Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I'll have to thank my Dad for the power tools he bought me for Christmas. He looked at me kind of strange when I asked for power tools. But they made this project much easier. See girls can use power tools!!!!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
My son accidentally dragged the water hose over the plants yesterday and I realized that some of the berries were ripe. The berries closest to the ground ripen before the outer ones and they hide under the leaves. They are smaller than a blueberry and deep purple in color when ripe. They do take awhile to pick as they are so small. I picked about 1/2 lb in 20 minutes. When eaten fresh they have a slight citrus flavor. Ok, but not outstanding. I checked online to see what could be done with them and found they could be cooked just like blueberries. So I made these beautiful muffins from a recipe I found on Yahoo.
They were amazing. The flavor was just like perfect sweet blueberries. I don't know if anyone could tell the difference if I had a taste test with a blueberry muffin. These are just amazing plants and it's definitely something I will grow again next year.
Monday, June 30, 2008
This is not the best pictures as it is still raining. But I wanted to show how big everything is getting. We are still eaiting alot of kale and lettuce. But we had a few green beans the other day and there are tomatoes on my tomato plants. The zucchini and yellow squash are huge and I think the corn grew a foot this week alone. There is green everywhere.
I sat in a group of women all related to me. Cousins and aunts that had spent countless years together. We talked about our lives growing up and our lives now. Many of my cousins have children of their own and there was a range of daughters from 19 to 6. The youngest ones were dressed in their pretty little summer dresses and they helped carry gifts that were as big as they were. My godmother was there. I hadn't seen her in years, but her daughter is one of the bridesmaids and it was amazing to see her all grown up, willowy and beautiful. It was a time for women and girls and a time for memories and laughter.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
I don't know what happened to it. It was my biggest and most beautiful cabbage plant. It had the same amount of water as the other cabbage plants. It doesn't appear that the slugs ate it. It just drooped and died within a few days. Things like this has taught me the importance of planting many different varieties of vegetables. Some days, for no apparent reason, seeds don't sprout or plants just die. It's just how life in a garden goes.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
"How about adding some carrots to the mashed potatoes?" I gently suggested.
" Ok." he brightened up and quit crying. "I'll write down the recipe." He wrote "The Most Amazing Smash Potatoes"
"How about we add some cabbage?" I suggested.
He added 2 q cabbage to the list.
" I think we should add some radishes" He said. I wasn't so sure about the radishes but what the heck it wouldn't hurt it. So 5 radishes were added to the list of ingredients. We sliced the potato and added it to a pot of water and brought it to a boil. Then we sliced the carrots and added them to the pot. We let them cook together until they had started to soften and then added 1/4 of a small cabbage and the diced radishes. We let them cook for another 15 minutes until everything was tender. We drained the water off and put all of the vegetables into the food processor. We added 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and about 1/4 cup of milk. We added 1 tablespoon of roasted garlic and salt and pepper to taste and then pulsed it in the food processor until it was creamy but still a little chunky.
Here's what it looked like.
It was delicious. Creamy from the potato, sweet with the carrots and cabbage. And it's my son's first recipe. I can't wait to see what his next one is.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Goodness even the picture makes me want to lick the screen. I realize I have become a food snob. I'll take a few food items with me, but I feel like it is rude to take to much. My Mother in-law really tries to stock some foods for Jared and I. Jared was a vegetarian in his teens so she is used to his idiosyncrasies. But mostly it's junk food, pop, and canned vegetables with some fresh sliced vegetables, pimento spread and plain cheese all bought at the local Wal-Mart. I will miss my salads with dried cranberries, pecans and goat cheese. I will crave fresh radishes with butter and sea salt and the flavors of kale and beans will dance through my dreams. Three whole days, can I live through it?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It is a fantastic book and I drool over the pages. It makes me dream about what my garden can be. Jared also showed me this website.
It is a website for a family in California that are Urban Homesteaders. They have a microfarm inside the city of Pasadena in a lot not much bigger than ours. It just amazes me how much can be done in such small space. Here check out their video, it's fascinating.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
- Add butter to a nonstick pan, then add leftover spaghetti.
- Crack eggs on top of spaghetti.
- Cover and cook to desired doneness.
