Front Yard Veggies

You can’t grow everything you eat, but you can eat everything you grow…

Archive for cooking

Carrots and lunch

Well, yesterday was a fantastic Easter, and in the midst of the clean-up and gearing up for the upcoming week, I came across a sprouting onion in our kitchen that my mom had given us in case we could use it.  I thought, well now is the time to use it for something.  I realized I could use it a bag of lentil soup mix that also came from her. (I think!)  Along with a frozen ham bone from some holiday meal  a while back.  I needed carrots and remembered that I had a whole patch of them out front!!!  I threw in some of the last of the shallots and voila, I had a cheap, garden-filled meal that will work for at least a couple lunches, is super healthy and cost me nearly nothing:

Here is the soup at lunch today.  Yuuhhuummm!

So this is something of a milestone for me, though it sounds absurd.  This might be the first time that I have cooked with mine own carrots.  So, whooppee!  Usually I just eat them straight from the ground.  These ones were good fresh as well, though maybe a little overgrown.

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on my bedside table…

and bathroom floor, and living room tables, and kitchen table.  I think you get the point.  At least of how my wife feels about the books that I take a shine to.  The follow me around the house in no discernible order or timing, leaving the “impression” of messiness…

Anyway, I wanted to review four books that I received as Christmas presents.  Thanks Mom!  They are all good, but two of these stand out as somewhat essential for the home gardener/cook, those of us that fashion ourselves as cooking from a potager and like food with fresh taste.

On Food and Cooking

Chez Panisse Cooking – This was/is my favorite of the bunch.  Kitchen gardeners will immediately be taken with this one, I think.  It is a romantic yet (mostly) practical guide to cooking with ingredients that are as fresh as the ones we have to work with out of our garden.  This book could have been written today and been well-regarded.  That it was written 20 years ago is simply incredible and is a testament to how forward-looking Chez Panisse is.  Paul Bertolli has a very accessible appreciation for simple, rustic flavors and a sophisticated understanding of the origins of ingredients.  While many recipes would require too much work for most of us, there are many that are simple, but with the right ingredients are fantastic.  I will be spending a lot of time this summer working my way through this one.

I want to write much more about this one, but suffice it to say, I will have more to say as I try out a number of recipes.  I may be able to start soon with spinach soup as I have some spinach in the garden that tastes great, but does not look so presentable.  Or possibly a double soup, spinach soup and carrot soup, paired in a bowl.

double soup

Chez Panisse Vegetables

Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook

UPDATE:  ARRRRGGH!!! just lost a lot of edits here.  will update tomorrow.  this is way undone!!!  OOHHHH, I am MADDDDDDD!!!!  I was Brilliant!!

A Good Start

One of my goals as a parent is to continue the appreciation for basic cooking skills that I grew up with. Or more precisely, an expectation that the food I eat comes from a process called cooking, which more often than not, I carry out. With that in mind this picture of the FYG progeny #2, caught in a spontaneous, but intense, state of play-cooking is heart warming.

Baby lettuce salad

As I was thinning a bed of scattered romaine lettuce, it seemed a waste of all the baby lettuce leaves to throw them away so instead I composed a salad. Feeling adventurous and lazy, I forwent removing the roots opting instead to rinse very well. With a classic vinegraitte the result was excellent. The roots provided a bit of bite and heartiness. Additional fyg bonus: fresh garlic chives fir viniagrette.