Saturday, June 27, 2009
Today I went to meeting of the community gardeners at Unger Farm and our extension agent pointed out several gardens with kohlrabi that should be harvested "immediately", or they would be as hard as baseballs. Well, needless to say, the ones in my garden were even bigger than the ones he pointed out.
Tonight I prepared it, sliced very thin, and sauteed in olive oil with a little garlic and green onion slices, with a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a little cream cheese and milk. It was great! Two kohlrabi bulbs were more than enough for the two of us, we've got leftovers.
I found a great web site today http://www.theproducelady.org/ that features a North Carolina extension educator who shows how to prepare some lesser-known or used vegetables and fruits. The videos are really designed for produce sellers at farmer's markets so that they are able to help introduce their customers to using more produce. Her videos also are accessible via YouTube. I watched the eggplant video, and was enchanted by her accent.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
When we left the theater, it was raining. It has cooled off down to 70 and much more comfortable. Evidently we lost power at home, the clocks were all blinking when we got home, but only off by two minutes.
The hummingbirds seem to like the bright red color and deep-throated petals of the monarda.
There are at least three separate groups of hummingbirds visiting my feeder. One goes to the woods behind the house, one always goes to the red-twig dogwood, and the other always exits by flying over the garage roof toward the neighbor's.
They chirp at me if I am in their way or get too close to their feeder.
I always thought of them as silent birds, but in fact they are quite noisy.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
2/3 cup pearl barley
1 pound green beans -- trimmed
1 cup fresh corn kernels
4 ounces arugula
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 1/2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese -- crumbled
Cook barley in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 m inutes. Drain; cool. Transfer to large bowl. Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 min utes. Drain. Transfer beans to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. Pat b eans dry with paper towels. Cut half of beans into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to bowl with barley. Mix in corn kernels. Coarsely chop 2 bunches arugula; add to bowl with barley mixture. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, shallots, thyme and Dijon mustard in small bowl to bl end. Pour enough dressing over barley mixture to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange remaining 2 bunches arugula around edge of large platter. Arrange rema ining whole beans in spoke pattern atop arugula. Mound salad in center of plat ter. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Drizzle any remainingdressing over arugula and beans and serve.
OK, I cheated. I used canned whole-kernel corn instead of fresh, and frozen green beans (grown in our garden last year) instead of fresh. I used 1/3 of a whole onion instead of shallots, and used my food processor to blend the dressing. I did have the fresh thyme. Remember, I planted it in between my cole crops, (the mystery plants turned out to be kohlrabi, never have grown it before, heck, I've never even eaten it before!) Just had to dodge the sprinkler to go get the thyme... And I used semi-soft Manchego cheese for the goat cheese because that is what I had in the bottom of the refrigerator.
Rest of the menu is baked pork chops and baked potatoes. Going to have to eat outside because it's too hot in the kitchen! Add a glass of chardonnay and everything will be fine.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Here's the recipe:
Prepare and bake a 9-inch baked pie shell. Cool.
Separate 4 eggs.
Mix in a double boiler top
4 TB cornstarch
4 TB flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c sugar
Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water - cook and stir over direct heat until mixture boils. Set over hot water, cover, and cook 20 minutes. Add 1 TB butter, few gratings of lemon rind, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten.
Cook and stir until thick. Cool. Pour in cooled pie shell.
Prepare meringue - Put 4 eggs whites in mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form . Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla, and a few grains of salt. Spoon the meringue evenly over the pie, but do not make it smooth. Spread well to the edge to seal to the pie crust so the meringue does not shrink while baking. Use the back of the spoon to make peaks if desired. Bake at 425 degrees until delicately brown (about 5 minutes).
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Well! Ok! What next?
It has been a week in shock, we don't believe there is anything we can do to change the decision that has been made, given the statements made by President Obama about the need for a "quick and surgical" bankruptcy. Quick does not mean going back to revisit already-made decisions.
So, it is to be a professionally-done wind-down. No tears, just make sure that things are properly closed up and turned off and sent out and documented and accounted for.
I am just a little too young to retire. I don't know what will be next in my professional career - but I know it won't be here. So, this will be the last year, at least for a while, for the Bellville Farmer's market and the Alta Greenhouse farmer's market.
My peach tree, planted the year my husband and I were married from a seedling started by my former neighbor, will not bear fruit this year because of the below-zero temps last winter. Had this not been the case, this might have been the year that it finally bore fruit.
It reminds me of the three apple trees I planted at my last house - I had Liberty, Enterprise, and Jonafree - three varieties advertised to be resistant to rusts, etc. I got married when they were just starting to bear, and sold my house. The trees did not move with me. It was hard to leave them behind.
On the one hand, I am excited about new career possibilities and opportunities. On the other, I am very sad to be leaving behind my garden, my trees, and especially making my family more distant, geographically. My oldest daughter is expecting my third grandson this month, and I will just be getting to know him when moving...
I spent some cathartic time hoeing weeds in the garden tonight.