Wow that is just way to easy. I used a vegetarian spaghetti that I made last night. It has onions, peppers, zuchinni and kale. Everything I cook has kale in it right now as greens and lettuce are about all the garden is producing right now.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Anything Gallo Brand, but especially the Moscato and the Cafe Zinfandel. Gallo brand is the top of my list for flavor and price. They are also usually easy to find almost anywhere. I even found them at a local gas station near my parents house in the middle of nowhere. I found big bottles on sale at Giant Eagle the other day for $5.99 and the regular size bottles were $3.33. HELLO Happy drinking.
If you love sweet wines the Moscato is perfect. It is sweet without being cloying like muscata tend to be. It has lovely peach and apricot flavors and is a wonderful sipping wine. It's the wine I buy most often when I just want a wine to drink.
The Cafe Zinfandel is a light fruity red. It has a bright raspberry flavor with a touch of sweetness. I was really amazed by the flavors of this wine. I'm not sure I can describe how really great it is. We paired it with a chocolate pudding with strawberries and it brought out the sweetness of the strawberries perfectly. I can't wait until raspberries are in season. Fresh organic rasberries and this wine may very well send my tastebuds into orbit.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
1 16 oz package of tofu
2 clusters of bean thread noodles( these usually come in a bag with 3-4 clusters in a bag)
6 shitake mushrooms
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 can bamboo shoots
3-4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon thai red curry paste
1 14 oz can coconut milk
vegetable oil for frying
Heat oil in large pan on medium heat. Add water to pot and bring to a boil.
- While water is heating, chop tofu and add to oil. Cook approximately 3-5 minutes until tofu starts to turn light brown.
- Chop shitake mushrooms and onion and add to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until tofu is slightly darker.
- Add garlic to pan and cook for 2 more minutes then add bamboo shoots.
- Add fish sauce and stir. Add the thai curry paste and stir until it melts into the dish. If you like spicy food you can add another teaspoon of curry paste.
- Add coconut milk and stir. Bring mixture to a soft boil and then lower heat to let it simmer.
- Add noodles to boiling water and cook according to package directions. When done drain and rinse then add to tofu mixture and combine.
We went to Lowes and bought 4 2x6x10 ft boards and had them cut 1 4x6x16 ft board into four peices. We used my wonderful power tools that my father gave my for christmas to make two 4x10 ft beds. Total cost for the boards was $25. We then laid down 3-4 layers of newspaper over the grass and filled one of the beds (I ran out of room in my car) with 8 bags of top soil and 2 bags of manure. The cost of the soil for 1 bed was $32. We then planted 4 tomato plants, a parsley plant and seeds of kale, lettuce, swiss chard, cilantro and bok choy. In the second bed we will plant sweet peppers, eggplant, cucumber, bush beans and whatever else we can manage to fit in it.
For under $100 and a few hours work she will have fresh vegetables beginning in about 4-6 weeks and the beds are right outside her back door so she will be able to easily take care of them. If she wants to, she will be able to throw some plastic sheeting over the bed and grow winter hardy greens and lettuces all winter as well. For most of the summer she will be able to produce enough food to meet about 50% of the food needs for her and her daughter.
It is my hope that more people will realize how easy this can be. I'll share more pictures of her garden as well once it starts producing.
This is our back garden that we started last year. This section will eventually be a forest garden. Right now it has my lettuces, some fruit trees, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, peas and bush beans. My husband spent a few days getting drunk so we could set beer traps for the slugs. It was such a difficult task for him. I really felt bad for him.
What do you do with an old bed frame? Well we are using it as a trellis for peas. There is also bok choy planted in front of the peas. On the side of this bed is kohlrabi and salsify which can't be seen in the picture.
These are the new beds that I am working on. I dug this whole section up by hand, well with a shovel. It would have been really hard to do by hand. These beds will hold all our summer vegetables.
This is one of our blueberry bushes. I am excited for fresh blueberries in a few years.
This is a goumi bush. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one. It sounds good but I have never tried it. In the background is a trash can which has potatoes planted in it. There is also a wonderful view of our compost material. My husband is a compost nazi and goes around the neighborhood to collect the bags of compost material.
This is my herb garden. This picture has salad burnet, lemon balm and marigold mint. These are all good to throw in salads. The salad burnet and lemon balm both over wintered here in Ohio. I was amazed.
This is sage, lemon thyme and parsley.