Monday, January 4, 2010

First of the year Harvest Monday

Kale, kale, the gang's all here. Seriously, it's the most reliable producer in the garden, although other things are coming into their season also.

Red ursa kale. It's tasty, but the tooth-edged leaves are slightly hard to chop. It's fun when they stain goat cheese in a leftover dish, though. Purple cheese and kale. . .


Yesterday I did a Big Weeding outside. I'm trying to discourage the oxalis by pulling most of the root, even though I'm not usually getting the bulbs from which they spring. A few seasons of this, though, and I bet they will be exhausted. It's a nice excuse to soak up some weak sunshine and closely inspect the plants, at least in the beds under scrutiny.

From yesterday, then, another few ounces of red kale for the lentil soup, along with a few carrots. Some are from the "Galactic Mix" from Territorial, including Atomic Red, Lunar White, and something else. I think I got two red, a white, and an unknown ball-shaped orange one. Then one Nantes half long. The white was mild, the red were different -- one was sort of spicy, and one was bland. I didn't get to eat the ball-shaped one, so who knows what it tasted like? Two lemons found from a nephew's toss-fest over the holidays, and the last few peppers. I pulled the plants and got two Anchos and a jalapeno. The little white stems were processed honey mushrooms from my back yard, but Denise commanded me not to eat them because she and Kevin hadn't completely identified them. Alas, they went into the compost. Not much there, but they might have made the soup taste better. A handful of "Alaska" peas, that when shelled, went into the soup. Caterina and I tried them raw. I'm looking forward to having enough for a pea risotto.


I also sowed three more rows of a lettuce mix -- the "Italian Saladini blend" from Territorial, and spent some thought on how to fill in the blank spots left by onions! I'm starting to think about sowing some seeds indoors for the spring too -- amazing how fast things turn.

I hope you all are enjoying your gardens either out in them or in the anticipation of the spring.

17 comments:

Julie said...

I'm with you on the weeding. I have Sheep Sorrel (AKA the bane of my existence... oh no wait a minute that would be quack grass.... heck I have too many banes to count) Anyway The Sheep Sorrel comes out so nicely on a slightly sunny winter day on the Wet Coast of Canada ;-)

Michelle said...

Yes, it is WEED SEASON... My house is surrounded by gravel and since I refuse to use chemicals on the weeds I've been spending mucho time getting some semblence of control over them. At least we are enjoying some lovely weather which makes it almost a pleasure to be out there digging and hacking away. I'm almost ready to get the weed dragon fired up, now thats kinda fun.

Engineeredgarden said...

Ok....what do you do with kale? How do you prepare it, cook it, etc.
I've been thinking about growing some, but am completely ignorant about this leafy green.

*No freaky dishes - remember, i'm a redneck! Hehe

Ribbit said...

I'm with EG..Kale?

Di said...

I just found your delightful blog via Annie's Granny. Kale... we love it in potato soup, lentils... what's not to like. :)

Stefaneener said...

Ah, Julie, I'm so with you. Common weeds enjoyed by children. Wet weather is weeding weather, certainly.

Michelle, I will use Roundup carefully on Bermuda grass. It is almost up there with poison oak in my opinion in terms of noxiousness. Ugh. The weed dragon sounds like a lot of fun, personally.

Okay, EG and Ribbit, you asked for it. Two Italian-themed ways. Cook chopped kale in lots of olive oil until tender, add lots of chopped garlic and saute until fragrant, not brown (my southern mother loathed garlic, so beware). Then, either add cooked chickpes/garbanzo beans and heat through and serve either over pasta or as a side with parmesan grated over it OR add pine nuts and raisins, then parmesan. The second way is southern Italian, so maybe that's close enough for you? My other favorite is sauteed with sliced onions until they're sweet, then topped with a stir of goat cheese to cover, then toasted walnuts. So good. Denise likes feta instead of goat cheese. Also in potato-sausage soup, and in quiches and omelettes. Any way you'd eat spinach, except probably not raw in a salad. It's so good, and a nutritional powerhouse.

Di, thank you, you're absolutely right! And thanks for coming over.

Kristin said...

I have that same red ursa kale but I didn't know the name of it until I read your post, so thanks.

What a nice healthy harvest you had. It was such a beautiful warm day to garden. I was out with you, just ten miles away, wearing a tank t-shirt in January!

Stefaneener said...

Kristin, you must have had more sun! I was wearing my purple wool hat some of the time. It's high-work season, certainly. Enjoy your kale.

Mr. H. said...

I love your kale recipe ideas, they both sound so delicious. Actually I love kale anyway it is served, but will definitely have to try it over pasta as you suggested.

We also grew a few colorful carrots this year, one of them being a neat little round "Parisian Market" carrot that appeared similar to yours. It was very good and I will be growing them again this next summer.

kitsapFG said...

I grow fonder of kale with each passing year. Such a versatile and hardy green. That variety is particularly attractive.

Good first of the year harvest there my friend!

Stefaneener said...

Mr. H., let me know if you try them. Good to know about the carrots. It's fun to see what's coming up.

kitsapFG, thank you very much. I am turning into an old weird kale lover, I think. Three cats, check. . . kale, check. . .

Daphne said...

Hmm I hate when my comments disappear. Anyway, a really nice batch of kale. I grew it for the first time this year and I just loved it. I'd never tried it before because kale leaves look so inedible (kind of like collards do too). I'm growing a lot more next year.

Esperanza said...

oooh that is a pretty photo of winter crops. Nice lighting.

Jackie said...

Mmmm...pea risotto. Will you post a recipe for us? I'm hoping to have enough peas at some point, as well. Thanks!

Stefaneener said...

Daphne, I still find the Scotch curled -- the salad bar filler kind -- fairly inedible. It's fun to discover new things.

Esperanza, thanks for noticing :) I worked hard on it.

Jackie, I will when we get enough. I might have to plant more, actually.

chaiselongue said...

Great harvest! And yes, I've just realised it's nearly time to start thinking about spring sowing ... exciting!

Susan said...

Beautiful photo of your take! I love the red carrot. We've had no success with our carrots over here. Good luck with the oxalis.