Friday, April 30, 2010

Borage Hyperbole

Fuzzy Borage

Yarrow/ Borage

Recently we have begun drinking borage infused tea. My husband claims he read it helps with sadness and depression. Although not currently sad nor depressed, I like the idea of a happy tea. We have been trying to drink homemade tea in lieu of soda. It might surprise you to know we drink the wretched toxic soda at all. I have no explanation or excuse for it.

I went online to look up some information about borage and its health benefits. Holy hell! And I thought the kale health information was out of line. Ie: One bite of raw kale is worth 10000000000 % of your daily fiber. Look at kale and create world peace. Things like this.

What does borage tea do? Apparently it cures sadness, grief, IBS, the dreaded "women's issues", boils, acne, sore throats, arthritis, colds, fevers, UTIs, and the ol' melancholy. It is also said to bring on courage. Source: the Internet.

Is any of this true? I myself can not say. I have not felt any burst of courageous activity after drinking it. Maybe I'm not putting enough in. Or maybe the Internet is full of shit. Regardless, I am going to put more in my tea tonight and then see if I can lift a car off someone or save a child from a burning building.

Here is another great way to use herbs.

Dirtiest Kid in the World dipping fresh mint leaves into her popsicle. This kid is a culinary genius. Let's google what fresh mint can do. Mint can ease an upset stomach and cure cancer. Source: the Internet.

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary. ~Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This Too Shallot Pass

These are the shallots we pulled up and cured out in the sun today. We have never cured shallots in the sun before so I hope it works.

An odd thing happens with shallots. They grow more shallots on the top of the plant. We picked those little bulb sets off and popped them in some water to replant. It is a never ending supply of shallots.

These guys are expensive in the store but are even easier to grow then onions. You can use the tops in place of green onions as well. Try them out.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
The sunbeam-showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By the island in the river,
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Crustless Quiche on the 95% Backyard Dinner Challenge

For our first backyard dinner we harvested shallots, onions, carrots, purple cabbage, kale, artichokes, chamomile, mint, lavender, parsley and eggs.

I brewed some camomile, mint and lavendar tea. Because why not? We just throw the herbs in fresh with some water. It blows my mind how much money I spent on things like store bought camomile tea before I know how to make it myself. Ditto on egg dye. A little knowledge and a garden goes a long way.

The Meal

Crustless spinach, shallot, onion, kale quiche. Coleslaw. Steamed artichokes. Tea.

Crustless quiche leaves a bit to be desired but all in all a perfectly fine meal from the backyard. We added in milk and a little cheese to the quiche. The rest was home grown. I'm exited about this new tradition.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

95% Backyard Dinner Challenge

Future Coleslaw

Happy Earth Day! We have been planning to start a 95% backyard dinner challenge and picked tonight as the kick off date. Little did I realize- it is Earth Day today. Que Perfecto!

How it works: Pick one night of the week and make a meal out of what is growing in your backyard. We are calling it the 95% challenge so you can use salt, pepper and one other ingredient you need. Let's say milk for a backyard quiche. Compared to the week out of the backyard eating adventure- this feels like a snap. We will look up menus and recipes depending on what we have growing that week.

Join us?

PS- My photos have been a wee bit lackluster lately since DKIW dropped my camera on the floor and there is now only one focus level that works. I have been intending to buy a new one- but in honor of Earth Day I am going to get my old one fixed at the camera shoppe. It's amazing how things that are better for the Earth are often better for your budget as well.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This is my corn. You people are guests in my corn.

I wonder what all these potential buyers traipsing through our home think when they see the backyard. We are blessed with a large backyard so there is room for our ever expanding garden as well as room for a traditional looking yard area. I think it would still be a bit overwhelming for even an avid gardener, maybe they would start off excited... but what will they think when the corn gets big though? That might just be too much to take.

People pay big money to get someone else to put an organic garden in these days. Think of it as an added bonus.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sugar SNAP Peas and Kale

Dirtiest Husband in the World, "Tell the people on your blog that if you keep the peas picked the plant will produce more."
Me: "Grumm grumm grumm" stuffing as many just picked sugar snap peas into my mouth as possible.
See that's me- always helpful, just trying to get the plant to produce.

