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November 1, 2014

In My Alaska Garden: Eating the Harvest

Sourdough Rhubarb Muffins

Being sick for almost 5 weeks sucks. Thank goodness my family helped me with the hoop house.

This week, I finally gave up and went to the doc for my antibiotic treatment. I’ve been on 3 days and while the cough hasn’t stopped and I still feel drained from that, I’m feeling a little better overall. Of course, it’s just in time to take care of Morrigan, who seems to have gotten a much lighter version…probably because she had her booster for Whooping Cough last year.

Dang…I’m sounding like my grandma…

The good news about this is I didn’t feel up to going anywhere and I’ve been cooking mostly out of my garden and the Farmer’s Market. I also have been motivated to eat things that are better for us all.

For example, as a Type II Diabetic, yeast really bothers me especially when I get sick. I try to completely avoid it. That motivated me to jump-start the Sourdough Starter from my Mother-In-Law. (It’s passed-down from one that came across the US in a covered wagon to settle in Idaho in the 1800s…long story…) I made some bread with a new recipe. While it tasted good, it was too heavy–partially because I didn’t take the starter out of the fridge long enough to warm it up before I made the “sponge.” I need to make some adaptations next time or find another recipe. More successfully, I also made the very tasty Sourdough Rhubarb Muffins shown in the picture above. I’m always looking for ways to use the freezer full of rhubarb from my mother-in-law. Heck, I still have more of my own to harvest!

Regarding the recipe: These are not dripping in sugar like the store-bought variety. However, that makes the sweetness of the soaked-in-sugar rhubarb and the light sprinkling of brown sugar on top a special treat. I did increase the amount of rhubarb in the muffins so I increased the amount of sugar. Also, I wanted a lighter muffin so I used 3/4 whole wheat flour and 1/4 unbleached flour.

Kielbasa with Cabbage & Bok Choy

Cooking Cabbage So the Family Will Eat It:

Early in the summer, before I had to sacrifice my cabbage to the slugs more on that later), I searched for additional good recipes. While my husband could eat it every day, I felt that the rich and buttery Colcannon is not something we should have too often. I also wanted to find something to complement Rempel Family Farm’s truly delicious Bok Choy that is so light and juicy. I found a recipe that I adapted for my own purposes.

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Kielbasa & Cabbage

Ingredients

2-4 slices of bacon
1 Kielbasa
1 Tbsp. butter (as desired)
1/2 to 1 whole sweet onion (as desired)
1 red, orange or yellow pepper (if desired)
1/3 head of Cabbage, any variety
1/2 large Bok Choy (Asian Cabbage)
Chicken or Vegetable stock, as needed
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: (Prepare veggies as if for a stir-fry)

Chop cabbage into inch size pieces. Set aside in a large bowl. Next, break off as many stems of the bok choy as desired. Rinse off and cut into slices. Add to the bowl with the cabbage. Slice pepper and add it to the same bowl.

Chop onion and put it in a seperate bowl.

Cut the kielbasa into 1/2 inch slices. Place into another separate bowl and set aside.

You will need a large pot to cook this in (I use my French oven, but you can use a WoK). Make sure the pot has a lid.

Fry the bacon until brown. Remove from the pan.

Add the kielbasa. Cook at a medium-high heat until it is browned.

While kielbasa is browning, add at least 1 Tbsp of butter and then the onion. When onion is just starting to get a little brown around the edges, add both cabbages. You can also crumble the cooked bacon and add if you wish (I do by order of my husband).

Turn heat down to medium / medium-low and immediately put the lid on. If you have a pan with a self-basting lid, you may not need any stock (I don’t – I told you Rempel’s Bok Choy was juicy!) but watch closely to see if it dries out. If so, add some stock and replace the lid.

Cook for about 20 minutes, on medium heat, or until the cabbage is transparent.

Serve over brown rice.

Serves: 4-6

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Cucumber lunch

Oh, versatile cukes!

This is a picture of one of my favorite lunches. I sliced a hoop house cucumber and filled a little bowl with hummus to use as dip. Also on the plate is a little pile of low-sodium black beans and diced red onion to use as a topping for the hummus. In the bowl on the left, we have Thai Pickled Cucumber & Onion (Rice vinegar, sugar, salt, onion, Thai chili pepper, English cucumber from the Farmer’s Market). The cucumbers I grew were from plants purchased at Fred Meyers and I thought they were going to be more like English Cukes…they weren’t and while I enjoyed them they were a little spiney for my taste. I’ll have to try harder next year to get the seeds to grow.

Sorrel

Sorrel Sauce for Salmon:

The Rempel Family and I started our relationship at the Southside Farmer’s Market last year over one special plant…sorrel. Their booth at the market is the only place I’ve found it and I fell in love with it’s fabulous influence over salmon.

