Search results for 'lacinato kale'

The Agony & The Ecstacy

15 Apr

It’s that time of year again. Gardening time.

I’ve got all sorts of things coming up in the garden which means, during the week, I’m glued to wunderground.  Did it frost last night?  Will it frost tomorrow?  Why has it only rained a tenth of an inch this week?  Gardening from afar is stressful (I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of this PlantCam, at least it would help me feel like a little less of an absentee gardener).

We have a few big projects going on this year.  Two weekends ago I dug-out the compost pile. I think it dates back to both of the two previous owners of our house.  I found lots of unusual things in there: the film of green grass that keeps sushi separate from wasabi, pencils (yes, plural), chicken bones and a ceramic snail.  I sifted it once on a wide grid.  The pile is, no lie, the size of a Smart Fourtwo, and now I’m working on sifting it again through a finer sieve.  This is hard work, but it is good work, and once we’re done with projects two and three, all that shaking will have really paid off.

Project two is creating what we’re calling the Plumpkin Patch on one of the lumps our land is dotted with.  We covered the area with a tarp over the winter which not only killed the grass but also served as a nice warm spot for our mice to escape the snow.  We’re hoping that by giving the squash some room to run wild that we’ll actually get some squash this year (winter squash I mean, there was no shortage of summer squash last year!).

From Sugar Ann to Zlata after the jump.

Pork Store

7 Dec

Are there any two more beautiful words in all the world than “Pork Store”?

If there are, I’m unaware of them.  And it was these two magical words that came out of Isaac’s mouth early Saturday afternoon as we were bandying about what to cook for dinner.

I wanted a pork roast, he wanted a roasted chicken, and then somehow in searching the Internet, Isaac stumbled upon Rolf’s and all our wants and needs were forgotten.  All we could think of was sausage.

So we jumped in the car and headed north and as we drove it became snowier and snowier.  But we didn’t care! There were wursts and schinken at the end of the highway!

Sausages and schiken and snow oh my! More after the break.

Bounty

20 Aug

So, it turns out that I can grow tomatoes after all.

Just very, very slowly and one at a time. I’m a deliberate ‘mater farmer, obviously!  Little Roaslita has some amigas, but the plant has a touch of something. I’m just hoping that now that the weather is so hot and dry that she can hold the nasties (and the crows) at bay.

And while I’m excited at the promise of some real homegrown tomatoes to snack on, if you can believe it I’m actually sad that I don’t have any more green tomatoes.  Just as I was finishing up a batch of green-tomato ketchup¹ (the final four plants I had in the garden succumbed to the blight), flipping through a cookbook while the cans boiled, I came across a recipe for green tomato pie².

Oddly enough, the recipe sounds a bit like the Shaker Lemon Pie that you were all exclaiming about on my last post.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make it at the end of the summer when those farmers that have actually been able to grow tomatoes this year will be off-loading their greenies.

But while this year I’m a minimalist tomato grower, I’m a maximalist with everything else.  We have squash the size of your arm, and some the size of your head.  The eggplants and peppers are so leaden with fruit I’ve had to stake nearly every one of them.  And then there’s the beans.

Drowning in veggies? Head below the break for a few good recipes.

Things I’m Loving

6 Jul

It’s been a very easy summer to complain about.

The weather has been dreadful and the hours at work long and exhausting, and that has meant that finding the time to keep the Granny Cart up to date has been nearly impossible.  I begin a post and then it sits for a week, sometimes two, until I find the time to complete it.  And then, when the post is finally done, it’s nowhere near as good as I had hoped it would be.

So, in an attempt to not dwell on the negative, allow me to paraphrase Juliet:

Swear not about the rain, the near constant rain, that daily changes good dirt to mud, lest my prose prove likewise dour.

In a move that may surprise those that know me in real life, I’d like to stop complaining for a minute, and focus on the good things, because in the rare moments when the rain has stopped, it’s actually been quite an awesome summer.

So, in no particular order, Things I’m Loving, Summer 2009.

The Red Barn‘s Tiny ‘Tinis. 2 oz Martinis. Perfect in both concept and execution.

I swear, not all the things I’m loving this summer have to do with booze! So head below the jump to check out the rest, and to let us know what’s been keeping you happy this summer, too.

Labor Of Love

28 Aug

Summer is almost over, and for me, it’s going out with a sniffle.

I managed to catch some crummy summer cold, probably not helped out by the insane pace I kept up while up at the house last weekend. I arrived and immediately plunged into planting a variety of leafy greens from Silver Heights Farm in the one reclaimed garden bed.

I planted butterhead lettuce, merlot lettuce, arugula, olive arugula, lacinato kale, tuscan kale (I’m not sure what the difference is either) and rainbow lacinato kale. I’ve been watching the weather obsessively online and it looks like it’s been really dry up there all week. I hope they survive.

And then after running some errands and hitting some farm stands I was home and the sun was starting to set and I was alone. It was daunting. I couldn’t figure out what to do next. So I walked over to the radio and flipped it on. And, what do you know. Out came the opening strains of my very favorite piece of classical music ever; Dvorak‘s ‘New World Symphony.’ As soon as I heard that watery, calming opening line of the largo movement, baaa dum dum, baaah dee dum… I knew everything was going to be alright.

The corn (from Samascott’s) was spectactular. Seriously, it’s a good thing Obama wasn’t trying to pick me to be his veep, because if video of what I did to that corn ever got out… I also made a quick fresh tomato sauce out of three humongous Brandywine’s I picked up from a stand off the Milan exit of the Taconic (I also got a beautiful braid of the most delicious garlic for $7) and Luisa’s version of Heston Blumenthal‘s broccoli.

It was a good meal, but aside from the corn, not earth shattering. But, the leftovers have kept me fed all week, which is a good thing. And I enjoyed cooking it on my electric stove. I never thought I’d fall for an electric stove, after the early, formative and not-so-positive experiences with the one in the house I grew up in. But this one? It’s delightful! It does what I ask it to. Has real highs and lows, and since it’s one of those flat-top ones, cleans up a dream. I never knew electric stoves could be so wonderful.

Sunday morning I went for a run, scared my neighbor’s horse, had a wonderful breakfast in town and then went to the nursery. I can predict that nurseries are going to be my new kitchen stores. I only went in to look; to judge how much Japanese maple trees cost (turns out, a lot), but, I walked out with a bag of compost and a score of plants. Sigh. I am not to be trusted.

So rather than spending my day poking about in used book stores and snooping around yard sales, I nearly broke myself planting plants. A lavender for Isaac and some foliage for me (I’ve developed a very unhealthy obsession with hostas). After a warm shower and a clean sweep of the house, Oliver and I found ourselves barreling down the Taconic once again. It was too short.

But we made it home in time for Mad Men, which, seriously, is all that matters on a Sunday night. And so, tomorrow Isaac is back! We’ll spend three days in the country, puttering and planting and going to the County Fair. I can’t wait.

I hope you all enjoy your last weekend of summer, hopefully sniffle free.