Tag Archives: veggies

Next Summer’s Garden

27 Dec

As we’re really into winter now, I’m dreaming of next summer’s garden.

Sky where I want to put my herb garden addition

One of the things that has really got me thinking about what I want to plant is the desire to eat healthier.  It is crazy to see how much sodium is in so-called healthy vegetarian foods.

Vegetable stock alone has crazy amounts of salt.  So I have been playing to see what I can make on my own.  Because the pandemic has made canning flats ridiculously expensive, I decided to go with powders.  I’ve been dehydrating veggies.

I’ve been powdering those dried veggies.

beet powdered in the coffee grinder

carrot, tomato, and celery powders

And mushrooms too!

drying portobello mushrooms too

for a beefy flavor

I’ve mixed them with herbs and spices.

So far I’m pleased with them, but I might want to make some little changes to the mixes yet. I am definitely going to have to plan the garden around my vegetable bouillon (and seitan) needs.

And just because it’s winter and I like to grow things, I decided to plant the potato I grew last summer.

It’s actually sprouting now.  There’s just a peek of green through the dirt.

potato pot and Bob

Although, I did have to move the pot because some cat was being a pain.

Fun Fried Foods or How to Have Coronary Disease by the Age of Thirty

31 Jul

In a previous post, I asked what on earth I was supposed to do with the okra from my garden.  The overwhelming consensus was to try fried okra.  Well, if I was going to fry a veggie, I love fried zucchini.  I also got to thinking that I’ve heard a lot about fried green tomatoes, but I’ve never tried that.  Then I decided I should just see how many different veggies from the garden I could fry.  After all, it was raining again, which makes it hard to do much else.  I donned my rain boots and went to pick veggies.

I came up with okra, zucchini, green tomatoes, green beans, cauliflower, onion, broccoli, and eggplant.

That seemed a bit excessive for just me, so I called mom to come out.  Actually, I wanted someone else to get their fingers all icky with dipping them.  Anyhow, I started with cleaning the mud off of everything.  Then I prepared the onions first.  To make properly delicious onion rings, you have to soak the rings in milk for about thirty minutes before cooking them.  It really takes the kick-in-the-butt strong onion flavor out and leaves them nice and mild.

While the onions were soaking, I washed and prepared the rest of the veggies.

With the vegetables ready and Mom’s arrival, we started coating them.  First we dipped them in flour.

Then we put them into a milk and egg combination.

Finally, they were coated with either cornmeal or cracker crumbs.  Both mom and I decided we like the cracker crumbs better.

You can see why I wanted mom to help out (and do the messy part).  After we had a good sampling of veggies all coated, I got the oil heating up in the frying pan and started cooking them.

I kept frying until we had a good variety and we were starving from the smells of everything cooking.  Then we decided to give it a try.  We gave them all a nice sprinkle of salt when they came out of the pan.  After all, if you’re frying healthy veggies, you might as well go all out and really try to make it to the cardiac unit.

We were pleasantly surprised, overall, with how all of them turned out.  Of course, in case there was something that turned out to be a disappointment, I was ready with the fried food fix-all.

Here’s my review and rating of each fried veggie on a scale of 5 stars.

Onion:  5 stars.  You can’t go wrong with onion rings.

Green Beans:  4 1/2 stars.  The biggest nice surprise of all the veggies.  This one was definitely great, and it didn’t even invite the ranch.

Cauliflower:  4 stars.  Yummy–as good as you would find in a restaurant, and with the coating, you couldn’t tell I didn’t get around to tying the leaves up to keep it nice and white.

Zucchini: 4 stars.  Mild flavor, great texture, always a favorite.

Eggplant:  4 stars.  Another nice mild flavor.

Okra:  3 1/2 stars.  It was pretty good and about the only one that was worse with the ranch.  It does have a fairly strong, distinct flavor, but good.

Broccoli: 3 stars.  It really was just like eating raw broccoli.  Save the trouble of dipping it, and just eat it raw.

Green Tomatoes: 2 stars.  This one was really weird.  Some bites were really tangy and some were mild.  The inconsistent flavor was a bit strange.

I was really wishing I had bought some little button mushrooms when I was at the store because that would have been delicious also.  I do have to confess that we did cut a couple of cheddar cheese cubes and made our own cheese squares (they were not round at all).  They were probably the best of all, but since they weren’t veggies from my garden, I didn’t count them.

Mom and I had a lot of fun with this.  While it’s certainly not how I’d want to eat every day, it was good.  What other veggies have you tried to fry?

It’s Ready

22 Jul

Our wet cloudy weather seems to have slowed the ripening of our veggies.  Finally, the sweet corn is getting ready.  If you’ve never picked sweet corn, there are some tips to know which ears to pick and which to leave.  You can just pull the husks down, but that’s an invitation to bugs if it isn’t ready.  Feel the top of the ear.

If it is pointy, the kernels are not mature, and you don’t want to pick it.

It’s hard to see the difference through the husks, but this one is round on top.   That’s an indication that the kernels are fully filled out all the way to the top.

The corn looks good, but some of the ends are getting soft tops because of the excess water.  After picking corn, I checked the rest of my gardens.  I found a lot of good veggies.

The broccoli is not huge, but it looks good.  I have them soaking in salt water to get rid of worms.  I hate worms in broccoli, and I have to admit I’m a little bit afraid I’ll not find one and end up chomping it.  Disgusting!

It looks like I should have checked both cucumber plants yesterday, but who would have thought one could have this many ready and the other plant, four feet away, would just have itty bitty baby cucumbers.

The peppers are doing excellent this year!  I have already picked a lot of them.  The pinot noir could have waited another day or so, but it was down in the mud, and I thought that was inviting rot and bugs.  The hot peppers in the other garden haven’t done quite so well.

The pasture grasses keep growing back faster than I can keep up, and the peppers were pretty much nonexistent.  Finally, I gave up.  I let Dad mow over the section that had the peppers, lettuce, beets and carrots.  There wasn’t really anything there anyhow.

The garlic tops had fallen over and were browning.  I went ahead and pulled them all because I didn’t want them sitting in the wet ground.  Hmmm.  Maybe I’ll try braiding them.  That would be something new for me to try.

There are tons of tomatoes on the plants.  I just hope they ripen instead of rotting.