nursery to see which punnet offers the best value, so there may have been even more then 8 plants, my seedling gluttony is giving me a noisy belly. 

The Big Bowerbird planted these in June, it  is amazing that we have them to eat at all, as the visiting chickens were very partial to them. After being almost pecked back to their stalks they have recovered, and grown huge with the addition of some chooky fertiliser.

The slugs and earwigs are also very fond of Romanesco Broccoli, and it takes a lot of washing to remove the critters from all the nooks and crannies. It is one of the less pleasant chores of growing organic food - dispatching the foes.

 It is just as well we are harvesting the last of our brassicas as our old nemesis, the Cabbage White Butterflies, are back in force, so beautiful and innocent here, but when those eggs hatch they are a force to be reckoned with. Only three more broccoli heads to go, but they are getting bigger by the day.

 Kale is one of the few brassicas I will try to keep going over summer. It's amazingly tough, I grew one plant that lasted around three years.

 We are also harvesting garlic scapes, I love that name, the bit of garlic that tries to run away.  I tried cooking them one year and they were a bit tough, so I wasn't sold, and left them to produce bulbils the following year, but I think my garlic bulbs were reduced in size as a result.  With an early pick and removal of the flowering end I am a complete convert. Garlic scapes are delicious. They taste like garlicky asparagus, sweet and delicate in a stir fry.

 Theses are my rejected bits. Does anyone else cut their scapes in half or do you use the whole scape?

Scapes and broccoli in stir fry made by Mr Bowerbird.

Broccoli Bites recipe from Veggie Mama, who took them from Mother Down Under,
These were designed to lure fussy kids into eating their greens, or in our house the kid, who is not a toddler, but turns into one at dinner time. The middle Bowerbird was not impressed and actually threw one of these golden delights at me, yes threw his food at me. After that I made him eat one with the threat of banning all electronic entertainment for a week. He forced it down with a grimace. Fortunately, I think they taste divine dipped in grainy mustard, a little like a pakora crossed with cheesy cauliflower, very addictive.
Find the recipe here - I added lots of fresh chives and oregano.
I would love to know if you have any more broccoli recipe suggestions.

When we walk out our back door we are currently greeted to the heady bouquet of Jasmine en masse. It's scent drifts all through the house this time of year.
 A close friend told me I could make tea from the flowers and I shared this fact with the little Bowerbird. She was keen, and kept reminding me that we needed to make Jasmine tea, she even picked some for me and brought them inside. Finally, after a week of pestering I got around to making some. It was very simple, just pour hot water over flowers and let steep for a few minutes, remove flowers, drink.

The little Bowerbird had her tea with honey but I had mine neat. It was delicious and very soothing, I'd probably add a few less flowers next time as it packs quite a punch. Lovers of Jasmine tea should enjoy this but be warned, it's very floral. The Little Bowerbird drank half a cup, but I think she found it a bit much. I think it is the perfect antidote to a Brassica overdose. My friend is drying hers so she can have home grown jasmine tea all year round.