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Archive for May, 2012

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Our CSA, Lancaster Farm Fresh, does not operate like the traditional CSA.  To my understanding, most CSA’s work with one farm and you get a share of what that farm grows.  Lancaster Farm Fresh works with many different organic, transitional and IPM farms to give its members a huge variety of produce.  Becoming members has broadened our horizons and introduced us to produce that we had never heard of before.  Garlic scapes are one such example.

Garlic scapes are the greens that grow above ground while a head of garlic is growing below.  They have a slightly less pungent garlic flavor than the bulbs and don’t give you “don’t kiss me” breath.  Sadly, scapes are only around in the late spring and early summer when they are cut to keep more nutrients in the actual garlic bulbs. 

Linguine with garlic scape pesto is, by far, our favorite early summer meal.  Quick and easy and oh, so delightful! 

Ingredients:

6-8 garlic scapes

5 basil leaves

1 c. grated pecorino romano

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ lemon

½ c. olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup pasta water

1 lb. linguine – cooked to package instructions

NOTE:  Generally, pesto contains nuts.  Our little guy has not yet had tree nuts, so I did not use them in our pesto.  We didn’t miss them.  If you’d like to include them, ¼ c. would be perfect.

Prepare pasta to package instructions.  Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, cut garlic scapes into 1 to 2 inch segments.

Place scape, basil, pecorino romano, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in food processor.  Pulse to combine.

Add pasta water in ¼ c. increments until desired consistency is achieved.

Toss with linguine and serve.

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

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Yesterday, I woke with the plan to make vanilla rhubarb jam.  As it was my first canning project of the year, I took out all of my supplies and scrubbed them down.  After grabbing the recipe, I started taking out all of my ingredients… only to find that the rhubarb I got from my CSA bit the dust.

Change of plans:

Last week, our local grocer had pineapples on sale, buy one get one free.  Though we prefer to eat local and organic, there are always some exceptions to the rule.  Tropical fruit is one of them.  I can not imagine my life without mango, pineapple and banana.  So, deal that it was, I bought 2 pineapples.  Upon arriving home with me, these pineapples promptly became part of my ordinary kitchen landscape and I forgot about their existence.

While I was leaning against the counter, annoyed with my rhubarb’s traitorous behavior, I started playing with a pineapple frond.  Uh… duh?  Pineapple jam!  So I grabbed that recipe, simple as it is, and started in with my ingredients.  I finely chopped one of the pineapples.  I poured a cup of water.  I put sugar in a bowl.  I stuck my hand into the refrigerator to pull out a lemon… and only had limes!  Since acidity isn’t something you want to play with when canning…

Change of plans:

I now had a whole chopped pineapple.  And plenty of limes.  So, I scrapped all plans for canning and made Pineapple Granita with Lime.

1 pineapple – peeled, cored and chopped

½ c. to 1 c. sugar

½ c. warm water

Zest of one lime

Pour water and sugar into a large jar.  Shake for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve sugar.

Combine all ingredients into food processor.

Process until smooth.

Pour into a 9×13 baking pan, cover and place in the freezer.

Freeze for 45 minutes. 

Using a spoon, gently stir pineapple.  Return to freezer. 

Freeze for 45 minutes.

Using a spoon or fork, scrape at pineapple to create little bits of ice.  Return to freezer.

Continue process until pineapple is frozen and scrapings are loose and fluffy.

Ready to eat!

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

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Last week, I posted an entry about our new container garden.  I must say, it is thriving. 

Our potatoes have needed soil twice and are continuing their quest to overtake the half barrel.

The string beans are making me go out to purchase a trellis soon. 

Our tomatoes, specifically the Early Girls, are already flowering. 

Today, I noticed the pepper plant has a wee tiny pepper growing.

Our carrots just got thinned out for the first time.

As did the radishes.

And the summer squash plants…

are in a race with the cucumbers.

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

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The concept of homesteading is not exactly congruent with the trendy, everything-is-disposable lifestyle of excess that people our age are supposed to strive for.  But even to our friends who like living within their means, our interest in homesteading seems strange.  Lately, I’ve found that my explanation for our way of life is anecdotal and as a result, somewhat confusing. 

A few months ago I received a forwarded email that I should commit to memory for clarification…

Can You Sleep While the Wind Blows?

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands.

Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.

As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer.

“Are you a good farm hand?” the farmer asked him.

“Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him.

The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.  

Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters.

He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming!  Tie things down before they blow away!”

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot.

Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm.

To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins.

The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops and the doors were barred.

The shutters were tightly secured.

Everything was tied down.

Nothing could blow away.

The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant,

So he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

 

This is why we want to homestead… to sleep while the wind blows.

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