Our favorite way to cook zucchini

tes like there’s a lot going on, but there’s not.” All you’ve got to do is shred your zucchini up on the large holes of your kitchen grater. Saute the shreds in an uncovered skillet with lots of olive oil and some chopped up garlic, until there’s no water in the pan, and the volume of the zucchini is reduced by about half. This transforms the zukes into a savory, glossy, succulent mush. Maybe that’s not the mo...

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Processing and Winnowing Flax

rocessing seeds, but the amortization on that equipment would take years for our tiny garden. A huge mess was made. Good thing Kelly is off camping. In the end I managed to harvest nine ounces of flax seeds. Plans for a flax oil pressing fest were canceled. Meanwhile, as yet unnamed new kitten ponders the absurdity of the world’s smallest flax seed harvest from her pillow perch....

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Return of Bean Friday: Spicy Mayocoba Beans

so used lots of paprika plus a little bit of cayenne pepper as a substitute Put the beans in a big pot, cover them with a couple of inches of water and simmer until tender. When the beans are getting close to done, heat some oil in a deep skillet or a heavy bottomed pot and saute the onion until translucent. Then add the garlic and the rest of the spices, reserving only the jalapenos. I like to cook everything well at this stage to bring out fla...

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Plantago coronopus, a.k.a. Buckhorn Plantain, a.k.a. Erba Stella

egetables, Buckhorn plantain (Plantago coronopus) also known as Erba Stella and Barba di frate (friar’s beard). It’s a mild, ever so slightly bitter green I found delicious boiled and sauteed with garlic and olive oil. The Silver Spoon suggests cooking it with either pancetta or anchovies. As for growing Plantago coronopus, let me put it this way, if you can’t grow it consider giving up gardening. I left some in my seedling fla...

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Saturday Linkages: Orange Peel Lamps, Axe Porn and Craft Rooms

From Portugal Smallholding a orange peel lamp. Lamp made from an orange: http://www.portugalsmallholding.org/how-to/make-an-oil-lamp-with-an-orange/ A clever planter made from an Asphalt Handbook: http://www.recyclart.org/2012/03/asphalt-handbook-planter/ Hand-made Axe porn: http://bit.ly/GA0KWp Our friends at the Tangled Nest create an inspiring, low-budget craft room http://shar.es/pvLY5 And, yes, a toilet brush chandelier: http://...

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Poached eggs and greens on toast with wildflowers

, hot pepper, etc.–or absolutely plain. At the same time, get some water going for poached eggs. While that’s heating, toast up some nice big slices of bread. Dress that toast how you like–with butter, olive oil, S&P, a rub of garlic, maybe a bit of some gourmet spread you’ve got in the fridge–whatever. (And by the way, just because it’s not part of our plan doesn’t mean that some bacon or ham might...

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Steve Solomon’s Soil and Health e-Library

I’m really enjoying the incredible variety of obscure old books being scanned and put up on the interwebs. Of interest to readers of this blog will be the archive of free e-books maintained by gardening author Steve Solomon. His Soil and Health e-library contains books on “holistic agriculture, holistic health and self-sufficient homestead living” You can download the books for free, but Solomon requests a modest $13 donation....

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That ain’t a bowl full of larvae, it’s crosne!

Mrs. Homegrown, justifiably, gives me a hard time for growing strange things around the homestead. This week I just completed the world’s smallest harvest of a root vegetable popularly known as crosne (Stachys affinis). Crosne, also known as Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot and artichoke betony is a member of the mint family that produces a tiny edible tuber. While looking like any other mint plant, the leaves have no smell. The tubers...

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Plastic or Wood?

Some time ago the folks at the FDA and USDA recommended that we replace our wooden cutting boards with plastic ones (such as the fine Elvis model on the right). This injunction rose out of rising fears of salmonella and e-coli poisoning in our food, which are, by the way, the signature bacteria of our deplorable factory farming system. But that’s another rant. This rant is about the boards. So as we were saying, it was out with the nasty,...

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