My garlic crop is growing so very nicely, thanks to the chopped oak leaf mulch, the seaweed (that D & I gathered through the seasons!) and the EM (magic stuff, really).
The hardnecks are just gigantic and I’ve been harvesting the scapes .. some of which I’ve chopped up and put in the freezer for later stir-fries and some I’ve made into pesto .. oh, my goodness .. very garlic-y! And really, the scapes have grown so early on this crop .. I’m sure that last year that they didn’t arrive till much later.
Stepping back . .here is a view of my garlic crop .. I’ve planted them in rectangles this year, and should have made the paths between them wider than I did .. guess I got a little greedy in wanting to plant more garlic!
A little Golden Crowned Sparrow was walking through the garlic forest ..
I am so looking forward to harvesting this crop …
Finding tiny objects from the seaweed .. so I decided to decorate the garlic leaves .. pretty, hey?
The great, ah, scape .. ha ha
A little Robin goes hunting in the garlic forest …
I mixed up a batch of garlic scape pesto .. no recipe .. just roughly chopped up the scapes, tossed into the trusty Braun food processor, added lots of olive oil, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds .. finely grated Parmesan cheese … yummmmmmm… very delicious. Using an ice-cream scoop, soon filled a parchment covered cookie sheet .. into the freezer for a while .. and then ..
Filled up a ziplock bag and in the freezer .. ready to toss into soups, stews, spaghetti, sandwiches .. sheer heaven ..
Young Anna’s … so very sweet ..
Welcome visitors .. I just know these babies have hatched somewhere in our little forested yard ..
My deluxe greenhouse .. an airplane windshield .. so very perfect …
I’ve planted these coffee sacks with potatoes … interesting to see how many potatoes I will get. There are also some volunteer potatoes that I missed digging out .. so happily I will have many potatoes this year. I heard about growing potatoes in burlap bags, so this is my version of that idea. I put the bags inside sturdy garbage bags, with holes punched in the bottom for drainage. And as the plants grow, I’ll unroll the tops and add more soil.
As a matter of fact .. that is what I am going to do right now .. change into my gardening clothes and run .. well. … .first I”ll brew some more tea and then I’ll rush outside!!
I’ve slowly begun to be sort of active and getting things done lately, not much, mind you .. but some. And as things just build on themselves, without really trying – I’m sure that I’ll be back to my busy whirling dervish kind of person again.
Although I’m not a super big Christmas and New Year celebration kind of person … I did find myself getting swept up into the spirit of things. And grew to really love shopping .. just to be out in the friendly shopping malls in town and perhaps a visit or two downtown.
Energizing to speak with fellow shoppers. See the joy in other’s faces. And sometimes the sadness. There is always lots of both out in the world.
Years ago I’d decided to feel the joy of Christmas every day of the year so that it wouldn’t feel as if the happy holiday energy wouldn’t suddenly disappear after a few days .. but would stay with me. And it has. Although I must admit to loving the atmosphere of Christmas. The delicious foods (shortbread, Christmas pudding, a little fruit cake) rum and nog, perhaps a fancy drink or two. Visiting with friends. Snuggling with my DH .. that’s my very favourite.
Thus far in the New Year .. I decide to get back into exercising .. and I’ve done that with my lovely daily walks. Walking everywhere and mostly ending up at Swan Lake …quite often. There are other beautiful places to be in town .. but this is the closest and besides I love seeing the birds of all types.
And back to decluttering. Spent a bit of time yesterday sorting out books to donate to the blue box (reading program) and have about 100 (yes, that many!!) neatly placed in bags and boxes to take over tomorrow.
Those are fictions books, including some videos and music cd’s. And I need to cull my gardening book collection .. but not today.
So yesterday, after doing all that .. I decided that it was high time to cut up my wonderful crop of (one) Luminara pumpkin. But first, I have to ensure that this is non-GM .. so spent some time searching and found that it is not. Although I still have the plant tab that came with the plant “somewhere” in my gardening stash .. so will double-check on the ‘net once I have that little item.
I’m not knowledgeable about pumpkins and only found out this year (blush) that there are more varieties than the normal orange Jack-o-Lantern! Months ago, I’d chosen a curry vegetable stew at a local restaurant which contained rich orange pumpkin .. and thus I entered the world of pumpkin land!
So you can see that I was quite happy when I cut up my treasured pumpkin and discovered that the fruit was a rich orange colour!