I first read about using sorrel with fish in a history of English cooking cookbook and then later learned that it’s a traditional part of French cooking when it comes to seafood…specifically salmon. The recipe for Sorrel Sauce I’ve loved the most is found at the herbcompanion.com (a nice website to use in general). The only alteration I make to the recipe is I use any white wine rather than vermouth. However, another recipe I may try is Salmon and Sorrel Troisgros which adds the flavor of mushrooms.

The wonderful thing I’ve discovered about the Sorrel Sauce is that a little goes a long way. While it is made from butter and cream, a small amount of it makes all the flavor difference. Also, you can adapt it’s use for Alaskan purposes. Since most of the salmon we bring home from setnetting is canned, I’ve used the sauce to elevate my salmon patties to a gourmet meal…and most importantly, the teenager will even eat them!

I guess my obsession and promotion of the simple sorrel plant has come full circle. I was asked to provide the sauce recipe for the Southside Farmer’s Market’s weekly newsletter this week!

Feel free to include your own recipes this week and let me know how your harvest is going!

Comments

comments

Comments
5 Responses to “In My Alaska Garden: Eating the Harvest”
  1. UgaVic says:

    First- glad you gave in and saw the Dr….sometimes yah just have to do it!! Hope the durgs kicked in even more and the cough disappears. (Don’t play with those coughs…my mom ended in the hospital doing what you did and she is normally very healthy, along with two friends having to take some REALLY strong drugs and breathing treatments for a few weeks to rid themselves of a nasty one….be careful)

    I too discovered sorrel not to long ago. Next year the garden will have a long row dedicated to it. Given the fresh salmon that seems to be part of our lives here in Alaska it seems the totally correct thing to do!!

    Rhubarb is a favorite in this household so I will have to investigate those recipes. I saw a recipe yesterday for almond rhubarb coffee cake I need to hunt down too!

    As I have let our food serves get much too low in all areas we too are eating a lot out of the garden just to keep some variety. Hopefully I can get things ordered so as to stock up in the next month or so!

    I seem to continue to be behind the curve on catching up on posts but hopefully in the coming weeks a new computer and more time will allow for more timely comments. Keep the garden/cooking posts coming!! A nice break from all the political crap I am afraid we will have to wade through in the coming month plus!

  2. Zyxomma says:

    Linda, I was unaware that you’ve been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. There’s diabetes up and down both sides of my family, but my blood sugar level is perfect. Why? I do not eat sugar, limit my intake of fructose, and, after reading Wheat Belly, by William Davis, MD (a cardiologist who healed himself of diabetes), quit eating wheat.

    The wheat we eat — even when it’s whole grain and organically grown — is not our grandmother’s wheat, or even our mother’s wheat. It’s been hybridized till it has more chromosomes than a human, and is a dwarf (18″) plant with an enormous seed-head. It CANNOT survive in the wild. It’s much, much higher in gluten than previous iterations of the plant. Worst of all (from my viewpoint), it codes for novel proteins that cross the blood-brain barrier and bind with opiate receptors. After one week wheat-free (it’s now been five weeks), my cravings for sweets disappeared.

    That said, your muffins look beautiful. I wouldn’t eat one, but I’m on an island off the other edge of the continent, so I don’t think you’re offering.

    I, too, am a devotee of sorrel. I don’t eat salmon (or other meat, dairy, fish, or eggs), so I use it in salad and to lend its unique lemony flavor to veggies.

    Health and peace.

  3. Elsie says:

    Linda, I always love to see what’s going on in your garden.

    I’m sorry to read about you being so sick for so long, but I’m glad you are on the mend. Poor Morrigan, though!

    Those are some tasty-looking recipes there, too.

    I hope you are back to feeling much better very soon.

  4. COalmostNative says:

    Wow. Hope you feel normal soon! I envy both of your gardens- mine got hailed on, then the heat/ no rain… I’m waiting until next year to grow my own, and am enjoying the farmers markets.

  5. benlomond2 says:

    plums finally ripe enough , so started making plum jam yesterday.( yes, there will be a shipment to Pi and co.).. wife got me more jars, so will continue on today.. still overwelmed with tomatoes, may try canning some next week, found receipe for fried green tomatoes,will try today. still picking raspberries and pears, scared the poop out of a deer the other nite…hehehehe she was heading for the plum tree, when I jumped out the door and chased her down the side yard, neighbr’s dog started to bark, and she went backand forth several times before I moved aside and let her pass, to escape down the other side of the house…. chortle.. hope she learned her lesson !

    hope you start feeling better, linda.. Gin and Tonic works wonders.. Gin to kill germs, and the quinine in the tonic water takes care of the maleria..

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