Busy Busy

4 Apr

Yikes!  It’s been two weeks since my last post.  Daily I told myself “Today will be the day!  I will write again!”  Lies, all lies.  But, after a particularly harsh night of pouring rain and thunderstorms I find that I actually have time to stay inside and catch up on the fortnight (we’ve been watching some period pieces).  I should be doing laundry, cleaning out the bunny cage, loading the dishwasher, scrubbing things, etc., but I would much rather be here, posting about HoneyBea Farm.  Those other things will still be there later…Those things will always be there later…

I have planted potatoes in three beds.  I finished out two more of the raised beds, filled them with beautiful well aged leaf compost and planted Green Mountain, Red Thumb and Sangre (my favorite).  Last year I tried planting potatoes in straw and had some really mixed results.  My German Butterballs did well, my Rose Finn Apple did not and the blister beetles were so bad on all solanaceaes that I got almost nothing from all other nightshades.  The Butterballs were in new soil, apart from the main garden, and mulched heavily with straw.  The Rose Finns were in the main garden, in soil absolutely teeming with morning glory seeds, and mulched heavily with straw.  Consequently, once the morning glories and hayseeds germinated there wasn’t much room left for the Rose Finns, which aren’t heavy producers anyway.  Very poor results.  So this year I tried the Green Mountains in a deep raised bed, placed on a bed of compost, covered lightly with compost and mulched with straw.  I topped off the compost with a treatment of corn gluten meal to deter the hayseeds from taking over.  It seems to be working.  There is germination, but the CGM works by drying out the sprout once it has formed.  From what I’ve read I can expect up to a 50% reduction in weeds with this application, plus it’s 10% nitrogen.  The hayseeds that have germinated are not growing like last year, and are decomposing under the mass of mulch.  As long as that doesn’t harm the seed potatoes, which it doesn’t seem to be yet, I think that’s a success.

The Red Thumb and few of the Sangres I planted in a shallow (8″) raised bed filled partway with leaf compost.  I put the seed pieces on top of a few inches of compost, covered them with about an inch of compost and added some CGM.  I will wait until the potato plants actually pop up to mulch with straw and see if that makes a difference.  The bulk of the Sangres I planted more traditionally in a trench down the middle of my cattle panel trellis.  I tilled and then furrowed a single trench, placed the potatoes and covered with compost.  As they grow I will hill up around them with more compost.  We’ll see what happens!

I have also planted more carrots, bunching onions, baby bok choy, mustards, turnips, beets, spinach, kale, broccoli rabe, and a second round of peas.  My favas have been in full bloom and hopefully will set pods soon (fingers crossed that it doesn’t get too hot too soon).  I even dreamed last night that I went out to the garden and found fava pods on all my plants.  I love those meaty wonders!  All parts of the plant are edible and I often pinch off leaves and shoots to use in salads like pea shoots.

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This is early in the process, before the cardboard, mulch and stones went down. The rough twig fence in the background has rooted, bloomed and leafed out now. There are plum, apple and peach prunings in there, so who knows what our little fence will do!

Another project that is well under way is the revised herb garden.  My dad drug out our old strawberry pyramid (and I do mean old — I think we might have used this when I was in my early teens, more than 20 years ago!) and fixed it up a little, then brought it to me to use somewhere in the garden.  I decided this was the perfect opportunity to fix that awful weed patch, eyesore, sorry excuse of an herb garden.  This poor plot seriously looked like the neglected gardens of crazy spinsters that neighborhood kids think are witches.  So I dug everything up, separated the really dense things, shared some items I had way too many of, and began the rework.  I weeded out the really nasty stuff and laid down cardboard over the rest.  I placed the pyramid in the center of the plot and filled the middle of it with branches, leaves, a couple of old twig baskets, anything biodegradable I could find lying around that needed to be done away with, and then topped that off with leaf compost.  As it rains and the filling settles I will need to add more compost, but that’s okay.  Bordering the pyramid I filled and leveled with some sand, placed stepping stones and mulched.  I also filled some large pots with herbs and perennials and placed them around the borders.  I have planted about a quarter of the pyramid so far, and still have filling to do on the upper levels, but like what’s happening immensely.  Adjacent to the herb garden are the brambles, which also have that overgrown, fairy tale appearance, so this has prompted work there as well.  I have weeded out around the raspberries, and have some new blackberries to plant.  The plan is to use the blackberries to extend this plot to the currants, making it a cohesive fruit area, all neatly ordered, mulched, and trellised.  The danger in this is that there are also grapes and figs close by, and there is the temptation to just keep planting new fruit until it’s ALL a cohesive fruit area.  Of course, that would be less mowing…