My sister-in-law has this idea of the year of the ______ new food. Which is a year she first learned to love a food she had never liked before or had never had before. For example, she has the year of the mango and the year of the pomegranate.

For me, I think this is the year of the kale. I had never had it before 2010 and hot damn- its amazing. We make massaged kale salad. Something sounds wrong about that, but we cut up raw kale into thin strips, throw in some oil, and massage it up. This keeps in the nutrients but breaks up some of the hard texture. Then we add in vinegar, agave, and mustard. I like to throw some sesame seeds in too. Grum grum grum. Whole foods has some new asinine food rating system that I haven't taken the time to understand, but on their number system, kale is the wunderkid of food. I can believe that. Sesame seeds are on the list too. What's not to like? If only this system would add in an allowance for chocolate - we'd all be alright.

What will be your food of 2010?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rock Parties and A Hangover Cure

Dirtiest Kid in The World gathered these rocks from around the yard to make a rock party. A party for rocks. She stated that they are "having a really good time. A REALLY GOOD TIME!"

Tea is a great winter drink but it is already heating up here. The chamomile reseeded from last season and is up and blooming. I think fresh chamomile tea makes a great handover cure. Getting a little sun on your face, picking 4-5 flower heads and brewing some fresh chamomile tea can't hurt.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bluebonnet Fields 4EVA

Seeing bluebonnets makes me smile. For those not from around these parts, there is a Texas tradition which involves the state flower. Everyone raised in Texas, has at some point in their childhood, driven out to a country highway, exited the vehicle dangerously close to incoming traffic and sat among a field of bluebonnets while an adult tries to capture the moment on film.

This is in our front yard- shots in our bluebonnet field are only going for a dollar a pop right now. No highway danger involved. But if that's your thing- we can get our neighbors to drive dangerously fast near your offspring.

Find A New Egg Dying Holiday Day

You might very well be reading THE most untimely blog post about naturally dying Easter eggs ever written. So I raise the motion to find a new holiday to dye eggs. May I suggest April 15th? The anniversary of the first McDonald's opening? Coincidence that it falls on tax day? I think not. So gather some kids, some fresh organic free range eggs and some fruits and veggies and lets get this show on the road.

This year we tried naturally dying our eggs and had a blast. It could hardly be easier to make your own dye. You do one cup water to one tablespoon white vinegar. Then you add in your egg coloring stuff. Read: frozen blueberries, yellow onion skins, coffee, or beets. (We also tried purple cabbage but it dyed the eggs exactly not at all.) I also read varying ideas online about adding salt to the fruit mixes. I added some salt. I boiled them up for 10-15 minutes and put them in mason jars. We used them at a friend's house a few hours later.

Hot tip: Make the coffee really strong or it won't turn out like much.
Hot tip 2: You need white eggs.

I basically stole our whole Easter event from this blog post on Dig This Chick.

We made birds nest as well that morning- and it was just too much fun. Dirtiest kid loves birds and eggs and glue. Really- there was nothing to not love about making a bird's nest with glue and putting dyed eggs into it. Anyone use another fruit or veggie and get a great color? Share with us your secrets. These three below were dyed with blueberry, onion skins and beets.

Aside to my brother: While I was looking up little known holidays to use for my post, I saw that tomorrow is National Sibling Appreciation Day- it is also your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY A!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Berry Excited To See You

Hey! Wow! Strawberries are up and redding.

Still waiting on my blackberries...In the meantime, I will appreciate the little paper flowers.

Artichoke Fort

The amazing thing about forts, if I had to choose just one thing, is that they can be made out of anything. Esp. if you are a little person. This was our smaller artichoke last season. After we planted some cover crops around it over the winter and a fresh dose of compost in the spring... Bam! Bigger and better artichoke plant.

From the people who have brought you the sunflower fort and the amaranth fort. We now present... the artichoke fort.