7/21/2017 Garden – Final sunflowers for 2017

A few days ago I planted the last sunflower seeds of 2017, mostly because of running out of space. Decided to plant six rows simultaneous and shoot for a bolus of flowers being ready at once… although in hindsight one of the varieties is 60-70 days unlike the 50-60 for the other two.

Also, planted in two ~30 inch beds with a 12 inch walkway. Three rows per bed spaced at about 7 inches. Rather than put one variety per row, I filled the bed with the same variety across the rows so that taller varieties don’t block shorter ones.

Planted the remainder of the Sunrich Orange Summer, the remainder of the Sunbright Supreme (60-70 days), and about half the remaining Pro Cut Peach.

Lots of fungus and other stuff going on in the garden these days. Just realized that powdery mildew is a problem on some cukes and even what remains of the summer squash. Will be spraying Serenade later today, and probably fertilizing with fish emulsion.

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Garden, July 17

I really need to keep a garden journal, because I have a lot to learn, I’ve spent more time than usual gardening this year, and I need to keep track of what has and hasn’t worked. So this will likely be very boring to everyone else in the world, hopefully for the rest of the gardening season.

The green beans I planted a few days ago are coming up nicely. Along with the kohlrabi that Dad planted (about a week ago?) and the harvested seeds from what I believe is probably a broccoli raab which was a spring volunteer.

Harvested 11 sunflowers, mostly from the second planting but a couple reds from the first. Together with the 5 from yesterday, these all went out to the curb with a new sign.

Planted a row of cilantro (seed from plants here at home, untested), a row of bulb fennel (80 days, is there enough time?), and two shorter rows of swiss chard.

Placed the final stakes for the pepper plants. Harvested about a dozen Jalapenos yesterday.

Caught a small rabbit and relocated him a five minute walk away.

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Habanero Sauce 2016

Based on Allrecipes http://allrecipes.com/recipe/57326/bobs-habanero-hot-sauce—liquid-fire/

100 g seeded and stemmed habaneros from the garden
400 g canned mango puree
75 g agave in the raw
50 g red pepper from the garden
50 g yellow pepper from the garden
50 g yellow mustard
100 g light brown sugar
2 cups white vinegar
6 g paprika
3 g black pepper
3 g coriander seed
6 g ground ginger

Batch #2

90 g seeded and stemmed habaneros from the garden
10 g seeded jalapeno from the garden
390 g canned mango puree
50 g red pepper from the garden
65 g yellow pepper from the garden
55 g robust molasses
44 g honey
56 g brown sugar
2 cups white vinegar
6 g paprika
3 g black pepper
6 g ground coriander
6 g ground ginger

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Cuban Skirt Steak and Vegetables

…and this was the dinner from last night, Cuban skirt steak and vegetables, which was delicious. Both kids ate very well but Anya in particular.

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Fresh Herb Falafel

Well, I cooked dinner for the first time in quite a while today. (Actually in hindsight I made breakfast, lunch smoothies, and dinner, which makes this perhaps the greatest kitchen day since Thanksgiving?) And I made dinner last night? Wow.

Today was Fresh Herb Falafel from Bon Appetit, including the shredded cabbage salad and spiced green tahini sauce. It was all excellent!

If I ever make this again, I’ll either make twice as much falafel or half as much salad and sauce.

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Thanksgiving 2014

New Ideas for Thanksgiving 2014 (a “live” post which will be updated a few times) (and a few non-Thanksgiving ideas)

From Bon Appetit Thanksgiving issue:

– A cranberry cocktail using actual cranberries? I’m in.
– Not really Thanksgiving-specific, but I’m intrigued by Tahini Cookies
– Again not Thanksgiving-specific, but this also looks delicious: Spiced Lamb Patties with Nutty Garlic Sauce
Broccolini-Cheddar Gratin with Rye Breadcrumbs
Cornbread, Chorizo, Cherry, and Pecan Stuffing (using a double recipe of cornbread from WS)
Sweet and Spicy Chile Pepper Jelly

– Instead of the broccolini: brussels sprouts with bacon and raisins from Bon Appetit

– Serious Eats sous vide turkey breast

Dead Simple Turkey Gravy (from Serious Eats)

– Jeni’s Cranberry Royale Sorbet (recipe from book, found online here)

– Mark Bittman’s Cranberry Relish with Orange and Ginger

– Modernist Cuisine Caramelized Pumpkin Pie

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Habanero hot sauce

You’d think I would have some crops from our front yard garden that would feed the family… You know, tomatoes lettuces and the like. We had some strawberries but I think the kids preferred the big ones shipped in from California.

Instead, we had a monster crop of habaneros.

Made the habanero hot sauce based on Rick Bayless‘s recipe… Pan roasted garlic, onion, carrots, Apple cider vinegar. Processed in 1 pint jars (couldn’t find smaller ones in a pinch), ten of them.


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The twinkies were looking great outside:

Whilst the ladies were inside getting photobombed:

A great time was had by all… Mike and I really enjoyed the pig tail and the bone marrow. Would go back again just for those two dishes.

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Rhubarb chutney

When I planted some small rhubarb plants in the fall of 2012, I had grand plans for what we’d do with the rhubarb. This is the first year for harvest, and we’ve only made one thing, which unfortunately didn’t turn out all that good (wet baked goods… either we messed up the recipe or the recipe was messed up!).

Both Lesya and I saw this recipe for rhubarb chutney in a recent Fine Cooking magazine and decided it might go well with the fromage frais cheese that I like to make. It’s a powerful chutney with bold flavors… I’ve only had a few tastes but I think it might be a winner.

1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1.5 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp kosher salt
3 T canola oil
3 large shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 T yellow mustard seeds
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup honey
3/4 lb rhubarb, trimmed at cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup golden raisins

In a 3-quart pot, bring to a simmer the [cider vinegar, bay, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, and salt]. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes (I did longer).

Heat the oil in a skillet and sweat the shallots, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes, stirring, 5 minutes or until softened.

Stir the shallots and honey into the vinegar and again bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon. Add rhubarb and raisins, cooking over low heat (limited or no stirring) until the rhubarb is starting to fall apart, 10-15 minutes.


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Eggs with ramps

Picked up my first-ever haul of ramps yesterday and I couldn’t wait to make something… anything… with them. So for breakfast today it’s scrambled eggs with lightly sautéed ramps.



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