June 1, 2020

Harvest Monday, 5/31/20

It's been such a wet cold spring the garden didn't get planted until last weekend. My husband actually had to re-till because the only things that had germinated were lettuce, carrots, beets, and grass. We ended up growing a nice lush lawn.

The two beds closest to the house that were home to herbs, greens, and lettuce were saved from being re-tilled. So, we have loads of lettuce to harvest. Yesterday, I harvested as much lettuce that could fit in our fridge since 90 degree weather is headed our way.
Giant Caesar lettuce has a buttery texture. I was actually expecting more of a crunchy romaine type, but the tender leaves and flavor were still nice.
I'm pretty sure this is a Bibb lettuce and that the Nevada lettuce never germinated. It has a very nice tender leaf, but it very much was planning to bolt.
Black Seeded Simpson lettuce is as lovely as ever. It didn't look like it was even thinking about bolting.
Here's a picture of the lettuce bed before harvest. I do think the mountains of rain made the leaves a lot more delicate then they normally are.

What to do with so much lettuce? Lettuce cucumber salad with crunchy Vietnamese eggrolls sliced up on top accompanied by a sweet, sour, spicy dressing. Also chicken, celery, cucumber salad with walnuts and dried cranberries. The chicken is baked with a soy sauce, HappyWorcestershire sauce, brown sugar, ginger, lemon grass, and pear infused balsamic vinegar.

I might grill a couple pork chops marinated in a lemongrass sauce for a rice noodle lettuce salad. Which is usually served with cucumber, bean  sprouts,  chopped roasted peanuts, and the sweet and sour and spicy dressing.

Summer is here to stay. I hope we all get some glorious weather with just the right amount of rain.

Please join us for a fun filled Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Happy Acres.

April 10, 2020

Onward With The Garden, Better Late Than Never

So we decided to do a garden this year, even though last year was an unmitigated disaster. Last year I killed off my seedlings by over-fertilizing, then winds from a tornado blew apart the greenhouse, and then nothing grew because the weather was crazy.

Last week we decided to go full bore with planting because of the whole not going to the store because of social distancing thing, and then there's the possibility of inflation that could drive food prices up thing. So, on Tuesday, April 7th, my husband tilled and today, April 10th, the kiddo and I planted 9 out of 12 beds in the garden.

Tomatoes, peppers, and basil still haven't been started from seed yet, which isn't ideal but I've been too busy at work for it to impact me emotionally. Normally the lateness at starting the peppers and tomatoes would have me feeling a bit desperate.

My garden tends to be overplanted because of the high insect and wildlife pressure that exists, plants will die. It's a given.

This time around I did a lot of broadcast seeding for lettuces, greens, carrots, and bulb fennel. Then a hard-tined rake was used to lightly tamp the seeds down into the soil. I use this technique with good results for the tremendous amount of greens, radishes, and turnips I plant in the fall.

I'll probably still do some canning this year, but our main focus will actually be drying the vegetables. We've been eating a lot of internet purchased dried fruit, and my husband thought we could do the same with dried vegetables which can then be used in soups and casseroles.

January 4, 2020

Chia Seed Zucchini Bread

The chia seeds add a lovely crunch and the coconut oil adds a fragrant sweetness to the zucchini bread. Poppy seeds can be substituted for the chia seeds. For vegans, 2 tbsp. of ground flax seeds in 1/2 cup of water can be substituted for the two eggs.

Chia Seed Zucchini Bread
Makes: 1 large loaf
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 60 minutes

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub coconut oil on bread pan, or line with parchment paper.

2. Mix the two flours, baking soda, baking powder, chia seeds, and chopped walnuts together.

3. In large bowl beat together the two sugars with the coconut oil. If your coconut oil is too firm to mix with the sugars, you can microwave it to melt it. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and shredded zucchini.

4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

5. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Test and make sure a toothpick comes out clean, otherwise bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.