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Back In The Garden

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My big pot of spinach that I hope to keep producing all summer long.

When we moved, I didn’t bring one plant with me.  It broke my heart, but we had to pare down the load.

I’m happy to say that I am no longer plant less.

Thanks to my mom and my cousin I have pots galore and have started filling them.  I, actually, started my new garden in December when I snagged a key lime tree that was dying in the cold at Wal-Mart,  I’ve since added spinach, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, onions, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, lavender, ginger, sage, spearmint, and peppermint.

BG is my helper as always and I promised her that she could plant whatever she wanted in her portion of the garden.  So far she’s chosen two pots of flowers and seeds for more.  I hope that her enthusiasm for gardening continues.  There is something terribly special about being able to share something I really enjoy with my daughter and know that she’s having fun as well.  As a treat I bought her lilies that should bloom all summer long.

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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in In the Garden

 

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Leeks All Summer

So one of the things that you can grow from kitchen scraps is leeks.  All you have to save is the smallest part of the white with the attached roots.  You know, that part that you cut off and throw in the trash or compost pile.  Put it in water and watch it sprout.  Once mine sprouts up good, I moved them to a raised bed outside that gets lots of light.

Now when I want leeks, I simply walk out my front door and snip off a plant or two about an inch above the ground.  Within days, it had already sprouted right back up from the stump.  With four plants, I’ve had all the leeks I’ve wanted this summer.  However, I didn’t really understanding how to cook with them.  Since I’ve had them and learned how they flavor food, I’m going to need more.  With that in mind, the next time I go to the grocery store, I’ll pick up a bundle and pop the scraps into water, which brings me to my next thought.

I’ve already started noticing a yellow tinge to the leaves, which is always my first cue that fall is here.  I’m going to want leeks this winter.  Instead of adding this new bunch to the established bed in the yard, I think, I’ll try to start them in a planter in the window.

Once, I get the ones started in the window, I’ll probably try to bring the ones in the yard into the house.  We shall see how that works out for me.

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2015 in In the Garden

 

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Turkey Dressing and Gravy (gluten-free)

We made cornbread, now we’re going to turn it into a Holiday stand-bys.

Pan of cornbread
Boiled turkey thighs (2 per pan of cornbread)
Turkey thigh broth
Eggs (4-6 depending upon size of eggs)
Celery (to taste)
White or yellow onions (*to taste)
Green onions (*to taste)
Cream of Mushroom Soup (2 cans) **
Salt and Pepper (*to taste)

*to taste because some people like these things and others HATE them.
**gluten-free soups are available or try this alternative: Cream of Anything Soup!

Make your pan of cornbread and let it cool.
Boil your turkey thighs and allow thighs and broth to cool. De-bone thighs.
Slice and dice your veggies to sizes that you and your loved ones like.
Add cans of soup, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Mix it all in a huge bowl with enough of the broth to make is pretty wet but not soupy.
Pour into a lightly oiled casserole dish (save back about four cups of mixture for a separate smaller pan).  Pop them both into the oven at 375 degrees until golden brown and firm.

Turkey Gravy
When your Turkey Dressing is done, dish all of the smaller pan (four cups) of dressing into a sauce pan and pour the extra broth over the top. Stir in corn starch and cook low until nice and thick. This is the best turkey gravy you’ll ever try.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Recipes

 

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Not Your Normal Muffin

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so…

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Now for the nitty-gritty of making these bad boys!

 

“Country Breakfast” Muffins

18 eggs

2 cups cheese

4 green onions

2 1/2 cups shredded tater tots or hash browns

Salt and pepper to taste

1 package of thick sliced bacon

Mix everything together in a bowl except the bacon.

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The mix before the eggs were added.

 

 

Break out your muffin pans and line them with a strip of bacon. I used a full length strip for my muffin pan with the big cups and cut down the strips for the smaller cup size muffin pans.

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Pour in the mix and pop them in the oven at 375 degrees.

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As a side note I made this pan of muffins in my toaster oven just to see if I could.

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So no excuses!  You don’t even need a real kitchen to have these.  I made a bunch because:

1. Who isn’t going to eat a bunch of these!

2. They should freeze really well for another day.

 

CC and I were going to snack out before BG woke up, but the Force is strong with this one.  She appeared before we got our first bite.  She took one sleepy look at our plates and lit up with the most angelic smile!  She gives them her seal of approval but says the green onions are not to her taste.  I wonder how these would taste: bacon filled with blueberry muffin with chunks of pre-cooked sausage links?  Hmmm….

