Monday, January 15, 2018

Harvest Monday - January 15, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday. I'm stepping in for Dave of Our Happy Acres as the temporary host of Harvest Monday for the month of January while he takes a much deserved break from the task of hosting every week. Harvest Monday is where we celebrate all things harvest related. This is the place to share your latest harvests and what you've been doing with them. If you would like to link up you will find Mr. Linky at the end of this post.

So, it's Harvest Monday and for the first time in a long time I'm having a No Harvest Monday. Between rainy days, days away, and plain old busy days I didn't get out to the garden to harvest anything. So today I'm going to share something that I've been meaning to write about but haven't gotten around to and that's how I use some of my homegrown veggies to make a backpacking meal. And since I'm writing this in desperation at the last last final minute to get a post out on Harvest Monday I'm not going to go into great detail.

I usually start off by choosing what quick cooking starch will be the base. In the photo below that's brown rice, which is not actually quick cooking to begin with but precooked and then dehydrated brown rice rehydrates quite easily on the trail. So in that meal below there's brown rice precooked in chicken stock, dried zucchini, mushrooms, roasted peppers, onions, tomatoes, black beans and seasonings. The zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes are all from the garden. The black beans are from a can because canned beans rehydrate better than home cooked beans.


Dehydrated veggies are a fraction the weight of fresh veggies which is ideal for backpacking because the less weight in your pack the happier you will be. But since they are so light I weigh them by the gram instead of ounces. In camp one of the main considerations is using as little fuel as possible because the more you use the more you have to carry. If you were cooking this type of meal at home it would be easiest to put all the ingredients in a pot, add water, bring to a simmer and cook until done. In camp the fuel saving method is to soak the dried ingredients first, bring them to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes, remove the pot from the heat and insulate it (a down sleeping bag works great and it gets prewarmed!), then the meal should be about done - add final additions and eat up.

So here's my latest rendition of a meal based on brown rice. I use organic canned chicken. One can doesn't weigh a lot and the empty can really doesn't weigh any more than an empty pouch. The idea is to get some protein but not a huge amount. I beef up the calories and flavor by adding olive oil and powdered white cheddar cheese (the stuff from King Arthur Flour is very good).

Back Country Brown Rice with Black Beans and Chicken

Package together at home:
107 g. (3/4 cup) dehydrated cooked brown rice
20 g. dried Romanesco zucchini (omit zucchini)
7 g. dried sliced brown mushrooms
11 g. dried roasted peppers
10 g. dried Rossa Lunga di Firenze onions
10 g. dried Pomme D'Amour tomatoes
41 g. dried canned black beans (1/2 can)
1 teaspoon crushed dried Oregano Indio
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Carry separately:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cheese powder
Canned chicken

2 cups water plus liquid from chicken

Put the dried veggie mixture in a sauce pan and add water (use water from canned chicken if using). Presoak for at least 5 minutes. Bring to a boil slowly and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken. Remove from heat and cover with a cozy. Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and cheese powder.

Serves 2.

Note: rice was cooked in poultry broth.

Below are the home grown and dehydrated veggies for Rice Noodles with Shrimp in Coconut Broth.

Romanesco Zucchini, Napa Cabbage
Pomme D'Amour Tomatoes, Petite Marseillais Peppers, Caramelized Onions

It's not easy to get a decent photo by he light of a headlamp but there's the prepared dish shown below. It's not the most beautiful food to behold but after a day of hiking it's a welcome sight and oh so tasty. I haven't got the recipe for this one at hand so that will have to wait until another time.


If you have a harvest you want to show off then enter a link to your post below.



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Monday, January 8, 2018

Harvest Monday - January 8, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday. I'm stepping in for Dave of Our Happy Acres as the temporary host of Harvest Monday for the month of January while he takes a much deserved break from the task of hosting every week. Harvest Monday is where we celebrate all things harvest related. This is the place to share your latest harvests and what you've been doing with them. If you would like to link up you will find Mr. Linky at the end of this post.

New in the harvest basket is my first ever harvest of Kalettes. These are a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. They look like mini heads of kale that grow on a stalk like Brussels sprouts.

Kalettes
Another first are ripe(ish) tomatoes plucked from the garden in January. I don't think I've ever harvested anything other than hard green unripe tomatoes in January when I've finally gotten around to clearing out the plants and I normally don't even bother to save those. That's the second harvest of the year, I didn't get around to photographing the ones I harvested on the first of the month/year.

January Tomatoes!
Not a first for January is another harvest of ripe peppers, mostly various Aji's (baccatums) and a few Ethiopian Browns, Jalapenos, and one Hungarian Magyar. That basket weighed in at almost 3 pounds.


This is a bit more wintry looking, a few radishes. Some are just thinnings that I kept for the greens, the others are China Rose and Bora King which should be purple but the first two that were large enough to harvest were off type white.


The old Batavia broccoli plants produced more shoots and the Broccolini plants another round of side shoots and I got another fennel bulb that grew from the root of a spring sown plant.


Speedy arugula isn't really a speedy grower at this time of year but some patience rewarded me with another basketful of leaves.


The Pink Plume celery is still producing short spindly stalks but they still taste good.


And one more round of Broccolini.


At this time of year I rely quite a bit on stored vegetables. Winter squash was on the menu a few times in the past week. When I cut into a large squash like one of the Terremoto that I grew last year I try to use it all up but not all in one dish. So a quarter of one of those Terremoto squash went into a squash and lentil soup with dried porcini mushrooms and dried fermented mustard greens, another quarter was pan fried and served in an Agrodolce sauce (one of Dave's absolute faves), another quarter went into a tomatoey stew with Tarbais beans and cabbage (recipe HERE), and the final quarter is in the fridge awaiting its fate.

Another meal featured a previous bounty of spinach that had gone into the freezer. I had made some buttery brioche for the holiday and needed to use up the last quarter of the loaf before it went bad so I made a sort of savory bread pudding with it and the spinach and some cheddar cheese. That was definitely worth repeating so I wrote up the recipe which you can find HERE.

If you have a harvest you want to show off then enter a link to your post below.



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Monday, January 1, 2018

Harvest Monday - January 1, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday. I'm stepping in for Dave of Our Happy Acres as the temporary host of Harvest Monday for the month of January while he takes a much deserved break from the task of hosting every week. Harvest Monday is where we celebrate all things harvest related. This is the place to share your latest harvests and what you've been doing with them. If you would like to link up you will find Mr. Linky at the end of this post.

It was a slow week in the garden with just a couple of harvests but enough to bump the harvest total for 2017 over 1000 pounds.

The Special Baby Leaf chard did for the most part produce small tender leaves even though I hadn't harvested any for a number of weeks. I sautéed it with some ground bacon ends, garlic, tomato paste, and some of the smoky fermented pepper paste that I mentioned in my post about my experiments with Fermented Peppers. Delish!

Special Baby Leaf Chard
And I gleaned more tomatoes that survived the 30ºF nights of the previous week. Still pretty tasty too.


The grand total of the harvests for 2017 came to 1003.9 pounds (455.3 kg.). You can see a spreadsheet of the harvests by variety and month HERE.

If you have a harvest you want to show off then enter a link to your post below.

Happy New Year everyone!



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