An almost free dinner

I’m bursting with pride. Am I allowed to write that? Tonight Jay cooked a dinner that cost us less than a $1 for all 3 serves.

When I was writing our meal plan this fortnight I added a Jamie Olive dish in haste. I knew a lot of the ingredients were in season and I knew that Jay would be happy to go for a paddle to get some mussels. Over the last few years we have struggled to grow anything at all over summer. So much so, that Jay decided we were never to grow anything at summer time again. But of course I was too stubborn to drop it, and I got my hands on Kyrstie from A Fresh Legacy’s book Grow Just One Thing. Once I had my hands on Kyrstie’s book, nothing could stop me. I’ve  grown all of this years tomatoes from seed, we’re saving seeds, growing seedlings, and picking fresh produce daily. So when I borrowed Jamie’s Super Food Family Classics* from the library and I found a recipe involving tomatoes and zucchini, I couldn’t not add it to our meal plan. Jay headed out this morning for a kayak and to collect some mussels, which he does from the jetty in Portarlington (with a fishing licence of course). And this began the ‘free dinner adventure’. After the mussel collecting, we ‘foraged’ from the garden, tomatoes, zucchini and basil.  Jay started by making a pesto, with basil from the garden, we added our first ‘paid for ingredients’ garlic, olive oil, parmesan. Half of the pest was spread on 3 slices of homemade sourdough toast, where of course we paid for the flour, and the other half was stirred through the mussel sauce.We had to pause so Elliot could take a photo of the ‘matos. Jay fried the ‘matos and zucchini, added the fresh, cleaned mussels and stirred through the pesto. Once the mussels had opened, some frozen peas were added.
The salt water from the mussels created a delicious salty broth to dip the pesto toast into, the grin on our faces as we plucked the plumb mussels from their blue-black shells, and spooned the yellow zucchinis and sunshine cherry tomatoes, were out of this world. What incredible satisfaction to have grown, foraged, and baked almost all the ingredients involved in tonights dinner. I only wish there was more of it.

2 thoughts on “An almost free dinner

  1. Don’t you just love a meal like that! I’m always pretty chuffed when I manage to pull off a homegrown dinner.

    Btw – if you haven’t tried to grow garlic before I highly recommend it. It’s really simple and brilliant to have garlic on hand, plus a plait of garlic makes a great gift.

    1. So so much. Seriously makes me so happy! A garlic plait would be a wonderful gift! We have grown it before, but we don’t have a huge amount of room to do so and found other veggies more productive. Maybe we’ll give it another go this year.

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