Monday, September 28, 2009

Grande For the Garden

While I try to find a time to make a video on 'breaking new garden ground, the easy way' - I need a time when I'm functional, the wind isn't blowing too hard, and the spawn is available for FlipCam work - I've been changing the garden from summer to winter state.

Tomatoes have been retired, and a kicking green tomato salsa made. I still need to disinfect all tomato related acoutrements (stakes, string) to reduce risk of late blight next year.

Basil has been retired, pesto frozen in cubes, and 2 final quarts of leaves are in the dehydrator even as I type.

Garlic has been planted, early for once.

And I'm working on adding mulch and such to my beds. Much of the mulch is the 'regular' compost from the compost heap. But I'm kicking up the mulch (and the compost heap) this year with caffeine. That is, I'm adding used coffee grounds as fast as I can.

Now, we don't drink huge amounts of coffee here. Only about 6 cups a day. So I have to turn to an outside source for used coffee grounds. Obviously, that means Starbucks. They are happy to give away their used grounds, by the bag full. Well, the one nearest me wants me to bring in my own bucket, but they aren't the busiest Starbucks. The one in town center just hands us bags of them. I'm having the Spawn go there nearly every day as he drives home from college. He also passes a few others on his way home from school, but I figure one bag a day is enough for me to handle. I don't want them piling up during rainy periods or anything.

So far I've added a bit to the compost heap (in the newest cut grass, destined for use next spring), worked it into the bed the garlic is in, top dressed the turnips, and spread it over the bed I'm putting cabbage in (I'm late in planting that) and put some in the bed I'll be using for the cold frame. I'll need to dig them into the last two beds really soon so I can get planting under way. Then I'll add them to the flower beds/blueberries/roses in front, the old potato bed, the pepper beds, and Gods willing and if the creek don't rise, lots more in the compost heap. All that before winter sets in.

That's actually more than I'll probably end up doing, but I like to plan grande .... uh .... grand projects.

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Real vs Americanized Food

Heya, Fronds!

I've decided that it's time to expand the number of Chinese cooking sauces that I can make ... from 'one' to 'more than one'. Tonight I will expand to a home made sweet and sour sauce so we can have sweet and sour fried pork wontons. Since it will be a main course instead of the appetizer it was meant to be I'm increasing the paltry amount of green pepper, tomato, and pineapple chunks in the dish twofold. Especially since the peppers and tomatoes are from the garden, and the can of pineapple has twice what I need.

Coincidentally, several of the folks I follow on Twitter have mentioned eating at P. J. Chang's, a "Chinese Bistro", lately. So last night I printed their menu. Pretty basic Chinese, some with French words added (WTF????) and jacked-up prices. Whatever.

Husband looked at the menu and opined that it probably appeals to the same folks who like the Macaroni Grill or Carrabba's for pasta - folks who have never been exposed to anything but American versions of Chinese or Italian food. That might be. We like one Italian place not too far from us (I'm sure that there are many REAL Italian places in Baltimore itself!) and one Italian restaurant in Phoenix, where the three of us usually split a 5 course meal.

Well, I have to decide if I'm going to open a jar of cherries for the wontons. The dish calls for about 6, which seems silly to open a can for. But then I'd get to eat the rest of the cherries!

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Liver - it's for lunch.

I suppose most of my potential readers have fled at the title.

But, c'mon - if we're going to kill for food (animals OR plants) we need to honor and not waste ANY of the food bits. And I have to admit that I don't hate liver. My husband hates liver - at least livers not from birds. Chicken livers he LOVES, when made into rumaki (wrap it in bacon, batter it, and deep fry it). My son hates liver.

But SOMEONE had to take the liver when a bunch of us split a steer, so I volunteered. Marta volunteered to take the heart. I think that folks with dogs took the other entrails.

So today I'm doing a Filipino dish of liver with tomatoes, onions, and red peppers. The veggies are from my garden. The liver is from a steer pasture raised.

My timer went off - time to eat!

Frondly, Fern