Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Power of a little Rocket

Author: Stephen Swire
The Power of a little Rocket
No, I’m not talking about the Kennedy Space Center kind of rocket, but that little l green herb which is just so useful, and tasty, whatever the season.
I first became hooked on rocket when I was living on the Northern Queensland coast near Cairns, in Australia, and my American next door neighbour appeared at my door, holding a large Tupperware-style box. I say appeared because she was 4’11inches tall and used to wear a large gardening hat for shading the sun. If you were standing at my kitchen window you would see the hat silently waft passed the window, a bit like a moving object all on its own, and knew that Donna had arrived.

‘I’m going away for a few days, and I’ve made this rocket salad which I don’t want to go to waste. Would you like it?’ offering me the aforementioned Tupperware-style box. I’d only known her for a few weeks and our relationship had not been extended to more than exchanging pleasantries over the driveway when returning from shopping, so I did, for a couple of seconds think this a little strange, but being a straight forward kind of guy, (did I just say that?), I thanked her very much indeed, promising to return the box in a few days, after I’d enjoyed the contents. ‘Keep it in the refrigerator, and it’ll last you a few days,’ she advised in her North American drawl, and was gone, leaving me, standing in my kitchen with a tupperware box in my hand, watching the hat pass my window from left to right this time, as she returned to her home. I gingerly removed the lid and was immediately hit by the rich spicy aroma I have come to love. I reached for a fork and started poking around, and discovered the salad was dense with rocket leaves, onion rings and sliced tomatoes, in layers. She’d ‘dribbled’ a little oil and vinegar dressing across each layer. I started tasting…and have been a devoted fan of rocket ever since. Quite apart from the wonderful peppery taste and substance to the herb it’s been proven recently to have anti-ulcer properties, is great as a digestive stimulant and high in sulphur, iron and vitamins, all of which are good for one’s hair, skin and nails.

It’s become a popular salad favourite in European , Middle Eastern and South American cuisines and is delicious in salads when dressed with a little oil, vinegar and lemon juice. It can be used in open sandwiches, mixed with other assorted leaves, cooked gently and used with roasts and other oven-cooked meats - and it adds fabulous flavour to the skin when draped over a roast chicken in the oven. it resembles spinach when boiled gently. Use it as I tend to do, as a healthy helping on its own on top of some crisp iceberg lettuce, with an unhealthy dollop of mayonnaise on top! Another of my favourite uses is to chop some leaves very small, in the way you would parsley, and fold it into cooked hot pasta, before adding a main ingredient such as cooked chicken, bacon bits, tuna, or mushrooms. It adds a beautiful spicy flavour to the pasta which I find other herbs lack.
Make sure you cook your pasta in plenty of water with a good swirl of your favourite olive oil in the water first, so the pasta doesn’t stick together when you drain it, and the rocket will fold in nicely. For a vegetarian pasta meal try adding chopped rocket to some pasta along with some chopped sundried tomatoes which have been marinaded in olive oil, ('tomates toscana' if you’re here in Spain) and fold all the ingredients in gently. It’s absolutely delicious. So there you have it…the power of a little Rocket. Try my suggestions and make up your own mind and ideas…you’ll soon be hooked! Stephen Swire

Article Source:
About the Author:
Stephen Swire lives in the Mediterranean in wonderful Ibiza, working daily on his writing, and taking advantage of worldwide electronic communications for his proofreading and copy-editing business, Proofread Your

No job is too small, (or too large!) and rates start at just £15/17euro - perfect to have those articles/ advertising copy/CVs checked out, so be sure to check out his website;
Proofread Your

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Rain, Rain and more rain!! July 2009 (video)

It never stops raining!!
How can you 'garden' in this weather?

Press play..

Harvest Onions 20th July

Slightly worried about the onions rotting
with all the rain we are having so have taken them out to dry off.

and have now taken them into the greenhouse to keep dry....

Beets and Spring Onions now ready 20th July.

We have harvested some Beetroot and are continuing to harvest Spring Onions as we need them for salads , it is fantastic to have them in the garden when we need them.

Harvest potatoes from 20th July.(video)

We planted the potatoes on 20th April.... 12 weeks later they are ready for harvesting.

Please press play to watch video...

Caterpillars on Cabbage

Yes we have caterpillars on the Cabbage,
munching away and growing bigger every day,
it is a case of brushing them off I think!

Baby Woodpecker brings Dad!

Our little baby woodpecker brought his dad along today,
it is not often you see two together. Baby is having a drink.

We have baby Cucumbers!

On the more positive side we have baby cucumbers!

I hope they don't rot aswell....

Pumpkin keeps rotting.

I think it must be all the rain we have had because the pumpkin just keeps rotting, every fruit on it has rotted away to nothing. The plant is massive now and is really trying its best to produce to no avail.

Its all quishy and rotten! really disappointing

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Onions 15th July

The onions are nearly ready for lifting now,
they have bulbed out at lot since mid-summers day.

Pictures of some of the garden in July

The back garden, some of the frames.

Nasturtium to attract the butterflies away from the cabbages,
they grow well up the tree and trellis.
I then turned round and took this picture.


We have Runner Beans 15th July

Yes we have some runner beans at last
after a very shakey start when the slugs got at them.

I picked 4 of them today, and we had them raw with salad.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Baby Woodpecker visits my garden.

He is only a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, you can tell that because he has a red crown, the adult male has a red mark not a crown. The female has neither.
Watch the video...please press play >>>>>

Press play >>>> Watch him in action!

Here is his Dad!!!

..and his Mum!

I just love it now they are bringing their family along too! ...must buy some more nuts now.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Dahlia in flower

At last we have a flower on our Dahlia!

what a beauty..

Tomatoes doing very well.

Our Tomatoes are doing very well now they are in the garden,
we transferred them from the pots.

...hubby took the lower leaves off cos he said they could now see the sun!

Cucumber in July

Wow, how it has grown from this on 17th June...

to this today 6th July..

only 3 weeks later, amazing!

Runner Beans July 6th

We had a disaster with bugs and slugs with the first runner beans, I tried egg shells and everything, since putting down slug pellets I have not had any problems at all. This picture on 30th May..

..they are now growing along the top of the string 6th July..

Wall Baskets 6th July

The wall baskets are starting to flower nicely now.
from this on 17th June...

to this 6th July...

New frame for Carrots 6th July

Well I need more space so I asked hubby to dig up a bit more lawn, first comes the measuring!

then the digging!

and the frame goes next...

and the result...

...seeds are planted and we have just had nice drop of rain to germinate them...6th July.