June 26, 2009

Rhubarb, rhubarb and more rhubarb

I'm very pleased with how the gardens are doing. I've been picking a lot of peas, lettuce and herbs this week. The rhubarb is doing especially well. I haven't had time to try any new recipes but have come up with a tasty way to use it up. I have mixed rhubarb and dried fruit with juice and cooked it over medium heat until it begins to thicken. I add a little stevia or other sweetener if needed. Chill and serve. Tonight's combo was dried mango, cranberry juice and rhubarb. Yesterday I used dried apricot, rhubarb and orange juice. I didn't measure very carefully but it seems to work with a little more than a cup of chopped rhubarb, a little less than a cup of dried fruit and about 3/4 cup of juice. I look forward to experimenting with more rhubarb ideas until the tomatoes, beans and potatoes begin to take over the garden.

June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I had just enough time this morning to weed and then harvest a tasty breakfast of snap peas, alpine strawberries and lettuce. It went nicely with a glass of "Rhubarb-ade". Now I'm headed to Minneapolis for a nice celebration with family.

June 20, 2009

Why do I garden?

These pictures answer that question! Yesterday morning, I was able to walk bleary eyed out to our garden and pick fresh snap peas for breakfast. Add one deviled egg and it was the perfect start to the day. Just last weekend we saw the first bloom on the snap peas. A few days ago there was one lone pea pod to be harvested (I broke it in half and split it with my husband). Today they are really taking off. In theory I plant these mostly to give to my Mom. Giving them away seems like a great idea.......until mealtime :)

June 12, 2009

Wines from the garden

Some of our cool and rainy days this week weren't good for doing much in the garden but were perfect for wine making. We are getting ready to bottle our elderberry wine and have enjoyed a bit of it already. Its rich flavor went very nicely with grilled buffalo steaks. I'm hoping to be able to get some more elderberries this year for an elderberry grape wine.

I just started a gallon batch of the wine that only I seem to be excited about. It is made with lilac flowers, elderberry flowers and dried pears. It is just starting to ferment and has a very delicate flavor that shows promise. Now if you just can't wait until next year to try your own batch of lilac wine, you might even be able to order it on-line. My husband and I have found a few fun North Dakota wineries in our travels. Maple River Winery has some good sounding wines including Lilac, Aronia, Pumpkin and Honeycomb Plum (I've only tried one of their wines so far but look forward to getting more on our next ND trip). They also have Dandelion Wine which is something I was sure I wouldn't like. My brother-in-law made a batch once that had a lovely delicate flavor which has left me wanting another sip of dandelion wine but not wanting to spend hours picking off the petals to make it.

All of our wines have been fun to try although I do have a tendency to prefer making the quirky ones. My husband prefers the plain fruit wines which is why I planted 25 raspberry bushes this year. I on the other hand am eyeing a recipe for Pea Pod Wine.

June 7, 2009

Remarkable Rhubarb

Rhubarb is pretty impressive nutritionally. One cup of diced rhubarb has 26 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 2 grams fiber, 9.8 mg Vitamin C (16% DV), 105 mg Calcium (10% DV) and 351 mg Potassium (10% DV). Unfortunately it seems to be at its best when loaded down with sugar. I'm still looking for savory rhubarb recipes. I just came across "The Rhubarb Compendium" which is filled with recipes and information. I am especially interested in trying this page of recipes. The Pork with Rhubarb sauce sounds interesting. I will have to try a few of the recipes and report back on the results. I just have to save enough for a batch of rhubarb wine. I may well go from wondering what I'm going to do with all the rhubarb to wishing I had more to experiment with.

June 2, 2009

Today's harvest

I spent an enjoyable day with friends making (and snacking on) delicious butter and ice cream along with a bit of Sangria (homemade and awesome) and breads. I had to head back home to sleep before working the night shift tonight. After all the good but rich foods earlier today, supper was light and fresh from the garden. We have been picking quite a few hailstone and french breakfast radishes. The greens are also at their peak. All I needed to add was a dressing made out of lovage, basil, salad burnet and chives. It was good with a glass of rhubarbade ( made with stevia). I'm still looking for good rhubarb recipes if you have some. I try to limit sugar (although I wasn't too good at that today) but it is hard to find good ways to use rhubarb without sugar. Of course, we will make rhubarb wine one of these days! We have bought rhubarb wine before but didn't like it much. We will probably try to make it with strawberries or raspberries.

Thanks for visiting!