Standardized Food

 

Fennel bulb

Image from article

There’s a grand range of food available in the world.  We all fall somewhere on a continuum of adventurousness in eating.  I’m not saying I’d be the first to try some of the most extreme examples, but having a curious palate can assist in finding new and outstanding dishes that would otherwise have remained unknown.  If you’re already found epicurean bravery, great!  If not, and you’re willing to try (and you like vegetables), vegetables are a great place to start.  They are perhaps not as intimidating as some proteins.

For those of us who belong to community supported agriculture groups (CSAs), you may get some new foods in that weekly produce box.  (CSAs provide produce for a yearly membership fee, and can be local, organic, and sustainable to reduce the carbon footprint.) I am occasionally left searching for a recipe to fit a previously unused veggie.  Usually, I win two ways:  I find a recipe I can use again, and I have a flavorful dish I did not know before.

http://www.uwhealth.org/nutrition-diet/unique-vegetables-and-what-to-do-with-them/31628?utm_source=enewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ouruwhealth0611

Garden Options

 

As we creep ever closer to spring, it’s stimulating to think of all the options for the garden.  I would plant much more if I could, but we have limited space.  Cooking and gardening work so well together; nothing’s easier than using freshly-picked ingredients that were, moments ago, growing out back.  I’ll start off a spring “series” of posts offering tantalizing options for that perfect epicurian/cultivation mix.

Mole peppers did fairly well in our northern garden.  I only wish I had room to grow more!  Mole is one of those ultra-complex sauces that is never the same wherever you have it.  I like a sauce that’s so complex, you’re hard-pressed to name all of the ingredients.  I have tried making it, but the mole-making disaster of ’10 necessitates that I try again this year.  This pepper will always have a home in my garden and the sauce will hopefully be a “win” this year on the plate.

Mole Peppers

http://gardening.about.com/od/plantprofiles/ig/2007-AAS-Winners/Pepper–Holy-Mol–.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_%28sauce%29

New celery variety

It’s always intriguing to see new produce options available- some are dictated by consumer habits (see below post on seedless watermelon) and some are shaped by other forces (more on that in a later post!)

Whether the addition is simply for more consumer options, for mass distribution for growers, or a contrast for the culinary on plates, new choices always seem to slip into availability.  I hope for the day when even more local/specialized food options are available in food stores.  See the following on red celery:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101016/ap_on_re_us/us_red_celery

Picture repost from article- Duda Farm Fresh Foods

Picture repost from article- Duda Farm Fresh Foods

Decimated yard…

Powdery mildew is the bane of my existence right now!

I’ve had to remove several of our melon/squash vines thus far, and now the lilacs are next.

A baking soda/water concoction should help with mildly affected areas, but I’ve got some pruning to do.  (Photography by JL Shutterbug)

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/02902.html