Pad Thai Cucumber Salad

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I used cucumber,  carrots, radishes, green peppers. You can use whatever you have available.  Zucchini and onion would be nice.

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Pad Thai Cucumber Salad

Cut cucumber and assorted vegetable into “noodles” using a mandoline

Whatever won’t mandolin well, like green peppers, dice fine.

Just slather on dressing and serve.

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Ingredients
1 large cucumber, mandolin
1  large carrot, mandolin
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped fine
4 radishes, chopped fine

Dressing
Juice of 1/2 lime and the zest
3 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 clove of garlic, pressed
2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped fine

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A pic of my herb bed cilantro. I LOVE that stuff.

Summer Squash Ratatouille

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I’m trying again. Trying to grow eggplant.

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I have yet to be successful so I have to improvise if I have one of my favorite dishes, ratatouille. This is a throw together with no real measuring. Just layer with plenty of garlic and basil.

I always freeze enough summer squash for months of this dish, so that is what I use.

I freeze the blanched slices of summer squash about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. I’m also using frozen basil here.

I start off by spraying a low rimmed casserole dish with olive oil and then layer onions, green peppers, basil, sea salt and garlic. I top that with my frozen pieces of summer squash and mozzarella cheese.

Another spray of olive oil.

Layer more onion, basil, garlic, salt and green peppers.
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Top that with a layer of tomato.
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Then a bread crumb parmesan topping on top of that. I added a bit of fresh parsley to the bread crumbs too.
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Press the topping down over the layers and spray with oil again. Cover with aluminum foil tightly. Bake in a 350 degree oven about one hour 15 minutes. Uncover and place back in the oven long enough for the bread crumbs to brown.

Pretty easy just layers of onion, green peppers, garlic, basil, summer squash, tomato, salt and olive oil spray with a parmesan bread crumb topping.

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I like to serve it on top of spaghetti with garlic toast.

Anyway keep your fingers crossed that I will be successful growing eggplant this year.

In the meantime here are some pics of a few things growing well so far.
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Radish

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Strawberries

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Chives and baby kale

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Lettuce, cabbage, and onion.

A lot of things aren’t peeping out of the ground yet.

Oh please little eggplants…grow!

I am sharing this with Tell em Tuesday #11
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Rhubarb Jam

Spring is certainly here. A crab apple in bloom.

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Our first harvest of the season is rhubarb. I made jam today.

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This plant is so large and beautiful.

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Of course you don’t use the leaves because they are poisonous. Stalks only.

This recipe only makes a small batch. I plan to make two small batches this season. Another later in the season.

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With only two of us we don’t need more than that. With the plum, blackberry, crabapple, and grape we hope to harvest we should be covered up in jam. The Lord willing.

Of course there will be plenty of rhubarb for pies, cakes, cookies and breads.

We harvest rhubarb from early spring until the first week in July.

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I got this recipe from Just a Pinch and it turned out perfectly. It is just as the name states, “easy” . I have only used the unflavored gelatin but the flavored could also be nice.

Easy Rhubarb Jam
7 c rhubarb (chopped in 1/2 inch pieces)
1 small jell-o (any flavor) or 1 packet unflavored knox gelatin
5 c sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c water

Directions Step-By-Step 1 Cook rhubarb and water until tender,add sugar and lemon juice and stir together well. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until you reach a boil that can not be stirred down. Add Jello and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Fill sterilized hot jars to 1/4 inch from rim of jars. Remove bubbles, wipe jar rims with hot damp cloth. Seal in jars to fingertip tight. Put in boiling bath canner with lid on for 15 minutes. Remove lid from canner, let sit 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner to a towel lined counter to sit and cool for 24 hours before storing. 2 **** if you need a little water, don’t be afraid to add it while cooking down the rhubarb… but go sparingly as the rhubarb creates liquid..

Enjoyment vs. Need

While I love to fashion aspects of my life to old time methods and 1800 technology, I would not enjoy having to do those things on a daily basis, out of need.

I love to imagine that I could survive if need be, but the true test has yet to come.

That is why this years tomato crop has been mostly frozen. Canning my excess tomato crop is more efficient, considering if the power goes out I would loose my frozen vegetables, without the help of a generator.

I also have seen that in times of failing health, ( or perhaps a motorcycle accident)..People might not feel the energy to can vegetables is worth the effort. My 2009 excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Frozen, Roasted, Tomatoes

Simply wash and cut tomatoes in uniform pieces and spread on a baking sheet. Top with a chopped onion and then spray well with an olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with plenty of kosher salt, dried basil, and dried orgegano ( fresh herbs burn ).

Place in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Stir and replace about 20 minutes or however long you feel will consume most juice without a burn. Cool well and bag for the freezer.

To use, just thaw & throw in soups or recipes calling for canned tomato,
or thaw and process in food processor, push through a wire strainer for tomato sauce.

