Pea Soup

Posted August 8, 2011 by synnagain
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I should have picked my peas two days ago.  A few of them were beyond prime.  However, I found  a recipe that included a pinch of sugar to compensate and the peas were fresh from my garden.  The mint was from my herb pots.  I used a vidalia onion, vegetable broth, water, and butter.  The proportions aren’t written in stone.   I simmered the ingredients  for thirty minutes, then added some milk and cream, and seasoned the soup with black pepper.  It was quite good.  So far  this year I’ve had beet greens, swiss chard, cress, string beans, and peas from my garden, and I’ve made liberal use of herbs and flowers for garnish.

Jazzed Up Tofu

Posted May 26, 2011 by synnagain
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Colombian Treat

Posted May 14, 2011 by synnagain
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A Colombian friend made these for me today. They are simple. Slice plantains, salt lightly, and fry gently in olive oil. They are a good snack, and taste a little like potato chips and a little like eggplant.

Milk Day

Posted May 3, 2011 by synnagain
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I had quite a lot of expired milk, which my dog does not drink. So I googled cooking with expired milk and found a recipe for paneer.

The origin of this soft cheese is northern India. It is made by boiling milk (be careful not to burn it) and adding a curdling agent just as it starts to boil. I used balsamic vinegar because I didn’t have the recommended fresh limes. I didn’t save the whey because like the cheese itself, it took on a brown color from the vinegar. Dump the contents of the kettle in a colander lined with a towel or muslin, rinse with cold water, and drain. You can make it drier by pressing under a heavy kettle.

The cheese is very bland and somewhat rubbery but pictures of the dishes made with it look flavorful and delicious and I know it’s good for you.

St. Pats activity

Posted March 17, 2011 by synnagain
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I had these nice, brown, free range eggs but alas I had too many.  So I decided to use up two dozen in one swoop…or sweep.  I boiled the eggs, peeled, and rinsed them in cold water.  Then I boiled up two cups vinegar, a cup of water, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons sea salt, and pickling spice.  I packed the eggs in two quart jars and poured the vinegar solution over them.  I intend to let them sit for two weeks at least before using them in salads.  The teddy bear cookie jar belonged to my grandma.   Oh, by the way, I used red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

Garden Dreams

Posted February 20, 2011 by synnagain
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I was reading the local Master Gardener’s column yesterday. He was saying it’s the time of year for avid gardeners to cozy up to a stack of seeds catalogs and pick out the new varieties they went to try. I’ve done just that and have picked out a few things, at least in my head. I’m not a big carrot raiser but the new multicolor blend looks attractive. Never knew carrots came in white, yellow, orange, red and purple. Last year I planted herbs in pots. The article mentioned planting several varieties of basil, and the enjoyment of eating basil salads. I would like to ask, does the entire salad consist of basil? That would be quite a treat. I’ve looked at fruit trees: butternut, a northern apple, a sweet cherry. For decoration, the primrose lilac. And to grow indoors, mini trees in pots: pineapple, figs, olives, key limes, coffee. I have also spied in a Jung’s catalog the show lady slipper. New methods of propagation have brought this rare MN orchid into the market but at $30 per plant I’ll wait until the price goes down.

Shades of Tomato

Posted September 29, 2010 by synnagain
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It the time of year when I have to freeze a quart or two of tomatoes every day, and pick up a bucket of apples, or some will go to waste. It’s also time, if I’m going to taste fried green tomatoes in 2010, I had better make them now, before they all ripen.

Here is a good recipe for using up tomatoes:
Dice up some tomatoes, crush up a bunch of saltine crackers, and mix well. Add fresh herbs if you have them. Parsley is recommend. Mix this up and put it in a greased casserole. Top with parmesan cheese, dot with butter, and bake at 350 until you think it’s ready. Just use your common sense on proportions.

My Apples

Posted August 28, 2010 by synnagain
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Not sure what kind of apples I have here. My long held assumption was Prairie Spy but online photos and descriptions don’t quite fit. These are early, soft, and good for baking and eating–unless what you are looking for is a sour jawbreaker of an apple. These apples have a delectable, cidery fragrance that fills the entire house. The flavor is mild and tart at the same time. I picked in the good ones, and fed the others to the horses. With store bought strawberries and peaches in the house that have to be used, I am planning on making a mixed fruit cobbler this weekend.

Picking Blueberries

Posted July 12, 2010 by synnagain
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So far I/we have picked seven quarts, which involved going out to public lands twice.  It was rough walking over stumps and branches, and I have a fear of falling and not being able to get up, but my determination to get those berries was strong.  There is a scent in that type of pine forest, especially when the sun shines, that is delectable.  I heard different bird calls than usual, and caught glimpses of forest flowers in all their pastel and delicate beauty.  I brought my camera but didn’t have time to take any photos.  I also found raspberries.  Probably not a wild variety but an escaped domestic type, perhaps brought to this spot by birds.  I would like to start the winter with 10 quarts so I will be going again, and gather up some of those raspberries, a few photos, and a few more hours in the peace and quiet of the woods.

This Year’s Garden :(

Posted June 26, 2010 by synnagain
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I got a late start on my garden and didn’t plant any seeds, just purchased plants. These include tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, collards, swiss chard, watermelon. I think plants do better if you plant the seeds directly into the soil. These seem to get pummeled by rain and then the sun comes out and scorches them. I know that’s not exactly how it is but it seems that way to me. I also planted flowers, and I intend to go pick up some more herb plants for pots. I always have to try gardening each year even though sometimes it’s not a success.