Thursday, June 30, 2011

Horticulture Horrified by Hail

First I couldn't get things in the ground soon enough.  Then the weather was literally hot and cold, now this!

Mon Dieu!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Just Say No to Eating Animals Monday: Volume 25 Last Days of Spring Risotto with Asparagus, Ramps, & Preserved Meyer Lemon

Spring has Sprung is one of my husband’s favorite sayings.  While I know many of us are willing summer to be here, today with a high in the 60’s and a low in the 50’s makes it still comfortable eating weather for heartier dishes like this risotto.

Here's my love letter to spring. xoxoxo

Risotto with Asparagus, Ramps, & Preserved Meyer Lemon

2 c. Arborio rice
1 c. dry white wine ( I use the non-alcoholic one by Ariel or Fre)
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ c minced ramp (bulb and stalk only)
1 c. grated parmesan
3 T. unsalted butter
5 c vegetable broth
1 ½ c water
1 lb. of asparagus, tough stems removed and then chopped on the bias into thirds
½ of a Preserved Meyer Lemon, minced

Heat 5 cups of broth and water until a roiling simmer then decrease heat to a bubbling simmer.

In a Dutch oven melt 3 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat.  Once shimmering adds ramps and stir until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about one minute.

Add rice to pan and stir to incorporate ramps and garlic.  Continue stirring until grains are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add wine and stir until absorbed about 5 minutes.

Stir in 5 cups of broth and cover for 15 minutes.  Remove cover and stir.  Cover, again and leave it alone for 10 minutes or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed and the grains are soft.  Stir in 1 cup of broth and add asparagus.  Stir frequently for 5 minutes.  Add parmesan and stir to incorporate.  Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes.  Stir in preserved Meyer Lemon, season to taste and plate.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I’m Late, I’m Late for a Very Important Date, Or Am I: Is the Garden Planted?

Right now, it’s all about the weather. It’s been hot. It’s been cold. It’s been wet. I mean the kind of wet that washes seeds away before they take root wet.

It’s all just a reminder that it’s still spring! While we like to mark the beginning of summer with Memorial Day ( the first warm, sunny one I can remember having here in a very long time) it’s still spring until June 21st this year. That’s right, we have almost two weeks left of spring, which seems to have worked out to my advantage for planting. I’ve gotten a late start, how’s that for irony a newly tested Master Gardener Intern and…nothing planted until the end of last month. In fact, I’ve felt like a day trader, except I’m constantly looking at the weather forecasts instead of whatever they monitor.

Continue Reading over at the Local Beet...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just Say No to Eating Animals Monday: Volume 24 Homemade Yogurt, Because I Can

One of the great things about being a person who doesn’t eat animals is the throwing off of food shackles.  You don’t have to eat three times a day.  You can eat peanut butter whenever you fancy.  You can drink your food and feel fantastic.  Breakfast, if you even want that meal, can be broccoli.  And yes, dinner can be pancakes!
Last week, I thought I was being super nice and buying my husband’s favorite yogurt, there was only one problem, it comes in the same container as the company’s milk and I grabbed their milk instead.  Don’t get me wrong, this is the most fantastic milk I’ve ever had.  But I really just don’t drink much milk (think about it, it’s the nursing liquid intended for baby bovines—blech!).  I’m not doing much baking, and this milk tastes too good to freeze for a later use.  I decided to make yogurt.  There was only one problem, I’d only made yogurt, previously, with wait for it…yogurt as a starter.  I didn’t have any yogurt.  I did have those probiotic capsules that you can get in the health stores.

So what do you do with yogurt?  Everything.  Wherever you see sour cream in a recipe, try yogurt.  When you want a great treat, my husband likes to finish a meal with a naked bowl of the stuff.  Me, I’m partial to a crunchy breakfast cereal with a bit of fruit, below it was served with peach conserve with rosewater.


Quart of Milk (mine had a layer of cream on top & yes it was organic)
Probiotic Capsule (I would up it to 2 or 3 capsules for the next batch)

Heat milk in large pot, before it get’s that film and around 105 degrees, add just the powder from the capsules, not the capsule itself) to the pot.  Remove from heat.

Pour into glass containers for yogurt maker and process according to instructions.  I left mine in the yogurt maker for 24 hours.  Then refrigerate. 

You don’t need a yogurt maker, is my understanding.  Some folks place it in a warm, draft-free spot (if you bake bread, put it in the same place you use for the bread to rise.)