Jun 29, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday

Here are some of my luscious, juicy, sun-ripened Black Raspberries.
I wish I had enough to share with everyone, as this is what Summer is all about.

Picking these from my small Raspberry Bramble out in the noon sun, with my son by my side,took me right back to my childhood and brought back fond memories of picking wild blackberries at the end of our street with my Granma.
Oh those long hot days of purple stained faces and fingers. The scratches that I never even felt, acquired while reaching in for those big, black,sweet beauties that always seemed to grow in the middle of the jungle of canes...well not felt until much later in the day.... . Oh...and the jelly that my Granma would make with whatever we didn't manage to eat ....Mmmmmmm what a sweet memory...Ahhhh Summer.

Jun 27, 2008

Beautiful Black Raspberries

I went out back today to shoot some photos of my Open Pollinated/OP tomato varieties for Tatiana's TOMATObase - Heritage Tomatoes , a site on which I love to spend hours browsing. You should check it out, it's a fabulous site for tomato lovers...heck it's a great site for other veggie lovers as well.

But I digress.

While out back I went over to check on my Black Beauties, and well.....the title of this post says it all.....

Jun 10, 2008

You Have Scapes....so Now What?!?

I was recently asked how I cook my Garlic Scapes. Good Question!!

This is my first ever season growing hardneck Garlic, therefore it is my first ever season enjoying their precious, and oh so very tasty Scapes. So I have really been winging it thus far.

We have picked a few batches of Scapes here and there since the first harvest. I have used them chopped in place of Scallions in Quesadillas and Egg dishes and anywhere else that scallions fit . I have also used them, in a closer to whole state, in a recipe that resembles Shrimp Scampi...but instead of shrimp I used Bay Scallops.....here , let me post an off the cuff version of my recipe, as it will be easier than just trying to explain . Although I do admit that there is not a whole lot of accurate measurements happening in my kitchen, so this is going to be as close to what I used as I can get .

Donna's Scape and Scallop Scampi

1 pound Linguine cooked to al dente using package directions
1-2 pounds Bay Scallops
2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBS Butter
2 tsp crushed and finely chopped garlic
7-8 Garlic Scapes cut into halves or thirds
1/4 cup White Wine
2-3 TBS chopped Parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Pecorino Romano (or what ever hard grating cheese you prefer)

Heat Olive Oil in large saute pan. Toss in Bay Scallops and cook til just shy of being done. Quickly add in garlic and scapes, saute just til scapes are tender and scallops are done. Add in white wine, parsley salt and pepper bring back to bubbling and remove from heat. Serve over the linguine and dress with the grated cheese. Yum!

If I sound a bit jagged in this posting , it is because it is now 12 hours later and the following morning. While I was typing the above, a wicked storm came out of nowhere and blew out the power. I really thought for sure we were going to see a tornado, but lucky for me we didn't . I am sure though, that I was quite a sight out in my garden at 11pm in my nightgown checking to make sure my tomatoes and peppers made it thru.

So back to the Scapes. The way I am preparing today's scapes is to stir fry them up with a little Crushed Garlic, Broccoli, some of the Snow pea Pods I finally harvested and maybe a little Carrot for color. Since I am serving this along side another pasta dish, I probably will pass on the soy sauce and just use plain salt and a little crushed Red Pepper.

I have read online that people make Garlic Scape Pesto with their harvests. I may try that someday, and if I do I will let you know how it comes out :)

So you see, the sky is the limit...imagination rules when it comes to the lovely Garlic Scape. Grow some, try some, and let me know what you think and the recipes in which you used them . Maybe I will put up a whole post dedicated to readers Scape Recipes!!

Jun 3, 2008

So The Harvest Begins!!

It's not much of a haul. Truth be told it's not the first, as micro greens and herbs beat them out by a few weeks. However it does feel like the first real harvest of the season, and these are my first ever Gorgeous Garlic Scapes. If you don't already grow these, you should. They are remarkably simple to grow. Start your garlic patch in September or October. First get a few heads of garlic that hasn't been treated...preferably from a good friend who grows a variety suitable for your area...or your local Farmers Market. If you want scapes , you have to grow hardneck types, as garlic comes in many varieties, but of those varieties there will be both hardneck and softneck...a little more on that.
Once you have your bulbs, choose a sunny spot in your veggie garden that has good drainage , poke holes into the soil about 2 inches deep, break apart the bulb into the individual cloves and then plant the largest and nicest of the cloves. If you got your garlic from a friend or from the farmers market as opposed to a seed catalogue, you can use the tiny cloves for cooking as they aren't the best ones to use when starting garlic, if you got them from a seed catalogue plant them anyways , but expect less from them :). Water them in ...and wait til late Spring for the scapes, and mid to late July for the actual garlic...and now not only do you have your garlic, but if you planted a few too many to eat, you have your starting cloves for the following season . Once my Garlic is up out of the ground we will talk more about methods of preparing the bulbs for storage.

My Garlic Scapes

Now let's hope that the 34 plants I have growing are doing as fabulously under the ground as they are above.....Only time will tell.