Sunday, November 21, 2010

When mushrooms take over the world


I recently took a 4-day business trip. When I left, there was only one little mushroom peeking through, about the size of those at the bottom of the picture, from my white button mushroom kit from Territorial Seeds.

When I returned, I feared that little white mushroom, now about a half pound, would take over my kitchen if not promptly dealt with. So, I obliged and sacrificed it to the saute pan, along with onion, garlic, pepper, herbs, and tomatoes, to go along with some spinach garlic pasta.

If you haven't tried a mushroom kit, I recommend them! They only require daily spritzing with a little water, and, as you can see, the yield is quite satisfying.

Just don't leave the mushrooms alone in the house for any length of time. I think they may grow to fill the kitchen otherwise.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Green tomatoes and other fall delicacies


If you read to the end of this post, you'll be rewarded with a recipe for a pasta sauce with green tomatoes which I cooked up today. Meanwhile, a brief recap of where I've been the past several weeks.

As you can see above, I climbed a mountain. My first high peak in the Adirondacks, Cascade Mountain. Although it's considered easy by experienced hikers, I wouldn't exactly say that. You are still going uphill, after all. And on the way back, you're going downhill. Which sounds easy, but is not, particularly when it's very muddy. The view at the top was completely worth it, however. I can't wait to go back and climb another one

We also lost 2 beloved family members, our cat of 17 years, and one of our chickens, Sarah. She's the one with the hernia, which finally got the better of her. Anyway, we decided to get a new girl to keep our flock at 3. Here's Lena, a Golden Brabanter who hates to be caught, but once you catch her, she will sit in your arms forever while you pet her head. She's still young, but she should be laying within a month of so.


I also had a very productive garden this year, including peas, tomatoes, Swiss chard, lettuce, basil, oregano, mint, parsley, carrots, peppers, chives, TONS of green and dried beans, and pounds and pounds of tomatilloes.


There was much cutting of flowers. Here are some fall mums, lamb's ears, and marigolds. And those goofy looking cupcakes were for our local Chicken Club potluck. I am capable of more refined decorating, but had no time, and really, since when does one expect a chicken club to be refined?





Somewhere along the way, my DS became a college senior. I'm still not quite sure how that happened. Here he is at his senior recital. It was fantastic, and so HIM.


And finally, today I had to figure out what to do with the more than 2 pounds of green grape tomatoes which I foraged in our community garden. (They were volunteers near the fence and no one was picking them. Clearly they needed to be rescued.) I wish I had a picture, but food pictures are not something I've mastered yet, not to mention the fact that we ate it way too fast to remember to attempt a photo.

Pasta Sauce with Green Tomatoes

(Quantities are approximate).

Saute 1 sliced onion with 2-3 garlic cloves in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Once onions are soft, add 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of halved grape tomatoes, still green (or any green tomato). (I halved these the evening before and stirred in 1 tbsp or so of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar at that time.) If you did not add olive oil and balsamic vinegar before, add a little to the skillet now.

Cook 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes begin to soften. Taste for tartness. Add some sugar to counteract the tartness. (I added about 1-2 tbsp.).

Cook another 5-10 minutes until tomatoes are quite soft, but not falling apart. Stir in some sliced chives or whatever fresh herb you happen to have. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with pasta of your choice. Mine was Pappardelle's Pasta Chipotle Pepper, purchased from Artistic Eats.


Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The privilege of biking in the rain

Hey, guess what? I wrote a post! But you have to go to sewgreen to read all about it.

But I promise to come back and tell you all about my late summer/early fall gardening adventures!

Right after my son's senior recital and reception, where I am feeding who-knows-how-many college students!

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