Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pantry–Freezer Soup

Today I got very domestic.  I always have great intentions to make meals in advance on Sundays so that I have less work to do during the weekdays, but this rarely ever happens.  On a rainy day like today, it made perfect sense.  I knew that we had a lot of frozen vegetables that have been in our freezer for months and really needed to be cooked…so I decided to make a big crock pot vegetable-bean soup.  As I started to to search the freezer, I discovered that 5 of the bags were actually broccoli!   Broccoli doesn’t do great in a crock pot for hours as it turns into a mush, so the whole “clean the freezer out by making a big crock pot soup idea” went out the window.  I did grab one bag of spinach from the freezer.  Not sure why I had frozen spinach though?  Farmer John must have bought it. 
So here’s the recipe of what I threw together, and I must say it’s quite tasty!
Yellow Zucchini, White Bean, Spinach and Pesto Soup
  • 2 yellow zucchinis diced (bought at the local farmer’s market)
  • 1 medium onion chopped and sauteed in olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomato with herbs
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • a few cups of organic chicken stock (didn’t measure)
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 16 oz bag of spinach
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 pesto cubes (from freezer, saved from last summer)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
(just about any vegetables or herbs could be added to this, but this is what I had on hand)
I turned the crock pot on high around 2:00 and it was done by 6:00.  I ate some and put the rest in containers to be frozen for later. 
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Farmer John will enjoy these for dinners when I am away in Alaska!

Farm Dreams…

I took a moment this morning to read one of the latest posts of gluten-free girl and the chef.  Check this out!  This is totally something I could see Farmer John and I doing on our future farm. 

5-course Farm Tour and Dinner

Thursday, June 10, 2010

“Mary Mary…how does your garden grow?”

Since John has been requesting photos of his precious plants for days now and because we reached the half-way mark of his time away, I am going to celebrate by granting him his wish.  The crickets are chirping outside, the yard finally got mowed,
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a lovely dinner of green curry and local veggies was enjoyed at the newly named Hob Nob Farm Cafe with my friend, Kari (we are planning needed items for our work-volunteer trip to Port Alsworth, Alaska which happens in a little over a week!),
(Port Alsworth, Alaska)
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...and a stop was made for decaf coffee at Espresso News and then groceries after that…and now I’m home and settled in for the night.  What was it that I was going to do?  Oh right, post photos for John.  But first, check out my awesome mowing job and our breathtaking view.
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It took an hour and to mow most of the yard (the rest not pictured), which isn’t including weed eating or raking of grass.  I must say, the side hill pictured in the photo above is a little sketchy to ride sideways on, but i conquered it and was quite proud.  So was farmer Johnny.

So Johnny, here is your masterpiece, one section at a time!

Mixed greens in the forefront
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broccoli, collards and kale
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Above: Kale and Collards, can you tell which one is which? 

An inside look at the peppers, eggplants and okra tunnel.  Pepper on the right.
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Happy tomatoes growing rapidly.  Farmer John, please enlighten us about the red plastic and how that aids and abets the mater life. 
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Some seriously happy mater plants…
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the monster zucchini
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Zucchini, squash and some cucumbers
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Below:  this row doesn’t look as pretty, but that’s only because you see more mud.  It’s full of watermelons and cantaloupes, as well as sunflowers!
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watermelon with holy leaves (holes in leaves?)
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happy worm
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above: chamomile in the front, marigolds in the back
below: cilantro
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One of my most exciting growths…rosemary!  Finally after about 1.5 months of direct sowing them, they are popping out!  obviously just for the fun of watching them grow, or I’d just go out and buy some dang rosemary. 
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One of my personal favorites, thyme. 
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seedlings still beginning their lives in the greenhouse. 
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That’s all for tonight, I’m pooped!  I’m sure you are too. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June Harvests Begin

Farmer John is currently out of the country again, hanging out in the West African country of Liberia.  The list of garden tasks he left in my hands was once again a lengthy one.  But first off, girl’s night!  My friend, Jamie, who is also eating gluten-free for now, was still awaiting her husband’s return from a far-away place.  We try to plan a slumber party whenever their travels overlap so we decided to pair that with a tasty gluten-free dinner!  As soon as they arrived, we immediately went out to the garden to take a tour and pick some baby greens, which is overflowing right now (will post pictures soon).  I then handed out some recycled strawberry containers so that we could each fill them up with ripe wild strawberries.  Check out how beautiful these raspberry-esque strawberries look!

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My girls, Bethie (left) and Jamie were some pickin’ fools.

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I’m trying to pick as many as possible to freeze and keep for smoothies!

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Before Farmer John left and while Jessica was up in Boone, we picked quite a bit too!  They’re never ending!

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Back to the slumber party…we made a delicious gluten-free macaroni pasta with fresh veggies, homemade sauce, pesto, and feta.  Such a colorful meal! 

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Afterwards, we made yummy chocolate chip cookies, but I forgot to take a picture of them.  Oops!  But what I didn’t forget to do was take a picture of tonight’s bake-off:  gluten-free banana bread!  I used the recipe from the expensive Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. 


Here’s the recipe

…and here’s the banana bread that I’m proud to say turned out really well!

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My husband will be disappointed that I don’t have more pictures of his precious plants.  I spent all my time planting last night instead of photographing.  I will update this weekend for those who are on the edge of your seat to see the progress (aka: John).  Hope you’re sleeping well in Liberia.  Your plants and your wife miss you a whole lot.