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I know this is a terrible photo, but it gives the idea. I framed out the box, wrapped it in poultry fence - the plastic kind - and topped it off with a lid of corrugated roofing.

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The Chicken Condo. The chickies seem to think this is great fun.

If you remember back to an earlier post about chicks, our teeny babies are now teenagers, and are now living outside.  I finally got around to the chicken tractor!  It’s kind of a chicken tractor on blocks right now, but it will have wheels soon.  I don’t have pictures of the last chicken coop I tried to build, but take my word for it, not a right angle in the whole damn thing.  I can say with pride that my carpentry skills are really improving.  I moved the six chicks out a week and a half ago and they seem very happy in their new digs.  The Friday after Easter I will be getting a shipment of 25 broiler chicks, and after their time in the brooder, they will move into the chicken tractor and the older chicks will be combined with the layer flock.  I’ve been trying to get them all acquainted with each other so that the transition isn’t too hard on the older chicks.

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Just fresh eggs, mustard greens thinnings and salt and pepper, fried in butter, of course.

And, since this is a working, living and eating farm, I have to include my new favorite egg dish – the baby mustard scramble.  I simply took the thinnings from the mustard greens and scrambled them into some eggs with grated cheese.  So simple and SO tasty.  I see lunch on the horizon!

I wonder sometimes if I’m doing right by the HoneyBea, keeping her home with me and raising her like a wild child, but then I get positive affirmation and know that I’m doing some things right.  Last week I was sharing a bottle of wine with some girlfriends, and was telling about Bea and her new fascination with earthworms, when one of my friends blurted out “Your kid is going to be so awesome!”  In that same evening Bea encouraged another friend’s son to get absolutely filthy playing with wet potting soil and chasing kitties, but she also got him to eat his veggies, which is no small task.  So yes, maybe I am on the right track.  At least I don’t seem to be doing any harm.

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I found this little guy in one of the beds while weeding. He was covered in mud and at first I thought he was a toy, then he moved. Bea has so many exciting discoveries to look forward to!

 

 

Spring!

20 Mar

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Although Spring sprang a couple of months ago it seems, it is officially here.  To celebrate, or coincidentally, however you choose to view it, I had a dumptruck load of gorgeous mulch delivered.  Woohoo!  This is primo aged leaf mulch and will be a huge benefit to the garden.  I also took this photo of our backyard from inside an apple tree.  Sadly the inside of the house is even more unkempt than the outside…

Happy Spring everyone!

Neato Joes

19 Mar

Still sloppy, despite the name. Nom nom!

Is it egotistical to think about leaving a food legacy?  I want my daughter to grow up with a deep respect for food as well as the ability to grow and prepare it.  She doesn’t have to be a four star chef and she doesn’t have to be a farmer, but she does need to be aware, or I think I’ll feel like I haven’t done my job.  She should also have a few solid recipes from Dear Old Mom in her repertoire.  I think about this often as I develop new dishes and tweak favorites.  And as she grows, of course there will be things she hates and things she would happily eat everyday for weeks on end.

