Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Preserving Floyd: Curing Garlic

If you planted garlic last fall then your crop is most likely ready to harvest or will be soon.  Yesterday was perfect weather for harvesting and beginning the curing process.  I gently lifted the garlic loose of the soil with a spading fork, gently shook what dirt off I could and then spread it in a single layer on a tarp to dry.  Then before the sun went down I gathered it up and put it in the garage before any dew could dampen it.

Cooking Floyd: Refrigerator Beet Pickles

I'm never sure whether I should put refrigerator pickles under "Preserving" or "Cooking" because they're a bit of both.  They are intended for nearly immediate consumption but the vinegar brine makes them last far longer in the fridge then a cooked veg normally would and longer than most veg in a raw state.  Since refrigerator pickles will be consumed while summer's still upon us and not saved for the depths of winter, I'm opting for "Cooking".

There were a bunch of mixed beets in the CSA box and I had another bunch on hand and since Michael is not a beet or a pickle fan I decided to be greedy and pickle them all.  For I am an ardent fan of pickled beets.  And if you toss some of our hard boiled eggs in there as well, I'm happy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Eating Floyd: Flying Solo

Michael's off doing a 350 mile ride between D.C. and Pittsburgh cycling on the rails-to-trails of the old C&O Canal and Great Allegheny Passage train routes.  So I'm on my own this week.  That means most meals are me grabbing whatever's ripe in the garden (like eating a quart bag of sugar snap peas while watching a movie), or things that Michael won't eat (fresh oysters rolled in cornmeal and crisp fried), or working on the contents of the CSA box (Panzanella salad from hydroponic tomatoes, English cucumber, purple scallions, a cubed leftover bagel, and last year's pesto mixed with oil and chive vinegar for dressing).  And did I take pictures of any of that?  Of course not.  But I did take a picture of this:

That's a roasted beet salad made with mixed beets and beet greens, walnuts and chevre.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eating Floyd: Playing Catch-Up (and a cherry update)

The spring canning classes were finally over last Tuesday and Shana, Cathy, and I heaved a huge sigh of relief.  Don't get me wrong, we immensely enjoyed teaching them, but the responsibility was driven home to us of how important it is to purvey information clearly and succinctly so the students know how to preserve safely. We had a great turnout of really nice people truly interested in taking control not only of what's in their pantries but what's in the stuff that's in their pantries.  We'll be offering one more canning class around the beginning of September before hunting season starts, focusing on canning meat and stock.  In the meantime we're doing a post-mortem on the classes we've done so we can offer better classes in the future.  We eventually want to offer classes on freezing, dehydrating, root cellaring, and stocking the pantry: how to determine what kind of produce, how much to plant or buy in, and how much to preserve to get through the year.
Today's Harvest 6-12-12