Then I spent awhile looking up recipes for curry pumpkin stew .. and there are quite a few. I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I ended up making up my own recipe!
I steamed 2 of the large sections in a covered roasting pan …. later scooped all the lovely pulp into a bowl. Added some butter on top and a light sprinkle of pepper!
Now .. this looked so delicious that I had to put some in a little bowl for tasting. oh .. my .. this was just ambrosia and tasted like sweet potato! I managed to freeze most of this to add to a future soup.
The rest of the pumpkin .. well .. I cut it into cubes. Along with cubed sweet potatoes. They really looked pretty and I wish I’d taken more photos so I could share in my culinary boasting .. but ended up being so busy, measuring, and all that .. so it completely slipped my mind.
Chopped up onion & garlic (of which I have quite a bit of!) and swirled them in a soup pot with some olive oil. Added the pumpkin, sweet potato, curry powder, sea salt, freshly ground pepper. Organic chicken broth & a tin of crushed tomatoes.
Cooked for a while ….. tasted .. and another wonderful dish was born! Yum. Some for the freezer and some in the fridge for lunches.
And I’d rinsed and rinsed and rinsed the seeds:
Removed the pumpkin fruit from them …. patted them dry .. and now they are drying in a dish. Many many seeds! Lots for me to grow this summer, share with friends and perhaps donate at Seedy Saturday.
Finally, clean-up time. Lots of materials for composting.
Tired .. but happy .. a great way to end another wonderful day!
I have the book and had the video, but gave that to my sister, as I know all of the exercises. I loved her first video, but subsequent videos/dvd’s were just to spacey and new age for me. The first time I saw her demonstrate her specific types of exercises was on a Johnny Carson show, many years ago.
She was very straightforward in her approach and the exercises were simple, no machines were needed. You could exercise anywhere. So I’ve started doing them again and can feel those muscles in my legs and tummy shouting … yea .. at last … so am slowly marching down the road to getting back into shape. Already my posture is better, I carry myself taller, shoulders back. Feels great.
Anyway, yesterday and part of today was spent bundling up my containers of dried seaweed, to store them over the winter so I can use them from time to time.
And a few days ago I think that I called upon my Inner Chef because I found myself cooking up a storm! Using recently purchased bags of eggplant and some special long green peppers! I scoured the internet for recipes and soon was making a variety of foods. Which included: eggplant hamburgers, which called for peeling & cutting up the eggplant into cubes, steaming, mixing with eggs, shaping into little patties, light dusting of flour and fry in the pan.
Next time I’ll mash the eggplant into more of a mush. Good tasting.
Then there was the eggplant au gratin. This recipe simply said to peel & slice the vegetable, cook in water till tender, then mash (which is the way I will prepare the e/burgers if I make them again). Next, simply place layers of the eggplant and grated cheese into a greased casserole. This looks and tastes delicious!
Finally, I prepared the stuffed special green peppers. I say special, cause I’ve not seen these type before, they are not hot, and they are longer than the regular green bell pepper. I have saved some seeds and will try and grow them next year.
So I mixed up quinoa/organic beef/garlic/rosemary and a few spices from the cupboard. Then I cut the tops off of the peppers, ran a knife down one side and popped them all in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Removed them from the pot, placed, cut side up in a casserole dish. Spooned the meat filling in each one. Poured salsa sauce over it all and baked in the oven. When done, after about 30 minutes, I sprinkled a liberal dose of crumbled mozzarella cheese on top.
Didn’t think I’d like these, but they remind me of lasagna, without the pasta calories. Delish!
Finally, came the soup. Why soup? Well, I guess I had the freezer part of the fridge kinda overstuffed with my zealous supply of frozen fruits from the garden. DH opened the freezer door and out onto the floor fell frozen bags of tomatoes, packets of meat, etc. So I decided, instead of trying to make everything fit into that small space again, it was time to make soup!
And also, this is when the idea formulated inside my head .. to make the stuffed peppers!!
So I thawed out the tomatoes, put them in some chicken soup base in a pot. Cooked it all. Tried to remove the skin on the tomatoes, finally whipped out the hand blender and soon the soup was looking nice and rosy. Next I grated one of those lovely potatoes from the garden, to try to thicken it up. Added a little bit of garlic and rosemary. Whipped in some sour cream .. and yum, delicious soup!
Lots of food at a very low price and our fridge is full!