One of those easy, staple dishes I turn to on busy days is Sloppy Joes.  Not Manwich, although I’ve eaten many a Manwich sandwich in my day.  This is something we can all probably eat happily meal after meal.  Whenever possible, I time this dish to coincide with my having recently made bolillos, which are the perfect carrier and sopper for this super messy delight.  You don’t have to have homemade buns, and even plain old loaf bread will do if it’s what you’ve got.  I’ve even been known to stuff an omelet with Sloppy Joe and cheddar cheese.  A great thing about these Sloppy Joes is that they are super healthy and vegan, yet so super tasty that you never even miss the meat.  Tonight’s sloppy joes are the perfect ending to a long day working out in the yard, tilling, mowing and weed eating (a whole day spent on weed control, on only 1.15 acres — yikes).  Top with bread and butter pickles, add some sweet potato fries and a glass of iced tea or a cold beer and it’s just about perfect.

Neato Joes

1 block tofu, frozen then thawed, diced very small or crumbled

1 medium onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Box of Pomi chopped tomatoes or 28oz can of tomatoes

1/2 cup bulgar

3/4 cup hot water

good handful of dried tomatoes, coarse chopped

chipotle powder

salt & pepper

cumin

marjoram

a little brown sugar or honey if necessary to soften the acid

Thaw the frozen block of tofu, squeeze out moisture and crumble. Pre-soak ½ cup of bulgar in ¾ cup hot water, about 10 minutes. Saute onions and garlic with salt and pepper. Add tofu and chopped dried tomatoes. Add bulgar and any remaining water, stir all together. Add tomato puree and season to taste.  Simmer about 15 minutes to finish cooking the bulgar.  Easy peasy.

This can of course also be made with any ground meat — I have made it with turkey and chicken with great results.  Just saute your meat with the onions and garlic and leave out the bulgar.

Fresh tofu can be used, but freezing does something to the texture that is really nice.  I generally buy tofu in large quantities when I have coupons or it goes on sale and just stick it in the freezer until I need it.

You don't have to take my word for it. This super indulgent 5 minute video of my kid eating Neato Joes will convince you of their powerful tastiness.

Eating alone

16 Mar

Salad Over Medium for one, please.

A few years ago Deborah Madison wrote a book called What We Eat When We Eat Alone, all about the things people consume when no one is watching.  I haven’t read this book, but thumbed through it at length and read some great reviews — and the concept really stuck with me.  I have always loved to eat out alone, but eating alone at home is something of a chore.  Doing dishes for one just doesn’t always seem worth it.  I guess I should have been more self conscious of my solo eating habits when Dan moved in, but I was used to doing things my way, and I had to go to bed at 8pm most nights to accommodate my crazy schedule anyway.  Cold cereal and High Life dominated the pantry.  Not exactly what most people think of when they think “Chef.”

When I met my future husband I was working as a baker and chef, and catering on the side. I lived alone, downtown, in a great old apartment in a sketchy neighborhood, and I was very set in my ways. I hear this happens when you make it into your 30s solo — somewhere along the line the obstinate old coot gene kicks in. I was cooking my heart out all day long, riding my bike to work for a 3am baking shift, and eating most of my meals at the restaurant. My house contained raisin bran (Post only, always Post) and microwave popcorn. Sometimes I bought bananas to put in the cereal. I lived off that for a couple of years. If I just had to have something else, I was more likely to go out for it than to make it myself.

Eating well alone is a luxury. Dan is not someone who can eat out by himself. He will order something to go and then sit in his car in the parking lot. I will happily pick a great spot for reading or watching and proceed to order a couple of courses of comfort food, hopefully pleased enough to clean my plates and order dessert. I am married to a guy who likes to eat out, but prefers sub shops to restaurants, and doesn’t like to draw attention to himself (which invariably happens with a toddler as loud and adorable as ours). We don’t get to go out that much, so that means lots of cooking at home, and that means making food that satisfies all three of us. Fortunately HoneyBea will try to eat just about anything you set in front of her – she’s just limited by a lack of molars.

So now I’m cooking for other people again, but something has changed.  I also cook for myself. If Dan is working nights, I might make boxed mac and cheese for Bea, but something special just for me. A favorite of mine for a long time has been “Salad Over Medium,” and that’s what I had tonight.

