Posts Tagged ‘cooking things pulled out of the ground’


I drive by Berry Patch Farms on my way to the hospital in the mornings.  I’ve been driving by there for two years, and since my drive-by times are 0545 and 1845 when I’m working, I haven’t stopped.  Today, I did.  Wonderful place.  They had more of those wonderful peaches when I first walked in, but there were only two left by the time I was done picking raspberries.  (Won’t make that mistake again.)  That peach tasted like pure happiness.

Mostly, I picked raspberries.  I chose the rubiest berries that almost fell off the vine into my hands.  Red raspberries are Mark’s favorite, so I thought I’d start there.  They’ve also got fields of ever-bearing strawberries and golden raspberries. ….Further types of jam likely coming.

No better time like partial-employment in September to make jam.

source:  Ball Blue Book:  guide to preserving

veganish, gluten –

  • raspberries, I had 1.5 lbs
  • sugar, 2/3 cup for every cup of berry you have

Combine berries and sugar in a large saucepot.  Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cook rapidly to gelling point.  As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary.  Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process for 25 minutes in boiling canner at metro Front Range and foothills altitudes.

InSANEly good jam.


It’s Labor Day weekend, and there are Hatch Chiles for sale everywhere around here.  (About Hatch Chiles)  I ate another chile from my garden in this morning’s salsa eggs.  And I have a few more gorgeous chiles growing, but they’re green yet.  I’m generally a red chile person, but it was impossible to pass up the wonderful smell of the green Hatch chiles in the crates in the grocery store, or pass up the price.  And as I’m having to harvest my yellow tomatoes quickly to try and keep them out of the squirrels hands.  (Yes.  They can pick up my beautiful fist-sized deep summer golden heirloom tomatoes in their grubby, Hanta-virus-infested little feral fists.)  (Mark will not let me sic the cat on them.  Bastards.)

So.  Salsa.  Obviously.  Everybody has their own recipe here, and I don’t think I’ve really settled on one that I love so much that I would make gallons and can it for the year yet.  I got this basic one from Mary Paddock a few years ago, and what I did with it today made a very mild….very….green and fresh-feeling chile.  It might have been richer if I’d thrown in a tomatillo.

If there’s anyone out there reading, I’d love to know how you guys do your September salsas.  I’m not big into mangoes…done that, didn’t dig it.

(Hey, there’s a thought.  Maybe instead of growing zucchini next year, I’ll do some tomatillos and more peppers.  Definitely more peppers.)

source:  Mary Paddock

vegan, gluten –

  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes (I used 3)
  • 1/4 medium onion (I used a purple, because I love the snap of them)
  • 4 sprigs cilantro (or parsley) (Mark is not a fan of cilantro, but I am, and I made it my way this time because likely I will eat most of it.)
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 3)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (pinch of plain salt…who needs more salt in their diet?)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (I added half of this, and regretted it….unless it’s there to preserve color, it distracts from the taste of sunny things for me)
  • 1 jalapeno (or a large chile.  Lots of room to be creative here. )

Mix.  Since I will probably be ladling this over my corn and bean salads that I’ve been eating at least every other day, I made this with me in mind, flavor-wise, but Mark’s tolerance heat-wise.  He’ll probably have some.  Because I will put it on his eggs in the morning, too.

It’s mild, but tastes like the sun, bright, gardeny.  I think I want something deeper and redder, though.  The yellow tomatoes are phenomenal, but when my garden chiles ripen to red, I will use those.  Anybody roast their chiles before making them into salsa?  I wonder what that would be like…

The veggies were so pretty, I had to take a picture.  I got Detroit red beets, and gold beets, and heirloom yellow tomatoes, and that delicious mariachi sweet red pepper (which Chase actually tasted and liked), and Anaheims.  And six cups of zucchini.

I’ve got some acorn squashes goin, potatoes I haven’t pulled out yet, couple tiny pumpkins, more herbs than I know what to do with.

