All posts filed under: Vegetables

Tales of Woe ~ The one with the Cauliflower

Since in this month’s Raw Spice Bar shipment I got an extra packet of Memphis Rub Dry Mix, I didn’t want it to go to waste… so I put on the thinking spurs. Jane and I have both seen wondrous, spiced, roasted cauliflowers on various media outlets and really wanted to give one a try… this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Slather on your spice mix – roast for 30 to 45 minutes – be rewarded with amazing roasted cauliflower deliciousness. It sounds easy… right? It sounds too easy to be true… right? Okay.. like everything else that sounds too good to be true… so was the cauliflower recipe. Here’s the thing. Cauliflower is dense. 30 minutes… 50 minutes… 1 hour in an oven just isn’t going to heat deep enough through all that bulk to do anything more than softening up the outer lobes a bit… and heat the center….maybe. All in all – cooking time was 1 hour and 20 minutes at 375. I then turned off the oven and let the head rest in there …

Garden Project 2014 – The Unconsoled

For all the planning, prepping, and planting done last year, the 2013 Garden Project was a bust. The cooler than normal – wetter than normal – stranger than normal Spring wreaked havoc with the layout and the Only things that produced like I expected were the eggplants and peppers. I tried these nifty looking potato cages, where you layer mulch and slips into a hay-lined cage… and Voila! (supposedly) you get a bounty of taters. this was my “bounty”…   Don’t get excited… it was 187  potatoes ranging in size from a golf ball to a cat’s eye marble…. heavy on the marble. So, I’ve let the failures knock a bit of the stream out of my rhubarb this year, but only a bit. Once again we’re doing without the hay bales. I think 4 years of  hay much worked into the soil, along with composted cow manure and a healthy compliment of mushroom compost will bolster the soil perfectly well for anything I plan to grow this year. And what is that? you ask…   …

Curb Market Crawl – Persnickety Parsnips

I popped in to one the numerous curb farm markets the other day on a mission. My dwarf long pod okra plants are disappointing – as in puny, sickly little plants – and in my head I figured farm market = farmer. I mean, I can grow okra. And over the past four years I’ve become fairly adept at growing well producing, Jack and the Beanstalk tall okra plants…. so I know a thing or two. But these dwarf plants… there’s just no love there. They are barely 8″ tall, and at the rate we’re going, it’ll be October before I see pod one. I wanted some help. Turns out, Farm Market  = Green Grocer and he wasn’t all that much help in that arena except to suggest that maybe I should pull up the dwarfs and  lay in some Clemson Spineless Okra plants (which he happened to have a large shelf full of right by the register). Not a whole lot of help – but I did grudgingly pick up a couple of pots …

Talkin’ Swede (Part 2) – Get in my Belly

Feasting on Neeps… We’ll dispense with all that background stuff from earlier and just get to the goods today. (Head back THIS WAY if you didnt read PART 1) And, while there are a lot of tasty, ingenious ways to prepare swede out there on the internettyweb-o-matic thingy, not everyone is going to be all that keen on eating Neep Crostini, or Candied Swede, or Rutabaga Sorbet… Although, Jane did inadvertently make a Rutabaga Pie quite by accident a couple of Thanksgivings ago when she  reached for the pureed butternut squash and snagged the  mashed rutabagas instead… …it was god-awful. You can read all about it at Bad Pie, Harbinger of Death in a Crust. No, Today were going to concentrate on good things on happy memories and good things to eat. First up – The Basics. The easiest way to introduce yourself to swede is the  way it comes in a can – diced and simmered…. only better than a can, you know. Swede with Butter and Parsley Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 1 Rutabaga 3 …

Talkin’ Swede (Part 1) Just the Facts, Ma’am

A Cabbage Turnip by any other name… Call it a Swede, a Neep, a Yellow Turnip, Rotabagge, Snadgers, Snarkies or Swedish Turnip, we’re talking the same language. It’s a Rutabaga. Swede is a member of the large Brassica family which includes Turnips, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, and Cabbage. Originally noted in Sweden in the early 1600’s (hence the name Swedish Turnip) it is believed to have originated in Russia as the natural cross-pollination love child between a cabbage and a standard turnip. currently, there are four standard varieties: American Purple Top – Creamy yellow bottom and flesh with (surprise) a Purple top.This is, as the name suggests, an American developed strain with dense, evenly grained flesh and a less sweet note. Commonly the variety used for commercial canning, the Purple Top has a tendency to be slightly astringent or bitter to some non-discerning tastes. When cooked, the swede takes on a deep orange coloration. Joan – Smaller than the American variety, Joan produces sweet and mild roots which do better for eating after a late season …