This really comes together nicely when you have super fresh ingredients (like most salads), but tonight was kind of ridiculously fresh. I harvested the asparagus about 15 minutes before it went into the pan and the hens are laying 6 or 7 eggs a day. These were gathered yesterday. The key ingredients are the lettuce, the eggs and the dressing, but this being spring, asparagus that only traveled 100 feet from field to plate is a perfect addition.  A great perk is that if you use your plate for a cutting board, you only dirty one knife, one pan, one plate, one fork, one jar and a spatula.  This cleans up super fast!

A word: I love undercooked eggs. Love em.  Not everyone does, and that’s okay, but this dish really isn’t for them. It’s also not for pregnant women.  And I can’t stress enough that it’s really nice to know your chickens.

Salad Over Medium

Salad greens

Two eggs

Brie

Walnuts

Asparagus

Crack Dressing (recipe below)

Pile the greens on the plate, buttercrunch or baby greens are especially tasty.  Prepare your dressing and set aside.  Decorate salad with cheese and walnuts (any mild cheese and tree nut will do, but if you can get Goat Lady Dairy products, I highly recommend the Sandy Creek).  Wash and prep your asparagus.  Fry up your eggs in butter, being careful not to overdo them,because that runny yolk is integral to the flavor of the salad.  Transfer your eggs to the top of the salad, and while the pan is still hot, quickly saute the asparagus.  Toss those on top of everything else and drizzle with dressing.  Eat eat eat and sop up the last of the yolk and dressing with some good crusty bread.  This is better with a good lager or ale than wine.

Crack Dressing

In my 20s I worked in museums, earning next to nothing, just like all my friends.  Fortunately we were resourceful,  social, and pretty good cooks.  The nightly Pauper Supper Club was born.  We each brought what we had, and instead of each person sitting alone eating one sad thing, we were a happy (and often intoxicated) group eating a buffet.  Necessity breeds creativity and we learned to make do with what we had, but one thing we almost always had was a green salad with this dressing.  It was given this name by one of the Paupers who had just finished her third bowl of salad and was slurping the last of the dressing straight from the bowl.  I never bothered to make an actual recipe for it, but it goes something like this:

1 part olive oil

1 part balsamic vinegar

1/4 part molasses

finely minced garlic to taste (powder will do if you’re lazy like me lately)

pinch of salt

a few grinds of pepper

Put it all in a jar and shake well.  Get ready to sop!

As promised, part the second

15 Mar

I know it hasn’t really been that long since I last posted, but it seems like so much has happened.  For one thing, it’s unnaturally warm and sunny out, which makes me dread summer for the first time in my life.  If MARCH is like this, what does the normally oppressive July-August season hold for us?  Summer is my favorite time of year, hands down, despite our Carolina weather, but this summer in late winter thing is really not my cup of tea.  I need it to still be cool for a couple of weeks (and not just because I’m not ready to mow the lawn).

I’m still getting in my cool season crops, and would like to give them a chance to produce without simply bolting in the heat and checking out for the season.  In the past week I  have scraped together a few afternoons to work in the garden and have managed to accomplish quite a bit.  I worked more on the raised beds, and fully planted one.  I weeded the much neglected asparagus.  I started seeds for lettuce, bok choy, carrots, turnips, bunching onions, spinach, mustard greens, beets, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.  I also transplanted a boatload of onions and some cabbages.  I dug up everything I wanted to keep from the kitchen herb garden and weeded that area to prep for an herb pyramid I’m putting in.  And I harvested a 10 gallon bin of mixed veggies and made roasted turkey soup.

