Saturday, April 18, 2009

growing, growing

Last week, the rhubarb was just starting to peek out of the ground. This week, the leaves are opening. Isn't it beautiful?

And very fun for us to see, the garlic we planted
last fall is also up and growing! It was hard to be patient all winter long, trusting that the little cloves placed under layers of mulch would find their way up in the spring. They have! We look forward to garlic scapes and fresh organic cloves. Yummy!

We planted four types of garlic: Elephant, Broadleaf Czech, German Extra Hardy, and Russian Giant.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Planting

What a glorious spring! This is the earliest that the garden has ever been completely tilled and ready for planting. Usually we are trying to sneak potatoes and peas into the dryest areas we can find.

Planted *in* the garden, as of today, are: potatoes (Superior-an early white, Red Norland-an early season red, shown above, and Yukon Gold-a mid season yellow), onions (red and yellow), beets (Detroit Dark Red, Golden Detroit, and Red Ace), peas (Oregon Giant Snow, and SugarSnap), carrots (Danvers 126, Scarlet Nantes, Mokum, Red Cored Chantenay, Atomic Red, and Purple Haze), radishes (Easter Egg Mix & Plum Purple).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Spring in the Garden!!!!

We are very happily working in the garden today! Yippee!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jalapeno Salsa

We have the chance to make and can salsa!
The recipe will follow...but here are the photos!

Three cups of peppers...we do about half hot peppers and half sweet (red and yellow bell, Hungarian, and cherry peppers).

Locally grown organic garlic...not from our garden, but we do have garlic on order from Seed Savers for next year!

Waiting to cook...

Ready to be ladled into the jars.

We are not always good to keep track of the recipes we try from year to year, but here is the recipe we are using this far, it tastes good. : ) I say, "so far," because it does change while it sits after canning, but we expect it to get nothing but better. We have found that if it gets more flavorful (and hotter) while it rests.

If you will not be canning it, then the ratio of ingredients won't matter...make it as you like!

Taken from the Ball Canning Guide:


Makes 3 pints
3 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes
3 cups seeded, chopped jalapeno peppers (we did a mix of peppers)
1 cup chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb minced cilantro
2 tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
1 cup cider vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, then simmer 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Pour into clean jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Note: It is safe to change the ratio of hot to mild peppers; just do not add more than 3 cups total peppers. The amount of onion may be decreased, but not increased. The amount of vinegar CANNOT be decreased. The salt is present for quality flavor and can be omitted. If you wish to add DRY spices such as cayenne pepper, dried cilantro, or hot pepper flakes; that is safe to do.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fresh Refrigerator Pickles

*very* easy refrigerator pickles

1 cup cold water
1 cup vinegar
2 cups sugar (you can cut back on the sugar, we do)
1/2 cup or so of green onions, sliced
cucumbers, sliced, to fill your jar

Combine in glass jar at least a day ahead. The flavor gets better after a couple days, if they are around that long. : )
You can add other things like fresh dill, a jalapeno, mustard seeds, etc.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Candied Beets love them or you hate them. It seems that most fall into the latter category.

However, most in our family actually like them...only the mom does not. But she tries (to hide them in things so SHE can't tell!).

Above is something that we've enjoyed a few times these past couple weeks.
Candied Beets served on a bed of greens.
The sauce alone is like a really sweet salad dressing. The beets add a wonderful earthiness to the salad.
There is no set recipe for this...we improvise as we go along.
Here is what we did.
Scrub the beets (about 1/2 to 1 per person, depends on how much you like beets and the size of your beets), cut off the top and bottom. Cut beet in half (or quarters, if it's a very large beet).
Microwave beets until soft (we lay them out, cut side up, on a heavy paper towel).
Place beets under cold water, one at a time, and slip skins off.
Dice beets.
In Saucepan, place 1/2 cup sugar and just enough vinegar to make a thick paste. Don't add too much vinegar!
Boil sugar and vinegar until it comes to a rolling boil. Boil a couple minutes, stirring frequently or constantly.
Add beets.
Continue to boil until the sugar reaches a thick candy like stage or until you cannot wait any longer. : )
Serve over mixed greens, or meat, or??? (the other day, they were adding it to their potato leek soup...)
The boys think it's much better when it starts to get thick and shiny...and who wouldn't! It's called Candied Beets for a reason.
Since even this doesn't hide the "wonderful beet flavor" enough for the mom, she simply uses the beautiful beet colored sauce on her salad.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Four Pepper Pasta with Grilled Tomatoes

Here is what we had for lunch yesterday....

Luke picked, washed, and sliced tomatoes.
Parker, our grill master, grilled them up.
Elias picked a nice variety of peppers (Hungarian, sweet cherry, and jalapeno...yes, all the green are jalapeno) and an onion.
We added pepper flakes and ground black pepper.
Once the peppers and onions were soft, the grilled tomatoes went in the pan. It simmered for about 5 minutes or so, while the ravioli cooked.
And here is the finished product! Yummy!!!