Mystery Squash Soup
Final Garden Update
I received a lovely squash from my friend Kristina’s garden. I couldn’t figure out what kind of squash it was so I decided to pretend it was a winter squash, found a bunch of soup recipes and mixed all the yummy tasting bits together. Considering I had no idea what I was doing it turned out pretty good … perhaps a bit of roasted garlic next time.
1 roasted squash
1 roasted granny smith apple
Blended with 2 cups of homemade veggie broth and 2 cups of homemade chicken broth (only because I ran out of veggie) until desired consistency. Topped with organic cream, chili powder and hard cheese.
I swear my garden didn’t look like this last week … or maybe that was 4 weeks ago … no wait, 6 weeks … oopsies. I have been neglecting the garden except to pick the red tomatoes, at which time I avoid “eye contact” with any of the other badly taken care of veggies to avoid the shame. I though it was time to see what I could salvage before it gets any cooler and everything really dies.
Tomatoes have taken a turn for the worst, white spots on the leaves and random brown dead branches - I think it’s the cool evenings or possibly the infestation of nasty spiders that have taken over the neighbourhood.
Carrots look and taste great - yay!
Lettuce is about 3 feet tall and really bitter.
Lemon Basil is flowering but I think it’s still good … maybe?
Summer Savory is also flowering so I’ve pulled it and will try to hang dry.
After battling spiders and those horrible black beetle/centipede looking bugs only the carrots and basil remain. Until next year garden!
So we meet again …. pesto.
Stress and baking don’t mix
Pesto and I have never been friends.
We first met at age 10 when my mom made a homemade pizza with what she thought was a new sun-dried tomato sauce. I was a horribly picky eater who refused to try anything new so with defiance I poked my pizza and licked my finger, ready to make a scene when my mouth started to burn. Yup, I am severely allergic to tree nuts and the new tomato sauce was actually a walnut pesto. Fast forward 15 years, I’m sitting down for dinner at an amazing wedding in Monterosso, Italy. First course comes out - salad with pine nuts, second course - gnocchi with pesto, main course - local fish with … PESTO!! My hate for pesto had never been stronger, but I had to wonder what all the fuss was about? It’s been a few years since the wedding incident and after seeing a huge bag of basil at the farmers market I was ready to try the dish which has repeatedly tried to kill me. I found a wonderful recipe on 101cookbooks.com which advises the secret to perfect pesto is to chop it all by hand (works for me, as I don’t have a food processor) and I tweaked the recipe by switching pine nuts with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I was advised it tasted like regular pesto by the boyfriend but I’m still not sold … it might be the fact that pesto has always equalled death but I think it may just be a bit plain for my taste.
In order to have the best possible first pesto experience I opted to make the pasta from scratch … for the first time ever. I was amazed by how easy it was and how much pasta was yielded from a tiny batch of “dough”. I was really expecting the worst (even had store bought dried pasta on standby) but they looked beautiful and tasted delicious. The only difficult part was trying to cut the “noodles” straight … which would have been entertaining for anyone to watch.
Original pesto recipe
Homemade pasta recipe
School is almost done, my final project is ready to go a week in advance and I’ve got a bit of free time … it feels good! I have missed baking and cooking over the last few months of madness.
I did manage to sneak a little cooking time in, althouth I’m not sure cooking at midnight is a good idea as I sustained various arm burns, made 8 jars of dill pickles that didn’t seal and prepared/froze 6 individual portions of pizza dough before realizing the yeast was sitting on the counter next to me and not in the dough.
The excess bounty of summer is almost gone, just a few weeks left to make the most of all the amazing things at the local farmers market! New season, new start, new site design =)
Add it to the list of personal dilemmas - corn vs grass
Cows are made to eat grass, not corn. We feed them corn because it’s cheap, it makes them fat and steak gets that nice marbled tenderness. There are a few problems with feeding an animal something it’s not naturally meant to eat, besides the obvious stress to the animal it causes bacteria that needs to be counteracted with antibiotics or other chemicals … mmm tasty. Sadly even knowing this I have a hard time bringing myself to pay three times as much for a small piece of grass fed beef …. ohhhh the guilt.
I got a little berry crazy at the farmers market - so cheap and delicious this time of year - so I decided to attempt jam. I made a batch of blueberry and of raspberry with no pectin. After a bit of research I attempted to make my own “pectin” out of apple peel, not sure how much it helped but my jam is nice and thick. I might try a cup less of sugar next time to see if I can get away with it.
Jul 27th, 2010 1:09pm
My last garden update was exactly 2 months ago, so I thought it was time for a quick update. June was one of the wettest months and July is on the way to breaking some records for driest July in Vancouver. The combination of extreme rain and sun didn’t make my garden explode as much as I hoped, however things are now growing so I can’t really complain.
Jul 27th, 2010 12:26pm
After a trip to the local farmer’s market I discovered that the huge beautiful “flowers” next to our dumpster are actually huge garlic plants.
Sad to discover I was wrong, this is actually called Allium. They come from the onion/garlic family but don’t actually produce any garlic bulbs or onions and they smell like garlic …
Jul 9th, 2010 11:02pm
WE HAVE RADISHES!
Lesson learnt - don’t plant veggies you dislike because they will grow the best!