The Potager

The Potager

Friday, July 29, 2011

Foodie Friday - Garlic-Lime Pork Chops with Zucchini

The recipe was found here: Bellaonline. The ingredients were almost all from the garden:
Organic Pork Chops, Zucchini, garlic, lime and tiny little red onions
My red onions' stems had turned brown and fallen over. Not a big success in the garden. But they taste good. They are really small. The recipe calls for 1 large red onion. Two of mine didn't equal one small.
In any case, I poked holes in the pork chops, mixed the zest of the lime, 2 Tbsp of lime juice, 1 clove of homegrown garlic, 1 tsp salt, about 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper and 1 Tbsp olive oil and poured it over the chops.
Then I cut up the Eight-ball zucchini (which is a little larger than it should be) and the onions and heated 1 Tbsp oil in a pan (I used my favorite cast iron skillet).
When the oil was hot, I browned the pork.
When the pork was cooked, but not over cooked, I removed it to a platter and covered it with foil.
I threw in the onions, let them brown for a minute or so, then added 1/2 cup water and the zucchini. I stirred and fried until the zucchini was tender crisp and the water had reduced and mixed with the yummy goodness from the bottom of the pan.
The contents of the pan were poured over the pork chops and we gobbled them down!
This was served with a cucumber salad because the only thing around here growing faster than the zucchini is the cucumbers! If you eat a starchy vegetable with your meal, I think brown rice would be nice. 
For dessert we had a slice of Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, recipe from Gina at Home Joys, one of my favorite blogs. This recipe is healthy and delicious. Check it out.

Nothing says the summer gardening season is in full swing like zucchini for dinner and dessert!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Potager in late July

It seems you wait and wait for things to eat, then suddenly, you are having a hard time keeping up with the harvest. Isn't it wonderful?
In particular I am talking about squash and cucumbers, but today I noticed that I'd better pick some purple beans. I didn't even realize they were at that stage.

 We have tomatoes. They are very small, but every day we have some with dinner. They taste great and there are larger ones on the vine getting riper every day.
I am not sure what to do with these Black Krim. I've never seen one, so I don't know what they should look like when ripe. Unfortunately they are splitting on the vine. I guess I'll pick them and let them finish in the house where bugs won't get in the cracks.
And something is in the vines of my Amish Paste tomatoes. I haven't had time to really examine and see what it is, but half the plant is very yellow

I took out the broccoli plants. While they were still producing broccoli off shoots, they were quite bitter - I'm guessing it has just been too hot. We have had several days over 100 and most days over 90.
I will plant snow peas there in a few weeks, getting ready for fall.

I planted more bush beans, but the hot weather fried several seedlings while I was at work.

I'll have to wait and see if any more are going to germinate. It's pretty sparse right now. You can see the areas that receive a bit of shade in the afternoon. The seedlings are all doing well there. I guess I should have set up a shade cover.

A few of my Everbearing Strawberry plants are producing fruit! It will only be enough to sprinkle on cereal or ice cream, but I'm excited.
I need to get some bird netting soon.

This made me laugh. I guess it's a twin? It's a white scallop squash with two blossoms!

The two weeks I wasn't really working the garden, the raspberries exploded. They are hanging all over the place. I need to get hubs to make my containment system. There are several baby raspberry plants in the raised bed, and quite a few on the ground outside the bed! (Ugh! those weeds! This area really needs some TLC)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Perennial/Herb bed

I have been gone. I wish I could say I was busy gardening, but I had so many obligations, the garden got a little bit left behind. I did manage to stay ahead of the weeds and watering, so it still looks decent. The bugs may have gotten the upper hand for a while, but I'll get them back under control soon!
The Perennial/Herb bed, boosted by colorful annuals, is looking so nice. I never can get a photo that looks as nice as it does when you approach the arbor. I wanted a space that looked unplanned and inviting and I think the garden path does invite you in to explore.
There are layers of flowers constantly surrounded by flitting butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.  I will admit, the weed control in here is hard. We never got around to putting down mulch, but the dense planting is helping a bit. Still I am amazed how many more weeds the flower bed gets than the raised beds do. I could spend as much time weeding that one row than I do weeding all the vegetable beds!
And although I just planted seeds from the seed pack, nature has separated all the yellows and reds to the right and all the pinks to the left. So although it was supposed to be an unplanned look, it ended up looking planned. How funny!
I caught a Swallowtail having breakfast on a Giant Zinnia the other morning.
And this evening I found two of his off-spring on my flat-leaf parsley!
And in spite of the fact that squash borers attacked my spaghetti squash a month ago, it lives on and has one baby spaghetti squash! And the eight-ball squash has been producing steadily.
I had guests touring the garden Thursday evening and one asked if we were going to expand further. I don't think so. This garden isn't complete by any means, there is still so much to be done.
But there is that space in the back there where I could put in another garden....

