Saturday, April 23, 2011

Springtime in the Garden

Before you read the rest of this post, you should know that I want to apologize for taking so long between posts. Busy-ness, time, and laziness have all taken a part in my neglect to post more often. But here is the latest post I wrote, more than two week ago and failed to post until now.

Also, I have taken a new attitude and realize that I don't have to post all of my most intimate thoughts about food and food preparation to publish a post. I can just post recipes that I've run across or created myself. This particular post was actually written three weeks ago, and I haven't publish it. Why? I have no idea. The Laziness excuse is somehow ringing true. Or maybe I'm busy. don't know. Anyway, be prepared for narrative, with my deepest thoughts about food and its preparation, or just a recipe only.

The herbs have begun making their way to my cook pots and baking pans. Today, I picked some chive blossoms and parsley. Aren't they pretty? I have a ton more coming so I'll be sure to go out every day and pick the open blossoms. The ones that don't get used fresh will be dried and stored in airtight jars. I'll make Chive Blossom Biscuits with the blossoms, and mince the parsley for the freezer unless I have a chance to use it fresh first. I'll use a good buttermilk biscuit recipe and lace with chive blossom petals and some chopped parsley. The blossoms have a light oniony flavor, but somehow deeper than that. The scent of something more savory comes across when you pick them. I know it sounds weird, but when I pick them it makes me wish I had a char grilled steak drizzled with some melted butter that's been infused with chives and a fluffy baked potato with sour cream (low fat) and chives.

The greenhouse this year hasn't given me the germination rate I wanted so I need to get some seeds in the ground. I've planted 4 beds of peas, 60 plants in each bed. I also got the garlic and the shallots in the ground. I hope to get some beans planted today. And if I can manage, I'll get some lettuce and radishes in the ground over the weekend too.

This morning I made some Bran Flax Muffins. Had a craving for some carbs but didn't want to eat bread or pasta. The were yummy. Kind of carrot cake, but not as sweet, and crunchy with nuts and flax seeds. These muffins are a pretty health alternative, and have 1/2 the regular, flour of regular muffins. It called for ground flax seed and oat bran instead of so much flour, and are chock full of grated apples and carrots, walnuts, almonds, raisins, and dates. The apples and carrots replaced most of the fat you'd normally use. This recipe called for only 2 T. of vegetable oil.I know most people don't keep oat bran or ground flax on hand. But this recipe is worth going to an organic shop to pick up a bag, and make these muffins for breakfast. Once you have the oat bran and ground flax seed on hand, you can make 2 or three batches of the muffins. They are so good for your, you should try them. Just don't eat them all in one day!

Here's the recipe. I got it on line.


1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. ground flax seed ( I added about 1/4 c. whole seeds too)
3/4 c. oat bran
1 c brown sugar
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 c skim milk ( I used non fat evaporated milk because that's all I had)
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. vegetable oil
2 c. shredded carrots (about 3 large carrots)
2 apples, peeled and shredded (I didn't peel them)
1/2 c raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (your choice, I used walnuts and almonds cuz it's what I had)
1/2 c. chopped dates (optional - I added them cuz I had them)

Preheat the oven to 350
Grease muffin pans or use papers

In a large bow add all the dry ingredients down to the cinnamon. Stir together
Add all the wet ingredients, blend together.
Stir in the apples, carrots, nuts and raisins (and dates if you use them)

Fill Muffin tins 2/3 full.

Bake 15 - 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out dry. I used smaller muffin tins so 15 minutes did it. A jumbo muffin tin may require 20 minutes or more.

The rest of my day was spent in the garden getting everything planted. did get more peas done and a nursery bed of string beans. My husband likes to take them out of this bed and move them to a permanent place. That way we can try to germinate a lot of seeds and have enough to move into permanent places.

I once read in a gardening magazine that you could use old cds to scare pests away. So I tied old cds to our garden cage covers to help keep the baby bunnies and birds out of the freshly planted beds and digging up the seeds. We'll see if it works. (Since that time my husband told mne he didn't like those. They "disturb" the peace of the garden with all their movement and glimmer. So now I write on them and use them as plant markers and stick them in the ground to mark the beds with what I've planted. I actually like these as plant markers. Use a Sharpie and your cd markers will NOT fade.

Ta Ta for Now (TTFN).