The raised beds are 10 feet long, 2.5 feet wide and 16 inches deep, which is a whole lot more dirt than I thought.  Especially considering I didn’t actually have any dirt.   I lined the bottom of the bed with heavy cardboard and some old pizza boxes that the recyclers won’t take, then laid in a layer of leaves that were mulching themselves nicely in the side yard, topped that with a layer of chicken litter from the compost, topped that again with some very composted horse manure, and finished with a thick layer of well composted leaf mulch.  No dirt, just very rich growing medium.  I planted 4 varieties of onions into this — from Dixondale – Red Candy Apple, Candy, White Bermuda and Red Creole.  I broadcast radish seeds across the bed and stuck a couple of rows of turnips in one end, just because I had the room.  I figure the radishes will grow so quickly that I can pull them well before the onions need all that room, and pulling the radishes can help keep the soil good and loose for the bulbs to develop.  That’s my theory anyway.  I also planted the onions a little on the tight side, with the idea that I would be pulling some as spring onions, thinning things out enough for the rest to develop into good heavy storage bulbs.  Except for the Red Candy Apple.  The only reason those are in the garden is for pickles.  These pickles.  We blew through all the jars of these I put back last summer in a shamefully short time, and have been missing them ever since.

I tilled up some more beds and worked more compost in, then planted two varieties of carrots, three kinds of turnips, three kinds of beets, spinach, bok choy and mustard greens.  I needed a new hose nozzle, and a trip to the local hardware store also produced two packages of bare root cabbages for transplant.  Those went into the ground this afternoon, in two rows with more onions in between.

Yesterday I harvested onions, carrots, chard, cabbage, and turnips with greens.  Enough to fill a 10 gallon tub.  It’s mostly carrots, and I want to do something exciting and new with them.  I’ve had good luck with pickled baby squash and bread and butter squash, so I was thinking maybe bread and butter carrots.  If I try it I’ll be sure to post about it.

It’s exactly one month until our last frost date here, but already everything is in full bloom.  The flowers at the top of the page are the peach trees in our backyard.  The plums are exploding with flowers, and the apples are budding like crazy.  No time like now for a good old fashioned ice storm so  I’m keeping my eye on the weather, just in case.

And an observation — I’m fascinated by the idea of companion planting and I noticed this afternoon that the favas I planted alongside arugula are doing WAY better than the favas with carrots and radishes.  So the next beans I plant, I will interplant some arugula and see what happens.

I’d like to thank the academy…

10 Mar

I am stunned.  This morning I was wrestling a willful toddler, roasting a turkey, trying to remember a cookie recipe, rethinking the layout of my kitchen herb garden and wondering how I was going to get to get everything done (including dishes, laundry, weeding, planting, mowing, seeding, interviewing a potential employee, checking myself into an institution, etc.) when I decided to scrap it all for 10 minutes, have another cup of coffee and check email.  I have been given an award!

There is another North Carolina blogger who I’ve been following, Year of Healthier Living, and she has bestowed upon me the Versatile Blogger Award.  Every time I open my email and see that she has  a new post, I am totally in awe.  She is a mom, has a career and is working to make a safer, healthier life for her family (including what sounds like one rogue kitten), and she shares it all with humor and grace.  Thank you thank you for the award and the inspiration!

As part of the award requirements I must share 7 things about myself and share this award with seven other bloggers.  I am very happy to do this.

1.  Beets are my favorite vegetable.   I like them because they taste like dirt.

2.  I have self published three comic books.

3.  I have always loved to cook, but my first real formal training in food was all on the open hearth.

4.  I love being on boats, but I am terrified of water.

5.  I have a huge crush on Huey Lewis.

6.  I secretly want to just sit around and eat all day and get really fat.

7.  I have an 11 year old pugrador named Tuck.  Yep, that’s lab and pug.  Don’t make the mistake of asking how that’s possible like I did.  The vet gave a much more detailed answer to my rhetorical question than I was expecting.

And now that you all know me so well, here are some of the versatile bloggers that I would like to honor.

1.  Fabulously Fun Food  I have known Melanie for about 5 years now and have not known her to back away from many challenges.  She is a creative and daring cook, always looking for something tasty and new to try, and has done it all while moving constantly, learning new languages and feeding her picky eater, black hole physicist husband.  Go Melanie!  Anyone who can cook from the Southern Living annual with strange German ingredients is golden in my book.

