Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Otto Von Lehigh


don't grow up too fast, ok?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

fruits and veggies

Strawberries are out at the farmer's market and pop up stands have started popping up all over the city. Most of the time I try to eat seasonally, even if strawberries and tomatoes are in the market in December. It doesn't mean that it's good for the soil or for me. I think we have seasonal foods for a reason. I get the vitamins I need in the winter with butternut squash and beets and kale and in the summer with tomatoes, strawberries, and zucchini. I like to enjoy the foods of the seasons. Aside from all of that, I couldn't help myself from picking up 3 pints of strawberries on Saturday. I've been eating them with yogurt in the morning and plain at night.

I've had this recipe on hand for a couple years now and finally got around to making it. It's out of Martha Stewart magazine and hers is definitely more beautiful than mine but I like the rustic look of it and it was absolutely delicious! I could have eaten the whole thing. It was just what I needed to get my tastebuds ready for summer.

Last weekend we (mostly Steve) did some yard work in preparation for the spring/summer planting season. We need to get our seeds going and in the ground which means we had to pull out the winter garden. The whole thing was kind of a mess. We let it go early on because most of our root veggies didn't have loose enough soil to really grow (live and learn) and the other Brassicas we had were eaten alive by aphids. We did get a head of cauliflower, some broccoli, and our artichokes are still going strong. There were lots of weeds and leftover vegetables to be pulled. I went to pull up the measly carrot tops and had to fight the soil a little and to my surprise a lovely carrot came up with it! I pulled them all up and was so excited to see that we had our own little surprise crop of sweet nantes carrots!

Steve cooked them up that night with some oil, garlic, and herbs and they were so delicious. Fresh picked that morning and in our bellies at night. This is how we like our fruits and veggies, fresh and sometimes in pastry form.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Frog Balls

This was my first attempt at home canning and in a week or so I will know exactly how the end result turned out. I tried to do some internet research on why they are called frog balls and I came across this story that states "they are round like meatballs and green like frogs, therefore they must be frog balls."

The process was super simple. I don't have a home canning set or anything of that nature, I just used what was available in my kitchen. Luckily we were given a beautiful new stock pot as a wedding gift (thanks Pop!) so I used this to sterilize the jars and can them. In another saucepot I steamed the brussel sprouts and also used this to simmer the brine. Other than that I just used a pair of tongs and some silicone pot holders.

The whole hands on time was probably an hour. After the jars had completely cooled I drew up a little label, put them through my xyron (turns them into stickers) and then they were done.

I absolutely can't wait to try them, and my hand at other pickled and canning projects. This summer I definitely want to make and can some tomato sauce from homegrown tomatoes. The art of canning and preserving is having a resurgence in the urban homesteading community. I am excited to see where this takes us. A pantry full of home canned goods!

And in other news, look at these gorgeous artichokes we have! I didn't think we would get any once I read that the plant has a 4 foot deep taproot and we didn't dig enough to let that grow but we have one large globe and 3 little babies! Maybe we should cut the big guy and let the energy be given to making more little guys.