My Garden My Friend

I am having troubles with broken devices and slowed connection so here is a little diddy I wrote back several years ago. It may be all I post for a while. I will have to get things up and running again. :-)

My Garden, My Friend

My Garden called out to me last week. It is mid February and the soil outside my window , she wanted to converse.

My Garden said not to look at the stark nakedness of her present condition but to remember the lush green foliage of spring. To remember the awesome large fruit in the neat straight rows of summer. She said to look at her rich dark substance.

Of course my Garden is good at half truths because she failed to mention the rocks she keeps vomiting up, or the weeds that pop up in the scorching June sun. Neither did she say anything about the way she abuses me with dirt under my nails or that ache in my back.

You know, I built my Garden a fence and she doesn’t  appreciate  it because her cucumber vines keep trying to get out and explore the yard. She certainly has no respect for the beautiful straight rows I dig in the morning. She has moved them by the afternoon.

As a matter of fact my Garden is a liar, because I remember those molded marble tomatoes last year and that darned rabbit she keeps inviting over for dinner.

My Garden and I are not speaking this week.

Of course by spring we will be friends again. I don’t hold grudges long.
by- Sue Edwards

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.

Wordless In Virginia








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.

Grilled Garden Corn

Hubby grilled some pork chops and garden corn for our supper tonight.

There is nothing any better than corn grilled in butter
with a shake of salt and scatter of fresh parsley.

Nothing looks any prettier either.

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