Today I went for a drive in the country and obtained some lovely large plant pots … for potting up my recent sale purchases! So happy am I!
I love driving through the local countryside .. such a beautiful time of the year .. lovely fall colours. Beautiful farms … lots of work, though, I’ll bet.
Next I went to visit my friend D! I was invited to try some of her borscht soup. Now, I’ve never tried borscht soup .. somehow the idea of having beets in soup has never appealed to me. However, today I ventured forth and realized what I’ve been missing. Now I want to try to make some. Absolutely delicious. And I understand the beets are full of good things too! Oh, I’m learning so much now.
The borscht was served in lovely blue Period Pyrex bowls … so pretty! And these were placed on delicately painted dishes! Did I mention the dollop of sour cream on top! And D also make these terrific rice cake sandwiches! She spread some grainy mustard & organic mayonnaise on the top. Next there was large, flat nasturtium leaf! Ok, I’ve never eaten a nasturtium leaf (or a flower) before, so this was another tasty treat! On top of this was a lovely layer of baked salmon.
Now this was a gourmet lunch and very delicious. Dessert was a decadent square of chocolate!
She is such a magnificent cook, and is always preparing lovely ingenious meals for her family! I’m learning a lot from her and trying out some of the things I’ve learned at home! Food is fun, especially this type of food.
After a lovely visit, spent talking non-stop about creative things for several hours, it was time for me to head home and go outside to play around in the garden.
Which I did!
Cause we are supposed to get lots of rain in the next few days!
And so the winds continued yesterday. Sun came out .. .went for a break, then decided to shine for a while. Glad to have you back, transforming the yard!
I’ve started taking a teaspoon of the EM concentrate every day .. as it seemed to have been very effective in warding off a recent ailment that was bothering me. Yea again to the magic of EM. I’d listened to someone who shared that she has taken a spoon daily for a few years and has managed to avoid catching strong colds that were affecting her friends. Those kinds of colds that really knock you off your feet. So I’ve heeded her story and have begun with the daily EM. It tastes quite sharp and not bad at all.
Decided it was time to mix up a batch of garlic scape pesto… so quickly chopped, put in the blender, added olive oil, finely shredded parmesan and almond slices (slightly browned in a small cast iron pan). Loosely guided by a recipe found on the ‘net .. I soon had a delicious mix prepared. Garlicy .. delicious.
Next, I placed a small amount in wax paper and into the freezer, to firm up a bit. Later, I placed sections in a small square of w/paper, formed into a small circular shape, and piled them in glass containers for the freezer. Now, I’m all set to use a bit in the next recipe.
And speaking of which, I found a great blog with a variety of pesto recipes and one in particular for pesto broccoli quinoa .. I’ll reblog that one!
Yesterday I was getting back in my stride … feeling so much better. Spent hours outside … finally potting up those herb seeds from a gift years ago. Funny, the seed packets note to “use the seeds before 2006” … ha ha, I scoff, as I soak the contents of each packet in a diluted EM solution. We’ll see, my pretties!
Don’t know what I’ll do if all the seeds sprout, though! There are: coriander, thyme, parsley, basil and some spinach. Bumper crop. Then I found some lovely squash seeds and my wonderful luffa. I’ll just try a few of the luffa seeds .. to see if I can actually grow some. Fingers crossed.
Then I spent some time unpotting some Scotch moss, separated some of the plants into two sections, soaked them in diluted EM and placed them at the side garden, in front of the boxwood. This area is starting to look great. And I scattered hundreds of Calendula seeds in this area. These flowers grow like weeds. Lovely yellow and orange coloured petals. Then I can collect the petals for future use. Ah, at times it seems as if I’m regressing .. I used to do this years ago.
I plan to get back into soap making .. on a small-scale, just for the fun of it. I’ll not use tallow this time .. will focus on the cocoanut base and other plant-based materials. And I do not plan to go into business this time … so will just enjoy the pleasure of creating a small variety of soaps for friends and myself.
Watched the baby sparrows learning from their parents, how to feed at the bird feeders. I can hear their tiny chirps high above in the trees. They sound cute. Still looking forward to seeing the little woodpeckers, chickadees and other birds.
Funny how time just disappears in the garden. Such an enjoyable place to be. And I’m very slowly decluttering .. planting the cuttings started last year. Collecting all unused plant pots. I’m really making headway .. and … enjoying the journey!