In My Alaska Garden: Eating the Harvest
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.
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.
Kielbasa & Cabbage
2-4 slices of bacon
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.
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 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!