Monday, March 04, 2013

Balcony Garden: Harvest Monday #16

We've had even more visitors to our balcony lately. These Rainbow Lorikeets are by far the most pretty guests we've had to date - though I have to say Scratchy the Cat was still my favourite balcony guest (as we could give him a big hug and cuddle and he'd not bite us {much}).

Naughtily we'd fed the Lorikeets some grainy bread to encourage them to hang around which is a big no no I later found out.  Apparently they are nectar eaters and feeding birds food that they don't naturally eat can lead to all sorts of problems such as stomach issues and obesity. No one likes a fat Lorikeet with an upset tummy so we won't be feeding them again.  Luckily the still pay us a visit every now and then (I saw the downstairs neighbor feeding them white bread yesterday which explains whey they're hanging around...tut tut)!.

Apart from feeding the birds forbidden fruit bread I've still got a tonne of herbs growing really well out on the balcony. I have two types of parsley that are going great guns and the thyme has grown like a thick blanket all over its little pot.  The problem with the thyme is that I don't really know what to do with it. Parsley is great as a garnish in a lot of dishes, but thyme...?


I've taken to adding to thyme to dishes wherever I can - I have no idea if it "goes" but what the heck. Use it or lose it, remember?

On our rainy Australia Day public holiday Monday I decided to make some lentil "sausage rolls" for Meatless Monday. The recipe called for parsley so I just chucked some thyme in as well.  I wish I could say the carrots were home grown too, but alas I had to buy them as I've not yet replanted any carrots.

One the filling is all good to go you roll it up in some puff pastry, give it a "wash" in some egg and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

In our house we use only ever "free range eggs".  Often we have to buy these  from the supermarket as we don't live close to a regular farmers market.  Free range is not the same as "cage free" or "barn raised" where chickens are still house indoors often in very intensive factory farming systems that I think are cruel.  If you want to make sure you eggs are coming from a kinder system look for "free range".  We usually get Manning Valley Free Range Eggs as this company don't have any other type of egg production on their farms and they allow their chickens to roam outdoors (for example PACE farms offer "free range eggs" but they also have caged eggs - why would I want my money going to those hypocrites)?

So after the egg wash and lesson on the ethics of buying eggs the sausage rolls are ready to go into the oven for 30 minutes (give or take).  Rather than sitting around twiddling my thumbs I head on out to the balcony to see what I can rummage up for a little side salad...

...I'm so thrilled that despite my earlier tomato growing set back of budworms, blossom end rot and my over zealous pruning I actually have a healthy little crop of tomatoes coming along. I'm growing Roma Tomatoes (that are only very small) and Tiny Toms (that are rather...large).


Along with a few tomatoes I grab some rocket, lettuce and chives that make a tasty little salad once dressed with a glug of balsamic dressing and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for good luck.

The lentil rolls come out of the oven smelling wonderful and they taste amazing.  I think both vegetarians and dedicated omnivores alike would be happy to sink their teeth into these little babies. I think the trick is the addition of the magic ingredient - BBQ sauce that gives the rolls a nice "tang"! Genius!


A perfect lunch - fairly quick to make and super simple for a disaster cook like myself.  I think these were a lot more simple than the delicious Pork + Fennel Sausage Rolls I posted last week...this recipe just seemed less labour intensive to me.

You can view more Harvest Monday posts on Daphne's Dandelions blog.


  1. Look at you go in the vegetable garden and the kitchen! So much goodness. The lorikeets are beautiful and I bet they enjoyed their bread treats. I am so proud of your tomatoes, they are the best...right? Your sausage rolls look to-die-for, I love a bit of BBQ sauce too :)

    Thyme is good on everything, try sprinkling it over grilled mushrooms. I love it sprinkled (fresh) onto cooked pizza too.

  2. Such gorgeous rosellas. Those lentil rolls look GOOD!! I totally want to try them

  3. Your garden is blooming! And those lorikeets sure are pretty to look at :) I'm surprised they don't fly away once you get close to them!

  4. such pretty rolls! i love the shot of the lorikeets and the sage :)

  5. The Age newspaper in Melbourne ran about 3 articles about free range eggs today and how Coles are allowing a lot more birds per hectare in their 'free range' farms. Naturally Woolworths declined to comment on theirs (my assumption being that theirs are worse). Makes me very glad we bought the chooks. Those lorikeets are beautiful - lovely shots.

  6. Once again, so impressed with your garden - look at it go! I do love the colourful lorikeets but they are noisy little buggers ;D You're doing the right thing with thyme, it is actually really good for you and I pop it in pretty much anything!

  7. Well-done you! They look scrumptious!

  8. The lentil rolls look so tasty, love this kind of food. Your balcony garden is looking great, I'd love to have a herb garden like yours. The lorikeets are so pretty, they invade our back garden when our fruit trees are full of apples and peaches.

  9. Your sausage rolls look amazing Mel! Your garden is flourishing. We adore thyme and use it often in cooking. My favorite combo is with baked mushrooms, and feta and it also goes well with any tomato based dishes and fish and chicken... It dries well in the sun so you can trim your plants and dry the leaves. It doesn't tend to die off in my garden in winter but I am not sure how it fares in a pot. Drying some will cover your bases :)

  10. I'm a few weeks late with my commenting (such a slacker in the commenting department) but I wanted to share my two fav thyme ideas. One is with mushrooms. You get the massive ones, tip them upside down, fill their cup/inside with either cream or ricotta or butter, then sprinkly thyme and parmesan on top then bbq or bake.

    Or use in any kind of stew. Key ingredient in Irish Stew. Whack some into a slow cooker for Sunday! Irish day!

    Also, in our office we do a bit of herb sharing. We put excess herbs in our work kitchen and people can take a bit of this, a bit of that. There's often tomatoes, tomato plants, herbs, citrus, lots of things.

    That's all from me. Your sausage rolls look amaze!

  11. Awesome sausage rolls. Some salad to pair them with and I have a great vege meal.

    The Rainbow Lorikeets, in regard to feeding them, this may help

    Better of you giving them something good, than the neighbours giving them something not so good :) Plus they are way cute to have around.

  12. Yeah, few people distinguish between actual free range and the cynically misleading categories of 'barn laid' or 'cage free' where the birds are little better-off than battery hens. Good on you also for mentioning feeding lorikeets with white bread. Worse, some people feed them daily with the cheapest white sugar in the market just to attract hordes of these attractive sweet-loving birds to their yard, caring nothing about what copious amounts of this poison are doing to their little bodies every single time they ingest it!


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