Monday Recap: Starting a New Year

It’s hard to believe 2014 is gone and we are starting a new year. The garden is still giving us plenty to eat from things that were planted last year though, and to be sure it knows nothing of calendar years. Last week I harvested some of the Red Ursa kale that is growing in one of the cold frame beds. It has been covered with Agribon material for a couple of months now to help protect it from the cold and wind, and I was pleased to see the leaves were free of aphids, which sometimes thrive under the row covers this time of year.

late December harvest of Red Ursa kale

late December harvest of Red Ursa kale

We used some of the leaves to make Kale and Potato Hash, and the rest went in a Lentil and Kale Soup I made on New Year’s Day. Greens and beans are both traditional foods to start the new year, though when my wife and I were growing up our families were more likely to have blackeyed peas than lentils. And my family always ate raw cabbage for the greens.

Lentil & Kale Soup

Lentil & Kale Soup

This year, it was my turn to cook and the Lentil and Kale Soup sounded better than Hopping John or some other blackeyed pea dish. The soup was also a good excuse to work on my recipe for Cracked Wheat Rolls. I’m trying for a soft whole grain dinner roll with lots of cracked wheat, and my wife agrees that those rolls are a keeper. I’ll share the recipe soon.

Cracked Wheat Dinner Rolls

Cracked Wheat Dinner Rolls

Last week my wife celebrated a birthday. I was willing to cook anything she wanted for the occasion, and it turned out to be hamburgers! That called for a fresh batch of hamburger buns, which I happily baked up. She also wanted a cherry cobbler, and I made that with some of our stash of frozen cherries. I used my Blackberry Cobbler recipe, subbing cherries for the blackberries and using a splash of almond extract instead of the vanilla.

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry Cobbler

To go with the burgers, I made a small side salad with some of our fresh salad greens. I snipped some micro greens from the greenhouse, which was a mix of purple and green mizuna, tatsoi and pac choi, and added them to some Red Sails lettuce.

micro greens for salad

micro greens for salad

Speaking of greens, I harvested some spinach and arugula from one of the cold frame beds to go on a pizza we had for dinner one night. I love arugula on pizza, as well as other dishes. It’s been growing nicely under the protection of the cold frame.

arugula and spinach for pizza

arugula and spinach for pizza

I don’t have a lot of spinach ready to harvest now, but there was enough for the pizza plus enough to harvest for a bean and barley soup I made. The spinach is not growing much at this time of year, but it should take off once the days start getting longer and the temperatures moderate. But who knows when that will be! It was nice to have fresh this time of year. The beans in the soup were some of our Jacob’s Cattle beans. Some of the darker ones look like kidney beans after they are cooked, and I love them in soups.

Bean and Barley Soup with Spinach

Bean and Barley Soup with Spinach

I’ll close with a shot of Puddin and Ace doing what they do best: sleeping!

Puddin and Ace snoozing in 2015

Puddin and Ace snoozing in 2015

To see what others are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays. I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year, and I’ll be back soon with more adventures from Happy Acres.

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5 Responses to Monday Recap: Starting a New Year

  1. Daphne says:

    Lovely harvests especially for this time of the year. Brrrr. I really miss my fresh greens.

  2. Michelle says:

    I am amazed at what you are able to harvest from your cold frames and greenhouse, I know it gets to be so cold there it’s hard to imagine anything surviving! Not only do things survive, they appear to thrive. Happy Birthday to your wife and Happy New Year!
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – January 5, 2015My Profile

  3. Dave's SFG says:

    I had some kale hanging on but with single digit temps all week and -7 tonight, it’s a goner. We’re further north and there isn’t really a lot of sunlight, even when the sun is out, so I haven’t tried a cold frame. I may try to grow some salad greens under a grow light. I certainly like the variety of variety of soups you prepare, perfect for these winter days.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Onion CultureMy Profile

  4. Margaret says:

    Everything looks so good, especially that bean and barley soup. You are so lucky to be able to harvest right now – apparently, it is possible, even in our climate, but I think I am still a few years away from giving it a go.
    Margaret recently posted…End of Season Review – CucumbersMy Profile

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