Autumn is my favourite time of year at the farm as the days are mild with light soaking rain and the weather very settled. The light seems different and the slanting afternoon light is wonderful viewed from the terrace. The bush food garden is looking its best and with all three layers now well grown and lush.
Cropping has been good so far – we have started to pick the red finger limes and the green ones will follow when they are fat enough. I plan to use these wonderful fruits in a variety of ways. Some of my favourites are to make a finger lime curd with our fresh eggs – we will team this with maybe some lemon myrtle pannacotta or freshly baked meringues with a marshmallow centre or use it as filling for fresh vanilla cupcakes – all delicious. Fingerlime cheesecake is also wonderful – the red zest gives a very interesting addition to the dishes.
The Mountain Pepper berry crop is ready for harvest too and each year the number of berries increases. A good thing too because their flavour is quite unique. We dry them slowly and then grind them in a pepper grinder fresh for each dish or use them whole in a sauce to steep the pepper flavour. The leaves are also full of that hot pepper taste all year round. I like to grind them with lemon myrtle leaves to create a lovely herb crumb. Tonight I rubbed that mix into a leg of lamb and slow roasted it for a few hours – quite delicious. The berries will keep in a jar for a long time – that doesn’t happen here as we like to use them in dishes too often. Be creative in your own kitchen with these wonderful plants.