2.  Desert Candy  This blog helps feed my need to travel, without my having to drop the cookies or get off the couch.  And there are also some really great recipes here, like the grapefruit marmalade, shakshouka, and homemade hamburger buns.  Check her out.

3.  Boxcar Grocer  This is a small local foods grocery run by an African American family, focused on food justice.  I wish I were in Atlanta and could support this business.

4.  Yellow Tree Farm  These crazy kids run an organic farm on 1/10 of an acre in St. Louis.  They are smart, funny, well informed and a great source of information and inspiration.  They also recently finished a successful kickstarter campaign to expand their heritage chicken facilities.

5.  The Happy Hippy  Vonnie scrapped a hectic life in British finance to move to a tropical paradise and garden organically.  Way to swing 180!  Go have a look at her beautiful new life.

6. Soulsby Farm  Making a transition from Disney Animation Studios to small farming in Ohio and working with a hunger relief non-profit requires great versatility and adaptation.  They are doing great things with food and food education in the Midwest.

7. While Chasing Kids  This Russian mom blogs about the hurdles and happiness of being a stay at home mom of two, the difficulties of staying tied to her culture, and finding time to read great literature.  She also has some great recipes and beautiful food photography.

Congrats to all of you and thanks for sharing!

And now one more shameless plug for my Kickstarter project.  With the possibility of some new traffic on the blog, I just wanted to direct everyone to the HoneyBea got Heart Community CSA project on Kickstarter.  I only have 60 hours left to raise funds for full steam ahead farm building.  If I don’t reach my goal, no money changes hands.  There are some tasty rewards at stake here!

Playing Chicken

6 Mar

So, have you ever wondered what Chicken Christmas would look like?  Wonder no more!  Today at the farm, not HoneyBea Farm, but the farm where I work, Cheryl and I pulled up the remainder of the lettuce and endive so that the freeze tonight can get the last of the buggies before we replant.  The chickens got the bounty.

When you give a huge pile of lettuce to chickens, they go nuts. Nuts.

This was a truckload of head lettuce and I bet it will all be gone by morning.  Those ladies are some crazy eating machines, but they sure make tasty eggs.  Speaking of eggs, we’re back in business, with a whole half dozen today.  We’ve already gotten 10 eggs this week, which seems like a bounty, after a winter month of no laying.

Chickens like getting a truckload of food, but they don't like getting INTO a truckload of food. Poor Patches was very confused.

And because I can’t say no to a giant tub of chirpy chickies, me and my little chickie picked up a half dozen straight run Americaunas this afternoon.  There’s nothing like having babies in the house (that you can put under a lamp in the cellar and stop worrying about until morning).

HoneyBea is a bit too young to really pet such a tiny creature, but she giggled and leaned into the little chickie when I rubbed it on her cheek.

Soup Smorgasbord

1 Mar

I was cruising the internet a few weeks ago when I came across a great idea — Soup Swap.  You get a group of friends, colleagues, strangers, etc. together and everyone brings 4 quart-sized containers of a great soup.  Then there is swapping!  Everyone goes home with new and exciting soups to stick in the freezer for later, or if you’re like me, pig out on meal after meal.  I immediately emailed a good friend known for her party-hosting prowess and the event was on!

Just to give you an idea of the diversity possible here, we set some parameters based on food sensitivities and preferences, and some of the soups I enjoyed were a delicious vegetarian chunky potato, a tasty chicken black bean tortilla with crispy tortilla chips for topping, and a warming carrot coconut curry.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Are you jealous of the soup bounty?  I can’t wait to do this again once the garden is producing something besides carrots and turnips.  One of our absolute favorite soups is Summer Vegetable Borscht, made with fresh beets and any summer veggies you have lying around.  In season I try to stuff as much of that into the freezer as I can, but we always seem to run out by October.  Another summer soup we can’t live without is Hot Cucumber and Potato, which sounds weird, but is soooo lovely and simple.  It was also the last thing I ate before producing the HoneyBea, so it can fuel some serious exertion, too.  I will be sure to share recipes as the season progresses.

