What are You Eating from the Garden?

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
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Once again we seasoned and grilled chicken briefly before braising it in a slow oven with garlic and hot Czech Black peppers from the garden (high tunnel). On the table were homemade refrigerator pickles and fresh carrots. Pretty good for December! 😊
 

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SPedigrees

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Well these were not from my garden, but a random stranger in the post office parking lot gifted me with a large amount of apples from his tree, which he told me bears fruit about once every 3 years and then it does so bountifully! These apples are an old variety, "Wolf River," and they are immense fruits, the size of medium sized grapefruits and weighing upwards of a pound each. I wish I'd taken a photo of these huge apples, or even a photo of the cut up wedges/slices which filled a large rectangular container.

I had just finished cutting up potatoes when I tackled the apples, and so without thinking cut up the apple wedges with the skin on. I was focused on cutting out the bad/wormy parts (I salvaged probably 2/3rds of these apples and the rest went out to the deer and mice) and so it didn't occur to me to peel the apples first. So much for making a pie or apple crisp.

So I looked online for recipes that use apple pieces with the skin on, and found this recipe which has now become my go-to recipe for apples. Baked Apple Slices! I love baked apples but coring apples and packing the space with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon is time-consuming enough that I seldom make them. This recipe on the other hand is easy-peasy. I melted a stick of butter in a disposable aluminum pan, poured about 2/3rds of the melted butter into a dish, added the apple slices to the pan, poured the dish of melted butter over them, covered them with generous amounts of brown sugar and cinnamon, and into the 350 oven uncovered until apples were squishy and had produced a copious amount of juice, blending with the butter and brown sugar. This hot/warm concoction in a bowl with heavy cream or ice cream is heavenly! (Had only light cream, but was still delicious). I had enough to freeze some, plus this pan-ful that is quickly disappearing.
BakedAppleWedgesFromWolfRiverApples.JPG


These are definitely cooking apples, soft fruits that cook down delectably. An interesting property of Wolf River apples is that a tree grown from seed will produce true fruits just like the parent tree. Maybe some of the seeds in the discarded cores will take root, who knows?

I so miss having horses to feed apple bites to, so making anything with apples or carrots is always a somewhat bitter-sweet endeavor.
 

Branching Out

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Was it a spicy dish?
It was not spicy at all, despite the Czech Black being a hot pepper. I removed the seeds (for drying and saving) and the ribs though. The flavour was mild, and quite nice. I especially liked the pop of colour that they added. For the rest of the day every time I put my hands near my face my eyes watered! :)
 

Branching Out

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I was telling my husband how bitter sweet it was to cook up these Ugandan Bantu beans. They were grown in 2022 as part of my very first venture in cultivating dry beans, and they have a certain sentimental quality. He said he could understand that after seeing all of the bowls of brightly coloured pebble-like legumes, each with their own unique qualities and attributes; he agreed that there is something compelling about them. Once we sat down to eat I felt okay about having cooked them up into a taco soup topped with fresh cilantro and sauteed minced red jalapenos. I set aside a few ounces for seed to replant next spring; they are one of my favourite beans.
 

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Finnie

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Well these were not from my garden, but a random stranger in the post office parking lot gifted me with a large amount of apples from his tree, which he told me bears fruit about once every 3 years and then it does so bountifully! These apples are an old variety, "Wolf River," and they are immense fruits, the size of medium sized grapefruits and weighing upwards of a pound each. I wish I'd taken a photo of these huge apples, or even a photo of the cut up wedges/slices which filled a large rectangular container.

I had just finished cutting up potatoes when I tackled the apples, and so without thinking cut up the apple wedges with the skin on. I was focused on cutting out the bad/wormy parts (I salvaged probably 2/3rds of these apples and the rest went out to the deer and mice) and so it didn't occur to me to peel the apples first. So much for making a pie or apple crisp.

So I looked online for recipes that use apple pieces with the skin on, and found this recipe which has now become my go-to recipe for apples. Baked Apple Slices! I love baked apples but coring apples and packing the space with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon is time-consuming enough that I seldom make them. This recipe on the other hand is easy-peasy. I melted a stick of butter in a disposable aluminum pan, poured about 2/3rds of the melted butter into a dish, added the apple slices to the pan, poured the dish of melted butter over them, covered them with generous amounts of brown sugar and cinnamon, and into the 350 oven uncovered until apples were squishy and had produced a copious amount of juice, blending with the butter and brown sugar. This hot/warm concoction in a bowl with heavy cream or ice cream is heavenly! (Had only light cream, but was still delicious). I had enough to freeze some, plus this pan-ful that is quickly disappearing.
View attachment 62535

These are definitely cooking apples, soft fruits that cook down delectably. An interesting property of Wolf River apples is that a tree grown from seed will produce true fruits just like the parent tree. Maybe some of the seeds in the discarded cores will take root, who knows?

I so miss having horses to feed apple bites to, so making anything with apples or carrots is always a somewhat bitter-sweet endeavor.
You have my dishes! 😍
 

digitS'

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With such mild temperatures throughout the weeks of Autumn and continuing, storing vegetables in coolers on the deck hasn't been very difficult. There was a week when one of the afternoon temperatures hit 50°f (10°C) and the best location was back in the carport fridge. They cannot stay in there if overnight it drops much below freezing, I have made that mistake before. It was a good thing that we no longer had 4 - 5 coolers of veggies by that time – transferring & keeping everything cool wasn't a problem and it has sure been easier than lugging them in every night to the utility room if it was in the teens (-6) and back out during the daytime.

Meals with the typical Summertime fare of stir-fry greens finally came to an end but, in the one cooler remaining on the deck, there are the carrots and celeriac. Plenty of potatoes, onions and shallots remain in the basement. Christmas roasted veggies with chicken, meat loaf with shallots and garlic, and mashed potatoes with celeriac made the menu.

Two nice Winter Sweet squash 🐫 came upstairs from basement shelves and provided more than enough filling for 4 pumpkin pies. We have already sampled 1 and it is the best of the season. Storage does that.

I cooked pumpkin johnny cakes for a second breakfast this morning :D. There will be pumpkin yeast bread for dinner. We are trying to limit sugar and it sure doesn't make sense at the moment to have the family tradition of Half Moon Bay pumpkin bread at the same time as those pies. (The moon is nearly full so we have some time and more squash downstairs for that sweet dessert "cake" in a couple of weeks ;).)

DW & DD can't seem to get enough of that green bean and mushroom soup casserole. Beans from out of the freezer and they will, at least, provide some variation from the Winter squash centered holiday meal 🎅.

Screenshot_20231224_085715_Chrome.jpg
photo from Oregon State U

Steve, had pumpkin pie for 1st breakfast 🙃
 

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