Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Fall Cabbage

I made cole slaw today from our first head of fall cabbage. It's a small savoy cabbage called "Minuet." It's very tender and delicious. The fall garden is coming along nicely

I made soft goat cheese yesterday afternoon which has to sit at room temperature overnight. Then during the day today I drained it. From one gallon I got two pounds of soft goat cheese. It's in the refrigerator now. I'll move it to the freezer in the morning.

I picked several dozen tomatoes; I'll freezer those in a couple of days.

I cooked up 6 packages of zucchini and onions that went in the freezer, and cleaned and froze about two dozen sweet peppers.

A good day's work.

Today's Menu

Breakfast: Pork Link Sausage, Over-easy eggs, Gogurt with Blueberries
Main Meal: Sliced Tomatoes with Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, and Ricotta Salata, Cole Slaw, and Grilled Pork Chops sprinkled with Homemade Seasoned Salt
Evening Snack: Salami with Soft Goat Cheese and Hot Pepper Jelly, Crustless French Silk Pie with Real Whipped Cream

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall and Winter Gardening

Most of my fall garden has been planted. For the root cellar I've planted red beets, golden beets, carrots, kohlrabi, cabbage, and celeriac. In the unheated greenhouse area (it's open now but will be covered up after we start getting frosts) we have six squares. I've planted one square of swiss chard, one square of fall lettuce, and one square with some scallions and spinach. I plan on another square of spinach, and two squares of winter lettuces. Lettuce and spinach grows very, very slowly in the winter so I'll need a lot planted. I learned this last year. I've also planted a few brussels sprout plants. They are out in the open and will be fine until January or so.

The book I'm using as a guide for winter planting is called Four Season Harvest and is written by Eliot Coleman. It's been invaluable in learning about winter gardening.

Last year Eddie built a portable greenhouse that covers six of our raised beds. We put it up in November and took it down in March. We ate spinach and lettuce all winter long from the greenhouse. I'm hoping it will do even better this year. The soil is in better shape from all the great compost we've been making, and I have a little better idea of what I'm doing.

Right now we're still enjoying lots of tomatoes, some cucumbers, melons, incredibly delicious zucchini, peppers, eggplant, and carrots. We had our first fall lettuce yesterday. It was tender and delicious!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: Uncured Pork Bacon, Over-easy Fried Farm Eggs, Gogurt with Blueberries
Main Meal: No-Noodle Lasagna, Cucumber and Tomato Salad, Fresh Melon
Evening Snack: Shrimp Cocktails, Wine, Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce

No-Noodle Lasagna

1 lb. grassfed ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil

Step One: Put a little olive oil in a large skillet and heat to medium. Add crumbled ground beef and all of the above ingredients. Cook and stir until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Drain if necessary.

1 28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Step Two: Add the above ingredients to the meat and vegetable mixture in the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook until the other components of the dish are ready.

1 lb. of ricotta
2 eggs
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning

Step Three: Combine the above ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

8-12 oz. shredded mozzarella

Step Four: Assemble - Put half of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, cover with all of the ricotta mixture and about 1/3 of the mozzarella. Then cover that with the rest of the meat mixture and all of the rest of the mozzarella.

Step Five: Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and a little brown on top.

Variation: You can leave out the green pepper and eggplant. If you do, cut the spaghetti sauce down to half a jar and assemble in a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.