Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. This will be a No Harvest Monday for me, as fresh veggie possibilities are limited to kale that is recovering in the greenhouse and sprouts that aren’t quite ready in the basement light garden. We have been enjoying plenty of food from storage though, and sweet potatoes from last year’s bumper harvest are a frequent visitor to our plates. I used the microwave/convection oven to bake a couple of the Indiana Gold taters last week. I had not planned on growing this one again since it was a shy producer compared to others, but the taste is great and I am now having second thoughts. We need to taste it again and do a comparison with another variety like Beauregard. I still have plenty of sweet potatoes and lots of time before I need to start slips, so the garden plan could change. Indiana Gold has moist, sweet orange flesh with a golden yellow skin.
We’ve also been depending on the Instant Pot for a lot of meals. I’m making a pot of veggie soup today to take to a carry-in dinner tonight, using frozen vegetables from our garden mixed with fresh ones from the grocery like carrots and celery. I also baked a batch of rolls to take using the convection feature of the microwave. I baked them yesterday since it will be a zoo in the kitchen today with contractors working in there. I had to bake them on a round pizza pan to get them to fit in the oven, but they turned out well. I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking for Dark and Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls. The rolls use half whole wheat and half unbleached bread flour, and have honey added for a bit of sweetness. I ground the whole wheat flour for the rolls using Bluebird Grain Farms Organic Methow Hard Wheat Berries, which makes for a flavorful high protein flour. Cocoa powder gives them the dark brown color.
Yesterday for dinner I made a pot of black beans in the Instant Pot, pressuring them first then switching to slow cooker mode to simmer and let the flavors develop. I used some beans I got from a farm in Berea (Ky), adding the last of our 2017 Candy onion crop and some roasted New Mexico peppers from the freezer for seasoning, along with our garlic and homemade guajillo chile powder. I served them up over some yellow rice, cooked up in the rice cooker. Black beans and rice is real comfort food for us and just the ticket for a cold, dreary winter day!
The kitchen makeover is nearing the end, and they finished installing the floor on Friday. The countertops are coming today, and appliances and plumbing should be moved back and hooked up by tomorrow. It will sure be nice to have the stove back so we can cook with it again! Two small sections of the counters were installed last week, but then they discovered the sink was damaged in shipment so they came to a screeching halt while a replacement sink was shipped. It is nice to have a little counter space in the kitchen, and we quickly put it to use. It will look even better when the backsplash is installed!
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!
Life has been crazy here. No rain in months, this is going to be a scary summer. It’s so warm I’ll probably be putting out summer crops even earlier than last year. Not harvesting a lot, mostly some greens since things did not go as planned last fall. Had issues connecting last week so this is a 2 week post. Rice and beans and rolls, yep, comfort food!
I’ve been concentrating on using veggies from freezer and pantry lately also. I adapted a recipe from an old Deborah Madison book, The Savory Way, to make a gratin using dried zucchini, frozen spinach and ricotta. That came out really quite good.
Your kitchen redo is certainly coming along quickly. It doesn’t seem like it when you are in the midst of it but the next thing you know you’ll be moved back in and cooking up a storm.
As a kitchen remodel survivor, I can tell you that it will all seem worth it once it’s finished. Great looking countertops. Regarding your previous post on seed starting, how do you know how much fertilizer to add to the potting mix?
I don’t try and add the fertilizer to the planting mix. I just water with a weak fish & seaweed solution, perhaps half the recommended amount.
We are mainly using stored vegetables or ones that were brought back from the plot last week. Hopefully we will harvest more next week.
Can’t wait to see the finished remodel! — and somehow I missed your sweet potato exploits this year… Or maybe I did read them but filed them in a dusty corners of the memory somewhere. Hm.
This year I’ve decided to casually experiment (image that) with sweet potatoes — I currently have four random store bought sweetoes (big orange, little orange, purple, and lilac) chitting in one of my kitchen bowls. We’ll see how that goes! I’m going to have to dig back through your blog and find your sweetoe stuff, I imagine it will be very useful reading.
One thing I learned about sweet taters – they don’t like nitrogen! And they really do better in poor soil, period. They should like your long growing season too!
You’ve made great use of limited cooking facilities Dave!
I’ve had a coldy/flu thing the last few days so not got anything to report. Unfortunately I’ve not had much appetite either but I think your sweet potatoes would do the trick!
I was interested in your comment about sweet potatoes doing better in poor soil. I have grown them in my polytunnel before and will do so again this year but I will be careful about the amount of nitrogen and not plant them where I had my broad beans. I usually leave the roots of the beans in the soil. Are they all leaf and no potato if there is too much nitrogen?
You have inspired me to try other types of sweet potato. I know beauregard does well for us in the south of the UK but I haven’t tried any others yet.
I hope your kitchen is completed soon.
With too much nitrogen then makes lots of leaves and vines but small spindly roots. Beauregard is definitely good for shorter growing seasons, and for areas with cooler summers. It gets huge here in our area.
I’ve never grown sweet potatoes, but they always grow in my compost bin and seem to do well against pests / never being watered. I’m intrigued.
The only real pests I’ve ever seen on sweet potatoes is four-legged ones like rabbits, groundhogs and deer!