Monday, September 26, 2011

Yesterdays Roots

In they came with an armful of pumpkins and Autumn mums in hand. Our children surprised us with a visit yesterday. Typically,  they only get up here to New England from their home state of Florida during mid-winter, so this made the visit even nicer for us. I had just come in from the garden with a basket of root crops with plans of making a savory harvest galette-- turnips, beets, butternut squash, acorn squash, and carrots.. an because I've become so impatient waiting 110 days for my sweet potatoes--I pulled a few of  those too! The deer had already beat me to my patch and clearly had nibbled on many of the sweet potato vines.. Some, were smaller than others--but extremely tasty. I will definitely plant more of these next year.

An odd meal for me to be thinking of preparing on an eighty degree day out there. It felt more like the forth of July---but it turned out just yummy! Til next thyme.. happy gardening.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lubee Alaham - Green Beans with Lamb

Green Beans with Lamb--Lubee Alaham

1 lb.seasoned ground lamb
2 TBLS olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. crushed dried basil
1 tsp. crushed dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb. fresh green beans or Italian pole beans--washed and trimmed
2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
1 cup roma tomatoes, or half a can tomato paste

In a skillet, brown meat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain any excess fat. Place meat in a bowl & set aside. Using the same skillet, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until soft and slightly brown.. Return the meat to the skillet with the onions. Add salt, ground pepper, allspice, basil, and oregano.. Cover & cook 10 more minutes.

In a large pot, add the green beans. Stir in the tomatoes, and the tomato paste over the green beans and stir. Add the meat mixture to the green beans and bring to a gentle boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour, or more until beans are fork tender. Serve over rice pilaf, steamed bulgur or creamy polenta. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Winding down in the garden

   Jack Frost might soon be just around the corner, but I say, bring it on. Early Autumn is an amazingly abundant time of year, and we have no less variety in this season than we had at the height of summer. In the Fall, a whole new cast of characters take the stage. Leeks, celeriac, turnips and radishes, cabbages, potatoes, carrots and beets, sweet potatoes and squashes. Oh the marvelous winter squash!  There will be so many inspiring things to cook, most of which would be unpalatable during the warmer times just weeks ago. Soups, stews, roasts, gratins, purées....roasted vegetables and pies! Once you embrace the cool season, you don't even miss the tomatoes. Well, maybe just a little.

Our tomato yield this season has been just wonderful and if these warmer days continue like this week we will be harvesting up to the last blush of tomato can be picked. What will remain of the green tomatoes will go into piccalilli that I make annually.  This morning I picked 30 more pounds of roma tomatoes to roast and prepare sauce with.  We've put up forty quart jars of whole plums and roasted the rest.

The herbs are nearly all harvested and drying for winter dishes and tea, and as I was finishing up today in the garden I decided to sow some last minute bloomsdale spinach and more greens.  The hoop house is now cleared out from the seasons peppers and eggplant, so it was a good spot to plant my garlic for next Spring.
I hope your garden has been as bountiful as ours. Til next thyme...happy gardening.