Archive for November, 2010

Green Tomatoes

Everyone around here agrees that it was a good year for tomatoes… GREEN tomatoes that is. So, we picked our green tomatoes and most of them ripened up quite nicely layered with newspaper in boxes in the garage. However, we still had a few green tomatoes and I thought it would be fun to use them in some recipes. About that same time I saw a related article in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News by Mary-Jane Butters (an organic lifestyle expert and editor of MaryJanesFarm Magazine). She mentions that green tomatoes contain toxins that can unsettle your stomach, however, the toxins are deactivated by heat. I tried a couple of her recipe suggestions and they turned out great! These are my locavore versions:

Green Tomato and Beef Casserole:

Ingredients

Cooking oil (I prefer olive oil)

1 lb ground beef

1/4 cup wheat flour

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups bread crumbs

2 cups grated cheese

salt to taste

herbs to taste, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

6 medium-sized green tomatoes, sliced

Saute onion in oil. Add tomato sauce, garlic, salt, herbs and ground beef and simmer. Add flour to thicken if desired. Layer sliced green tomatoes, bread crumbs, beef sauce, and cheese in a baking dish that has been lightly coated with oil. Bake on 350 Farenheit for about 45 minutes.

Green Tomato and Corn Side Dish:

Ingredients

Cooking oil (I prefer olive oil)

6 medium-sized green tomatoes, minced

2 cups corn

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt to taste

Herbs to taste, coarsely chopped (I used fresh parsley, basil, and chives which we have growing indoors these days)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Lemon or Lime juice to taste (by the way we have a lime tree and we used 1/2 of our first lime for this recipe)

Saute onion, green tomatoes, and garlic in oil until tender. Near the end of cooking add the salt, lime, and herbs to taste.

Chopping Green Tomatoes

Don't forget to add the love:). Yes, this is a heart-shaped potato from our garden!

The green tomato and corn side dish is in front, then there are tomatoes stuffed with mashed potatoes, and in the back is something called Spanish eggs which contains eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and beer (among other things)!

Bon Appetit!

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Meet Froggykins

Froggykins

I would like to introduce you to Froggykins. He (she?) was a cute frog that lived under my awesome hat. Pictures don’t do him justice. He is way cuter in person.

My awesome shade hat

My hat, which I bought in Mexico, is the ideal shade hat and apparently a great frog shelter as well. I keep my hat on the front porch on a ceramic fountain that no longer works. Everyday during the summer I would go outside and get my hat and there would be froggykins. Sometimes he would be completely under the hat and sometimes he would just be peeking out… tucked in under my hat. So cute!!! Once I picked up my hat and there were two frogs… Yes, I know, this is getting racy. Anyway, I haven’t seen froggykins lately, so I’m not sure what he is up to for the winter or whether I will see him again. I’m leaving my hat out there just in case.

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Chinese Home Style Cooking Class

 你好 [nǐ hǎo] (“Hello” in Chinese),

As you know, we’ve had a busy summer with our locavore shenanigans and have not had time to post much on our blog. One of the things I’ve been meaning to blog about is the Chinese home style cooking class we took this summer. The Genesee Valley Daoist Hermitage offers these cooking classes and we decided to sign up and expand our cooking horizons. The best thing about this style of cooking is that it makes everything (including all vegetables) taste delicious! It’s also pretty darn easy once you learn the basic principles. Here are some pictures of our cooking adventures.

Da Jin Sun chopping vegetables from the hermitage garden. There is some chopping involved in this style of cooking, but it's totally worth it.

Expertly chopped vegetables. The plate of what appears to be green beans is actually amaranth stems, which are delicious!

Amaranth leaves can be used like spinach. They taste great and are beautiful!

It is helpful to have a wok, but not necessary. You do use a fair amount of oil, but don't worry you won't gain weight because you will be consuming mostly vegetables.

Studious M-dawg, Charlotte and Da Jin Sun, and studious Anna

The final product was truly scrumptious.

I promptly went home and cooked a 10 dish meal using my newly acquired skills. I hope to get a wok sometime soon.

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Hard Cider

It’s fall and you know what that means… no, not flu season. Hard apple cider!

We got some pretty nice apples in our yard this year.

You're doing a great job, Dad. Keep it up. I'm just going to snap a few more photos while you finish harvesting the rest of this tree.

Can you go a little faster please Dad?

We added a couple pounds of honey to 5 gallons of juice to increase the amount of fermentable sugar, which should result in a higher alcohol content in the final product.

Then we put it in the carboy and pitched in the yeast. A lot of foam gets cast off during the first couple days of fermentation; my hope is that it will travel out my extremely high-tech apparatus (plastic hose stuffed in the top of the carboy), avoiding the volcanic spew of diarrhea-looking sludge that we had last year.

It should be done in 3 or 4 weeks so if it sounds like something you might like, start sucking up to us now.

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