Linking this to  at An Oregon Cottage.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Foodie Friday - Goat Cheese and Honey with Basil

I realize I keep doing herbs - I'll get to other garden produce, I promise!
I was getting a pedicure a few weeks ago and picked up a magazine from the waiting area to leaf through while I relaxed. It was Martha Stewart's Whole Living Magazine. I had never heard of it. I am a big Martha Stewart fan, but I don't think I'll subscribe to this one. However there was an article on sandwiches that caught my eye and I loved the Goat Cheese and Honey sandwich.
I had all the ingredients, so I think I ate it for a week straight at work. It was so good!
You make this with toasted whole grain english muffins, goat cheese, honey walnuts and basil. I used the purple basil from the Perennial/Herb garden, just because.
You spread the goat cheese on the warm muffin halves, add the walnuts and basil and drizzle the whole thing with honey.
So easy and so good!
Support your local apiary when possible.  Much of the honey sold in supermarkets and even in some farm stands is not local honey. Some honey is made from bees who are fed a diet of corn syrup. Bees free to feed from local crops make the most flavorful honey.  Did you know that local honey from a farm in your area will contain natural local pollen which will help your immune system to cope with locally-induced allergies? Many local farmers are dependent on the honey bee pollinating their crops. Local bee-keepers are critical to the production of local food. We have all heard of the struggle bee-keepers are having with the Colony Collapse Disorder and other problems plaguing honey bees. Let's support them by buying local only!
This is a honey bee. If you see them, don't kill them!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I am Missing Most This Week

A relaxing cup of coffee in the garden after dinner
Sitting on the swing in the garden after dinner
Staying in the garden until the sun sets and the moon rises.


 How beautiful sunflowers are!
The big guys still haven't blossomed yet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Trying to fit a day into one morning

Our church has Vacation Bible School this week and I am one of the teachers. This means all this week I leave the house before 9 in the morning and usually get home at 9:30 from VBS.
It's good to be stretched.
I am trying to clean the house, make breakfast, pack lunches, do laundry, pay bills and prep for my husbands dinner before work. Hubs has stepped up to help me with the garden. He is watering it everyday. Being hubs, he made a device that hooks up to the hose enabling him to water the garden without ever going in the garden. I cracked up when I saw this:
He is creative.
I enjoy getting up close and personal with the plants, so I will not be using this when I get back to the garden. If I had been watering I would have noticed that I had plants that needed picking. While taking these shots I saw the cucumbers and then noticed the white scallop squash:
That squash is about 8 inches across - that's a bit large for that squash! I picked three green cucumbers and two white cucumbers.
I made cucumber salad with two of the cukes.
I then went back outside to water the hanging plants and patio plants which I realized hubs wasn't watering. In the Perennial/Herb Garden I found three more 8 ball zucchini ready to be picked. That makes 6 of these I've harvested so far. I love this zucchini!
When I got back inside I could smell something burning. I had made some banana bread with some soft bananas I had laying around, but I knew it hadn't been in the oven an hour yet. I opened the oven and, yep, it was the banana bread burning. I had set the oven temperature at 450 instead of 350!

I am really enjoying Vacation Bible School, but I am looking forward to this insane schedule being over!

I am linking this up to

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In the Garden

There are new and interesting (to me anyway) things in the Potager this week.
We are continuing our hot days, big rainstorm routine and it is making the garden grow incredibly fast!

The rain gauge doubled as a japanese beetle trap today! That's fine with me!

The Mammoth Sunflowers are living up to their name. They are huge!

When they finally bloom, I'll only be able to see them from the second story window!

I am hoping to collect seeds to eat. I know you have to wrap the seed head in something so the birds don't eat them all.

I'm gonna need a bigger ladder!

Some of the Freckles lettuce has bolted. I am going to try to collect seeds from it.
This was my favorite lettuce this year.
We are still eating the ones that haven't bolted.
I am amazed how heat tolerant this lettuce is.
The leaves seem to be a bit thicker, but they are still tender and tasty.
I have about three spinach plants that I hadn't picked yet. I always seem to notice them after dinner and say, tomorrow, but then eat something else the next day. Poor planning on my part.
I guess ithey're bolting, but instead of getting flowers on the top , it's getting broccoli looking like things up and down the stalk! That's different.

I need to pick these and saute the leaves for dinner.

I've never grown onion before. Are they supposed to form on top of the soil like that?
Look at the size of this Black Krim tomato! And no bottom rot! I can't wait to eat this guy!
No signs of turning red yet.
This looks like it will be my first White Scallop Squash. I've had other little ones, but they all had blossom end rot. This guy looks pretty healthy!

And I love the little curly-cues this plant makes!

If you look past the leaves, you'll see two (there are actually three) Eight-Ball Squash.
These were my favorite new vegetable last year.
They get eaten when small so they are only a few days away from dinner!
Stuffed squash - yummy!

The spaghetti squash plant looks healthy, but there is the tell-tale damage along it's stem that a Squash Vine Borer may have made a home inside the stem. I will clean it out and bury the damaged part. Hopefully the rest of the plant will send down roots and survive the onslaught.

We are eating cucumbers already. They are so wonderful this time of year - a taste of summer. I remember having so many by the end of last summer that I could not keep up with them. But at this time of the season we anxiously watch each one, anticipating being able to harvest a true "summer" vegetable.

Our church has Vacation Bible School this week, so the garden may get ignored a bit. I'll have to make an effort to get up extra early to get the gardening done before work.