Loving…eating, cosmos and ridiculous carrots

fermenting-cityhippyfarmgirlcosmos-cityhippyfarmgirlpurple-carrots-cityhippyfarmgirl

Loving…

Knowing how to ferment food that’s good for my gut bacteria, good for my taste buds and good for my over all health.

Loving…

The cosmos flowers that have popped up all over my backyard. Patches of colour that brighten up, well, pretty much everything.

Loving…

Ridiculous looking purple carrots that remind you…to keep it real.

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What are you loving at the moment?

[“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE]

 

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Purple Carrot Cake

purple carrot cake purple

Purple isn’t a colour that holds a strong part in my life. It seems to come up in flicks and flecks and then disappears again.

When I think of purple I think of the purple cabbage dish my mum used to make as a child…oh how I used to shudder knowing that was going on to my plate. Any offers of her to make it again as an adult have been politely refused as really…you can’t fight history.

Purple, and I think of the beautifully scented lavander that sits outside my front door. A heady large bush that seems to have a constant stream of buzzing bees dancing on it’s purple flowered heads. Brush past it with your hand just after rain shower and you are rewarded with a heady scented smell that clings to finger tips.

I once had an oversized costume jewellery ring with a purple stone centred in the middle. An old flatmate had given it to me on my birthday. It wasn’t a considered birthday present, it was more the fact that I appeared in the room at the same time as he unveiled the ring. We used to joke that he had got it off someones dying finger….given that he used to keep a large axe in his room, and periods of ridiculously erratic behaviour… probably not a joke I would find quite so funny now.

Purple was on my leg recently. A peach sized bruise that I didn’t have the foggiest idea of how it got there. For two weeks I was reminded of the fact that I didn’t remember how something so big and sore had got there in the first place. (What is it about bruises that make you prod it routinely to make sure it still hurts?)

Purple is also the colour of an old brooch that has sat in a small wooden of mine box for a very long time. I’ve never actually worn it, so it still sits in little drawer surrounded by a purple ribbon, ready and waiting for that one day.

So what does purple have to do with my carrot cake? Well clearly I’ve used purple carrots. Those carrots with the deepest darkest of colour. Carrots that stain your fingers when you peel them, and carrots that scream out to be made into a cake. Not just any cake though. I had played with my carrot cake recipe before, using the purple carrots and all I got was dark coloured flecks through out. Where was the purple? (Like in this sourdough.) I needed to somehow let the carrot cough up its colour without becoming a stodgy lump by cooking it too much. I also didn’t want to put any vegetable oil, or sugar in there. Raising your eyebrows a little? Nope, stick with me.

Local honey and sultanas for sweetness. Pecans and wholemeal spelt for flavour. Carrots for well, purple. And voila, purple carrot cakeMaybe purple is going to hold a bigger part in my life now after all.

Purple Carrot Cake

400g grated local purple carrots

100g melted butter

150g local honey

3 beaten free range eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

50g roughly chopped pesticide free pecans

50g natural sultanas

150g wholemeal spelt flour

150g s/r flour

Grate carrots and melt just the butter just a little with them either in a pot or microwave. Just enough to melt the butter- which also releases the purple colour. Mix through remainder of the ingredients, leaving the flours until last, then folding them through too.

Bake at 180C for approximately 45 minutes, in a greased and lined tin.

a farmers hands

Her hands gently held my wrists. Feeling for my pulses, she was working out whether I would be having a baby girl or a boy. While her touch was gentle, and the contact and meaning behind the check I found fascinating, it was her hands that struck me the most.

A farmers hands.

I’m lucky enough to be able to get the majority of my vegetables straight from the source. No middle man, no super market. Just my lady with her stall, selling what she grows. I love this.

I love that I can choose what to buy, its spray free, and the taste doesn’t even come close to anything else I could buy at a regular chain supermarket.

The tomatoes may look a little gnarly, the lettuce still has some dirt on it, and the cucumbers sometimes curl around a small child’s wrist.

Perfection.

This is what I want. This is how I want to choose to eat. Knowing my money is going back directly to the person growing it and toiling the soil to fill my dinner plate. If I’m not sure how to cook with something I’ll ask. Purple carrots not in this week? She’ll try to bring me some next week. Having that contact with someone who produces such an important part of my family’s life is invaluable.

If more people supported farmers markets such as these, I think societies would change. How could they not?

You would have contact with the person that was producing a large proportion of your food. You would be eating healthier, a higher proportion of your diet coming from vegetables, rather than pre packaged food. Money would be spent and going directly to the local producer, knocking out that chubby middle man, and not to forget that social contact. That wonderful element of connecting with someone and talking to them about what they do. This is just to list a mere few wonderful positives on shopping like this. Buying your vegetables in a supermarket what are the positives? Convenience?

Maybe convenience is overrated…