The Garden Update

October 3, 2009

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I love reading Hatsy Taylor’s weekly posts on her site Weeds and Wisdom. She always has something of interest through the seasons of her NW Connecticut gardens. This week she writes about not wanting to face the weeds in her flower garden. It is very reassuring that I’m not the only one not wanting to deal with the flower beds.

AND, I am happy to report that the deep mulching in the veggie garden this summer was a great success and I am not going to be facing a terrible time putting the garden to bed and planting vetch as a winter cover crop. The beans are still producing, kale is going gangbusters, and the carrots are magnificent! I am now thinking ahead to next summer, and what I’ll have to do to have bigger onions and actually thinking that in the next few weeks I’ll be planting garlic for next July!!! Woohoo. Making a few quarts of pesto with my own basil and garlic last week was a big thrill. Photos to come, soon.

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I’ve been away at Kripalu for the weekend. For the first time probably ever, in all the 20 some-odd years that I’ve been going up there for R&R or a workshop, the food was fabulous! Great variety and flavors, desserts that were gluten free, macro bar, everything organic. And now, I’m home, I want someone to cook for me! I am not really in the mood to cook, but I will.

Here is the fast and easy dinner (30 minutes) I prepared for my family tonight with whatever was in the ‘fridge:

Polenta with seaweed, sauerkraut and pesto, tempeh and veggies, and steamed kale

Start with the tempeh, since it takes longest to cook.

Slice one package of tempeh into triangles- cut the triangles, then stand them on the side and carefully cut in half, to make thin triangles. Place in oiled pressure cooker, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons or so of wheat free, low sodium tamari soy sauce, add 1-inch filtered water, bring up to pressure and cook 15 minutes, bring down pressure, layer 1/2 inch slices of celery and butter cup squash (any veggies will do) and cook 5 more minutes, or until squash is cooked.

For the polenta: 3 cups boiling water, add in 1 tablespoon crushed dried wakame, pinch of sea salt, 1 cup polenta (corn meal, corn flour). Turn the flame down, add the polenta slowly to the water stirring all the while, and be very careful because  it becomes thick and bubbles and can pop up. You can stir in a tablespoon of olive oil at this point or skip it. I skipped it tonight. Stir on low to medium heat until it thickens. When it pulls away from the sides it is about done. You can serve it from the pot or press it into an oiled pie plate and then slice. To serve, cut a wedge and then place a dollop of pesto on the top, and then a tangle of yummy raw, fermented sauerkraut.

I have a favorite brand of  organic Argentinian polenta flour called de la Estancia. It cooks in a minute, it is not pre-cooked- it is higher is protein and lower in starch than most corn because if where it is grown and it can be milled to a very fine consistency. 

The steamed kale is easy and fast, too. Wash the leaves in a bowl of water, then strip off the greens from the stem, tear or cut into smaller pieces and place into pan with about 1 inch boiling water. Cover for a few minutes and check to see if done. You are looking for the bright, vibrant green. Taste- is it too chewy? let cook a minute more. You do not want to leave the room when cooking greens. Stay present to the amazing process of transformation!

I know this blog took longer to write than it did for me to cook dinner. What was I whining about again?