Monday Recap: Orange and Green

We have made it through the winter solstice, and finally the days will slowly begin to get longer. Hooray for that! Orange and green seem to be the primary colors around here lately. It was my wife’s turn to cook last week and she made a batch of sweet potato fries using some orange Beauregard and Carla’s Purple sweet potatoes. She tossed them with a little bit of oil, salt, paprika and chopped rosemary before baking. They made a nice savory side dish to some oven fried chicken she made for dinner that night.

orange and purple sweet potato fries

orange and purple sweet potato fries

She also cooked up some of the Cordoba carrots last week, and I have to say that while this variety may be productive, they have to be the most bland and tasteless carrots I have ever grown. She steamed them and added a little butter after cooking, and I could describe the taste with one word: blah! So, I decided to dig a few more carrots for some comparison taste testing. That’s the orange Nelson on the left and Purple Haze on the right in the below photo.

Nelson and Purple Haze carrots

Nelson and Purple Haze carrots

I also dug a few of the Bolero carrots, which I’m growing for the first time this year. In my initial tasting of them raw, I thought the Bolero and Nelson tied for best taste and both Yaya and Purple Haze came in next. The Cordoba is as bland raw as it was steamed, and I won’t be growing it again. I notice that Johnny’s isn’t offering it this year anyway, and since Hercules seed is back available I’ll grow it instead. But enough about carrots.

Bolero carrots

Bolero carrots

We are still on a bean eating kick, and on Saturday Lynda cooked up a batch of Good Mother Stallard beans to make a bean and barley soup. This was loosely based (very loosely, I might add) on a recipe from the Heirloom Beans cookbook by Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando. I got the idea of combining that bean with the barley, and we took it from there. Good Mother Stallard is my favorite of the dry beans I grow. It has a great taste, and it holds its shape well after cooking. It’s great for soups, or served by itself for a simple side dish.

Good Mother Stallard beans

Good Mother Stallard beans

Along with the beans and barley, we added onions, celery, some Yaya carrots, garlic and Lacinato kale. I say ‘we’ because the soup was a collaborative effort between me and my wife. The kale was leftover from what I harvested last week. I love this kale for soups because it holds up well, and the dark green leaves are so colorful too.

lacinato kale ready to add to soup

lacinato kale ready to add to soup

We both thought the soup was a keeper. It made for a warm, hearty meal on a cold winter’s night. And it was even better the next day.

bean and barley soup with kale

bean and barley soup with kale

Another meal featuring garden veggies were the turkey tostadas my wife cooked up for lunch yesterday. We topped them with Red Sails lettuce that is still going strong in the cold frame. The turkey taco meat came from leftover Thanksgiving turkey. At the rate we are going, we may still be enjoying that big bird come Easter time!

turkey tostada

turkey tostada

In other news, we had run out of pita bread, so I baked two batches one day last week to replenish our supply in the freezer. I made one batch of Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread and one of Whole Grain Spelt Pita Bread. I love both recipes, but the spelt version is easier to roll out. That should keep us supplied for a while.

homemade pita bread

homemade pita bread

Out in the greenhouse, the Asian greens I planted in a mini salad box a couple of weeks ago have really taken off. I should soon be able to harvest a few leaves for soups or salads.

mini salad box with Asian greens

mini salad box with Asian greens

And the spinach planted in the greenhouse bed is growing nicely too. It will probably be a month before it’s big enough to start cutting leaves from it. I think the fish emulsion treatment has helped all the greenhouse greens get growing, though I have to say the aroma is pretty strong in there whenever I use it!

young spinach growing in greenhouse bed

young spinach growing in greenhouse bed

I hope you have enjoyed this quick look at what’s been happening here lately. To see what others are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.

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4 Responses to Monday Recap: Orange and Green

  1. Michelle says:

    Happy Acres could be nick named Yummy Acres, you’ve always got some tasty dishes to to peruse. It’s hard to imagine a blah carrot, bitter yes, but blah, how disappointing. It must have been bred purely for production, like those tasteless pink things that pass for tomatoes in the super market.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – December 22, 2014My Profile

  2. Daphne says:

    The fish emulsion makes me laugh. It would be pretty strong in an enclose greenhouse. I often don’t use it indoors for that reason. I wish I could, but just can’t take the smell.

    I’ve been going over my seed list and I think this year I will be adding Nelson to the list to see how it does here.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday, 22 December 2014My Profile

  3. Stoney Acres says:

    Wow, great week! I’m missing the variety that you have! This year our August was so weird weather wise that a bunch of our normal winter crops didn’t germinate in time to be ready. So we are currently stuck with just lettuce! Oh well there is always next year!!
    Stoney Acres recently posted…Winter Garden StructuresMy Profile

  4. Margaret says:

    I still have some carrots in storage from this summer & one of my varieties left me with the exact same impression as your Cordoba’s. When I bring up some carrots, I usually grab a few of each variety, so I’m not sure which one it was – I’ll have to do a taste test this week.

    I’m with Daphne on the fish emulsion – I purchased a kelp fertilizer (that is much pricier) specifically for indoor seedlings. I once used the fish fertilizer outdoors without putting gloves on first and I must have washed my hands a dozen times and I could swear that they still smelled fishy the next day…off to the dollar store I went for some rubber gloves for the garden shed.
    Margaret recently posted…End of Season Review – Brassicas – Part 1My Profile

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