We have made it through the winter solstice, and finally the days will slowly begin to get longer. Hooray for that! Orange and green seem to be the primary colors around here lately. It was my wife’s turn to cook last week and she made a batch of sweet potato fries using some orange Beauregard and Carla’s Purple sweet potatoes. She tossed them with a little bit of oil, salt, paprika and chopped rosemary before baking. They made a nice savory side dish to some oven fried chicken she made for dinner that night.
She also cooked up some of the Cordoba carrots last week, and I have to say that while this variety may be productive, they have to be the most bland and tasteless carrots I have ever grown. She steamed them and added a little butter after cooking, and I could describe the taste with one word: blah! So, I decided to dig a few more carrots for some comparison taste testing. That’s the orange Nelson on the left and Purple Haze on the right in the below photo.
I also dug a few of the Bolero carrots, which I’m growing for the first time this year. In my initial tasting of them raw, I thought the Bolero and Nelson tied for best taste and both Yaya and Purple Haze came in next. The Cordoba is as bland raw as it was steamed, and I won’t be growing it again. I notice that Johnny’s isn’t offering it this year anyway, and since Hercules seed is back available I’ll grow it instead. But enough about carrots.
We are still on a bean eating kick, and on Saturday Lynda cooked up a batch of Good Mother Stallard beans to make a bean and barley soup. This was loosely based (very loosely, I might add) on a recipe from the Heirloom Beans cookbook by Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando. I got the idea of combining that bean with the barley, and we took it from there. Good Mother Stallard is my favorite of the dry beans I grow. It has a great taste, and it holds its shape well after cooking. It’s great for soups, or served by itself for a simple side dish.
Along with the beans and barley, we added onions, celery, some Yaya carrots, garlic and Lacinato kale. I say ‘we’ because the soup was a collaborative effort between me and my wife. The kale was leftover from what I harvested last week. I love this kale for soups because it holds up well, and the dark green leaves are so colorful too.
We both thought the soup was a keeper. It made for a warm, hearty meal on a cold winter’s night. And it was even better the next day.
Another meal featuring garden veggies were the turkey tostadas my wife cooked up for lunch yesterday. We topped them with Red Sails lettuce that is still going strong in the cold frame. The turkey taco meat came from leftover Thanksgiving turkey. At the rate we are going, we may still be enjoying that big bird come Easter time!
In other news, we had run out of pita bread, so I baked two batches one day last week to replenish our supply in the freezer. I made one batch of Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread and one of Whole Grain Spelt Pita Bread. I love both recipes, but the spelt version is easier to roll out. That should keep us supplied for a while.
Out in the greenhouse, the Asian greens I planted in a mini salad box a couple of weeks ago have really taken off. I should soon be able to harvest a few leaves for soups or salads.
And the spinach planted in the greenhouse bed is growing nicely too. It will probably be a month before it’s big enough to start cutting leaves from it. I think the fish emulsion treatment has helped all the greenhouse greens get growing, though I have to say the aroma is pretty strong in there whenever I use it!
I hope you have enjoyed this quick look at what’s been happening here lately. To see what others are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.