Sunday, November 2, 2014

From Wee Garden to Wee Kitchen...

Today's post is about The Wee Kitchen, because something has to be done with all the things we get from The Wee Garden
I did pretty well with my 45 day challenge. Most days were fairly easy, there were a few that were a stretch. On these days I used dried or fresh herbs from the garden.  And then the okra started to produce, and we couldn't keep up. We found ways to cook okra that had never occurred to us! We even discovered that it is delicious raw!
We always have fresh oregano, it grows like a weed, and every so often I HAVE to give it a haircut. The cuttings go in the dehydrator, and I am never low on dried oregano. I also have dried thyme and hot pepper flakes from the garden. I always have green onions available. I cut 'em and they just keep growing back.  I also had fresh dill for a while, and now have a great supply of dill seeds.
As all our more Northern friends were harvesting in September and October, we were starting seeds and getting tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and several kinds of peppers in the ground.  So, as the okra has slowed down, we are getting lots of other things.
Yesterday, we a visit from some of the grand children.  We walked up the street and picked wild lemons. What to do when life gives you wild lemons? Make lemonade! It was delish and easy!  We also picked fresh sweet potato greens, and sautéed them with some bacon, diced ham and onion. That was our first time, but it won't be the last. That pot was scraped clean!  We also had fresh tomatoes on our burgers, and finished up the fridge pickles I made 2 weeks ago.
I spent my Sunday in the kitchen. I really feel like I accomplished something today.  Hubby harvested just over 15 pounds of  Beefsteak tomatoes this morning, and they are now simmering nicely on the stove in a massive batch of pasta sauce. I am thinking I will get around 4 quarts of it. 
I picked just over 4 pounds of cucumbers today, including a massive 1 pounder that I didn't see the last few times I picked. they are in a gallon jar in the fridge, becoming fridge pickles. Easiest thing ever!
I blanched and froze what is close to the last of the okra, but enough for one more meal. We went from picking 50-60 pods a day to just 8 today.
Then, and this has nothing to do with the garden, but I am enjoying the wonderful smell of  pumpkin beer bread coming from the kitchen. 
All in all, not a bad day, if I do say so myself!
That is how the Wee Garden grows today!

Monday, September 1, 2014

45 Days from The Wee Garden

It has been way too long, I know. I have been slacking.
Here in our little slice of paradise, we have distinct seasons. They are probably not like yours. We have tourists in the winter. This is the same time that we get the most production from our garden.  Unfortunately, while it is too hot in the summer for the tourists, it is also too hot for most of our garden crops. So, here I am, on September 1, without work for 6 weeks, and fighting the heat for some garden production.
This dilemma spurred my challenge, a Wee Challenge, for the Wee Garden. I go back to work on October 16, 45 days from now. Let's see if we can eat something, every day, from the Wee Garden. That is 45 days, at our most unproductive time of year.... No lettuce, no tomatoes, even some of the so called heat lovers like eggplant are on a boycott. I think we can do it. Let's spend the next 45 days finding out.
For dinner tonight, I have pork chops from our local butcher.  We try to support local businesses, and these are the best pork chops we have ever had.  To go with them today, I have harvested three beautiful yellow squash and two very large sweet potatoes. These sweets were literally popping out of the ground, begging to be plucked from the dirt and cooked.
If we can do it here, in the heat of South West Florida, think what you can do! Day 1 is covered!
That is how the Wee Garden grows today!