Sunday, March 4, 2012

A is for Apple and Asparagus

Today I planted a Pixie Crisp Apple tree and 2 year old root stock of Mary Washington asparagus.
The large leafed plants are red potatoes. I've got red, white and purple potatoes coming along nicely. Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are doing well and being harvested as they get ready. I've got a couple of sweet peppers almost ready to pick. It's been a mild winter. Today Fletch came over to help get lawn equipment ready for summer mowing and while he was here he cleaned out the gutters. Hooray for a helpful, loving son!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pickled cauliflower?

I've gotten several heads of cauliflower and will try pickling them with some of the carrots this weekend. The broccoli is heading fast as well, but I've been steaming it and eating it as a side dish with everything.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter Harvest

Broccoli and cauliflower from the garden today. Lots more out there, just not ready to pick.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What's up, Doc?

Bugs Bunny would be happy in my garden this month. The carrots are looking very good, but still small, so I'll leave them in the ground at least another couple of weeks.
Broccoli and cauliflower are looking healthy but no flowers, yet. I meant to feed them again this weekend but didn't get around to it despite the beautiful weather.

Potatoes are going crazy above ground, with healthy looking vines and leaves. They're a long way from being pulled, probably not until early fall.

Now for the disappointing news. After I planted all those Sweet Charlie strawberry plants I expected a bed full of strawberry plants and some even starting to fruit. Not so much. Just a few little plants with new leaves and no flowers or berries.  <*sigh*>

No lemons this year on the tree. It should be getting ready to flower in another month so I'll know then if I'll have lemons next year. I may plant an orange tree. I think I have the perfect spot for it.

If you are a gardener please let me know what's going on in your garden in late January.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review: Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food

Title: Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food
Author: Christine Avanti
Publisher: Rodale Books (December 20, 2011)
Genre: Cookbooks, Nutrition
Length: 336 pages

SUMMARY: Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads author Christine Avanti explains how women and men can control their appetites and lose weight by avoiding the fake and processed foods that are actually making them fatter.
Many women think that products labeled “fat-free,” “sugar-free,” or “lite” are the key to easy weight loss. The truth is that these so-called healthy packaged foods are filled with processed ingredients and chemicals that actually contribute to weight gain by causing us to overeat.
In The Real Food Diet, nutritionist Christine Avanti explains why a diet rich in all-natural produce, whole grains, and lean protein packed with the nutrients responsible for maintaining stable blood sugar levels and speeding up metabolism is by far the more effective option. Avanti draws on the latest research to provide guidelines for what and how often readers should eat to ensure that pounds are dropped—and offers specific meal plans, grocery lists, and a collection of flavorful recipes filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
A guide to eating real food in a factory-food world, a weight loss plan, and a real-food cookbook in one, The Real Food Diet will instruct and inspire readers to steer clear of fake food and eat the balanced, all-natural way we were designed to eat.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Salad for Dinner by Tasha DeSerio

Title: Salad for Dinner
Author: Tasha DeSerio
Publisher: Taunton Press (March 13, 2012)
Genre: Cookbooks
Length: 208 pages

SUMMARY: Salad for lunch? Salad for dinner? It’s easy – and delicious – to turn salads into main meals with this original collection from chef Tasha DeSerio. As more and more home cooks are looking to eat healthy using local and regional offerings, the whole-meal salads highlighted here will satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Simple, yet sophisticated and showcasing the author’s talent for presenting beautiful ingredients in an artful way, the recipes encompass everything from greens to meat and fish, dairy, and pasta and grain. With detailed information on in-season fruits and vegetables, lesser-known salad fixings, preparation techniques (including make ahead tips), and a comprehensive chapter on salad basics, readers will have all they need to turn out satisfying and beautiful salads of their own. Easy enough for one and special enough for a crowd, salads as a main course will be showing up on tables everywhere.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Don't Order More Than You Are Willing to Stoop and Plant!

And that number is much smaller at planting time than it is at harvesting and eating time! 25 strawberry plants and 25-30 potato plants is about all I can plant. Today, not wanting to waste the plants that were ordered months ago and shipped at the appropriate planting season, I put *75* friggin' strawberry plants in the ground and 50 potato plants in the new potato bed. We'll see how much strawberry jam I want to make and how many potato casseroles I want to freeze later. Ugh.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book Review: How Carrots Won the Trojan War by Rebecca Rupp

Title: How Carrots Won the Trojan War: Curious (but True) Stories of Common Vegetables
Author: Rebecca Rupp
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Genre: Foodie, Non-fiction, History
384 pages
Get a copy: ;

SUMMARY: George Washington’s greatest enemy may have been a bowl of peas. That’s just one of the interesting highlights found in How Carrots Won the Trojan War, a rollicking, addictive discussion of the history, lore, cultural associations, and traditions associated with 23 popular vegetables. History buffs and vegetable lovers will find common ground while learning how beans beat back the Dark Ages and peppers won the Nobel Prize.
Author Rebecca Rupp brings her witty, well-crafted storytelling to the world of vegetables, offering a new perspective on their place in human history. Readers will discover why Roman gladiators were massaged with onion juice before battle, that cucumbers may be afraid of thunderstorms, and why soe 17th century turnips were considered degenerate.
Written for gardeners, foodies, and anyone curious about the history of their favorite veggies, How Carrots Won the Trojan War satisfies on every level. As recent selection of the History and Military Book Clubs, it clearly has appeal across a variety of genres. With generous portions of humor and intriguing little-known facts, readers are sure to love and endlessly retell these unique and flavorful stories.

REVIEW: So you think you don’t want to read a biography of vegetables? Think again! Rebecca Rupp’s book How Carrots Won the Trojan War is a totally fascinating read. Each of the 23 chapters is devoted to the place in history of one common vegetable, beginning with the sexy asparagus and ending with the turnip, a vegetable featured in many fairytales.
Dr. Rupp has done a tremendous amount of research into the history and agribusiness of these vegetables. Throughout history vegetables have been praised for their curative powers and the same vegetables cursed for their ability to cause death and disease. Some of these vegetables changed history and won wars.
Are you a trivia nut? Then this is a must-have for your library. For example, in ancient Pompeii, why were onions kept in brothels? Was Popeye wise to depend on spinach for his spur-of-the-moment strength? While the book is written on an adult level, with a good amount of chemical information about vegetables, the stories in the book can be shared with children who will love hearing that the cabbage on their plate at dinner was so loved by Abraham Lincoln that he requested it for his inauguration dinner. Or, that Jack of jack-o-lantern fame was banned from both heaven and hell and condemned to wander the earth forever with his lantern, originally made from a turnip, not a pumpkin.
If you want a book that is fun to read, easy to pick up and read a chapter, then put down until you have time to read again, I recommend How Carrots Won the Trojan War to you.
RATING: 4 healthy broccoli stalks!