Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Meanwhile, Island Grown Initiative sponsored a Pastured Poultry Program, and secured a Mobile Poultry Processing Unit. (For those of you into acronyms that would be an (IGIMPPU). And one of the farms to take advantage of it is Flat Point Farm here in town. I love the enthusiasm of these guys and you will get bitten too when you check in to FPP for a look see.
It is all about re-creating infrastructure that will allow young farmers to provide for us locally. Right now, unless you are willing to slaughter them yourself for family use only, all livestock, with the exception of poultry, has to get on a ferry boat before it can go to "freezer camp." (I thank Lisa at Mack Hill Farm for that LOL euphemism).
So enough already ... what about this MEAL? Well I picked up my freshly "processed" chicken at the farm on Saturday and let it "rest" for a few days in the fridge before cooking it Tuesday night. I used a winner Ruth Reichel recipe from Garlic and Sapphires. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a film of olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan. Quarter four Yukon Gold potatoes, add an onion that has been cut in eighths, 6-8 whole unpeeled cloves of garlic and toss in the oil. Wash the bird and drain. remove some of the excess fat from around the neck and slide it in between the skin and the breast at the top of the bird. Put a lemon that has been pierced several times with a fork and some fresh rosemary into the cavity of the bird. Sprinkle every thing in the pan with salt and pepper and cook for one hour. OMG !!! Sublime flavor. All the veggies were from my garden. Only the lemon and olive oil are not local.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
And as a a send off he gave us 5 rules of thumb to use when making food choices.
#1 Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
#2 Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A.) unfamiliar B.) unpronounceable C.) more than five in number, or that include D.) high fructose corn syrup
#3 Avoid foods that make health claims
#4 Shop at the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle
$5 Get out of the supermarket whenever possible
Friday, July 18, 2008
first, after weeks of blossom drop I finally have a bell pepper
and, be still oh my heart, it is a little tiny artihhoke !!!! Hurray !!!
And in the category of Biggest Tomato, I have isolated 2 Big Zac plants this year. I had it down to two fruit per plant, and last night I made the final cuts. We have two Big Zacs throwing ALL their plant energy into beating last year's 1lb 10 oz entry ... stay tuned.
And last but not least, here is a little treasure of a melon. It is a French melon ... a Cavaillon melon. I have tried growing them from the seed packets sold here in the States, but they never lived up to what I had in France. And even in France, they would vary in flavor. Until one day, at the Aligre Market in Paris I came upon a tranche de miel. One slice and I knew I had hit the motherlode of flavor. The kind of flavor that would send my eyes rolling back in my head muttering le petit Jesus en culotte de velour.[loosely translated it means "it tastes like the baby Jesus in a pair of velvet trousers"]
So I pocketed some of the seeds from that Aligre Market tranche de miel and brought them home 2 summers ago. When I stumbled over them in my seed box, I had little hope that they would even germinate this spring, but they DID and now I am watching with delight as they ripen here in my garden.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
My friend's Cereus is so big it is belted to a chair near a skylight in their bedroom. They have to fight with it to get to their dresser drawers. I LIKE this kind of devotion to beauty, albeit a beauty that is restricted to a few glorious summer nights. But I realize that to accept a cutting of this plant is to accept a way of life (sort of like having a successful purple martin house in your yard). But accept it I didand lo and behold there on the cutting is a blossom ... YIKES. These blossom grow out of the leaf itself ... very scary stuff, if you ask me. Stay tuned.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Green Beans, Zucchini and Potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
Generous pinch of cayenne
4 ounces zucchini, split in half and cut into 1-inch thick slices
4 ounces small red skin potatoes
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups crushed tomatoes and juices
Salt and pepper
In a large, heavy, and preferably non-stick pan heat oil. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Then add the green beans and cayenne pepper and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, potatoes and herbs. Pour tomatoes and their juices over the vegetables, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool or serve warm
I had all the ingredients from my garden except the onions which I bought at the Farmer's Market this morning. And I used a jar of tomato sauce from last year's garden in place of the crushed fresh tomatoes.
Then I washed it all down with a refreshing glass of mint and lemon verbena suntea that has been steeping on the porch. Very refreshing.
Friday, July 11, 2008
That came to mind yesterday as I made my annual pilgrimage across the field to the farmer with the sheep to start the process of preparing NEXT year's soil by acquiring some of his lamb manure. I've just now gotten the tomatoes in harness. The zucchinis are finally writing decent topic sentences. And off I go to start NEXT year's soil.Meanwhile, I got inspired to turn my OTHER compost pile ... the one that takes the vegetable scraps. It is never a pleasant thing to turn half decomposed garbage in the hot sun. I added some compost starter to about every 3 inches that I returned to the pile, and then watered it down. Look at that thermometer !!!! It was worth it.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I try to operate on the 4-6 dead leaves rule. When the majority of the garlic in a particular variety are showing 4-6 dead leaves, then it is time to dig them up and let them cure. I did that last night with my Loiacona soft neck and my Ukranian hard neck. They are resting in the "curing shed."
It still feels a little early to be pulling up garlic in New England. Take a look at the Music porcelain variety. If I follow the 4-6 dead leaf rule, this puppy is ready for the shed. But the head itself is healthy and growing, showing no signs of having been in the ground too long. So I am tempted to leave the Musics in another week. If I follow the 4-6 dead leaf rule, this puppy is ready for the shed. But the head itself is healthy and growing, showing no signs of having been in the ground too long. So I am tempted to leave the Musics in another week.