Thursday, September 29, 2011

Husbanding Floyd: NIMBY

Michael and I just got back from 7 days spent on the Pennsylvania-upstate New York border.  The area is about an hour and a half north of where I was raised and where Michael and I lived for two years while he worked in Corning, NY.  It's very pretty country often referred to as the "Gateway to the Finger Lakes".  It's also an area that abounds in natural gas and when we bought a house there it was my introduction to mineral rights.  If there's something valuable under the ground, like natural gas, your ownership of what's under the ground may or may not convey to you when you buy that property.  For example, it may already have been bought by a gas company from a previous owner.  Or the owner you're negotiating with may want to keep the mineral rights but sell the property.  Or some other sort of configuration.  Anyway, there's a lot of natural gas in that area.  And that means a technique of mining it called fracking.  And laying pipeline to move it.  Miles and miles of pipeline being laid in wide swathes of clear cut forest and across farmland and your backyard.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Preserving Floyd: Concord Grape Juice - Drink Your Flavinoids!

When it comes to antioxidant activity, Concord grape juice rates right up there as one of the most healthful juices you can drink.  It is one of the easiest grapes to grow and the grape used in classic jelly and juice products found on store shelves since your grandparents were kids.
 The smell and taste of Concord grape juice is one of Michael's nostalgia triggers fostered by a childhood friend's mother who made her own and had a frosty glass waiting for him every school morning.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Foraging Floyd: Chicken of the Woods

Last Thursday there came a knocking on my door.  When I opened it, there stood a dark, curly-haired hobbit, a twinkle in his eye and hands full of mushrooms.  Ok, it wasn't a hobbit, it was Jagger.  But all the rest is true.  He had found a treasure trove of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms and was looking for a scale to weigh them out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Preserving Floyd: Leather Britches or The Green Beans Keep Coming In

I've put up quarts of pressure canned green beans, pints of pickled green beans, and the beans just keep rolling in!  Michael would eat green beans at every meal if I made them and I feel compelled to preserve everything we grow or are offered so I had to find another way to preserve the beans.  Not wanting to lose freezer real estate with hunting season coming up, I turned to drying them.  Drying green beans is a traditional Appalachian method of preserving them, turning the beans into "Leather Britches".
Top: freshly strung beans  Bottom: dried beans  Photo courtesy of

Friday, September 9, 2011

Preserving Floyd: 2011 Harvest Festival Entries

Entries selected and labeled?  Check.
Recipes printed? Check.
Form filled out?  Check.
Everything safely and securely boxed?  Check.
Registration time?  3 p.m.
Man, I LOVE county fairs!  Just goes to show computer nerds don't have a corner on geeky.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Growing & Preserving Floyd: Edamame - Fresh Soy Beans

Edamame, or fresh green soy beans, may be familiar to vegetarians and vegans but we omnivores need to get friendly with these legumes as well.
We've discovered that they are easy to grow, resistant to pests (including the dreaded bean beetle and larvae), yield a pretty high return for the space the plants take up, and are nutritious, tasty, and versatile.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cooking Floyd: Curry Powder

I was asked recently what curry is.  There are several definitions of curry.  There is the leaf from the curry tree that grows in South India and plays a huge role in that region's foods.  It can be found here in shops specializing in Indian ingredients or online.  There is the "curry plant" that's showing up in nurseries in the spring.  Smells like curry, tastes terrible.  Great for potpourri, horrible for cooking.  Curry is a South Asian/Indian dish with a sauce or gravy as opposed to a dry stir-fry type dish which is not.

And then there is the spice, curry powder, which I think is what I was being asked about.
 Curry powder is not just "a" spice, but a blend of spices.