Photos taken by Urszula, an enthusiastic chef, and Nadege, project worker
The days are getting shorter and darker but here is an easy way to brighten them up! Make a lovely curry, easy, economic and with loads of flavour.
We had good fun harvesting, experimenting a new recipe with our cooking groups, roasting and planting pineapple. Yes, yes… planting!
Menu of the day
Curry with chard, chickpea and broccoli Served with couscous and green salad
Grilled pineapple with rum
Harvest from the garden: chard, nero kale, broccoli, salad leaves, coriander and coriander flowers, parsley!
Let’s talk about curry What is great with curry is that you can add anything to it. Play with the spices, add some chilli for a kick and empty your fridge! Sweet potato is a delicious ingredient to add, be aware it will take longer to cook. It is also a great way to have a plant-based and gluten-free (depending on what you serve it with) meal. Perfect to please everyone!
1 tin of chickpea
1 tin of coconut milk
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Nero Kale leaves, Chard
Salt and pepper
Add coriander and parsley for a stronger taste! Coriander flowers are edible and yummy 🙂
In a saucepan, heat the chopped onion with all your spices, garlic and the oil. The onion will suck in all the flavours.
After a few minutes, add the chickpea (preserve the aquafaba for any other recipes), the broccoli florets, the nero kale, chard, chopped peppers. For the kale, remove the harder stem that is in the middle.
Add the coconut milk, grate the ginger and stir.
Simmer for 20 min (or when the broccoli is tender).
Add salt and pepper.
Serve with rice, couscous, bulgur …
Other suggestions: Sweet potato, different type of peppers, chilli, sweet corn, olives, spinach
Cooking with alcohol, why? The answer is simple enough: chemistry. Alcohol has a great hand in amplifying the flavour of a dish. And this happens because its properties make it easy for it to bond with water and fat molecules. Be aware that the alcohol doesn’t totally evaporate while cooking. Keep that in mind if you are driving or if you are sharing a meal with kids.
Place the pineapple in a large bowl. Add the lime juice, maple syrup, ginger/cinnamon, rum and mix well to combine
Cook the pineapple for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred.
Serve with the yoghurt or crème fraiche. (optional)
Did you know you could grow a pineapple? Here are the steps (that we should have followed!)
Grasp ripe pineapple and gently twist off leafy top.
Remove lower 1 to 2-inches of leaves.
Let crown dry for 1-2 days.
Sit crown in jar of warm water, submerging leaf-free area.
Change water every few days.
When roots are at least 3-inches long, you can plant crown.
The cooking group is not only about cooking. We discover new flavours and new people, we feed ourselves, others and become more confident with our cooking skills. We harvest chemical-free vegetables and herbs, and understand better the necessity for our soul and guts to have a heathier diet.
When you make something yourself, share it and learn more about resilience, that will brighten up your day. After all, it is not about the curry, but about the empowerment we have when we chose to eat differently.
Join the cooking group!
Thursdays and Fridays from 11am to 1pm. All diets welcome. Booking essential. Limited space, first come first served. Email Nadege at email@example.com if you want more information. 🙂
Hello All! We have some very exciting news, the Maxwell Centre has teamed up with local Dundee enterprise How It Felt to bring you an installation filled with childlike wonder with inspiration from the Garden! This has been funded by the Dundee City Council – Festive Celebrations Grant Scheme.
Throughout November and December and with the help of “Jack the Woodman” we have been busy designing and creating wood panels of different creatures that can be found in the Garden. Our after school clubs, volunteers and family group are working with local artists, staff and facilitator (see more about the team below) to bring the creatures to life using paint, lights and lots of glow in the dark materials! The garden will be illuminated with glowy rocks, magnificent mushrooms and fairy lights, we also have a special sensory experience in the poly tunnel.
The nature trail will be held in various day/evening sessions during December providing free, socially distanced fun during our darkest months. Keep an eye on our Facebook pages in the coming weeks for updates and how to book a slot for your household.
Hello there I’m Deborah or Big Debz from How It Felt a local Dundee social enterprise. My work is mainly involved with puppetry, drama, film, sound, storytelling, arts and crafts, and mental health and well-being support. My with my friend Little Debz we deliver creative support services and workshops to the people of Dundee and beyond. Been working seasonally with the Maxwell centre providing sensory storytelling and crafting with their young people for two years. Been wanting collaborate with more artists on more community based social good projects and approached the Maxwell with this installation. I will be facilitating the workshops and supporting our local artists. See you in the Garden!
Lisa and Dannielle, our MAXwell Centre Youth Workers, have been coordinating all the logistics to make this project happen, supporting Debz with fundraising, organising workshops, mapping out the trail, materials, helping out with the groups, visits, painting, etc.
