Monday, June 29, 2009

The Plums are Ripe

One of the few trees that I didn’t plant in my yard is this plum tree.  It was here when we moved in.  They’re small plums with a red flesh, cherry plums, I’m guessing.  In previous years the skins have been bitter and tough, not so good to eat.  Mostly, they just made a mess by falling and smashing on the walk on the side of the house.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

4 Bean Salad

I harvested my first green beans of the summer a few days ago.  (click on “My Garden” at the top of the page for more information about growing green beans)  Because I only got a small handful of beans, not really enough to serve on their own, I went to the web in search of a bean salad recipe.  3 Bean salad is what first comes to mind, but I wanted to update it a little.  I had kidney and garbanzo beans on hand as well as some edamame, (green soybeans) so I turned it into a 4 bean salad.  

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Growing Green Beans

Growing green beans has never been problematic for me.  I’ve gown them in large pots or in the ground depending on the space I’ve had available and rarely have I had any problems with pests or molds.   They’re one of the constants in my summer garden.  I start them out doors after the last frost (around May 1st here) or sometimes, if I’m organized enough to remember, I start them indoors, in April to get a jump start on summer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe has been a goal for quite some time.  I could easily have gone on the internet to find one.  If you spend any time visiting baking blogs, there are a large number of sites claiming to have the “perfect” recipe.  Unfortunately, for me, most of them contain eggs.  I’m allergic to eggs.  When you remove the eggs from recipe, it usually doesn’t come out the way it was intended, therefore, not “perfect”.  

I make cookies regularly for my husband, he’s a big fan of the cookie.  “Perfect” for him is a crispy/chewy cookie, rather than a cake like one.  I used to buy a local product, Tom’s cookie dough.  It comes in an ice cream style container already formed into balls, ready to bake.  This is excellent cookie dough and easy enough for my husband to make them himself, but it’s expensive.  It also contains eggs, so I couldn’t eat them.  (that was probably a good thing)  Now that I’m unemployed, I figured it was time to make them from scratch.  They would cost less and I would make them with organic ingredients.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Raw Zucchini Salad

I harvested my first zucchini yesterday.  It was so fresh, I didn't have the heart to cook it.  You preserve the enzymes that help you digest vegetables when you eat them raw.  I decided to make a zucchini salad.

Growing Zucchini

The first year I grew zucchini, I started six plants.  I was in college at the time and we planted a small garden on the side of the house we were renting.   I had no idea how productive a zucchini plant could be.  Everyone who came to our house that summer couldn’t leave with taking some zucchini.  This included the UPS guy.  I had so many large, overgrown, squash that I cut them in half and carved them, like pumpkins, for Halloween.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wild Rice Salad

I’m always looking for ways to increase the protein content of our meals, because we don’t eat meat or poultry.  Wild rice is very high in protein.  It has almost double the protein of brown or white rice.  It’s also high in iron.  Wild rice is actually a grass, and the only cereal grain native to North America. Originally, It grew mostly in the Great Lakes region, but now it’s cultivated in paddies in Northern California.  The California rice is good but the grains tend to be shorter.  I try to buy the wild harvested rice if I can.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Growing Raspberries

Let me start by saying that we have a small back yard.  When we plant something new, we give it considerable thought.  We decided to plant raspberries because we like them, but we almost never bought them at the store.  Organic raspberries are $3-$5 dollars for one of those little plastic containers, they’re just too expensive.  Then what do you do with all of those plastic containers? They don’t recycle them where we live.  So, we planted raspberries.  I wonder why we lived without them for so long.  Unlike the the blackberries (a whole other story for another time), raspberries start producing ripe fruit in May, where we live, and continue producing through November.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Good Morning Blog Readers of the World

I love oats!  They’re one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast.  They’re so good for you because they’re high in fiber, protein and iron.  Usually, I don’t bother cooking them, I eat them muesli style.  I add a handful of dried fruit and nuts, a drizzle of maple syrup and then pour rice milk over the whole thing.  I realize that not everyone likes the texture of oatmeal, cooked or uncooked, so I’d like to suggest that you try steel cut oats.  Steel cut oats are the whole oat groat, or seed, cut into little pieces.  They have a wonderful nutty texture and that same yummy oat flavor.