Kale Tart

I’ve been playing around with the Strong Greens Tart we did back in December. Because?Well, even though it was uber (don’t you hate that word?) tasty – I wanted to see how it would work with a different set of flavorings…. and some different textural components. I’ve been a kugel fan for a long time. Ever since the first time I ate at the now defunct Sydney’s Just South. .. So, if you’re from around here, you’ll know how long that’s been. There’s something about eggs and egg noodles that’s almost as comforting as a big bowl of peppered buttered elbow macaroni. So, to bolster this recipe, I’ve augmented the raisins and pine nuts for walnuts and dried cranberries, switched out the broccoli greens for kale, and added a heaping cup of egg noodles to the mix. You know… I like it just as much as the original.… and that’s not just the noodles talking. Kale TartMakes 1 9″ TartIngredients 1 – 9″ Pie Crust2 Cups of Cooked Kale – Chopped3 Eggs1 Cup Milk3 Strips Bacon1 …

Tales Of Woe – “The one with the Cauliflower…”

The other week I picked up several (read that as five) heads of cauliflower. Do I love cauliflower? … yes, yes I do. But that isn’t the point of this tale. No, the poking and prodding to  stock up, as it were, was my nagging little inner voice concerning that absurd thing called  The Cauliflower Pizza Crust. If I were to believe the reams of articles and post comments on this anomaly… If I were to believe everything they tell me on the internettyweb-o-matic (because they can’t put anything there that isn’t true)… If I had absolutely zero taste buds… – then this would be the be-all-to-end-all in non gluten pizza crusts. It isn’t. And “it isn’t” a lot of things…. good – being first and foremost. It isn’t crisp like 50 of the recipes would have you to believe. I couldn’t cook it long enough or hot enough to make it crisp. No, it isn’t just like pizza crust. It’s like dried out, over-cooked cauliflower. And there’s not enough sauce, toppings, cheese-like substance to make you think it …

Later and Shorter…

“The night air is cool on the body, mesmerized as the light glistens off the dark and oddly black appearing liquid … and in the light of the full moon I’m spinning and twirling…..” nothing… at all.  eh.. back to the eats… The Veg. Copper Pennies While not a southern tradition, they are a fine addition to the whole personal wealth scheme of a theme. And being as objective as I can about it, probably just about as a fool proof way of enriching your bank account as say buying into Carlton Sheets “How to Steal a House from Desperate People” or that other guy’s “Learn to buy all the distressed property in a town no one wants to live” plan. This way, you at least get to eat something good and not feel all dirty afterwards. Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 4 Large Carrots – Peeled 1/2 Cup Orange Juice 1/4 Cup Honey 1/2 Cup Chicken (or vegetable) Stock 1/2 Cup Butter or Non Dairy Margarine 1 Shallot – Minced 1/4 Teaspoon Salt 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black …

Curb Market Crawl – Crookneck Squash

This past weekend in Dahlonega was Gold Rush Days. If you live here, that means barricade yourself in the house until all the tourist leave… or get out of town. We chose the latter. And since this is also the beginning of pumpkin season, apple season and the beginning of what is proving to be a very colorful fall leaves display – we had to get far away. We headed farther up north to Dillard and Mountain City, past the point where a day drive from the city makes sense. The Foxfire Museum is located in Mountain City, GA With the cool clear day, it was the perfect time to spend some time getting dusty in the bounty of antique and junque stores, have lunch at the Cupboard Cafe (they’re located on Hwy 441 in Mountain City, GA.) A great place to stop in when you want something other than  corporate franchises. A large menu, great sandwiches – one of the best Reuben Sandwiches I’ve ever eaten – and a mind numbing selection of fresh house made pies. We …

Once More into the fire…

Photo courtesy of Popular Mechanics – May 1968 When we were kids, my dad lived for the Popular Mechanics Weekend Project. Summer 1968 endeared us to the Wishing Well BBQ project …an attractive addition to any patio! Unfortunately, my father was a very cautious man, and felt the project as shown invited a few too many opportunities for disaster. The charcoal bin and coal hopper offered just a ream of chances for fire – so it was eliminated. The roof was just a bit too close to the fire – so the pitch was changed and raised The low grill deck invited tiny fingers – so it was raised and reinforced. The resulting finished BBQ didn’t really look very much like the project. It was a substantial fortress in which to provide charred meats to the family… and protect everyone for even the slightest chance of burn injury. And, it didn’t really work. The base redesign cut off most of the air supply needed to feed the coals, and the reworked roof funneled copious amounts of smoke directly …