Zoe is studying Community Education at the University of Dundee and is doing her internship at the Maxwell Centre. She has been supporting various group sessions and making some beautiful work herself!
“Hello everyone, I’m Mairi, a jeweller and maker helping out at The Wonderful Winter Garden Trail! I love outreach and doing workshops in different places, and this winter I’m excited to bring my making skills outdoors! I’ve worked with Dundee Makerspace, Dundee Science Center, EdSciFest and my own business Mairi Collins Jewellery to bring science communication and creative learning events to all ages and abilities. Now I get to work with local social enterprise How it Felt and The Maxwell centre to deliver workshops and contribute to their magical winter installation, The Wonderful Winter Garden Trail! See you there :)”
Hello, I’m Cara Rooney, an illustrator and plaything maker from Dundee. I like to make work that portrays a sense of child-like curiosity and communicates a fascination for nature. My work takes the form of interactive picture books, illustrations and toys. My hope is that by encouraging children to build empathy for little creatures outside, they will be more inclined to protect all life on our little planet in future. I’m excited to meet you all at my bumblebee themed workshop at the Maxwell centre! Instagram: @cararoooney Website: https://www.cararooney.com
Hey there, I’m Robyn. I work at the Maxwell as a Youth worker where I help inspire the young people to be creative with their environment and the natural materials around them, creating play and learning opportunities through art. I am also training to be Forest School Leader and aspire to be a full time provider of outdoor education to children in the local area of Dundee. My Forest Schools work mainly involves arts and crafts, den building, rope work such as knots and swings, storytelling, arts and crafts, life skills such as fire building and cooking, learning about the environment and is based on a head, heart & hands approach to working with children and young people. I am currently in my second year studying Art and Philosophy at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Dundee- my main interests are sculpture, environmental art, and collaboration with local community groups. One of my nature inspired sculptures will be completed for the light night and will reside in the Maxwell garden providing a den for the children to shelter in over the winter months!
I will be working on another sculpture with our local kids at the Maxwell for the upcoming installation trail. I look forward to welcoming you in the Garden this winter!
Robyn Scanlan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Find me on Instagram: @forest_schoolsleader @robynelizabethscanlan_art
Hello I’m Ellen,
I’m a maker and illustrator in my third year at djcad and a member of Dundee Ceramics Workshop committee. I like to create feelings of adventure, nostalgia, comfort and wonderment for the world around us in my work. I try to continually find new ways to make and explore these feelings with different mediums from watercolours to fabric and clay work. I’ve recently been tapping into the way that we explore and view the world as children with endless curiotity, adventure and shamelss awe for the world. This is something I try to embody not only in my work but my daily life. This reveleation has largely come from doing facepainting at camperdown Park the last few years and working on a mural for The Maxwell over the course of this year. It has been great getting direct feedback from the team and the kids on what they would like to see in their wee painted garden. It has opened my eyes to the joys of working with kids and their truly wonderful imaginations. I’m super excited to get involved with this project at The Maxwell to create something with this amazing group of kids, staff and creatives. Collaboration with others can bring about so many beautiful things and I cannot wait to see what we all learn from each other and create.
Hi, I’m Rowan! I’m a writer, poet, visual artist and performer. With a background in film-making and science communication, I’m now studying Acting & Performance in Dundee, and specialise in improvisation, physical theatre, and experimental writing. In my visual art practice I work with collage, sculpture, and vast quantities of glitter. I also love drawing strange and spooky animals and plants in ink or watercolour. I helped to facilitate some early materials tests and gather some ideas from the kids at the Maxwell Centre to find out what their garden could look like and how we might get there. We had fun on the day playing with bug stencils, ultraviolet paint and running around with glowsticks!
Rowan Heggie email: email@example.com
Brogan and Bethan Carlin
I’m Bethan , an art student who is currently studying HNC art and design at Dundee and Angus college. I mainly just draw or paint in my free time. For the winter garden, we have taken on the polytunnel. Our main idea for the polytunne is to make a night scene with as man vibrant and glow in the dark object’s.
Im Brogan, a third year university student who alongside my sister, helped with the pollytunnel. Ive always enjoyed art as a hobby and had great fun creating all the neon sculptures and It was a great break from boring studying!
Manuela de los Rios
Hi, I’m the MAXwell’s Community Garden mentor, I plan and facilitate our volunteer, learning and garden outreach work (more about what we do here).
My background is in community-led environmental projects using creating and participatory communications and art as a way to connect people with nature.
I often use printmaking, poetry, photography and street art in my environmental projects and I love working and learning about plants and people!
Our 20+ volunteers, family and toddler groups will be creating the wooden peacock butterfly with a swarm of linoprinted, lasercut butterflies and caterpillars, and a collage of happy people-butterflies!
