Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cukes and Beans & Greens and Rice

The big test was yesterday. It was really hard, so I hope to god I passed. I'm SO TIRED OF STUDYING! When I walked in the door I told my partner that I felt like my brain needed to fart... Oh well, it's over and I don't want to think about it anymore.

As a celebration to myself I bought some cukes (pickling and slicing) and okra (unmarked) and zucchini (Eight Ball) and eggplant (Ichiban). During the last ice storm of doom (we went 9 days without power in December!) a tree in the neighbor's yard lost two enormous branches which opened up some sun in my yard. I decided to risk planting directly under the tree, which isn't typically good due to how much of the water and nutrients the tree sucks up, not to mention the root situation, but I thought it'd be an experiment. Besides, I have no where else to put this stuff as I have an excess of shade... I'm hoping that since I added enough amendments above ground I might have a chance.

So I cleared the grass and weeds, rifled up the dirt a bit with a spade, and then built a long mound or skinny hill. I decided to further this experiment by trying to maximize space. I planted the cukes on one side of the mound going toward the yard. Then I pushed in a bunch of beans and soy beans into the back of the mound which is flanked by a wire fence. If all goes as planned the cukes should grow out and the beans should grow up. I hope!

I also transplanted the okra into the back garden and trimmed the monster photina hedge and some low branches from one of the trees. That will be a priority for me in the next few weeks: two trees are casting inopportune shade onto my backyard veggie patch. I want to trim them back a bit but I'll need more than just my limb cutter. One of the branches is probably 3 inches across.

In other news, something ate the Sioux tomato. I have no idea what or why. It was in the middle of the front bed which is loaded with other tomatoes whom are all still there and untouched. I went out a few days ago and it was broken off at the stalk but there was still one leaf branch attached so I thought maybe it would make it. The next day I came out and that was gone, too! I guess something liked that particular tomato! In any case I replaced it with another Golden Queen which is doing well and as of yet uneaten. It's unfortunate, though, because Siouxs are bred to withstand hot weather which is coming. And coming soon! Maybe I can try it out next year or find one at the farm market...

I thinned the turnips over the weekend and made a yummy and cheap dish last night. I love greens and rice! It's something I've been making for the past few years after a happy kitchen accident resulted from being grad school poor. I make it differently every time, adding different cheeses or more garlic or no jalapeƱos, you get the idea. Here is an approximation of what I made last night - I don't typically use recipes and just sort of throw things in the pot, so use your best judgment:

Wash about 1 pound of turnip greens very thoroughly and chop into bite sized pieces. Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Chop about a 1/4 cup of onion and one jalapeno roughly. Saute for two minutes. Add 2 pieces turkey bacon and one large minced clove of garlic. Saute another minute. Add 2 cups cooked rice or make it in the pan (more flavorful) by adding the proportionate amount of water and stirring occasionally until the rice is done. Add the greens and stir, let wilt down until a bright green, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 tsps soy or tamari or Braggs and 2 tbsp mustard (I used 1 dijon and 1 yellow, just squirted it out without measuring). Season with salt and pepper and maybe a teaspoon of lemon juice (I was out).

Dish up and to each bowl add red pepper (optional, but MADE mine!) and 1 tbsp shredded cheese. Delish!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing off the big T-e-s-t! Now you will have some room to breathe. Get a massage for god's sake! I will trade you one if you build me a bean teepee. :)