I’ve learned something about growing basil….I grew Genovese and Thai varieties. The Genovese had awesome juicy aromatic leaves first, but it went to see first, too.  The fragrance from the two varieties is a little different, but they both have made great pesto batches for me.  I am keeping the Genovese in seed, and gathering some as the seeds dry.  I think, though, that I’m most impressed with the Thai basil.  It was a slower start, but it hasn’t gone to seed yet and it’s producing quite a lot for me.  Cutting the shoots to make stuff with it just keeps it from getting too bushy.  The plant is a little woodier than the Genovese.  If I pluck too much for the recipe, I can stick the stalk in a glass of water for a week, and it’s still good for use later.  I’ve done pesto batches with pine nuts and walnuts and plan to try hazlenuts, too.

I’ve got mint coming out of my ears.  And rosemary.  And lemon balm.

The one titan that survived the 100 degree days bloomed this week.  It’s at least ten feet tall if it’s an inch.  It’s a big fat smile in my garden.

My mother-in-law keeps sneaking vegetables home with my husband.  The wench.

I hopped up and down and scolded my husband and my stepson, “YOUR GRANDMOTHER IS NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE US MORE VEGETABLES!!!”  Mark said, “But I ate the last potato, honey.”  “THAT’S BECAUSE I HAVEN’T PULLED OURS OUT OF THE GROUND YET BECAUSE WE WERE EATING YOUR MOTHER’S!”  Chase piped up, “But gramma had ten zucchinis bigger than my arm on the table…I counted.  She was so happy that we took some.”  “YOUR GRANDMOTHER LOOKS VERY NICE AND SWEET AND DISABLED AND HELPLESS BUT I TELL YOU NO MORE VEGETABLES!!!  SHE’S A MENACE!!!”

That wily Jane.  She’s the one that told me, insisted, that I only put one plant in this year.   I pulled one zucchini out that shredded into six cups.  So I made this again:  Ratatouille bread pudding ….which was great, by the way….used up a basket of heirloom yellow tomatoes, three sprigs of basil and more zucchini.  I got this recipe from my boss at my part-time hospital.  She asked me if I wanted tomatoes.  (No.)  Another woman asked if I wanted plums.  (I actually said yes to that one.)

This may not have turned out the way Michele made it, as it sounds like it’s supposed to be bars.  It seemed cakelike to me, and Chase is calling it a cake.  He actually said it was so rich, he could barely finish.  (Never fear, he managed.)  It was too similar to my basic zucchini bread to me….just zucchini bread plus loads more fat and sugar.  I made it to try something different. especially while we have a 12 year old boy extra time this week to help us eat it.   It’s zucchini cake.  It’s yummy.
source:  Michele Siem

lacto-ovo vegetarian, gluten +


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c canola oil
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c nuts (I used hazelnuts for variety)
  • 2 c grated zucchini


  • 1/4 c margarine, softened (I used butter)
  •  1 tbsp milk
  • 1 pckg cream cheese (I at least went with lower fat because I’m kidding myself)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c powdered sugar

Beat the eggs, add oil, sugar, zucchini, mix.  Add dry ingredients, pour into a greased/sprayed and floured 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for a half hour to forty minutes or so at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Whip together the frosting ingredients and apply with a spatula to cooled cake.  Put in the fridge to set.

Once I had made this, I think these might be better as little cupcakes.  If I do it again, I’ll try it that way.

It’s a way to get something to stick to the 12 year old’s bones that’s got green vitamins.  It also helps to get him to eat ratatouille by saying he must eat every bite on his plate before dessert.


My world is a rather worrisome place to be in right now.  It’s full of fel beasts and small, cramped dark places.  There’s only so much you can do when you’re stuck in a small, dark, cramped place.  In between bouts of fighting off the beasts and long boring treks through the small, dark passages in the hopes that I will eventually emerge from them…I decided to cook Indian.
Because how can anybody fail to get a little happy with samosas with tamarind apple butter chutney?

vegan, gluten +

source:  Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Sumana Ray

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 lb potatoes, diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 chili, finely chopped (I pulled one out of my garden)
  • pinch tumeric
  • /2 tsp salt
  • scant 1/2 c peas
  • 1 tsp ground roasted cumin


  • 2 1/4 c plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • scant 1/2 c hot water
  • oil for deep fying (optional)

For the filling, heat oil in a wok over med high het and add the cumin seeds.  Let them sizzle for a few seconds.  Add the potatoes and green chili and fry for 2 – 3 minutes.  Add tumeric, salt, and stirring occasionally, cook for 5 minutes.  Add peas and ground roasted cumin.  Stir to mix.  Cover, lower heat and cook a further 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Let cool.

