horseradish for free

This evening, after visiting my garden and the 4 foot high weeds, I have decided to inventory all the plants (minus weeds) that are growing in no particular order. This is mostly to help me next year in planting less, I hope.

Garden Inventory:

tomatoes (about 42 plants, about 10 varieties – too many yellow)
green chiles (about 20 plants – don’t need more plants, just fertilizenext year)
poblano chiles
red bell peppers
green bell peppers
hungarian peppers (which happen to be very hot)
collard greens
broccoli rabe (mistakenly mis-tagged – lucky me)
brussel sprouts
swiss chard
red leaf lettuce
green leaf lettuce
butter lettuce
leeks (there were supposed to be scallions too, but they are all leeks – about 60 of them!)
acorn squash (three plants are taking over 1/2 the garden – next year no squash, don’t really like it enough to have bushel full)
sweet peas
pole beans – kentucky and italian flat
tomatillos (these are coming up from last year and once i realized it wasn’t a weed I have let them grow – bonus as I saw no tomatillo plants for sale)
swiss chard
purple potato (missed one from last year and it grew again after over wintering)
horseradish (grew from neighbors garden roots after tilling now taking over garden where acorn squash isn’t)
dill (from last year’s seed)
radish (these were in my neighbors plot, but planted for both our use – but they didn’t grow well)
zucchini (almost forgot that one, how could I)

cilantro and bonus, now I have coriander as it bolted

I think that’s it. I have a full perennial herb garden too, but that is a different post.

With today’s broccoli harvest I made chicken divan ala my style – chicken dijon with chicken, broccoli, a chicken broth based creamy dijon wine sauce and parmesan cheese – yummo. Served over rice cooked in chicken broth and fresh herbs. I used a fine rice flour from the asian market (Indian isle) and it worked great for making a roux.
And of course fresh tomatoes (one brandywine and one yellow, I even peeled them this time) with olive oil, torn basil, chives, sea salt and loads of freshly ground black pepper. I eat this salad almost every day. Delish.

i’m out

procastination motion

Over the weekend I was at my Aunt’s house sipping a margarita and visiting with family and upon leaving, guess what I saw on the kitchen shelf? That’s right, a rooster pitcher. If you recall, the profile to the right of this blog has a little statement about rooster pitchers.

“For your birthday, your aunt gave you a maple syrup dispenser shaped like a rooster. Please write her a thank-you note:
Which end of the rooster does the maple syrup come out of? Chic-kens!!”

I saw that pitcher and started laughing. Well to answer my question the syrup is supposed to flow from the beak. I bet you were all dying to know.

I think it is a sign. Not sure what kind of sign, but I do smile everytime I think about it. Maybe I will knit a rooster hat for the winter.
My brother has started to raise pheasants, quail and chickens. I bet he would love a rooster hat.

On a different topic I seem to have this tomato canning avoidance system in me right now. I desperately need to can the tomatoes which are falling off the vines in my gardens, but feel like doing nothing about it. I think this is a result of being gone for 11 days. And the fact that I have to return a tank of gas in order to can and that is a pain.
I am in a procrastination mode. The eggplants are ready too. Think I will roast those and freeze them. I need to get out of this funk. You know the i’m broke and my house needs cleaning and the tomatoes are ripe all at the same time kind of funk.
I need to cook, something that I’ve never made before. Something spicy, something mood changing. Send ideas. Use garden veggies. Send lobster.

i’m out

chicken salad and root canals

Yesterday I had a root canal. We all know they are not fun, so I will skip the details.
Things you crave and want to eat right after a root canal but can’t because your jaw can’t open, you can’t chew and you are still numb:

Chips and salsa
French bread ( I really need to find something to replace a crusty loaf of any bread)

What you can eat: gluten free (beginning to dislike those words already) mac and cheese.

Being a redhead, I wear off the normal shots they give you for numbing and pain in about 20 minutes, 1/2 hour tops. So they wisely gave me a numbing shot that should last for 8 hours and figured it might last 6 and sure enough, six hours later, I could feel again. Nothing like starting to unnumb right when they are getting down to the bottom of your root.

Ah happy gas…..

I have a bushel of garden tomatoes that need to learn how to can themselves.
I have been dining on fresh tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzerella with a little olive oil, salt and pepper as well as fresh chives almost every night. Yummo!

