Just a photo to let you all know I am still alive. Just too busy to post lately. Canning garden veggies, traveling, chicken momma and kitty momma is all keeping us on the go.
Castro says hi:
Where does the time go? How did I have more time in winter than now to blog when the only thing that has changed is the amount of daylight (and a growing garden). The garden is care free now, at least until the weeds are about a foot tall, then I might pull them. We did some heavy paper and mulching in the garden bed, so the weeds have been holding back pretty nicely. Just have to water and wait, wait and wait for harvest. It was a cool spring and has been a cool summer with the exception of one week. I love it cooler, but the growing stuff in my yard doesn’t.
Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s gluten free menu swap and the ingredient is garlic. She is already harvesting a multitude of produce from her garden, including garlic. All we have are herbs, greens (which I haven’t harvested as the CSA is keeping me well stocked in greens) and broc rabe, which went to seed in a day, maybe two, so we didn’t get to eat it, but I am saving the seeds. Every dish I have listed below has garlic in it, and some like the marsala dosa have garlic scapes too. We did get some fresh baby garlic from our CSA last week which has been really nice to use. Strawberries are finally in season here in mid Michigan and I eat them as is, rarely altering them from their normal state. I love strawberries. I have some from my cousin’s farm in the fridge right now.
Monday: Southern Indian night with marsala dosa’s (spicy potatoes in a rice/lentil sourdough crepe) and a Kori Ajadina that Eby is whipping up as I type.
Tuesday: Grilled stuffed flank steak pinwheels from Cook’s Illustrated. Sides will be derived from the CSA, maybe salad, maybe greens, depends on what I end up with as we can choose from a variety pack.
Wednesday: lunch – packing a sandwich with an Against the Grain Gourmet bagel (so delish!).
Dinner: Spanish style tortilla with our eggs, potatoes, chorizo, herbs and scallions, green salad on the side, all based on another Cook’s Illustrated recipe this week.
Thursday: Chinese Stir fried Chicken and shrimp (shrimp for me, chicken for Eby) with snow peas and grilled bok choy (snow peas and boy choy are on the CSA list this week)
Friday: Avgolemono Soup with dill (using our eggs), grilled Greek seasoned halibut or cod (whatever the store has that is wild and fresh), chopped Greek salad and rice pilaf with mint.
Sat or Sunday: Pork chops grilled with grilled chile rellenos and ancho sauce from this month’s Bon Appetit. The pork and potatoes are local. Chiles, we have 2 months to go before they are ripe.
Last week our CSA started. We are splitting one share three ways. I wanted to try a CSA out to see what it is like and get a little more variety of vegetables than I typically grow. We have a huge garden, but most of that is produce that I can or freeze for winter, tomatoes, hot peppers, broccoli, leeks. The broccoli rabe bolted in a day and is not coming back. I need a warmer climate variety that can take 30 degree swings in a day more easily.
Our CSA kindly sends out an email on Sunday letting us know what we might expect on Tuesday. It looks like this week we will have lettuce, spinach, bok choy, pea greens, greens greens and garlic scapes. At least those are the items I am choosing. I am passing on kohlrabi as I just can’t seem to love it.
Our new chicken coop arrives sometime this week! Will post pics once it arrives and is in place.
Esther of the Lilac Kitchen is hosting this week’s menu swap and the ingredient this week is black currants, which are not yet in season here, but hard to find, but if I do, I will use them somehow.
What we are eating this week:
Sunday: grilled ribs from our pig, grilled asparagus, brussel sprouts with lemon and parm and tomato cucumber salad
Monday: On the road but back in time for a late quickie supper: pierogies – Contes GF brand for me to try and a locally made brand for Eby to try. Maybe a grilled sausage on the side. Will be trying this recipe for the pierogie sauce as I love tomatoes and dill.
Tuesday: From Robert Landolphi’s new book Gluten Free Everyday: Hazelnut Encrusted Salmon with cilantro lime creme and a spinach salad with pea greens. I am really interested in his dusting and encrusting techniques and will be blogging about my findings. Will be making a batch of his Parmesan Popover bites too as we have plenty of eggs right now.
Wednesday: Family and a friend in town staying at Hotel EbyHagen. New guest policy: strip the sheets when you leave unless you are back in a week. Not sure if folks are in town for dinner or arriving after dinner, so I am leaving this eve un-obligated. If no one is here for dinner, we will do burgers on the grill, salad greens from the CSA.
Thursday: Thai Pad Thai with tofu and pork and a bok choy stir fry with garlic scapes.
Friday: Heading to Bellaire for a wedding on the edge of Torch Lake. Staying at a friend’s cottage. We will pack for cooking up there and for pontooning.
Back into the swing of cooking I go this week. The last three or four weeks have been a whirlwind of night meetings and weekends away. It happens every once in a while, but it throws off the cooking mojo. To bring the mojo back we have a nice spicy week ahead. Next week is the first week of our first CSA. Once that begins, my menu planning will start the day after CSA pickup day (which is a Tuesday) so that I can incorporate whatever goodies end up in our box.
This week’s menu swap hostess is Sea from Book of Yum and the topic is Pizza, something just about everyone loves!
Sunday: Peanut barrel for a bunless burger and a side of fries
Monday: Korean Kalbi grilled, wonton soup, broccoli stir fry and fried rice, or maybe I will make broccoli fried rice.
Tuesday: Ethiopian – injera is fermenting on the counter now, doro wat with one of my brothers organic free range chickens, pintos Ethiopian style and a side of yellow peas and potatoes spiced up to fit the party too.
Wednesday: Pizza – we have a couple of GF crusts to compare and plenty of fresh mozz, maybe we will do calzones if we are feeling snazzy
Thursday: Pasta toss with grilled asparagus, shaved Parmesan, grilled red onion, grilled chicken breasts and fresh herbs.
Friday: heading North to the farm for a fun weekend along with the Leland Wine and Food Festival.
Chickens! A friend of a friend needed a home for his chickens and we volunteered. The chickens arrived two weeks ago and seem to be settling in well. We are now chicken parents. I was afraid of the day, but now that it is here, no fear. They make the greatest cooing noises and seem pretty happy. They even give us 2 eggs every morning, from day one here at Ranch EbyHagen.
Right now their names are Chavez and Castro even though they are girls. I figured good socialist names were in order with the whole a chicken in every yard/pot theory and since they are our Urban Revolution Chickens, they should have revolutionary names. Future chickens names may revert to Greta and Maude or something completely different. However, these are the first city chickens and they need names that fit with the moment. These gorgeous photos were taken by our friend Kate. You can tell which ones I took down further. Makes the case for a good camera and the knowledge to use it!
I have been playing in the garden, planting my cold season starts and filling up the herb bed with cold tolerant herbs, tilling up the back 40 (ok, it is only about 24’x30′). The tomatoes and peppers are still hardening off and must wait another week to go in the ground. Raised beds will be filled with peppers and the 70 tomato plants will simply have to fit in the 24×30 plot. Pole beans will be planted to grow up the side of the wooden fence and the berry bushes will be moved to the front yard, hopefully. Next up, finishing our storage shed and building a luxury coop that holds a few more chickens with a lot more space. The chickens are eating our veggie scraps that would have gone in the compost and are quite happy with lots of green snacks every day.
We will give you some garden photos next week!