Kitchen Garden

Vegetarian recipes that whenever possible feature vegetables that I've grown in my garden.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Almost Thanksgiving and My Roses Are Great

My roses look better now than they did in summer. They are just blooming like crazy, one last party before going to sleep for the winter.

Judi got pictures of the roses in yesterday's snow flurry.

Even the iris are blooming again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Haven't Been Blogging

I have been too busy at work to blog about the garden, but I did grow a wonderful garden this year.

We had great tomatoes, especially grape tomatoes, bell peppers - red and yellow - and chilis. My hot peppers were mostly hot bananas and long cayenne. I had one big plant that produced some nice New Mexican chilis, but I had no habaneros. I planted the seeds, but never grew any plants.

I did not plant salisfy this year. It takes too much space for too small a harvest.

Cucumbers were great this year, as were the summer squash. Unfortunately, once again the squash bugs destroyed the winter squash before any of them grew large enough. We'll try again next year. The tiny little pumpkin shown is the only pumpkin I grew. It's a bit bigger than a Hershey's Kiss. The plant was supposed to grow normal sized pumpkins. This teensy little one is the only one it grew. I had bumper crops of winter squash and pumpkins for two years and nothing for the past four years. Go figure!

I now have three Aeorgardens growing herbs and salad greens year round. I just love them.

Getting the Kitchen Ready for the Holidays

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Friday, February 01, 2008


My husband sort of laughed when we saw the ad for the AeroGarden on television, but I told him that this is what I wanted for Christmas, and he gave it to me! It is so wonderful. I had to work very long days December 26 and 27, so I didn't get it started until December 28. Look how big my herb garden is now. We've already started harvesting them.
I've planted several Park's Seed Bio Dome Seed Starting Containers, and the seedlings are doing very well. I keep my Bio Domes stacked on a Heat Mat next to the AeroGarden . That way all of my plants benefit from the Aerogarden's grow lights.
I wish I had money to buy a dozen of these - and space to put them also. It is so great to have fresh herbs growing on the kitchen counter.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Getting Ready for Spring

I’m so very tired of winter. I am getting ready for spring planting. My first batch of seeds have arrived, and I’m ready to start my seeds.

I have four Park's Original Bio Dome with 18 Whopper Cells to start seeds in. I first used these last year and had wonderful luck with my seedlings.

My first batch of seeds is from Gurney’s. Here’s what I have planned for my garden so far:
Terracotta sunflower
Inca Marigold – Yellow
Inca Marigold – Gold
Inca Marigold - Orange
Mixed Daisies
Anniversary Zinnia
California Giant Zinnia Mix

Cut and Come Again Zinnia Mix
Royal Flush Sunflower Mix
Lemon Queen Sunflower Mix

Lucullus Swiss chard
Clemson Seedless Okra

Romaine Lettuce seed Tape
Lettuce Blend Seed Tape
Mild Mesclun Mix
Gourmet Greens Mixture

Perfected Detroit Beet Seed Tape
Chioggia Beet
Ruby Queen Beet Seed Tape

Tenderrette Bush Bean

Burpless Hybrid Cucumber
Sweeter Yet Hybrid Cucumber

French Breakfast Radish Seed Tape – I think this is my very favorite radish.
Radish mixture seed tape – You can never have too many radishes.
German Giant Radish Seed Tape

Sweet Bell Pepper Mix – lots of different colors and shapes of peppers
Sweet Lilac Pepper
Super Cayenne III Hot Pepper

Portofino Summer Squash

Bonbon Winter Squash
Scallop Summer Squash Mixture – Love my pattypan squash!
Orange Magic Winter Squash

I still must get some seeds for Marina di Chioggia Winter Squash, Salsify, and Long Island Cheese Pumpkins. I also need some Four O’Clock seeds for my side flower garden. I’m also hoping that my Four O’Clocks from last year will reseed so I’ll have a big variety of colors.

I haven’t decided whether to get onion sets or onion plants. I need to get that order done soon. I had an ok onion and leek crop last year, but I need to increase the sand to potting soil ratio in the Earth Boxes I use for root crops.

One interesting thing I noticed was that many of my seed packets were marked as a product of the Netherlands, Vietnam, Germany, Canada and China. I wonder when we began importing garden seeds. In 1996 we took a month long trip to the Pacific Northwest and Canada. I remember so well the miles and miles of seed farms we passed in eastern Washington. Each crop had a big sign so the Interstate traveler would know what seed was being grown on each farm.

Here’s a recipe for that Swiss chard. It will be a long time before there’s any in my garden, but with luck we’ll be getting some good chard in the supermarket by the end of February.

Swiss Chard Gratin

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 bunches Swiss chard, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted, 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and squeeze out any excess liquid. Reserve the skillet.

2. Add the cream and nutmeg to the skillet and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
3. Stir the chard mixture into the cream. Add 1/2 cup parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a greased 3-quart baking dish.
4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan and the bread crumbs; sprinkle over the gratin. Bake until golden and bubbling around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fresh Vegetables

The garden is bountiful, and we've been enjoying some wonderful, simple dishes. Tonight I had eggplant, tomatoes and peppers sautéed with olive oil and garlic and served over ziti. Yum, yum!
Judi made stuffed peppers and zucchini fritters yesterday. I think that was the last of the zucchini. I have one healthy zucchini plant left with some blossoms, but no zucchini yet. Now the winter squash and pumpkins are coming in. I fighting squash bugs again this year, but they're not so bad as last year.
I've been harvesting leeks. I've just been slicing them and frizzling them in hot olive oil and serving them with whatever vegetables we're eating that day.
It is also the season for tomato sandwiches for breakfast. My brandywine tomatoes are doing well this year. They are so meaty! Hardly any seeds.

I have an bundance of habaneros also. We've been seeding them, roasting them and sticking them in the freezer. they're so hot you never need more than half a little pepper at time.
Here are some pictures of vegetables. What could be more beautiful? Judi enjoys posing them for her photos.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

How My Garden DOES Grow!

Judi is taking good care of the garden while we're out west. Look at these vegetables! Yum!

I especially love fennel.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Garden Pictures

I'm traveling this month so I'm missng the garden. my daughter is caring for the plants and taking pictures so I don't miss my early garden completely.

Pattypan squash. I just love it! They are best picked very small and just barely cooked.