These pungent & flavoursome meatballs filled with spearmint, pelargonium citronellum leaves and nutmeg make a delightful meal especially when added to tomato sauce and spaghetti. The sweet spicy taste of peppermint, delicate lemony flavour of pelargonium citronellum scented leaves and the nutmeg, garlic & onions creates a tasty nourishing meal that enlivens the taste buds.
Ingredients Half a kilo (17 oz) of minced meat 100g fine bread crumbs 2 grated onions 7-8 leaves of pelargonium citronellum, finely chopped 2 tsp crushed garlic cloves Salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon of nutmeg 1 ½ tablespoons of fresh or dried Spearmint, finely chopped 50g of grated Graviera cheese or Swiss Grugere A sprinkle of wine vinegar 2 table spoons olive oil 1 egg A large Mixing bowl, refrigerate for about 2 hours
To prepare First fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes or until softened then remove from heat & leave to cool. In a prepared mixing bowl add the bread crumbs, spearmint, pelargonium leaves, nutmeg, vinegar, olive oil and then the fried onions and garlic and mix together. Add the mincemeat and blend the ingredients together with your hands, add the egg and continue to mix, making sure all the mixture is blended well. Make small meatballs by rolling a tiny portion on the palm of your hand or on a chopping board in a circular motion, then place them in a container or wrapped in foil and place them in the refrigerator for about two hours You can either dip them in egg and toasted breadcrumbs or in flour before frying in oil for about 15-20 minutes or until it has cooked all the way through. Add them to Tomato sauce preferably containing mushrooms, garlic, onions, chicken stock, a little paprika and spaghetti.
Pelargonium littorale (left) is a low growing upright and delicate shrub which is similar to that of Pelargonium capitatum rose scented leaf and pelargonium grossularioides fruit scented leaf.. The flowers are pale pink with darker markers and each flowering stalk contains 2- 7 flowers with long and ovate sepals, the leaves can range from oval, heart shaped, or orbicular. P. littorale grows from about 10 to 50 cm’s in height and is covered with glandular hairs, green to pinkish stems, classified under the section Peristera, as a subspecies (pelargonium littorale- Huegel subsp. Littorale)
This plant is native to South West Australia mostly in coastal areas from the South Eastern corner to the Geraldton sand plains in the north.. Which is why it was named Littorale from the Latin word ‘littoralis’ meaning shore (or grows close to the shore or littoral waters) It can also occur in Victoria and areas of South Australia. South Western Australia is a eco zone with a Mediterranean like climate which has dry and hot summers and wet winters know as the botanical province which consists of a wide range of plant and animal life as well as woodlands, forests and eco areas of scrub land. This region also has honey possums which forage on flowering shrubs for nectar and pollen. Western bush wallabies and short tailed scrub wallabies.
Pelargonium helmsii (carolin) also known as the Alpine storks bill is native to bio-regions of victoria and New South Wales in mountainous areas including – Northern fall (highlands), Victorian alps and the snowy mountains, it has dark pink flowers with darker markings and oblong sepals with each flowering stalk containing up to 5-12 flowers. It is listed as vulnerable. Pelargonium renifolium Swinbourne is also native to South Australia and has very small light pink flowers and a greater sprawling growth.
Pelargonium rodneyanum (below) also called the Magenta storks bill is native to specific areas of Australia including New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Where is grows on rocky hillsides, sclerophyll forests, woodlands and shrub land. It has striking dark pink flowers with darker pink markings of the upper petals, on a long delicate flower stalk which contains up to seven flowers. The leaves are soft, light to dark green with shallow lobes and oval to narrow ovate in shape, it grows to about 45 cm’s in height with short stems and also produces brown tuberous roots.
This plant was named after Admiral George Rodney 1718-1792, a British Naval officer, who travelled along with Captain James Cook as head scientist exploring New Zealand and Australia collecting plant specimens for the gardens of Kew. Pelargonium rodneyanum is also grown as a garden plant in pots, flower beds or rock gardens because of its colourful flowers. It grows well in slightly acidic soil which has good drainage and is also a popular plant for ground cover.
Pelargonium alchemilloides (below) also known as the lady’s mantle-leaved pelargonium or Wildemaliva is native to a wide area of South Africa apart from the Northern Cape and grows in moist lowland regions usually in clay and loam soil conditions. It has also been naturalised in temperate coastal areas of South-Western, Western Australia where it grows in shrublands, grasslands and woodlands. This plant has a rambling growth and is low growing, it adapts well to hot and dry environments with much rainfall during the winter period and has an underground tuber.
The flowers can range in colour from dark pink, yellow or white with darker markings and each flowering stalk contains about 3 to 6 flowers. The leaves are rounded or oval in shape with a purplish brown horseshoe zone in the centre, lobed with hairs which gives the impression of a silky texture. The name alchemilloides refers to the plant Alchemilla (lady’s mantle) which bears some resemblance to this pelargonium, it is a perennial with green to yellow flowers and fan shaped leaves under the Rosaceae family to which the tea is used for medicinal purposes.
Pelargonium australe (below) is endemic to the whole of Australia apart from the Northern territory as well as eastern Tasmania and New Zealand, where it is also known by the name of the native storks bill.. It has white to light pink flowers and darker markings on the upper petals, arranged on long flower stalks which contains up to 12 flowers.
The leaves are slightly scented, hairy & rounded/ or oval with shallow lobes and the plant as a whole grows to about 30 cm’s in height, in its native habitat it grows in rocky areas, on cliffs by the coast, or in sand dunes. The name australe means Southern possibly meaning the southern hemisphere. The stems of this plant are not so succulent like than that of P.drummondii, while the leaves, also show some similarities to P. capitatum but do not have rose scented leaves.
Pelargonium drummondii (below) shares some similarities to Pelargonium australe, but the stems are more branching with smaller flowers and thinner stems and also P. capitatum which grows all over the South West of Australia was original brought over by early colonists from Britain.
It is an upright shrub which grows to about 10 to 40 cm’s in height with succulent like leaves which are dark green & heart shaped. The flowers are white or pale pink usually with darker markings and each flowing stalk contains about 4 to 7 flowers. It is native to coastal areas of South West Australia and also amongst granitic rocks on sloping ground, hills or small mountains. This plant was given the name drummondii after James Drummond a Scottish gardener and botanist who became an early setter and collector of newly discovered plants in Australia.
Pelargonium inodorum (below) which also goes by the name of the wild pelargonium or storks bill is an annual which is native to over a large area of New South Wales where it grows in forests, woodlands, or grassy and rocky areas and also in Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.
The flowers are white or pink with darker markings of dark pink or purple and each flowering stalk contains about 3-14 flowers with oval or heart shaped leaves that are covered in short hairs. The flowers are small and are just a little larger in size than the sepals. The name inodorum means unscented possibly referring to the flowers as it is believed to have slightly aromatic leaves.