Saturday, 26 March 2016

Lime Harvest.

One of my most treasured citrus fruits is the Tahitian Lime. So much so i have SIX Limes planted at home! A Lime tree is essential for any Foody's home garden in my opinion, as it has so many uses in the kitchen. Limes grow very well in my Auckland garden and are quite vigorous growers & the zesty fragrance of a freshly picked Lime is second to none. Non-grafted Limes can grow into large trees over 2-3m if left unpruned. The main issues growing them are Whitefly, Aphids, Scale and the dreaded Lemon-tree Borer. I don't like to spray my trees i like to think nature will sort it out. But if things get a bit Cray in there, such as lots of sooty mould due to insect secretions, i'll spray some Horticultural Oil mixed with an Organic Insecticide to help control the pests. 

Another passion of mine is Mexican food of which Limes are an essential part of. 
From Guacamole, Ceviches to Fresh Salsas or for that finishing squeeze on a Taco, Limes have a refreshing zest that balance out the Chilli and add an aromatic, sour tang.

My favourite cocktail, the Margarita, also uses Limes extensively. Tequila, Lime & Salt is such a winning flavour combination. A really good idea for juicing the Limes is to get a Lime Squeezer to extract every bit of precious Lime juice.

Here is my recipe for Margaritas:

70ml Tequila.
40ml Triple Sec.
30ml Fresh Lime juice.
1-2 tsp Agave Syrup or Caster Sugar.
Coarse Salt.

1. Rub the rim of glass with a wedge of lime, then Salt the rim.
2. Shake all ingredients well with Ice.
3. Carefully pour into the glass.
4. Garnish with a lime wedge.

For more recipes using Limes check out my book called 'Viva La Mexico' its available for free download as an e-book at

Friday, 25 March 2016

Buddhas Hand.

Welcome to the blog! 
My first post is about one of my favourite Citrus plants - Buddha's Hand aka Citrus Medica Sarcodactylis. 
It is so gnarled and weird looking that i will always stop in to check up on the progress on the "hands". Currently they are all quite large (about 20cm long) but are still green. Once the cold weather of late autumn comes they will start to turn bright yellow when ripe, usually around the end of April. Last year i had only one fruit off the tree as he has only been in the ground coming up to 3 years. This year however there are over 8 fruit! What do you do with such a fruit? Well unfortunately unlike other citrus fruits, the Buddha's Hand fruit contains no pulp or juice. But it more than makes up for it with it's exquisite lemony fragrance that will actually scent the room. It's uses are mainly ornamental but you can use the zest in a variety of culinary ways. The best i've found so far is to make a Buddhacello which is a Limoncello made with the zest of the Buddha's Hand fruits.
Here's the link to my Buddhacello recipe.