Instagram: manuela_delosrios_dundee (I’ve just started so bear with me!)
Ursula is in love with the colours and flavours of our Maxwell garden! When she found out about our free weekly harvest boxes she became a regular. Here is Urszula’s story and the recipes for the pickles she loves making.
Urszula arrived from Poland to Dundee 11 years ago. She promised her grandson Jacob who was 8 at the time that he would join his father Jacob who was starting a family in Dundee. She packed their suitcases and moved to Scotland. Urszula says ” I have made very good friends here, Scottish and Polish” .
Learning the language was her first challenge, and she remembers her ESOL first years at college as “the best years” learning so much and meeting people. Now she teaches Polish at the Dundee Saturday Polish School. For Urszula, moving to Dundee was a positive thing in her life “I took it as a fine life experience”.
Pictures taken by Urszula in the Maxwell community garden and at home: harvest box produce, foraged berries, pickled veg and fruit, and a very fresh and healthy breakfast!
Lockdown brought big changes for Urszula, living alone and all her college and Saturday School activities cancelled she bought a bike and learned how and where to forage along the Tay. Her friend Marta told her about the Maxwell garden and the harvest boxes and she jumped at the opportunity “I always dreamed about garden. Before I didn’t have this opportunity. Now I have more time and I think it’s my passion.”
Now she comes weekly to the MAX hour at the park to help with planting and litter picks “it’s a good job in park. Also to listen to others. Chat is better than being by myself at home” and she is planning to join the Outdoor cooking classes in the garden too”.
Urszula says: “At home I make syrup with herbs I dry, pickle vegetable and flowers, I have a little home “herbapol” (herbalist).
She is sharing with us a tried and tested pickled beetroot recipe her friend Aga from Perth shared with her. She would also like to share this online recipe she is still experimenting with that pickles many vegetables and flowers.
1 and 1/2 litres of cooled boiled water
5 medium beetroots
1 tablespoon of salt
Half a head of garlic
6 bay leaves
Wash and slice beetroots
Completely cover in a glass or ceramic jug with all other ingredients and mix
Today we had an interesting experiment at the cooking group: cooking pizza on a barbeque. Well, you know what? It worked!
Today’s menu was
Pizza with roasted aubergine and homemade tomato sauce
Served with green salad of the garden
Roasted fruits with vanilla.
3 main tasks: marinating the aubergines, preparing the tomato sauce and making the dough.
After harvesting what we needed in the garden, we’ve put our chef’s hat on and started to cook!
Even if the skin is not appealing, the flesh of the aubergine is still good. We’ve sliced it finely, laid them out on a tray and added oil, salt, pepper, herbs. (Note for next time: garlic would have been nice!). Wait until the aubergine are soaked, put them on the barbeque once you have your embers and keep an eye on them.
2. Preparing homemade tomato sauce
We have used one onion (chopped) , thyme and rosemary, 3 garlic cloves, salt and pepper and some olive oil. Heat everything in a sauce pan until the onions are soft. Then add chopped tomato and heat up until you obtain the right consistency.
3. The dough (6 small pizza)
Ingredients 500g white bread flour 7g sachet yeast 2 tbsp olive oil 350ml warm water
Method Mix everything together and reserve for at least 10 minutes. Add anything you like on top! Fillings: mushrooms, rockets, olives, meat, cheese, roasted veg
For our dessert, we have used fruits in can and it was probably too juicy.
Ingredients 175g golden caster sugar 1 vanilla pod , split in two 5 cardamom pods zest and juice 1 lime 6 apricots , halved and stoned 3 peaches , quartered and stoned 3 nectarines , quartered and stoned
Method Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 8. Tip the sugar, vanilla pod, cardamom, lime zest and juice into a food processor, then blitz until blended, or mash together using a pestle and mortar. Tip the fruit into a shallow baking dish, then toss in the sludgy sugar. Roast for 20 mins until the fruits have softened, but not collapsed and the sugar and fruit juices have made a sticky sauce. Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
It always good fun to try out new recipes, especially in such good company.
Autumn is a perfect time to enjoy cabbages, kales and other green vegetables!
Today we have decided to make a Winter Minestrone and coconut macaroons. Even if we enjoyed them, we still need to master our coconut macaroons recipe as it was too crumbly!
We have been harvesting quite a lot for this session: Rosemary, Thyme and Parsley, Nero and Curly kale, Chard and Savoy cabbage.
Soup is about reducing waste and use all the veg you have in your fridge. Don’t hesitate to swap ingredients and try something different.
Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 2 medium carrots , roughly chopped 2 medium onion , coarsely chopped 1 head of celery , coarsely chopped, keeping the leaves 1 head of garlic , cloves peeled 1kg Swiss chard a good handful of parsley , finely chopped 400g can peeled plum tomatoes 1kg cavolo nero or savoy cabbage 410g can butter beans , drained and rinsed About 1L boiling chicken or vegetable stock A few sprigs of winter herbs such as thyme or sage, chopped freshly grated parmesan , or vegetarian alternative extra-virgin olive oil , for drizzling
Heat the olive oil with the carrots, onion, garlic, herbs, and celery for a good 5 minutes. While it is cooking, clean and remove the stalk of the nero kale and chop roughly all your green leaves (kale, cabbage, chard).
Add your stock in the pot, all your leaves, 2 tins of butter beans and 1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes.
Simmer for 30 minutes, add more herbs, salt and pepper if needed.
Enjoy with bread and cheese!
Interested in joining? We have sessions Thursdays and Fridays from 11am to 1pm. All levels welcome – All diet welcome! Free. Contact Nadege at firstname.lastname@example.org
Farzana has been a volunteer with the Maxwell Centre for years, she has been great at helping out with our cooking groups and has now also got into learning how to grow her own vegetable at home. She has been the one behind making all your beautiful edible flower posies for the harvest boxes!
INGREDIENTS FOR PAKORAS:
1 cup of gram (chickpea) flour (You can get this from your local Asian shop or from the Asian section in Tesco’s for example)
2 medium sized onions
2 medium sized potatoes a few dry fenugreek leaves
1 large egg
1 cup of warm water “Crisp and dry” or any cooking oil for frying
1 tsp cumin seeds 2tps salt 1tsp chili powder
1tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
Optional greens (they do make better pakoras!)
Chopped spring onions
Chopped fresh coriander
3-4 Chopped green chilies
INGREDIENTS FOR RED ONION DIP:
1 chopped red onion (leave to soak for a couple of hours in ice cold water and drain)
3-4 tbs of tomato sauce
2 tsp of tomato pure
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp of mint sauce
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp salt
Chop the onions and potatoes. Add all the spices, fenugreek leaves, whisked egg, flour and warm water. Mix into a thick paste.
Heat the oil using a tablespoon to scoop the butter (one scoop per pakora). Fry until golden brown on a medium heat. Take out with a slotted spoon and drain. Put on plate with some kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
Tess is an amazing baker, she surprised us with lovely baked goodies for staff and volunteers when she came to pick up her harvest boxes from our Maxwell Centre community garden. We had the chance to meet her properly at our harvest tour in the garden and she shared this lovely and very seasonal recipe with us “My mom and I worked together on this particular recipe, so it is quite special. I hope plenty of other people can enjoy it too.”
75g butter, softened
150g plain flour, sifted
¾ tsp salt
4-6 tbsp ice cold vodka (ice cold water also works fine)
1 egg white, beaten
4 eggs + 1 yolk, lightly beaten
½ cup (100g) dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
425g (15 oz) pureed pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
½ cup (120ml) double cream
¼ cup (60ml) milk
Shortcrust – method:
Preheat oven to 170C.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the vodka with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
Next, sprinkle a tablespoon of cold vodka over the mixture. Very gently scrape your hands flush along the sides and bottom of the bowl, then gently toss the mixture until the vodka has been absorbed. Repeat this process one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together (anywhere from 4-6 tbsp but you may find you need more here and there).
Once there are no more crumbs roaming freely in the bottom of the bowl, shape your dough into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out into a 10 in circle. Place into a 9in tin.
Crimp edges and brush the crust with the egg white (don’t brush the inside). Line the inside of the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with rice.
Place the crust into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
Remove rice and greaseproof paper and set the crust aside.
Filling – method:
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and salt until light ribbons form.
Stir in pumpkin and spices.
Stirring gently with a whisk, slowly pour the milk and cream into the egg mixture.
Pour into partially cooked pie crust and bake at 170C/340F for 45 min or until the center does not jiggle when shaken.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.
Did you know? One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
If you want to join the cooking group, please contact Nadege: email@example.com
Bring some water to boil, remove some heat and add the noodles. Cover, set for 3-4 min and drain
Chop all your vegetables and herbs finely. Prepare your edible flower, and clean them is necessary. Remember the rules if foraging or collection flowers: Make sure you have correctly identified the plant, don’t ingest if it has been sprayed, avoid busy road and dog walker paths.
Fill a wide bowl with warm water and dip a rice paper wrapper into the water for a few seconds until it softens. Then carefully place it onto your chopping board or plate.
Let’s roll! On the soften rice paper wrapper, add flowers, noodles, herbs and vegetables in the middle of the wrap. Add sauce and peanut if you feel like it.
To roll it, fold the sides of the wrapper into the centre, over the filling, then fold in the edges, so that the filling is completely encased, then tightly roll.