Thursday, October 11, 2012

PAULA'S KITCHEN SOUP

One of my favorite Autumn foods is my Kitchen Soup. We don't eat a lot of spaghetti around here, but we do put up several jars of marinara to enjoy now and again.

So the other night we cracked open a jar and sautéed some onion and garlic and browned some ground beef, put the noodles onto boil and enjoyed our first fall spaghetti dinner. And, per usual- there were left overs (I do that on purpose). 

If you don't have your own marinara you can use a large can of tomatoes and perhaps some tomato paste if needed.



Here's why. I take the left over marinara mix and put it in a large deep pan (that has a lid). 



 Then I pour in some chicken stock (if I don't have that I use veggie stock). 


The day before I had done a major harvest on all our beans as well as some of our carrots and onions. So in they go to the sauté pan with more (you can't have too much) garlic.




We threw in some corn we had left over and a cup of frozen peas, just for the heck of it. And just when we thought that was enough, we discovered some of our wonderful Yucatan pork in the frig waiting to be found, so in it went.

Heat it all up to perfection and serve.

Needless to say- put that in a large bowl with a chunk of crusty french bread and I'll guarantee they'll go back for seconds- they'll have to fight me for it though.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

VEGGIE GARDEN UPDATE- END OF SEPTEMBER 2012

Wow, September is over.

We'd been working in the garden every day for at least 2 hours, until the first of September, before we thought we finally got a handle on things.

Now comes the time to go to the garden daily, stand back and admire all the bounty there, and give ourselves a little pat on the back for a job well done. 

The main reason for this years garden was for food, but it was also my 60th birthday and we wanted to celebrate with dinner in the field for 60 guests.

Here are some photos of how great the place looks. We loved the look at the party- the guests were amazed and now comes the harvest- oh yeah, that lovely harvest.

 Just harvested the beans and they are lovely- Both purple Violetti and green, both pole and bush beans. There will be plenty for eating as a side dish and for winter soups, yay.

 Did you know bean blossoms are edible? And they taste just like beans- who knew?



Our carrots- three varieties (Purple Haze, Nante, Sugarsnax), still in the ground.



And our lovely little Delicata Squash- I can't wait for this harvest.

Also waiting for these babies to turn...hopefully just in time for Halloween.

Of course our Yukon Gold potatoes- still in the ground doing their thing.

Earlier this year we had a bust out great rhubarb harvest- I think we froze about 8lbs or more- a lot of it we used for my birthday dessert- and it was delish. We had 3 plants and transplanted and divided two of them- now we have about 10 plants- we'll never be short on rhubarb.


Seven tomato plants- several varieties - lots on the vine- will they ripen in time? Our perennial problem- next year a hot house is in order.



 This year we bought 3 artichokes- we shall see. And we planted asparagus for the first time- again, we shall see.

Then there are the herbs, wildflowers and beneficial to the garden flowers- makes for a colorful and fragrant garden that's for sure.




Going to make Nasturtium butter- tasty stuff.

 The bees love the Marigolds- and they are beneficial to the garden.

We planted several varieties of flowers in a big patch- it looks so cool with all the colors and textures swaying in the breeze. I plan on gathering seeds to do it again next year. 




We planted  strawberries (three varieties), and several blueberry bushes (those will take a while to produce), and an island neighbor gave us 10 or so raspberry bushes which are already producing.

This year we went through more than a few pair of good leather gloves.

Lessons learned- well there always are. Get a head start on the garden by utilizing the greenhouse earlier. Plan on a hot house of some sort for tomatoes. Build mini (transportable) cold frames if necessary. Buy more gloves.

Next steps? Time to prep for winter- not sure if we'll grow anything over the winter. I guess we'd better decide on that soon. But we will certainly be prepping the orchard by planting bulbs and Comfrey and other helpful plants under each tree. And we have 2 espaliered apple trees and one espaliered pear tree to move over to the orchard. 

I'm actually a bit excited to work the orchard this fall. 

As we watch the garden wind down and get ready to put things to bed, I note how lovely the summer weather has been- barely a rain drop (highly unusual for us). It is still nice to take our wine to the field and sit on a bench, glass in hand and watch the evening sun go down, and smile at the hard work and results of this years garden.