And now a lighthearted interlude whilst I try not to worry about my fried garden.
I'll be visiting my sister in America in a few weeks, so I thought I'd use the opportunity to look for some vegetable seeds I might not be able to find in Australia. I've had to enlist my sister to order them for me (website won't take Australian credit cards, grumble grumble) and I was told that I was required to make a blog post about the whole thing as payment for services rendered.
I decided to order sweet onion seeds - such as Vidalia or Walla Walla onions. I remember them from growing up in Oregon where there was a short but much-anticipated Walla Walla onion season ... but they simply do not grow them in Australia. I found a garden variety called "Yellow Granex Sweet Onions" from Kitchen Garden Seeds. This is part of their description for this onion: WARNING, this will make you hungry.
We love caramelized Yellow Granex onions so much that we prepare batch after batch, and freeze them in thin layers in airtight plastic bags. Then, we can break off pieces for quick and delicious use in Sunday morning omelets, mushroom-Madeira reduction sauces and baguette “boat” sandwiches layered with basil mayonnaise, roasted eggplant and zucchini, tomatoes and provolone cheese, sizzled under the broiler. But our favorite use is in chicken rollups. Pound boneless chicken breasts to about 1/8” thick. Spread each breast with a mixture of sautéed garlic, caramelized Yellow Granex and wilted spinach. Top with thin strips of roasted red peppers and dollops of soft herbed goat cheese. Roll them up, secure with a toothpick and bake covered for 35 to 45 minutes at 350°F in a bath of herbed chicken broth, turning occasionally. Serve piping hot topped with fresh Parmesan on a bed of wild rice alongside glazed baby carrots and homemade cranberry compote.How can I resist that?!
Australians will know that bringing seeds into Aus is a big deal. Quarantine restrictions can be fierce; for example you can no longer bring in tomato seeds because of the fear of a virus coming across and ruining commercial crops. Luckily for me, onion seeds are OK, but I'll have to make sure to write the scientific name on the packet and mail it back to myself, rather than risk an extra-long wait in the airport whilst customs looks up onions on their list.
I've also been required by my sister to add the following text from an email I sent her this morning:
It gets nerdier. I put out a notice on the garden forum where I learn all this stuff, to ask if anyone wanted me to send them seeds! And for the record, yes, two people wanted some. I'm not the only nerd.With any luck I'll start an Australia-wide trend! Stranger things have happened.