Monday, October 25, 2010

Harvest Monday, October 25, 2010

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions and is a great way to share what's coming out of your garden and see what other people are growing in their gardens as well! This week we are really just enjoying the garden (from the windows!).

This past week was very wet and rainy.  This is pretty unusual for Southern California, October is usually a very dry and warm time of the year for us (think wild fires!). So we stayed inside and hibernated, which was kind of nice. 

We harvested several handfuls of basil and flat leaf parsley (not pictured) and 2 3/8 oz of Fairy Tale eggplant.

2 3/8 oz of eggplant

The plants all seemed to enjoy the rain. Everything became nice and perky. Pictured below are the komatsuna on the right, the tatsoi hidden on the left, bunching onions and peeking out of the back is a ruby swiss chard. 

My pea garden (hopefully).  It's being drowned out a bit by the nasturtium growing behind the plastic bottles. But look closer....

That's a flourishing pea shoot growing next to that bottle! Maybe we will have some peas by early December. It would definitely be nice. The water bottles are protecting yet another batch of pea shoots that I am nurturing.

In the area where I pulled the corn we planted some fava beans. Since I wasn't sure if bunnies like fava bean seeds, I decided to go ahead and cover these guys up also to ensure that we don't get an even later start than this!
Bottle protected fava bean sprout
 They apparently grow amazingly fast because this is the same shoot 2 days later!! And I checked today, it wasn't nibbled to the ground, so yay!
Fava Bean sprout - 2 days later

I'm going to need some recipes for wild bunny stew by the way.  On the other side of the lawn I found some nibbles had been removed from my pin stripe eggplant and a tomato. Grrrrr!

Not cool Mr./Ms. Bunny. Not cool at all.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Harvest Monday - October 18, 2010

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions and is a great way to share what's coming out of your garden and see what other people are growing in their gardens as well! The word of the week - greens!

Komatsuna - unweighed

Ryle with the bunch of Komatsuna - it's big eh?

Bok Choy - 12 5/8 oz

Fairy Tale Eggplant - 5 3/8 oz
Japanese Eggplants - 4 5/8 oz
Black Beauty Eggplant - 4 7/7 oz

Fairy Tale eggplants halved, skewered, oiled and ready for the grill

Melt in your mouth yummy!

Smashed potatoes - Ok, I didn't grow the spuds, but I did grow
the parsley and the basil (also unweighed)

And a great reward for the week - a yummy steak! 

I'm not really sure where the week went, but it's harvest Monday again, and I'm barely skating in under the radar. I'm hoping that I get a chance to blog a bit more this week though. Bt now it's late and I'm sure that Gray will think that 5 am is a perfect time to start the day - blech!  So nighty night and happy gardening!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Necessity, who is the mother of invention.

When I was in college I had an illegal hot plate in my dorm room.  I will admit it now, because I am pretty sure the statute of limitations is expired on that. My roommate and I would always bring food back from break and we would share the awesome things our Moms would make for us.  We each had a favorite of the other person's Mom's cooking.  She loved my mom's fried rice (and my mom would make it with shrimp so she could eat it and still be Halal) and I could not get enough of her mom's chicken.  To this day I have no idea what it was called nor do I have the recipe for it.  And, since 'necessity, who is the mother of invention' demanded I attempt to make it, I "invented" something my husband and I call "Chicken Nartaya." It is not really too close to the original chicken dish, but I liked it so I kept making it.   Chicken Nartaya is one of the hubby's all time favorite meals and something that tastes like you slaved all day making (but you actually didn't).  There is a lot of chopping involved, but once the stuff gets cooking, I usually pretend I am busy ---- and watch a tv show on Hulu.... shhh, don't tell!

I don't really cook with recipes unless I am uncertain of the dish is made or if I am baking (because baking requires you to be a little more precise).  I'm a "little of this, pinch of that" type of cook.  Basically Chicken Nartaya goes something like this.... dice jalapenos (1-2), bell peppers (1 large or 2 small), yellow onions (1), garlic (2 cloves) and tomatoes (about 4). 

Chop up a bunch of cilantro.

Sweat the onions and then brown the chicken

Toss everything (garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno, bell pepper, cilantro) on top of the chicken and cook down until chicken is done. Season with a pinch of salt.

The finished product. We like to serve it with rice... because we love rice!

And a glass of wine (of course).  Viola, Chicken Nartaya.

When I decided that I wanted to start a garden in the spring, the hubby added jalapenos and bell peppers to the list of items I was growing, his request --- "I'd like chicken nartaya with vegetables from the garden."  Well, it didn't quite work out this year with the timing of the peppers and tomatoes, but maybe next summer! 

Did I mention it's even better as leftovers? Happy gardening!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Harvest Monday October 4, 2010 and update on peas!

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.  It's a great opportunity to see what other gardeners are growing around the world. 

Sometimes I forget how wonderful the things growing in the garden can be. I spend so much time fighting critters, trying to keep my house in order, and get in my "required" runs that the simple joy of the garden is often overlooked. But I am reminded by other bloggers who actually utilize their gardens!  That is the case this week. We are getting some more green beans from the Scarlett Runner beans and the Tatsoi and Natsu Rakuten are lush and ready to be eaten. After seeing other's harvesting their Bok Choy, Ryle and I rushed out to the garden and pulled up some Tatsoi for dinner. Good plan too because it was declared to be "delicious" by the only person we really have to please at dinner-time, Ryle.  He loves to eat Bok Choy and anything that has "green leaves - [that he can eat] like a giraffe."

I think this was 8 oz of Tatsoi

3 oz of beans

Some FairyTale and Gretel eggplants

Raspberries are almost ready

Bell peppers getting their second flush of flowers

Volunteer Bok Choy from my super producer this spring, can't wait to start harvesting off this guy

Finally getting some pea growth from containers

Peas - I decided to cover the peas I tried to plant in the ground with water bottles (with the bottoms cut off) to prevent the bunny from digging them up. And I am pleased to announce that this crazy scheme actually worked!  I checked and we actually have little pea shoots under those water bottles. I will probably leave them on until the peas are tall enough  to handle the abuse by the bunny. (I think the bunny has deflected his attention to Ryle's radishes).

Growing bottles, errr I mean peas under bottles

A pea shoot growing under the water bottle protector

The garden was sadly neglected the last few days with all of the running around we were doing. Friday we gathered at the beach with some friends and came home late with some sandy dirty kiddos. Saturday started bright and early for a group run, the kids and I actually managed to get out the door on time for a change; 5:45 am, packed up and out the door. Unheard of. Then goofing off with friends and then home.  The boys enjoyed some play-time on the slip-n-slide and then well deserved naps. Sunday we spent all day at the Miramar Airshow. Loud but very fun.

And after the hot weekend, we started the week cool and drizzly. Which of course makes me want to make (and eat) more pumpkin muffins. I just pulled the second batch out of the oven, and the smell is heavenly.  I really need the weather to get sunny again or my waistline is going to suffer greatly. We managed to give away more than half of the last batch to friends and neighbors, so hopefully this batch will also find good homes besides my belly. 

So, I'm off for a jog since I only have one little guy at home for an hour or so and I can go out with just the single jog stroller. It's the little things in life that make us happy, right? 

Happy gardening!