Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some Goings-On

The weather down here in coastal Texas has been very warm the past few weeks, even for here. And subsequently, the garden has EXPLODED with growth!
We planted seven Romaine plants way back when and we're planning to let three of them "head" - the rest we're going to occasionally steal the outer leaves and use them in baby greens salads. They are ready to snack on! This weekend, we'll be eating salad made with our first 2009 harvest!
Two of the Romaine plants
The cabbages are also coming along nicely. We're a long way from sauerkraut, but the plants have more than doubled in size.
One day, these will be sauerkraut!
The hanging tomato plants have flowers on them already! Seems awfully early to me for fresh tomatoes, but I'm not going to complain! I haven't seen any bees or other pollinators around though, so I might have to get out there with a q-tip or something and try to pollinate the flowers myself. :-)
I will never again mock crazy gardening ideas...
A few weekends ago, Hubby and I planted a couple Russet potatoes that we had sprouting in the pantry and plants are already starting to form there as well. I'm not sure that we'll actually get any potatoes out of these as it is waaaay early for potatoes, but even if we don't, I've always loved the look of potato plants. They have beautiful foliage and very nice flowers.
Aren't the baby taters CU-UTE?! ;-)
This weekend is going to be a very busy one outside. So much needs to be direct-sown or moved from the incubator trays. By the end of the weekend, we should have started corn, bell peppers and jalapenos, bush beans and wax beans, more snow peas, two varieties of cucumbers, more spinach, strawberries (hanging and in the ground), more radishes, more carrots, more lettuce (green leaf this time), and the herbs. That'll be in addition to what's already growing: the Romaine, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, snow peas, carrots, red and yellow onions, radishes and horseradish. :-) HOW FUN!!

In other news, Hubby and I continue to make our own bread for sandwiches, etc. The loaves this time came out gorgeous - not misshappen and lopsided like last time. Guess I've mastered the art of rolling the dough out and forming loaves that will actually fit in the loaf pans. :-) This weekend we're going to attempt our first homemade pizza. :-) I'll try to document the pizza process. We've been wanting to make our own pizzas for the longest, so if this works out, we might be gorging ourselves on pizza for a while. Once we master pizza in the oven, we'll be trying it outside on the BBQ pit. Hubby has also challenged me to make our own hot dog/hamburger rolls, but I'm a little stumped on how to shape them. I wonder if Alton Brown has any suggestions... ;-)

The sauerkraut experiment is still ongoing. The first week, Hubby complained a little about the smell coming from the fermentation vessel, but now that fermentation is slowing down, it's not bubbling as much and we can't smell it anymore. We'll know in another two weeks if it's edible. :-)

Last weekend's chicken broth experiment turned out BEA-UTIFULLY! We got seven quarts of homemade broth and I FINALLY got to play with my new pressure canner. Fun, fun, fun! Hubby was slightly nervous for a while with the canner. I think he thought I was going to blow up the house or something. Turned out to be way easier than I was expecting, and I think it put most of his fears to rest. Can't wait till I can make pickles and spaghetti sauce out of the garden. :-) I might even have to bribe my cubemate at work, Michelle, to get her mom's salsa recipe. YUM-O!

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