 

Let me know what you try.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Recipes

 

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Eating Scraps

We’re all seen those posts about how you can grow real food from scraps. The ones that interested me the most were celery and green onions. We love them. We eat them all the time. They are such a nice addition to so many of the foods we like. (Remind me to get you the recipe for my Cajun Celery Beef.) I did the rough math and for our family it looks something like this:

1 head of celery per pay period: $3.00
2 bunch of green onions per pay period: $2.00
Pay periods in a year: 26
Total yearly savings if I can make this work: $130.00

For many people $130 is not all that much, but in this family that’s a lot of money! Especially, when you start considering that you can add that to the money we’re saving growing our own herbs. Basically, I looked at my little kitchen window and I see that it all adds up to about $300 plus a year. Wait a minute, you say. Yeah, all of a sudden it starts to make sense, huh? $300 plus is nothing to sneeze at.

So we bought celery and green onions, not organic or anything, just regular old celery and green onions.  We used the celery like we always do, but as we got down to those last few stalks attached to the stump, I simply lopped them off leaving that little core of leaves in the middle.  Then I put it in a jelly jar on the window sill. Everything was going great. It was growing like none other, then I put it in dirt like it said to do.

It rotted within days.

I’m nothing if not stubborn. I’m trying again. This time I plan on putting cinnamon on the stump because it is said to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I have three stumps growing very well, as you can see, but I’m not sure it is going to work because I still don’t have a single root on any of them that I can see.  If it doesn’t work this time, I may have to break down and try the organic celery to see if that makes a difference.

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Now in regards to the green onions… Did pretty much the same thing as the celery. I cut all the green off and cooked it. The white ends were placed in a jelly jar on the window sill such that the water was only over the very bottoms. They sprouted roots immediately! When the roots were about an inch long, I transplanted them into this little pot.

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They’ve been helping to feed us for weeks now.  It takes about three days for them to grow almost two inches. (CC has talked about setting up a time delay camera to capture the growth of these rascals.)  I am starting some more from the grocery store today to basically double what I have in this one little pot.  I feel that this amount doubled will give us all the green onions that we’ll need or want.  So hopefully today will be the last time I buy green onions!

(One thing I have noticed about the onions, is that some of them just will not thrive. Do NOT waste your time on them. Throw them into the compost pile and concentrate on the ones that are thriving.  If my experience is anything to go by, the ones to thrive will be the big fat healthy ones that aren’t knicked or roughed up.)

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Gluten-Free Cornbread

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup rice flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

2 cups milk

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all the dry ingredients.  Form a hollow to cradle the two eggs.  Crack the two eggs into the hollow and add two cups milk to hollow.  Whip the eggs into the milk with a fork or whisk.  Slowly add the sides of your hollow into the mix.  Your batter should NOT be a thick paste.  The consistency you are looking for is the same as a cake mix from a box before you pour it into the pan.  Coat the inside of a cast iron skillet with oil and pour the batter in.  Pop it into the oven and bake until golden brown.  The time will vary by location, but roughly ????? minutes.

*You can test to make sure the inside is done, by inserting a butter knife or toothpick.  If it come out clean, it is done.

I’ll update the time and add a picture next time I make it.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Recipes

 

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Continued Cilantro Chatter

If you read the earlier post about putting the wilted cilantro in water, you know that I found that it survives better in the frig when you put the stems in water.  To add to that post is this new info: Cut the brown withered stems before placing them in water.

Also, if you want to start cilantro in your window, according to the internet you can put them in water on the windowsill and they will develop roots.

We shall see, as I bought cilantro to make salsa tonight and I’m going to give it a try. (No, I won’t give you my salsa recipe.  It isn’t perfected, yet.)

What am I out? $.30?

I’d like to point out to those of you who haven’t thought about it, that I’m actually saving a lot of money by growing my own herbs in the window.  Sure it isn’t much at this point, but it adds up really quickly, especially if you’re buying the fresh herbs instead of the dried ones.  For me, that money goes for any number of things, but if you don’t have anything to spend a little extra money on, far be it for me to tell you how to save a buck.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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