Monday, May 24, 2010

Independence Days Challenge: planning ahead

Time again for Sharon's Independence Day's Challenge:

(Lucy checks out the lavender, Meyer lemon tree, and beach roses)

1. Plant something:
I haven't planted anything, but I dug out lots of compost and used it to prepare a square-foot-gardening-type potting mix for an old feeding trough (?) I'm going to use as a raised bed atop our driveway. Will plant after vacation. Also, I've been pacing the gardens every day, checking for progress, and realized that I'd given up on my "dead" thimbleberry, salmonberry, and elderberry bushes too soon. Most of them are showing signs of growth. Yay!

2. Harvest something:
Eggs. Lettuce, lovage, thyme, parsley, sorrel, chive blossoms.

3. Preserve something:
We've begun drying the greens of carrots and radishes from the farmer's market, which will be added to the chicken's winter feed.

4. Waste not:
Please help us out here. This time of year, our freezer is nearly bare. But it's still got bags and bags of frozen peppers (green, red, yellow). I guess those winter stews and chillis we thought they'd go into just never happened. What should I do with all of them? I need a good idea that doesn't involve cheese, and I haven't got a clue.

I prepared a lot of food ahead for our vacation, to help us cut back on driving, purchasing, and packaging while there.

5. Preparation and storage:
We store a lot of dried beans. Yep, store them. Never eat them, because that takes forethought. Soaking. Long cooking. We never do it. We've got to be the least-bean-eating vegetarians around. So I'm proud to say that I soaked, cooked, and froze 4 pints of black beans this week, so maybe we'll actually eat some! We brought some on vacation with us, because they're such an easy, happy meal for Lucy.

6. Build community food systems:

7. Eat the food:
Salad with fresh herb dressing (mayo, lemon juice, lovage, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper). Maple-parsnip soup from this cookbook (so good!). Amazing roasted carrots from the farmer's market (didn't realize how much I'd missed carrots, and these were especially sweet...). Pumpkin bread with the last of the frozen pumpkin puree.


mama-pan | Mary Frances said...

for the peppers--do you like gazpacho or, on a cool day, hot tomato soup+grilled cheese? I like to blend bell peppers into mine, and that would be a place where the frozen aspect/texture change wouldn't matter as much. hope that helps!

Lise said...

Oh, good ideas! Thanks! I haven't ever actually had gazpacho; will have to experiment! And the tomato soup idea is great...I have a tiny bit of tomatoes left, and it would be nice to be able to stretch them a bit.