My last post was a little over 10 months ago. I know this without even looking. How? Because I have a 10 month old kid bouncing in her activity center right now. All things agricultural have been put on the back burner as she and some problems with our first home are taking up all of our attention. While I am excited to expand on the garden, plant fruit trees, get chickens, and get back to trying some new recipes right now I’m washing diapers, picking up choke-able sized objects from the floor, and figuring out how to pay for basement waterproofing.
We’re expanding in lots of ways! While our website is staying right where it is our actual physical location will be moving soon. Sammit and I bought our first home. It is SW of Ann Arbor (one of our favorite places) in a city called Saline. We have some work to do on the house before we move, but next growing season we’ll have plenty of space to expand beyond our current 700 square feet to fill as much as the 2.3 acres as we want (which will probably be a little at a time). It’s zoned as agriculture which means we’ll have no problems adding chickens or goats to the mix – though no word on when that’s going to happen. We are very excited and will post more pictures and updates as they happen.
Also, we’re adding to our family very soon (hopefully next week)! Please be patient and stick around through the next two months though we may not have much material posted while we adjust to all the changes.
- We have cherry tomatoes!
- The cucumbers are coming in nicely, but have started to show signs of wilt/disease.
- The squash is growing nicely.
- The corn is growing nicely.
- We’ve been able to harvest a few more beans (they’re fighters)
- No peppers yet, but some blossoms have arrived.
- I don’t predict a large harvest in September.
Note: I added a harvest tally to the sidebar –>
- 4 Sausages, cut into 1 inch pieces (we used Costco’s Apple/Gouda Chicken Sausages)
- 2 Large potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 Medium onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 can of chicken broth/stock
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes in their juices
- 1/4 cup red lentils (optional, we had some…I threw them in to see what happened)
- 1-2 Tbs. butter
- 2 pressed cloves of garlic
- A few sprinkles of red pepper flakes
- A few sprinkles of salt & white pepper
- 1 bay leaf (pulled out before serving)
- 2 sprigs of fresh oregano (on the stem, pulled out before serving – use a tsp of dry otherwise)
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme (on the stem, pulled out before serving – use 1/2 tsp of dry otherwise)
Also, I would’ve loved to put some carrots or turnips in here, but alas, we had none. I think the carrots in particular would enhance the flavor.
- Throw it all in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
While I enjoyed this out of the pot, I couldn’t get enough of it on the second day when I took it for lunch. By the time I thought about taking a picture I was slurping down the last few drops of golden buttery broth. I will try to remember next time.
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbs. wildflower honey
- 1 Tbs. real maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed – reserving both the seeds and the pod
- 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or grated (less if you find ginger to be strong)
- Handful of blueberries
- 2 firm pears, cored with skins peeled off (skins and core can be composted or used as an ingredient to flavor the liquid)
- Add all but the pears to a pot large enough to submerge the pears and bring to a boil. (I used a high walled but small pot that made it easier to evenly cook the pears – however the lack of surface area caused the syrup to take longer to reduce).
- Turn the heat down to a simmer and gently add the peeled pears (as they cook they will become easier to bruise). Place a lid on the pot and let simmer for 20-30 minutes (I let them cook while I made dinner). Alternately you could put them in an oven-safe pot and let them bake at 250 for several hours.
- When pears are soft (20-30 minutes on stove top), gently remove them from the sauce and let them cool.
- Strain out the solid contents and keep the liquid in the pot – placing over medium heat and allowing it to reduce (stirring regularly) to your desired syrup thickness – I like mine to coat a spoon. Now – you can keep the blueberries to serve, but we composted ours – they looked too much like Violet Beauregarde for my taste.
- Spoon syrup over pears and serve.
This would be great serving with some whipped cream or ice cream!
- 1/2 gallon chicken stock, homemade is highly recommended but not necessary
- 4-5 carrots, chopped (I like slicing diagonally)
- 2 celery stalks, chopped (1/4 inch thick, including leaves)
- 1/4 large celery root, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 1/4 head green cabbage, sliced into ribbons
- 3 cups shredded chicken (left over from roasted chicken)
- 1 tsp white pepper
- A few large pinches of salt
- Heat stock in a large soup pot. Add carrots and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining veggies and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add shredded chicken and heat for another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve Hot. Reheats well, but loses color.
This would also be great with a tablespoon of tomato paste or a few eggs dropped into the broth.
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed well)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
- 2 sticks celery, diced small
- 2 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded
- 2-3 green onions, sliced
- 2 Tbs. coconut oil
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. soy sauce (optional – no soy for us)
- 1/2 tsp 5 spice powder (optional – we had it)
- Large pinch of salt
- Fresh Pepper, to taste
- Small handful cilantro, shredded (optional – we had it)
- Combine quinoa, 1 cup fresh water and beef stock in a small stock pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let cook until fluffy, about 20 minutes.
- In the mean time, prep/cut vegetables.
- Heat oils and sauces in a pan (or wok) on high heat. Add onions, garlic, and spices (not cilantro) until aromatic. Add vegetables and cook for 10 minutes or so – stirring occasionally. Add quinoa and allow to cook through.
- Add cilantro and serve.
This is a cheap and easy, but not fast, dinner (45-60 minutes of cook time). I enjoy making dinners like this because I only use one dish, can catch up on some TV shows, and have leftovers for lunch the next day. I like to complete each step during a commercial break; its really a hands-off dinner. Depending on the ingredients you use (generics/homegrown vs. organic) it can cost between $0.84 and $3.29 per serving for 6 large servings.
- 4 cups stock (any flavor or water)
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 cups dried azuki beans (any bean is fine, but these cook around the same rate as rice, making it easier)
- 7 sausages, cut to 1 in pieces (adjust number for your audience – we used a pack of andouille chicken sausage from costco)
- 1 large can diced tomatoes (I use a quart of home canned)
- 1 can corn (I use a pint of home canned)
- 1 diced pepper (any pepper is fine, we used a Serrano with the seeds removed)
- 1/4 cup of taco seasoning
- Optional – soak rice & beans the night before in water with a Tbs. of acid (vinegar, whey, lemon juice, etc.) to break down some indigestibles.
- Bring stock or liquid to a boil in a large pan. Add rice and beans and bring to a boil again before reducing the heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add tomatoes (and juices), corn, pepper & seasoning.
- Add sliced sausages and let cook until rice and beans are tender. Stir occasionally.