Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sassafras --mighty hunter

The other day, Sassy battled with a turkey feather.  She spotted the feather in the yard -- stalked it -- pounced -- and then the glorious battle ensued.  The feather gave a good fight, but in the end, Sassy was victorious!  She brought the kill to the door to show off to her humans.  What a brave kitty!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Garlic scape pesto

I bought some garlic scapes at the farmers market this weekend.  I did some searching on-line to figure out what to do with them (I've never used them before).  Most of the sites recommended making a pesto with them.  Now I know why.  This stuff is amazing!

Cut off the flower part (don't use this part for the pesto) and cut the long green part into little pieces.  Throw them in the food processor (or blender if you are like me and haven't read the manual to your food processor yet) and chop it up into even smaller pieces.  I didn't have pine nuts on hand, but you would also chop them with the scapes at this point.  I only ended up with about 1/2 cup of scapes so I added some basil from the garden as well.  Slowly add in olive oil (about 3/4 cup oil for 1 cup of scapes) and blend some more.  Grate in some parmesan cheese.

Serve with pasta and fresh cherry tomatoes from the garden.  I think it would be really good on a pesto-based pizza too.  

I'm really happy I tried garlic scapes.  I've found a new seasonal favorite while supporting a local farmer and putting my garden to good use.  It doesn't get any better than that.

Spicy pickled carrots

Back when I was in college, I had the chance to experience some carrots that had been pickled with jalepenos.  The professor in the photography department held his office hours on Thursday nights at a local bar/restaurant called "Chico's".  They would serve you homemade tortilla chips and salsa and a small bowl of carrots.  These carrots have just the right amount of "kick".  I pulled a handful of jalepenos out of my garden the other day and decided to give this a try.  There are plenty of recipes for mexican pickled carrots on-line so I am not posting a technical recipe -- I just want to give you a general idea...

Use approximately 2 cups of carrots, cut 1/4 inch or less.  I also diced up 4 jalepenos, 1/4 of an onion and a few cloves of garlic.  In a sauce pan, dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in about a cup and a half of white vinegar.  I also added a splash of water (1/2 cup?) because some of the liquid is going to evaporate while heating.  After the sugar is dissolved, add the veggies to the pan.  No need to boil anything here, just let the veggies heat a bit in the vinegar to get the flavors combined.  I left mine on the stove about a half hour on very low heat.  Carefully fill a clean jar -- I re-used an old pickle jar.  These should be fine in the fridge for about 2 months.  There are recipes out there that will give you more exact directions if you would like to can preserve them.
Give these a try -- they are very refreshing and because they aren't really "cooked", the carrots stay slightly crisp.  They are delicious and pair nicely with a cold beer on a summer day.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

State of the Garden

Things are progressing along quite nicely in the garden -- considering how late I was in getting the plants/seeds in the dirt.  I've finally begun harvesting a few things here and there.  


Roma tomato





Cherry tomato