Monday, June 13, 2011

Food, food and more food

I'm up to my ears in herbs, strawberries and lettuce!

Not that I'm complaining about getting a heaping bowl of delicious strawberries every day I go to the garden. Certain kids in my household are also not too disturbed by this. One of them will only eat butter at present, the other could most likely fuel himself solely on strawberries. As quickly as I can pick them, the strawberry eater eats them! Plain, with cream and sugar, straight from the plant still sprinkled with dirt, it doesn't matter! They are delicious!

The cress was ready a couple weeks ago so I harvested it, this is only a fraction of the total amount. I made soup:

This was a nice cream soup with some crunchy homemade croutons. I also made cress pesto, very tasty on bread with cream cheese or pasta. The final product that we ate two days in a row and that was my favorite cress dish of all was salad, featuring cress, roquefort cheese, pear, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
And then there was the spinach:

This is also just a mere fraction of the piles and piles of spinach that I had. The most delicious way of eating this was washing the daylights out of it to get the sand off and cooking it for a maximum of 3 minutes and just chowing down. Yum. I also made spinach lasagna with a significant portion of it, which is a tried and true favorite. There's another spinach recipe that I was too lazy to try, because it involved a few steps after the 3 minutes of cooking and I was hungry. It's a Turkish creamed spinach dish with dill, which would have been possible, because I am also practically swimming in dill. Dill quark, dill cream cheese, dill everything! One of these days, I will make the dill spinach, maybe even tomorrow. The fridge, freezer and windowsill are brimming with dill!

Today I had massive amounts of basil at my disposal, so I whipped up some pesto this evening. For that I threw some basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, almonds and a few garlic cloves into the blender, blended the heck out of it, and yummy green pesto came out. I can't wait for lunch tomorrow! I'll probably have it for breakfast, too :-)

Our lettuce is also getting ready to harvest, in fact, we harvested one head of butterhead lettuce today. It may be bibb lettuce, but I'm not up to speed on the specific types of lettuce. Anyway, my German chef simply tore it up, squeezed on some lemon and sprinkled in a bit of sugar, and voila! A tasty salad was made. The only thing that slightly freaked me out was that it was a bit crunchy, and I couldn't discern if the crunching was the sugar or sand. Unidentifiable crunching in my food really freaks me out, call it oversensitivity or a sensory processing disorder, it has seriously disturbed me since I was a kid.

But now, the real work comes in. I have to start learning some new tricks, because the above mentioned foods are all things I have some measure of experience with. What do I do with the other herbs like melissa? I know I can make tea out of it, is there anything else? How do I store it? What about lavender? Can I make soap? Should I make sachets? How in the world do I store oregano, thyme, rosemary, savory, marjoram...? Freeze or dry? In talks with more experienced gardeners, I was advised today to definitely dry the marjoram and thyme.

The herbs are harmless and take up little space. What in the hell are we going to do with all of the potatoes? We have a giant field of potatoes. Who's going to cook all of the tomatoes into tomato sauce? We'll need another freezer if we're going to make that much sauce. Not to mention the countless varieties of peppers, yellow, normal, hot...

In other news, our little tarpaper shack got a new roof this past week. It looks fancy! I was distressed last weekend when the boys went to town tearing off the old roof, and could walk through the door and look up and see nothing but sky. This week a certain someone worked from dawn to dusk, all alone except the last 2 days when we also had some most excellent helpers, and put on a beautiful new roof.

That's all from the garden front. This thing that was a hairbrained scheme in March has turned into an all-consuming epic. Maybe in the fall or winter I'll write about something else again :-) Or maybe next weekend, who knows.