Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby Veg

 Okay, so from the above picture you might surmise that I enjoy delegating, managing, holding shovels in a sassy fashion or I'm lazy.  I'm learning to be better at delegating, I'm a good at managing my kids, definitely a cute shovel-holder and lazy only occasionally. I actually dug the entire garden alla myself (in a hurried/frenzied fashion during a nap-time lull) and had the Hubs do the tiller because the tiller makes me giggle and when I giggle, I get week arms and if you've ever used a tiller its extremely unsafe to be struck with giggling-induced weak arms because the tiller goes nutso-crazy on you like a jackrabbit on crack. Hence, the beefy man doing the tilling.


So I've been raising seedlings indoors since March or April. We've got three varieties of organic tomatoes: Brandywine, cherry and some sort of flaming (?) Romas. They seriously look like they have yellow, stripey flames on them. We have parsley, pickling cucumbers and green beans. A variety of hot peppers for the Hubs. I've never grown green beans or grown tomatoes from seed. It was quite an enormous undertaking as far as the tomatoes go. They are so very delicate and require so much attention. I felt like my family grew to 45 children over night.

Cucumbers are probably my favorite thing to grow. They are so fool-proof. They grow like mad, so they really stroke your gardening-ego. They make you feel so accomplished. They have this naturally super-poky exterior on the leaves, stems and even the fruit itself so I never have worms or rabbits trying to eat it.

The green beans, other than herbs, have been my first harvest! I have been collecting tiny handfuls each evening until I came up with enough to justify cooking them. I feel strangely attached to these little guys. I've nurtured them, sang to them (yes, I sing to my garden. Trust me, it saved a wimpy tomato plant), weeded their bed and cooed over each little purple flower. Ready to throw-up? I REALLY love my little garden.

So it felt a slightly weird cooking up my green bean babies, but I was quickly over their death as I enjoyed every buttery bite. I simply steamed them in a pan with butter and salt and a dash of water. I topped them again with a wad of butter just before the Hubs and I recklessly dangled each one over our mouths and ate them more like popcorn than a proper bean. All the while smacking our lips, commenting on the fresh taste and sucking the butter from our fingertips.

They were sweet. They were perfectly tender. I have to say, I inhaled them.

And that was that. The first fruits of my garden. It was bittersweet. I raised them and then I ate them. I can't imagine doing that with an animal. Ugh. I'd surely be converted to a vegetarian.

Sorry to be so sappy over my baby beans, but I mean...just look at them? Coochie-coo!

 Crazy dill. It's ready for pickling but the cucumbers are dragging behind. Hurry up cucs!

 So here is what the garden is now. It's much too cramped, overgrown and a plant free-for-all. I have 9 tomato plants crammed in next to each other- very much against the seed packet's instructions. I crammed so many in because I could bear letting some get in the garden and others not. I asked my neighbors if they would adopt my surplus tomato babies, er, plants. I basically made them sign an adoption agreement to nourish and take care of them. Okay, so I didn't, I just gave them the 'ol stink eye as I handed the baby plants over.

Curious about those wonky, ladder-ish things? I got them out of someone's trash. I pick up stuff out of people's trash occasionally. Not nasty trash, nice trash from the nice neighborhoods. You know, where they throw out stuff that's still useful, but they just have no use for it, which makes it perfect for me! Anyway, those ugly things are for my beans and cucumbers to grow up since my garden is a postage stamp size. Having things grow up helps a lot.

As I write this, I am realizing with great clarity my weirdo-plant love I have. I'm really attached. Hmmm.

Nuzzling my manicured toes in with the parsley. I have garden clogs...but honestly, who cares? I love my feet in the dirt- that is, until the Hubs points out the clods of mud still clinging to the sides of my rustic, farmer feet.

Dig in the dirt and plant something. (Al Gore didn't tell me to tell you that.)

Love ya, Foodies.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Whole Dole

It's warming up outside. It's time for popsicles and ice cream. Time to eat your frozen treats in total abandonment with sticky, grape, orange and cherry stains to match the love fest.

That's why I strip my kids down to their undies to eat such treats. And I hate laundry.

With that said, I'm not so big on pre-made, processed frozen treats. They're okay once in a while, but I much prefer the kiddos getting their treat fix with natural juice pops or whole fruit "ice cream", which they can eat with their clothes on, because apple juice doesn't stain (or make your kids crazy) like red dye 40.

I guess I should teach my kids the word sorbet. Apparently I don't want them to look like junior food snobs when they play with the other four year old kids. (read next sentence in a hoity-toity voice.) "We had a palate cleansing dish of sorbet between our first and second course. What did your mom make?"

So the "whole dole" is like the whole enchilada, or shebang, know what, I don't need to explain. You get it. It's everything. The whole pineapple. (I teach workshops on how to rabbit trail, if you are interested.)

I got this idea this morning. Instead of super sugary sorbet, or super fatty ice cream, why not save my fleeting waistline and feed my kids some extra fiber, by blending an entire pineapple, freezing it in the ice cream maker and calling it the "whole dole" sorbet?

Earth-shaking, I know.

Side note on the whole fiber thing. I LOVE chomping on the core of the pineapple. It's fibrous texture and juicy, watery content satisfies that need-to-gnaw-on-something/puppy dog nature of mine.
Well, I believe one could, if one was so inclined, could give oneself diarrhea by chewing and consuming one too many pineapple cores. It's merely heresay. I may know a girl who did that, once.

The Whole Dole Sorbet

1 whole, fresh, ripe pineapple

Take off it's jacket, remove core, chew on the core, lop the flesh it into chunks and whiz away into oblivion in the food processor. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze. It comes out almost fluffy. I think air gets whipped into it in the food processor. Interesting texture.

Word on the sorbet firmness...I'm weird about making homemade sorbet. It must be eaten immediately after it's made. I find that homemade sorbet, when frozen in the freezer after its jaunt in the ice cream maker is, well, solid as a rock. It looses it slushy texture. So while we are all eating our dinner, I have the sorbet churning away. It's a great incentive for slow and picky eaters, to hurry up and eat. The soft and gentle whirring sound of the ice cream maker as it goes round and round is like kid-brainwashing that sends this message: "Eat your food, child. Eat!"

We are going to be eating a lot more sorbet around here.

Love Ya, Friends.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...