Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Green Goodness

Obviously I could use some food photo styling instruction. I photographed this creamed spinach about five different ways and I still couldn't make it look good. Ask my father, and he'd say given the subject matter that's not a surprise.

No bones about it, Dad doesn't like cooked spinach. I guess Mom must not be a huge fan either, because I don't think she ever served it when I was growing up. Not sure if I ever had creamed spinach before tonight, but all in all I have to's goood.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that I used half & half, butter, and a good portion of really nice parmesan to make the sauce. Like a rich dessert, this is one dish to be eaten in moderation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dirt Therapy

Today was a day. You know what I mean?

Back to back client meetings, deadlines looming, email inbox growing... Inhaled lunch (and then some) and before I knew it, it was 4:00 with barely enough time to return this morning's phone calls. Left for the garden tired and cranky with my stress showing clearly between my eyes.

And then I got down on my knees and dug in the dirt. Yeah.

Had NPR streaming through my earbuds, mud on my jeans, and fresh air in my lungs. Suddenly I felt sorta relaxed. Not totally carefree mind you, but appreciably lighter.

Planted 18 pepper plants in raised beds outside the high tunnel tonight. The extension beds are full of luxurious, soft black dirt. Rich with tons of wonderful compost, I'm sure. Didn't even need a trowel. Just dug my hands in and pushed the dirt aside. Awesome.

Kind of makes me think about kids and sandboxes. Think that's good for stress too?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kale Me for Dinner

A bunch of this lovely kale is going in a sausage potato soup tonight. Here's the recipe I got at a soup class I took through NWTC years ago:

Portuguese Potato Soup

6 oz. turkey keilbasa, sliced
2 T. olive oil
1.5 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves crushed
8 cups milk
2 lbs cubed potatoes
salt & pepper
3/4 lb kale, sliced

Saute kielbasa. Remove from pan. Heat oil and saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Next add milk, potatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 30. Remove some of the mixture and blend in blender until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in kielbasa and kale and cook for another 10.

Onion Race

The onions on the left were planted outside, on the same day the onions on the right were planted inside the high tunnel. Guess which ones we'll be eating first?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spinach Saute

We're harvesting spinach out of the high tunnel now. Filled a bread bag with about 3/4 # of leaves last time I picked.

This is one of my favorite ways to each spinach--sauteed with corn and tomatoes. You can use canned tomatoes and corn, before the fresh stuff is ready. But of course fresh is better!

Just heat the corn and tomatoes in some olive oil first and then throw in a ton of spinach (sliced in a chiffonade works best) until it wilts. Season with coarse salt. Yum!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I don't. know what. I'm doing.

There I said it. The whole broccoli raab and radish section is a mess. The raab somehow drifted across the end of the row and I can't tell what's raab, what's radish, and what's weed. Everything is too close. It's not good.

Plus, to top it off....I've never grown or cooked broccoli raab before. I've eaten it in a restaurant, maybe once. So here's what I harvested today. Some of it is flowering already. And even I know that won't likely make for the best eatin'.

Plus, (blushing) you know that super spicy, super young "radish" I ate a few weeks back....well, I'm pretty sure it was a broccoli raab root. Sigh.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot

Can you read that? It says 129.9 degrees. That was the temperature in the high tunnel on Friday afternoon. The south door was totally open and the window on the north door was up, but that's still not enough ventilation. Good thing the kit to roll up the sides is arriving soon. Too steamy in here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rabbit Snack

Er, I mean radish snack. Five beauties plucked from the garden this morning. The big dark one in front was popped way out of the ground. Let the harvesting begin!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First Salad

No, those apples aren't going brown--it's the balsamic vinegar I drizzled over the top. This is my all-time favorite salad: greens, feta, and apples with some good balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I like it with nuts and dried cranberries too, but didn't have any of those in the house.

Got a nice good helping of spinach out of the garden last night. Wish more of the arugula had survived. Only a few clumps left in the row that got scorched. Ate a couple of those peppery leaves while I was weeding.

Friday, May 1, 2009


So I got a little antsy in the garden today and pulled two radishes. The pink one was showing at the top so I had a fair idea how big it was. The white one (obviously) wasn't. But look at the leaves! Surely with that big tall shock of leaves I could expect some kind of reward underneath.

Right? Wrong.

That said, I ate most of that little root anyway. It was spiiiiiicy. Yeck. The pink one was nice and mild. I'm thinking I might try to saute the greens in a tiny bit of olive oil this afternoon and see what happens. Feeling compelled to make the most of this plant I harvested too early.