Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The harvests are still pretty sparse here, but certainly welcome ones. I was happy to get a nice cutting of parsley this week from the greenhouse plants. This parsley is called Splendid, a bolt-resistant flat-leaf type from Wild Garden Seeds I’ve been growing the last several years. Some went of it into a pot of chicken soup and the rest will go into a batch of chimichurri I am making tonight to go with salmon cakes.
My other fresh harvest also came from the greenhouse, a cutting of kale I made from a couple of True Siberian plants. I’ve been growing this one in the greenhouse the last few winters and I can count on it to give us leaves in winter as well as early spring before it bolts to seed. There’s no sign of flowers on it yet, though it did have a few aphids on the lower leaves. It wound up in a garlicky braised kale dish I made for dinner last night, a simple treatment with minced garlic, olive oil, Aji Angelo pepper flakes and the chopped kale leaves. Our garlic supply from the 2016 harvest is holding out nicely, and I am using mostly the artichoke and silverskin types now. It was one called Idaho Silver that wound up in the kale dish, and it has proven to be both a good performer and a good keeper for me.
And using a couple of our 2016 sweet potatoes from storage, I am now fermenting my first ever batch of Sweet Potato Fly. It’s a sweet and fruity fermented drink from Guyana in South America, and the basic recipe I followed is from Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz (recipe here). First I grated two medium Beauregard sweet potatoes, skin and all, after scrubbing them clean. I rinsed the grated sweet potatoes in water to remove some of the starch, then I added them to a half gallon jar and poured in a quart (32 oz) of filtered water and 3/4 cup of sugar. I used a half cup of plain water kefir for a starter, but you can also use whey or a ginger bug. The water kefir is loaded with probiotic bacteria and yeasts, so I thought I would use that for my first ever batch. Various spices can also be added to flavor the fly, but I tried to keep it simple and added only a few whole allspice berries and a half stick of cinnamon. I let this ferment for three days, then strained the liquid out and bottled it up for a secondary fermentation so that it would carbonate. It has an interesting flavor, tart and spicy, and I can see me making it again using a purple sweet potato.
Last but definitely not least I want to mention a Cherry-Walnut Sourdough bread I baked up yesterday in the clay baker. There’s nothing homegrown in it, but it is chock-full of dried cherries and chopped walnuts. It’s a version of the Cranberry-Pecan Extraordinaire recipe from Breadtopia I baked back in December. I think the sweetness of the cherries goes well with the crusty exterior and the moist sourdough crumb. I love walnuts in sourdough bread, and perhaps I need to make a loaf using walnuts and no fruit next time.
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!