Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fabulous Pesto

Last night I made the basic pesto recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
3 to 4 large cloves of garlic (I used elephant garlic)
1/3 cup pine nuts (I used more!)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan
Blend it all up in the food processor and toss desired amount with hot gluten-free pasta.  I used bean thread noodles (basically just mung beans and potato starch).  It was SOOOOO good.  Unfortunately, it used up most of my basil from the garden.  What to do?  I don't think I can plant more now.  Doesn't basil hate the cold?  Should I give it a try?

My baby is one!

I am so stunned that today my second and last baby, DD, turned one year old!  Parenting life is such a whirlwind that the year flew by.  I plan to post a more thorough update soon on the kids.  Today, though, we celebrated her birthday.  I started the day by thanking G-d that I was neither pregnant nor in labor.  That in itself is cause for celebration!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Garden update from summer plantings

How are the crops from summer doing?  My chard is still happy.  Some of those plants are 1.5 years old.  Others only 6 months old.  My yellow crookneck only gave a few squash this year, but they were yummy.  Same with eggplant.  Tomatoes - the 3 that self-seeded did fine with moderate yields of cherry tomatoes.  A cherokee purple??? has all of 3 tomatoes on it - all still green.  There are two other plants that aren't more than 2 feet high that I planted in a new spot - too shady - no fruit.  The black-eyed peas keep regularly producing green beans.  There are never a ton at once, but I've done a few small panfuls.  Or I'll just cook them with something else.  Basil is happy.  Mints are, too.  Oddly, some impatiens in baskets over my raised bed keep self-seeding into the raised bed, so I keep transferring plants out.  Getting plenty of impatiens that way.  My cilantro looks horrible.  Why?  Other herbs ok.  Amaranth, which is supposed to get TALL (like 5-6 feet) is only about 1 foot tall and starting to flower.  It is in a new bed area that I didn't amend intensely.  I think they are begging for more compost.  I have one lonely lima bean that is just now starting to flower.  I think I may have been watering it too much for a while.  All of my peppers this year were killed by the squirrel or the heat as seedlings.  Still some beets and carrots in from earlier plantings, but these aren't growing too quickly 'cause they are getting shaded out by aggressive citrus, basil and black eyed peas.  I was pleasantly surprised by some sunflowers that I planted late from the seeds of a neighbor's flowers.  I planted TONS.  Only 2 grew.  One is about 4 feet tall and the other must be about 8 feet tall.  I think today's Santa Anas did them in, though.  100 degrees and 8 percent humidity.  Their poor petals shriveled.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Elegant Eggless Omelet

My favorite gluten-free recipe site and GF community is GFCFrecipes yahoo group.  From their archives, I tried the recipe for Elegant Eggless Omelet, modified.

* 3/4 cup gf high protein flour blend (I used 1/4 each of tapioca starch, potato starch and gar/fava flour)
* 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
* 1 teaspoon baking powder (1/4 t baking soda, 1/2 t cream of tartar, 1/4 t potato starch)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 pinch ground turmeric

* 1 cup milk, (rice, soy, almond) (I actually used cow's milk)
* 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

The link has the full directions, but to summarize you cook them one at a time in a skillet like a pancake.  Before serving them, I stuffed them with melted cheese and avocado.  4 year old DS declared them "yummy".  Even the baby liked her dairy-free (sub'd water) version.

15 more figeater beetle grubs

I got out into the garden twice in one day!  It is a miracle!  I used up the rest of the harvested worm compost in the raised bed garden and some large herb pots.  The citrus trees and vegetables got the remainder of the finished hot compost.  While distributing tha,t I found 14 more disgusting figeater beetle grubs.  Found one more when digging in the vegetable area.  I put them all in a bucket with a little compost.  Does the preschool want them?  They are so gross, and therefore, fascinating.  I even had time to set up some new pots for succulents.  I put in a few trimmings from jade before DD woke from her nap.  A successful afternoon.

Fall Planting, Part 1

Yesterday I went to a class on winter vegetable planting at my local nursery.  It was interesting, but I would have been better off spending the time actually gardening.  So, today I had a chance to actually plant some.  I used some of our finished compost and some of our home-grown worm castings to amend the soil.  I planted a Mesclun lettuce mix in the raised bed.  While there, I transplanted some impatiens that were self-seeding in my chives and gave them their own pot. 

In a separate area of the garden, I turned DS loose with four packets of old flower seeds that needed  to be planted or thrown out: pansies, sweet william, forget-me-nots, and an "annual cut flower mix" that some realtor left on our doorstep.  These seed packets ranged in age from 1993-2006.  Do you think anything will sprout?

Near our amaranth I put in some more carrots (carnival blend and scarlet nantes) and beets (Detroit dark red).  Also planted some white globe purple top turnips - my first attempt at turnips.  Using some shallots that I purchased from the grocery store for $1 million per pound, I divided those up and put them in.  Flat side down, covering the tips with dirt.  If all 7 grow, that will reduce the per pound price I paid.

I hope to find a nice spot for a variety of peas - maybe mid-October would be a good planting time for them around here.  It is still 90 degrees today and supposed to be triple digits this week, so no peas yet.  I still need to harvest more worm castings from the bin and distribute the rest of it.  We also have plenty of compost to spread around.  I'd like to put some under the citrus.

And this week we scored a few more bags of Starbucks coffee grounds.  DH has to borrow FIL's shredder so that we can chip up the yard trimmings that we have waiting.  Once those go into the bin, we'll fluff in the coffee grounds and kitchen scraps and it'll start cooking.

Today I harvested some cowpea green beens to steam for dinner.  Yum!  DH had some fresh basil on his tomato and cheese GF sandwich.  DD had some of the nectarine puree that I made from our tree this summer.