Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Garden Fresh

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Last weekend, i was on retreat with my lady friends in La Grange, TX. We gather there at a lovely place to explore fibery goodness. Mostly, we spin, but there is some knitting and weaving going on as well. It’s an open forum for us to explore and learn from each other. This was the 4th year and I think the largest group to date, 20 of us.

Each year, I have volunteered to make breakfast on Saturday morning. Lunch and dinners are provided for us, and one of the women brings eggs for us from her chickens. I make scrambled eggs with some cream and brie and a side dollop of pesto which I make with whatever I have on hand, using whatever herbs are bountiful from the garden. This year, I used mostly basil with a good handful of sage and parsley. To that, I added olive oil, parmesan, garlic and pecans. It was a big enough batch that I left half of it home.

With the pesto, I made a pasta salad. I had De Cecco Acini Di Pepe Pasta No 78 on hand. It’s small pearly pasta which I add a lot to soups. Martha had given me pecans from her yard which she toasted. A good handful or three of those were rough chopped and added. I finely inced some onion, and rough chopped some snow peas. There were some small peppers and tomatoes from the garden and I also added some chives.

A couple weeks ago, we picked up a plant at the nursery that said “use as spinach”…I am still trying to get the name of it. It is a little green on its own, but chopped up in a pasta salad? Yes, please.

I have made it twice this week and it is tres yumm. I just had the last of it for lunch with 2 hard boiled eggs chopped into it. We have a bit of an egg surplus at the moment so I hard boiled a dozen plus earlier in the week and peeled them so they are ready and waiting in the fridge…brilliant. I made up a bowl of egg salad using a healthy handful of dill from the garden and it might be time for some more of that, too.

My goal is to migrate toward more fresh ingredient eating this summer using this as a loose guideline to see how an anti-inflammatory plan might help resolve my woes…

Trying again…

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

There was something about the last template that I didn’t quite care for and since I would prefer things simpler,and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was bugging me, I am opting for a new one. Woohoo! I get to change my mind!!

I went out to the garden this morning to cut some herbs for a coworker and guess what I found at the parsley buffet?Digital StillCamera Not one, or two, as seen in this pic, but about half a dozen what I think are black swallowtails in the making. I wasn’t upset about this because this was parsley I salvaged from last fall’s plantings that I just tore apart and stuck in the edge of the bed. It came back nicely and there is more in another location.These caterpillars are huge and I rather like the butterflies when they morph, so as long as they confine their dining to the parsley, we won’t have any issues.

Also in the garden, the sweet banana pepper is on a tear. Digital StillCameraI have already harvested from this plant twice, and there are about a dozen or so more ready to pick by the weekend. I am trying to think of these peppers as snack food and I do like them, but it remains to be seen that if they are eaten in quantity if they equally like me. The jalapeno plant has been pretty prolific as well, and the bell pepper has been less so, but more so than last year.

We continue to move more toward a vegetarian diet. I think we will always be confirmed flexitarians, but meat is less and less a part of it for us. The past year has been strong with these sorts of transitions.

last week we watched the Engine 2 video on Netflix. I have been planning to do the month of July as total veg, so the 28 day challenge from Engine 2 seems appropriate. We would start sooner, but have company here for a week and don’t want to force our choices, and rather than throw everything out that isn’t challenged approved, we will take the next 2 weeks to use up some stuff.

The hardest part of this for me, is not using olive oil when cooking veg. This plans advocates using veg stock or water to saute and I did a trial run a couple of days ago and it just isn’t comparable. I appreciate that it is something I need to get used to and that 28 days of it will shift my palate so I am committing to this wholeheartedly, but I also appreciate that being miserable with what I am eating will not contribute to my success, so I allow for the addition of sparingly used EVOO.

In particular, I am going to try this meatloaf, and this recipe for migas, quite likely one of them tonight for dinner. Tofu and I are not friends, but I am ready to extend the effort and give it a try in this fashion. In general, I don’t care for faux versions of stuff I like, and in the past I have opted to do without. I am hoping that if I can tolerate, or even better, enjoy these dishes that something might ckick to make this change sustainable.

 

Seedlings…

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Digital StillCameraI took this picture because I was excited about the seeds I was starting in our new mini greenhouse. Stuff was sprouting after just three days but I have to say, this picture is so last week. I will take some more over the weekend because they are really doing well. I think this might be the cucumber seeds and they are easily 4-5 inches tall already.

Really, I wanted to post to see if my new setup is working properly. I think it is, but still have some things to figure out about it. I’m not convinced that this is the template for me, and of course only time will tell. When I first set it up, I thought there was a choice about having a front page so my current challengeis to either find that setting option, or just get used to the way it is and evaluate otherwise if I like it enough to keep it.