Fermented Garlic

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12-14 heads of garlic
  • Brine of 1 quart fresh water + 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • Herbs such as basil or oregano if desired

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel garlic removing the paper skin. Fill a quart jar within 1 inch of the top with the garlic cloves.
  2. Pour brine and herbs over garlic cloves.
  3. Open the jar once a day to release the pressure created by fermentation. When you do this, your kitchen will smell very strongly of garlic, especially once the fermentation really gets going.
  4. It might take a few days to a week for fermentation to begin. You can tell when you see tiny bubbles in the brine. After a bit, the brine will take on a lovely golden-brown color.
  5. Let the garlic continue to ferment for at least a month for best results, but some of the best, most mellowed flavors that I’ve gotten have been cloves that had fermented for at least two months.
  • You can use it anywhere you would use fresh garlic. After being fermented, one clove almost works as well as two.
  • When you are out of the garlic cloves, save the brine. Add a drop or two to savory cocktails like Bloody Marys, sprinkle in dressings or marinades, or blend with melted butter for a quick and easy garlic butter.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

One large spaghetti squash
one pound mozzarella
sixteen ounces ricotta cheese
four ounces butter
garlic cloves to taste
one pound boneless skinless chicken
four ounces Italian dressing
basil cubes to taste

Heat the oven to four hundred degrees
Split the squash in half and remove the seeds
clean and crush the garlic cloves place them and a couple pats of butter on a cookie sheet with the halves of squash open side down over the garlic and butter. Cook for one hour.

When the squash is close to having been in the oven for one hour take the chicken and dice it up in a pan on the stove top. Brown the chicken and add the Italian dressing and cubes of basil letting it all blend together.

Once the squash has cooked for an hour remove it from the oven and flip them over. Add a layer of ricotta cheese then the browned chicken and last a layer of mozzarella into the squash. Put this back in the over at four hundred and cook for another twenty minutes or until the mozzarella starts to brown.

Remove form the oven and let sit for about five minutes, serves four to six people with left overs.

I like to add a diced up tomato or mushrooms into the squash with the chicken, ricotta, and mozzarella. You could add anything you like to give it a little more something.

Basil Cubes
Harvest the fresh basil from the garden and puree it into a mush add a little olive oil and dump these in an ice cube tray. Freeze and save the basil for later use, long after your basil has all frozen outside.

I got some great spaghetti squash this year from the Suzy Dan team, thanks guys we had a great dinner Sunday.

Hijinxs

We lived next to my Grandparents when I was growing up, it made for some good times between my Father and Grand Father.

One time a family of birds made a nest in the eaves of the addition my dad built. The addition contained my parents bedroom and the sound of the baby birds would wake my mother every morning. She insisted my father remove the birds, so he found a good use for them.
Dad caught those babies and put them in a paper lunch bag, took them over to my grandparents house in the evening when grandpa had fallen asleep in his favorite chair and placed the bag on the floor near grandpa. Then dad snuck back outside and watched through the window as the birds began to make noises and escape from the bag. My grand father woke up to the noise and sat there trying to figure out what on earth was going on while dad stood outside the window laughing.
Every year grandpa would plant a garden and my father would plant one to try and compete with his. Each would brag about what they were growing and egg the other on. One year dad had a row of potatoes in, one plant did so much better than the others it was two or three times the size of everything else. It turns out my grand father would wait until dark and sneak over to put fertilizer on that one plant, then come over and mention to my dad how well that one plant was doing and wonder out loud why it was so much bigger than the others. He did this all summer finally telling dad what was going on, they both had a good laugh over that.
There was a truck that grandpa had down by the road and was trying to sell. He also had an old mannequin. He took that mannequin and left the legs hanging out of the hood, boy the cars slowed up and some even stopped to look at that. Not sure how long it took to sell that truck but it did raise some interest in it.

Gourds

My order for bushel gourds and loofah sponge gourd seeds arrived in the mail today. If even half of what I bought for seeds this year comes up I’ll be amazed.

 

And a couple pictures of loofah gourds.140 to 200 days of grow time so I may never see anything from these but they look interesting.

 

No Till Potatoes

Will this really work? No till article.Get some straw throw it in the yard and then stick seed potatoes in it. Keep it damp, rain should be enough and then harvest potatoes in a few weeks. This seems to easy but I’m going to try a few bales of straw and newspapers this year. Some pictures of this method can be found here.

I’ve started my own potato patch for next spring. Four bales of hay at $5 each and four kinds of potatoes from RH Shumway. Yukon Golds, White Superior, Red Pontiac and Blue Russian $26.90. Potatoes at the local Price Rite are $2 for five pounds. So to break even I’ll need to gather 117.25 pounds of edible potatoes and then eat them. This could be very tough for three people to do, I don’t know how much we consumed last year but I don’t think we had twenty three five pound bags go through this house, that would be just under a bag every two weeks.
From some of what I have been reading you  can expect five to six potatoes per plant. This might be two to three pounds per plant, I think I will have around twenty to thirty plants and I think I’m in trouble already.
$20+$26.90=$46.90
$46.90/$2.00=23.45
23.45×5= 117.25 pounds of potatoes.
At $2.50 a pound (this weeks Price Chopper price 1/8/2012) I only need to eat 93.5 pounds of potatoes.

If I could find some place that sold potatoes at $4.00 per five pound bag, I can beat that price easily and I think we do eat ten pounds in a year. At $5.00 per five pounds I’ll be making money hand over fist.

June 17th

From 2012 Flowers and garden

July 7th

From July 7th Garden
From July 7th Garden