What does chicken salad have to do with this blog today? Nothing, I made it for lunch with cashews, celery and dried cherries.

i’m out.

on a Sagittarian being domestic

Hum, everything you read about Sagittarians is basically me, I am uber Sag really. Except for one little thing. Domesticness. Is that a word even? For lack of a greater disposable income I have traded travel for domesticity. I still travel mind you, all the time, just not where I want to travel all the time and not out of the county nearly enough.

Today’s domestic list:
Blanched and froze Swiss chard, broccoli, pole beans and collard greens (it’s the southerner in me) and am about to can hot dilly beans and then while they are processing I will roast the dozens of green chiles that I have harvested from the garden. I am going to roast some jalapenos too as I have too many to eat in a timely fashion.
Tomatoes will have to wait. I tried to connect my beer burner to the propane supply and the hose won’t fit. I was sold a lame propane tank that must be returned so that I can process tomatoes outside. This is so much nicer than heating your kitchen up in August and giving yourself steam baths.

I suppose having a garden in general is too grounding for most Sagittarians. And I have two. Hum, no, no Cancer moon, trust me. Taurus moon.

i’m out.

there are no sad polka dancers …and zucchini

I spent Friday and Saturday in East Lansing at the Great Lakes Folk Festival. This fest is great as it is 2 miles away and free! Friday night I arrived in time to hit the dance tent when the polka band was playing. It is such happy music. Nobody is moody or teary eyed when polka is playing, in contrast to the Cape Breton celtic band who played on the main stage later that eve. They had great music too, but that style can bring out all sorts of emotions, wistful, longing, deep, dark sea moods as well as happy little jigs.

But polka…is always polka, fun, happy, goofy and full of laughter. Cajun is the same way, a walking party with music.

I mowed the lawn yesterday. I love a freshly mowed lawn. It has been so hot here lately that my lawn stopped growing. I am sure the lack of consistent rain helped too. Somehow, the weeds always manage to grow as they are so well adapted to their climate. So, really, I just mowed the weeds. Just the same, everything is the same height now.
I received news this morning, exciting news, that my privacy fence will be going up on Tuesday. Oh happy day!!!! To once again have privacy in my backyard will be so nice!!! I recently removed two very large and tall cotton wood trees from my backyard and several little trees that were along the fenceline with the cotton woods had to be removed too, as well as the chain link fence that was in place. So now my backyard opens up into the neighbors, a neighbor who has been very sullen about the tree removal repercussions. He is a renter with a dog and now has to actually pay attention to his dog so that the dog stays in his yard. His fence was removed too to make the tree removal easier as his yard opens up into a parking lot. So, for a month I have been looking into the parking lot of the two neighboring duplexes and incurring all the nasty looks of my neighbor. His dog is however, very content now. The neighboring landlords put up a new privacy fence this week and wow did that help. I gave him a bunch of garden tomatoes as a peace offering two days ago. He planted his tomatoes in the shade. They are about 1 foot high, with no blooms.

Ok, this blog is getting decidely boring. Time to change topics.

My garden is now producing faster than I can eat anything, so I am taking tomorrow off to can hot dilly beans (pickles), blanch and freeze beans, swiss chard and collard greens (love them! great in winter soups) and can and dry some more tomatoes.
I wonder if I could blanch and freeze zucchini? Do I really want zucchini that badly in winter? I made a point of only planting one zucchini plant this year and it still gives me more than I can use. Last year I spent a lot of time slicing it and putting it in the food dehydrator so I could put it in soups all winter.
Did I? No, not once. I still have dried zuc chips. I am thinking the squirrels might like them.

Somehow two cherry tomato plants ended up in my garden. I really dislike cherry tomatoes, they have no true flavor compared to a real tomato. I checked the tags I planted with them and sure enough, somebody switched them at the garden center as they are definitely not Roma’s. Disappointing, but at least I have 6 other Roma plants and they all weren’t cherry tomatoes. Here is a pic of last year’s tomato harvest. I planted lots and lots of heirlooms. This year I cut back on the heirlooms as they are not really for canning and I can’t eat them or give them away fast enough. But they are tasty and beautiful!

last years tomato basket

Did I mention that on Friday I made the best margarita I have ever tasted? I will post the recipe another day. The secret: key lime juice and great tequila.

i’m out