Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Of The Wet Stuff

Looks like I won't be in the garden anytime soon...

Monday, February 4, 2008

After The Rain...

California was hit with a winter storm that included heavy rain, snow in the 2,000 ft elevation, mud/rock slides and even tornadoes...yes, I said tornadoes. The rain finally dissipated after about 1 1/2 weeks of on again off again rain. Today was the first day of sunshine in a while and also the first day that I was able to come out to the garden. To my surprise, nothing was washed away but actully thrived with all the excess water and freezing temperature. So check out what's for dinner tonight: broccoli and rappini!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am back...

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything but I should hope to be a bit more regular with the postings starting with my first cauliflower!

How To Grow Cauliflower

Cauliflower is part of the cabbage family along with broccoli, turnips, and brussels sprouts. It is important that cauliflower be planted early. It should be planted about three to four weeks before the last spring frost. If cauliflower is left to mature in the heat, it can acquire a very bitter taste.

1. Cauliflower seeds should be started indoors about eight weeks before the last expected frost of spring.

2. Seedlings need to be transplanted into the garden about three weeks before the last expected frost. Seedlings should be about six inches tall at this time.

3. Plant your cauliflower about eighteen inches apart in prepared garden soil. Cover the roots with dirt until you are just shy of touching the bottom leaves. Next, build out a little ring of soil around each plant. This will help hold moisture.

4. When the heads are between three to five inches across, you should prepare to blanch them. Blanching blocks the cauliflower heads from receiving direct sunlight. This keeps them sweet tasting and creamy white. To blanch, you should tie the leaves up around the cauliflower head. Just be certain that you do not tie the leaves too tight around the cauliflower heads. You want to allow the heads adequate room so they can continue growing as well as air circulation around the head. Blanching takes between five and eight days.

5. Depending upon the variety of cauliflower you have, you will harvest when the heads are between six and twelve inches across. You should harvest your cauliflower before the tight flower buds open. If you wait until the flower buds open and the flowers becomes loose, your cauliflower will start to loose its sweet taste. To harvest, cut the cauliflower just below the head.

Monday, August 6, 2007

They're Coming...

Looks like it'll be an early fig season for me this year. I found these 2 beauties yesterday...can't wait for the rest!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

BLAT- because I have 39 ripe tomatoes

Bacon (Apple Wood Smoked)
Avocado (Fuerte)
Tomato (Pineapple)
Bread (Homemade country sourdough)
and because I am watching my weight...low-fat mayonaise

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sloppy Turkey

A remake of an old favorite. Here we used organic ground turkey and whole wheat buns instead of fatty ground beef and buns made with ingredients you can't pronounce. You can use your home-canned tomatoes for the tomatoes called for in this recipe.

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 pounds ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 (28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon water

1. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add red peppers and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground turkey and cook, breaking up meat with side of spoon, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes with their puree, molasses, vinegar, salt, and black pepper and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

4. Mix cornstarch and water together and stir into sloppy joe mixture to thicken mixture. Place split buns on plates and top with Sloppy Joe mixture.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mixed Grilled Vegetables

1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the grates
1 large onion (red or sweet), cut into wedges with root end attached
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 red bell pepper, (ribs & seeds removed), cut into 2 inch wide pieces
1 yellow pepper, (ribs & seeds removed), cut into 2 inch wide pieces
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed off woody ends

1. Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Working in batches if necessary, remove from bowl and arrange on preheated and oiled grill.
3. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and tender.