For ough, sieve together the flour and salt.  Rub in the oil.  Add enough water to form a stiff dough.  Knead for 10 minutes or so until smooth.  Divide into 12 balls.  Roll each ball into a round of about 6 inches.  Cut in half.  Pick up one half, flatten it slightly and form a cone, sealing the overlapping edge with a little water.  Fill the cone with 1 1/2 tsp of the filling and seal the top with a little water.  (Or just squeeze it together.)

Make all the samosas.

The recipe says to heat oil in a wok over medium heat and fry.  I baked the samosas at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until very lightly browned.  They’re done, but I probably could have browned them longer.  The other idea I had after the fact was to glaze them with a little ghee, not only to add some richness, but a little more color.  Also….maybe the dough itself could be made with ghee.  It probably is in India…probably use ghee instead of the oil?  Worth experimentation.

Serve with chutney.  These are quite yummy.  May try freezing some, too.

Totally stole this from Bex.  She makes this awesome tomato/mozz platter for parties, and so I did one, too.  I made it with homemade, straight-out-of-my-garden pesto for drizzling.

source:  Bex, Bittman’s Bible

lacto-vegetarian, gluten –

  • 2 c basil leaves (I used the Genovese variety in my garden…the Thai basil leaves I used to sprinkle over the platter)
  • a clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2 c evoo (you could use less; I wish I had)
  • 1/2 c fresh grated parmesan, which I did not use

Combine in food processor.  Bittman says a week or two in fridge; a few months in the freezer if you have leftovers.


Yay.  Gonna go get ready for the shindig.

I didn’t make up the title of the recipe, but it is cute.  Must be the influence of my charge nurse, Liz, who is from Lousiana.  I wanted to learn to make jambalaya.  I have no idea if this tastes like the real deal, but it is very tasty, very hearty, and incidentally, cheap to make.  This makes a vat, that should last the next several days…which is good, because I am working four in a row through the weekend.

This recipe wasn’t much of a contribution from my garden, but it is nice to have the fresh herbs to throw in.  (The kitty in the photo is my little Beau.)

source:  Veganomicon, by Moskowitz and Romero

gluten +, vegan (easy to substitute chicken instead of seitan for the gluten -)

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 loaf simple seitan (I’ve posted a recipe and WordPress is not allowing me to link….)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2″ dice (I used orange)
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 heaping tablespoons tomato paste (I used a sm can because when would you use the rest?)
  • 1/2 c cooking sherry
  • 2 c long grain rice, brown or white (I used basmati because I have a sack)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans (I used dried black, soaked overnoc and cooked)
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 – 6 sprigs fresh thyme (optional, and I have this in my garden)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried paprika
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed (which I didn’t have)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (which I didn’t have)
  • 4 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • several pinches fresh ground black pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish (which I have on the deck, but forgot)
  • (The recipe says that you can change the herbs for your favorite-style Cajun seasoning…which I DO have…and didn’t realize I could do this until after the recipe is done.  Substitute most of the seasonings, but keep the fresh thyme.)

Preheat oven to 375F

Preheat a large oven-to-table Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over med heat.  (I don’t have a Dutch oven, so I used my largest pot and largest casserole dish.)  Saute the seitan in 2 tbsp of olive oil for 4 – 6 mins, until browned.  Remove from the pot and set aside.  Add remaining olive oil to the pot, then stir in the onion, celery, pepper and garlic.  Saute for 12 to 14 mins, until veggies soft and a little mushy.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for another 4 minutes.

Stir in the sherry to deglaze the veggies, cook for 30 seconds, then add the rice.  Stir the rice for 4 minutes, then stir in diced tomatoes, seitan, beans, bay leaf, all the herbs, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, pour in the vegetable broth, and return to a simmer.  Taste the broth and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

If using Dutch oven, cover and place in oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until rice is tender.  If using a pot, transfer to a deep casserole dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  If using brown rice, increase baking time to 40to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven, stir the jambalaya, then cover and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Really great and fairly easy recipe.  Tasty, makes a vat, three different types of protein and several veggies.  I didn’t add any spice because Mark’s got a Wisconsin palette…but by all means, toss the Cholula on it.  (I did.)