Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Bad Winter for Growing Things but Everyone Likes Lemonade!

MUSHROOMS FORAGING/COOKING: As much as I enjoy 68 degrees and 83% humidity, that is not good mushroom growing weather. If we don't get rain, I may not have much of a garden, either.

James made good use of some of those golden chanterelles last weekend - he made oven roasted breakfast potatoes with golden chanterelles, garlic, fresh herbs and pine nuts that was just outstanding.

This weekend is the "Winter Mushroom" cooking class at Millennium Restaurant. I'm assisting chef Eric Tucker and will be leading a mushroom foraging trip after the morning visit to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. If you're interested in the class, call Erica at 415.345.3900 x11 to see if there are any spaces left!

GARDENING: Saturday, I pulled up all my stakes and dead tomato plants, stacked tomato cages and built a potato condo (I promise a photo!). The potato condo needs a bit more dirt. I bought a bunch of red and yellow potatoes at Farmer Joe's in the Laurel District -- they had some nice baby Yukons which I hope will sprout so I can plant them in the potato condo. Garlic still is not in - I have to decide where I will put that.

Sunday, I helped James pull up his garden, too. He also harvested a big pile of purple carrots which seem to taste a lot sweeter without the purple skin.

LEMONS and other backyard citrus are in full swing. Tonight I zested 25 lemons with a microplane and poured 1.75 L bottle of 190 proof Ever Clear that my friends brought down from Portland -- I couldn't bring it on the airplane with me when I bought it there in November because it is a fire hazard.

I also made a killer pitcher of lemonade - and I am leaving 2 cups of lemon juice in the fridge so I can make another batch without defrosting cubes. I think I'll have a lot of nice lemony Vitamin C this week to combat all the bugs that seem to go around the office. Might be time to ask Barbara if I can pick more of her gorgeous Valencia oranges with my fruit picker.

DEHYDRATOR ACTION! This past week I have embarked on several flaxseed cracker experiments which have turned out quite well. First two batches were garlic/curry/cashew/flaxseed and orange curry catsup/black sesame/flaxseed. The next savory batch was homemade dried tomatoes with flaxseed, nutritional yeast, oregano, rosemary and thyme. I have raw cacao powder/agave/almond/flaxseed in the dryer right now. I just don't think there's a lot you can do "wrong" when it comes to making flaxseed crackers. I'll post some more actual recipes in a separate entry.


Green Bean said...

You're on fire, girl! I'm on hiatus this week for all things but planning spring's garden. This weather is throwing me for a loop though.

And you remind me that I'd better go peek and see if any lemons are ripe on the backyard tree.

Catherine said...

Hey Jenn,

I'll be seeing you on Sunday for sure. Also, going to the FM tomorrow if you're doing it!

See ya!

Chile said...

Busy, busy! See if you can make time to go pick up your award.

Erin said...

That's very cool that you assisted for the mushroom cooking class. One of these days when I have the money I definitely want to check out one of the classes. I ate at Millennium for the first time a few days ago and it was a-ma-zing.

Sharlene said...

Just wanted to let you know I apologized to you on Crunchy's blog. I was out of line and I am sorry.

Leon1234 said...

Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well.

Almost Vegetarian said...

Fascinating. I agree with you about lemonade - nothing beats homemade. The packaged stuff is just too damn sweet, isn't it (to say nothing of whatever scary preservatives are in there)? I figure if you're not loaded with wholesome, homemade lemon goodness, then you're missing out on the pucker (which, of course, is the sign of a good lemonade).


Chile said...

Jenn, based on comments I've seen you leave lately elsewhere, I've deemed it necessary for you to do a light-hearted meme. So...I tagged you. See here for the rules. :)