For the Soup Swap I brought another favorite — Good Old Fashioned Tomato.  It’s hard to go wrong with a good bowl of homemade tomato soup.  Dip a grilled cheese or a peanut butter sandwich in it, or as shown here, serve it to a toddler along with a black bean burrito.  Instant meal and instant success.  You can see, HoneyBea is a BIG fan.

Really, it could have been worse. And she's so happy!

I’ve gotten great feedback from the tomato soup recipients as well, all of whom are accomplished soupers in their own right.  So here’s the recipe.  Be warned, this makes enough for a Soup Swap, right at a gallon.  Another way to look at that is Rejoice, it makes a GALLON!  This soup freezes beautifully, is easy to make in LARGE quantities, and can be turned into a lovely bisque with the addition of heavy cream before serving.

This is a batch I made late last summer. Fresh basil is a great addition if you've got a surplus.

Good Old Fashioned Tomato Soup

1 3/4 sticks butter

1/2 cup flour

2 medium onions, coarse chop

1/4 tsp ground allspice

3 cubes veggie bouillon* (or equivalent strong broth, see water amounts below)

1 small can tomato paste

3 28 oz cans tomato (I have since revised this to 3 boxes of Pomi, for a no BPA option, just add an extra cup water)

4 cups water (5 if using pomi, to maintain the gallon volume)

1/2 cup brown sugar

Start by making a nice thick roux with the butter and flour.  Add the chopped onions and stir frequently until those go a little glassy.  The longer you can cook the onions, the richer the flavor, but don’t be a hero.  Add tomato paste, brown sugar and allspice.  This is your soup base.  If you are short on time and need to do this in two stages, here’s a great stopping point.  This base can keep in the fridge for up to a week.  To finish the soup, add veggie bouillon and water, stir until dissolved and add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then process with a stick blender or in the food processor until all the soup is the desired consistency.  Voila.  Nothing hard about it.  Fire up the griddle, make a stack of grilled cheese, and eat yourself stupid.

*I absolutely love and depend on Rapunzel Vegan Sea Salt and Herb bouillon for so many recipes.  Whole Foods carries it, but they are often out, so I just have a 6 pack shipped to me every 3 months from Amazon.  Although, in looking just now, they appear to be out of stock.  Sigh.

So, who’s up for another Soup Swap?

 

See below

28 Feb

I reblogged the post before this one from the blog yearof healthierliving as a way to share my newest endeavor.  In addition to working for a hunger relief organization, working as a farmhand and jammer,  and getting my own urban farm up and running all while being a full time mom, I now also work for The Produce Box .  This is a CSA delivery program that brings the goodness of fresh, North Carolina produce right to your doorstep (or office).  It’s a great way for busy families to work more local fruits and veggies into their everyday diet.  And it’s a fantastic way to participate in the 10% campaign.  If you aren’t familiar with that, you can learn here.   I’m also hiring part time neighborhood coordinators, so if you’re in Winston-Salem and could use a little pocket money, let me know!

28 Feb

Originally posted on yearofhealthierliving:

A single week's fruits and vegetables from com...

I love the idea of a traditional CSA, where you arrive at a meeting place, wait with other earnest, veggie loving people, and leave feeling virtuous with a box of farm fresh produce. The trouble is, I am a terrible CSA participant. Terrible. Pickup day arrives and I invariably have a late meeting scheduled or I get stuck in the carpool line (it’s not a social gathering, Mrs. Volvo Station Wagon!) or…I forget. Most often, it’s the latter. I’m half way to the gym and realize…*@&!$%…veggies! And “resentful” isn’t the way we should pick up our fresh veggies. That just seems so wrong.

So, a friend and neighbor introduced me to The Produce Box. I love those people, I tell you. Rather than waiting with a tapping foot for me to come screeching around the corner, they patiently pack up my order and deliver the veggies to ME! I didn’t…

View original 359 more words

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