Wednesday, June 15

The McBenry Cabbage Butterfly Defence Method

One’s vegie patch is teeming with brassicas. Though some have been ravaged by the dreaded Large White, early on I adopted the McBenry Cabbage Butterfly Defence Method with stunning results. For those unfamiliar with the McBCBDM, it is an organic, high-tech system of pest control invented by My Grandparents. “Grandmother McBenry, what do you use to deter cabbage butterflies?” “Well dear, your Grandfather McBenry sits in the garden wearing a hat-deterrent and wielding a tennis racket. And, should they dare to land, he swipes furiously at the winged creatures shredding their tiny paper wings to confetti! Battering their young into caterpillar pulp and mashing their eggs betwixt his gnarled old fingers!”

And so I found myself on Saturday with broccoli to spare. Broccoli evolved from a wild cabbage plant on the continent of Europe. Indications point to the vegetable having been around for some 2,000 years. It is high in vitamin C, as well as dietary fibre, and it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. Because of these special properties, broccoli can sometimes get ideas above its station. Nevin and Patricia here are a case in point…
Nevin & Patricia appear courtesy of SMN/flickr

I also found myself with a recipe for Paneer with Broccoli and Sesame which I had the good fortune to have cut out from the Australian Good Food magazine earlier in the week…

Into a pan of boiling water for two minutes I put 200 grams of broccoli florets, before submerging them in icy water and draining thoroughly. Next, I heated a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok and stir-fried a tablespoon of sesame seeds, a teaspoon of brown mustard seeds and a teaspoon of cumin seeds until fragrant. (Beware, the mustard and cumin seeds are prone to popping in your eyeballs). Having regained my sight, I added one thinly sliced onion, a 140g packet of paneer (cubed), a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger and two crushed garlic cloves. The recipe suggests that it should take four to five minutes for the paneer to become golden but mine took a little longer to change hue (about 10). Almost last but not least, comes the par-cooked broccoli and once heated through a teaspoon of lemon juice and half a teaspoon of mace finishes it off nicely. A quick and tasty dish which The Robertsons teamed with Curried Yoghurt Chickpeas, Cumin & Lime Rice, Naan Bread, Mango Chutney and Eggplant Pickle. No wonder one’s trewsers were tight!

The Leftovers

Whatever happened to Macy Gray?


  1. She's running the macy gray academy for underprivileged children

  2. I would avoid saying Broccoli "evolved" from wild cabbage. It was selected by humans, just like Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Kohl Rabi. Probably from something more like Kale than the wild form of Brassica oleracea, though.

  3. oh, thank you, Garden Doctor. I got that from Wiki, though I know I shouldn't believe everything I read on Wiki...