Ukrainian Radish Salad

I personally think there is nothing better in the world than taking and transforming garden vegetables from the dirt to the table.

I wanted to try something different with our radishes.

I found this radish salad that used some of our seasonal garden items. Spring onion, dill, and radish grace this salad. It makes a substitute for coleslaw.

I found this somewhere years ago on the net. Can’t remember where or I would give credit and I failed to note it. It had been adapted from Madhur Jaffreys World Vegetarian. I believe a dab of mustard might go well in there, although I haven’t tried to add it yet.


UKRAINIAN RADISH SALAD

2 c. thinly sliced radishes
2 scallions — cut into very fine
rounds
— (use both white &
green parts)
1 clove garlic — finely minced
3 T. fresh dill — finely chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. salt (be generous)
1/4 t. cayenne
1 c. lite sour cream
1/4 t. paprika

Adapted from Madhur Jaffreys World Vegetarian.

In a bowl, toss the radishes, scallions, garlic, dill, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and cayenne. Mix well and then add the sour cream and paprika. Mix well again. Chill at least three hours before serving to let the flavors marry. The final outcome makes a nice alternative to coleslaw.

(makes 3-4 side dish servings)

Spring on the Pond- derosa

So glad that spring has sprung here!

We have been harvesting lettuce, chive, onion, mint, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, arugula and radish.

lettuce mixture

lemon balm

chives

thyme

We planted new asparagus but it looks pretty pitiful the first year.

Imagine a 20 foot row of that! Ground needs working!

I so look forward to the growing season and hanging out at our old backyard fishing hole!

Fishing hole painting done with Photoscape! Cool free program!

Come back as the season progresses. We hope to have a lot more wonderful vegetables to show off.

Roasted Green Beans

I have the past two years taken to roasting green beans.

Here is how I do it.

Clean about 2 cups fresh green beans and place in a covered iron chicken fryer sprayed with olive oil spray. On top put one diced red sweet pepper along with one small onion diced and one minced clove garlic.

Salt well then spray well with cooking spray. Next add on top about 5 to 6 slices lemon.

Cover and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. When they come out take off the lemon, stir well and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

The green bean actually brown a bit on the bottoms and hubby and I like that. They may be cooked too long for some but we find they are perfect.

Something a bit different eating browned green beans.

Independence Days Update

1.Plant something – green beans, lettuce, dill

We have many eggplant but this is the biggest one right now.

Some dill is seeding along with coriander.

dill seed

coriander seed

2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchini, lots of herbs, lots of hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, onion, lettuce, arugula, carrot, green beans, green tomato, blackberries, cucumber, new potato.

3. Preserve something – frozen squash, zucchini, herbs and breadcrumbs. Frozen and canned blackberries. Zucchini Relish.

I love this relish but halve the recipe because that is all we can use in a season. I use it in my favorite cole slaw recipe, and on hot dogs.

Link to slaw- Cranberry Cole Slaw.

Make sure you use a 5% acidity vinegar!

The first time I made it, I started to use a cheap off brand and thought to check, while the recipe didn’t specify. That vinegar was only a watered down 4%!

I switched off to a 5% cider vinegar and that worked well.


Zucchini Relish

10 cups zucchini chopped
4 cups chopped onion
3 bell pepper chopped
5 tablespoons kosher salt
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar ( 5 % acidity!)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons celery seed
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Place unpeeled chopped zucchini, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and salt into a large pot. Cover with water and allow to sit overnight.
Drain water and rinse in cold water. Drain again.
Combine sugar, vinegar,mustard, turmeric, cornstarch, celery seed, nutmeg and ground pepper. Pour over zucchini mixture in pot and cook on low heat about 30 minutes.
Ladle mixture into sterilized pint jars and seal in a boiling water bath.
Yield:
8 pints

4. Prep something – new garden bed

5. Cook something – new! Roast Cauliflower and Green Beans with Dill.



Just take about 1/2 large head cauliflower and break up along with 2 handfuls fresh green beans. Throw it into a covered casserole ( I like to use my cast iron chicken fryer) sprayed with olive oil spray. Top that with a couple of tablespoons fresh dill weed and lemon slices. Salt, pepper and spray with more cooking spray then cover and roast in 375 for about 30 minutes.
To serve remove the lemon slices and grate some parmesan or asiago cheese on top. I can eat this for lunch by itself.

6. Manage your reserves- rotating canned goods

7. Work on local food systems – No

8. Manage waste- Still throwing on compost heap..

9. Learn something new – I have found a way to help rid my kitchen of garden gnats!

Anyone that brings garden veggies into the house has to know you sometimes carry in gnats too.
Just throw your compost waste in a bucket with a lid on the counter, but place the lid on the kitchen counter while filling. When you get ready to carry the waste to the compost heap slap that lid on top and hold down until you get outside. You would be surprise how many gnats you can transfer back out into the open