Sunday, December 27, 2015

Delicious December

      It is quite unusual to be be able to pick many different veggies fresh from the garden in December.  But then again, not every winter has an El Nino believed to be the biggest in history.  Maybe harvests will continue awhile longer for the cold tolerant crops.  All pictures below are from today, 12/27/15.

Flat Leafed Kale

      Here are two more kale plants that volunteered from under a stack of flowered and seeded plants that were piled here in late spring.  It is actually surprising that there were not dozens of volunteers.  This strain seems to be very cold hardy.  I am hoping for them to survive this expectedly mild winter.

Lacinto Kale

      The darker kale in the middle of this picture is one of the kalette plants that I cloned earlier in the spring. The lighter kale surrounding the kalette is Red Russian kale.  From the similarities in the leaf form, I believe that Red Russian was the kale used in the cross with brussel sprouts to make kalettes.

      These plants are Florida Broadleaf Mustard that volunteered.  I even have some growing in the lawn where they seeded.  If only we would remember to harvest and eat it once in awhile.

The voles missed these two Swiss Chard plants

      These are Russian Red garlic plants that have sprouted from bulbs that never got harvested in July.  They will be needed to be transplanted in the spring to assure a crop for next summer.  Some will be eaten as green garlic over the winter.

Leeks, not garlic
Fresh mint still available

Smaller cold frame

      The cold frames have not been necessary so far because of the warmer weather.  However the deer have not figured out how to pull off the glass, so our lettuce is protected.  There are three tatsoi in the above frame.  Let's take a closer look.

They are beautiful

Bountiful Broccoli

      Sometimes pure dumb luck is just better than being smart or knowing what you were doing.  Last fall I bought a six pack of broccoli starts.  Good move.  Delaying the planting and leaving them unplanted was a dumb move.  Then dumber the longer I left them around.  I can't even remember when I finally planted them, but the garden police could not have been happy with my laziness.  I never expected that they would mature when I finally put them in, but I never expected that El Nino would come to my rescue.
      This morning I put on my brand new boots, then slogged my way to the garden.  And was thrilled that I took the trip.

      Look at that broccoli.  And a couple of days after Christmas!  Oh how lucky I am. Dumb lucky.

A different view
Never a better harvest
      I failed to mention that I got even dumber.  I had found more broccoli starts, and yes I bought them.  And admired them in their little container.  At some time they went into the garden with absolutely no chance of maturing.  But yet...

      Dumb, even dumber.  If you look real closely, you can see small heads developing.  I never thought these would make it.  El Nino, bring them on.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Smokin for Christmas

      About four years ago I joined a neighbor to do some smoking on his specially built grill smoker.  I made the mistake of smoking salmon, which was so delicious and well received, that Pop Pop can no longer attend Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners without providing a huge salmon slab.  So today, rain or shine, was to be smoking day for Christmas dinner.

      On the right is a 3 lb, 8 oz hunk of salmon smoked to perfection.  Grand son Wesley could easily eat half of it and would given the chance.  A pork loin is on the left, that will be for lunch on Christmas.  The little piece of meat in the middle is a small London Broil that had spent too long in the freezer.  Me and Mrs. Claus will take care of that tonight.
      Smokin buddy Rick had a log from a pecan tree that just happened to be in his garage.  We cut the log into one inch circles, and used those plus some oak for the fire.  For whatever reason, the pecan was great, giving us a long burning, slow smoking fire.
       Oh, the back splash in the photo above is the subway tile from our kitchen redo.  My wife used some stencils with "Glass Wax and food coloring" to decorate with totally removable seasonal touches.  Maybe pumpkins next fall and fireworks for the Fourth of July.  Makes a nice change of pace.
        Wishing you Happy Holidays.  The GPS for Christmas dinner is  "mx12ktsp"   Sorry, I am no good with that tech stuff.  I will stick to the smokin.