Saturday, October 31, 2009

glorious days ahead


the glorious days are upon us. crisp mornings with warming sunny afternoons. these are the days folks live for in the central texas area. these are the days i thought might not ever come this year. and the sigh of my relief is great and the comfort in the cool is deep and i find great joy in the wearing of a sweater and vest.

another great glory is that these are the days for seasonal greens. and i plant them, lots of them, all kinds, anywhere they might catch a bit of sun. i prefer mixed greens anyday. more variety, more nutrition, more flavor, more texture and simply more interesting in the eating experience.

i've got red lettuces, green lettuces, leaf lettuces, romains, arugula, tatsoi, chinese greens, cabbages, kales, borage, comfrey, chards, beet greens and a mix of cool weather herbs - both sweet and savory.

when harvesting, i head out with my big green collecting bin and a pair of snips then i simply move from bed to bed taking no care to separate out one type of green from the other. then it's a quick dip in a water bath and a spin in the greens dryer before popping into a bag for fridge storage. they don't last long and could not be more healthy which is good for me in these autumnal months. no need for extra weight on my bones - i've got plenty already for winter stores.

in addition to the greens a bit of okra and long beans
not too much - a nice bit for afternoon grilling - add a little olive oil, salt, pepper and you've got yourself a small bit of magic.

also up today
the waxing of hard cheeses - a batch of baba - a pot of basil pesto - and a batch of hippychick pasta

i was able to wax out three rounds of cheese made earlier this week - two rounds in the italian hard spiky flavor family. the third round - the largest of the three - in the aged hard cheddar family. now it's the three month wait. if these rounds mature in flavor like this summer's cheese, then the three months will be more than worth the wait. i have tapped into the first - the result - a tangy goodness - i'm thrilled

the cheese stores are slowly but surely building. at present there 4 full waxed rounds in store and 3lbs of fresh mozzarella ready for present eating. the super fantastic hippychick cheese plan is to make two to four rounds every other week which would put me in long term cheese happiness in near to no time leaving plenty to share with family and/or to pull out for special occasions. that may not sound like a whole lot to the tried and true cheese makers out there but for a solo small time farmer like myself - it's gold.

this mornings basil harvest put up to 3 1/2 pints of glowing green pesto and a single eggplant put up to 1 1/2 pints of baba ghanoush. so with fresh greens, pesto, baba, fresh mozzarella and fresh pasta in house, i will want for nothing.

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