September 2010



My Homemade Pizza Haiku…ahem…

A kick-ass pizza

Made with veggies from the Patch

And some artichokes

~

Pizza dough

Can of artichoke hearts

2 heads of garlic

tomatoes

goat cheese

balsamic vinegar

Roast the garlic bulbs (cut the tops off, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes until fork-tender). Put one aside to nibble from while you’re making the rest of the pizza. Squish out the garlic from the other once once it’s cooled and mash with a fork.

Take the pizza dough out of the package (I know, I know, we could discuss the merits of making your own pizza dough right here, but c’mon, get real. We don’t grow wheat. I mean, we could mix some flour and water together, stick it on the window sill to ferment, thus creating our own yeast base but by the time we’ve harvested and ground the wheat and grew some yeast, I would have killed a litter of small puppies and eaten them raw out of hunger, so let’s just go with the convenience of store-bought dough, m’kay?) Oil the pizza pan and stretch the dough out on the pan.

Slice up the tomatoes, drain and slice the artichokes.  Scatter on top of the pizza dough. Crumble up the goat cheese and sprinkle it on top. Eat some goat cheese, you know, to make sure it’s ok.

Put it in the oven and bake that baby for 8-10 minutes…

(He made the pizza, so I’ve been checking on the steps he took…here’s what happened next…)

Me: Wait – Keith, honey, how hot was the oven.

Him: Hot.

Me: Yeah, but how hot? I’m putting in a recipe.

Him: Oh, 500

Him: Wait! Make it 485. Be different.

Boil down the balsamic vinegar until it is a syrup while the pizza is baking. Cool it. (The syrup. You’re fine.)

When it is done, take it out, drizzle on the vinegar, cut it and, then you can do what I did and make it pose for photos.

Ooh, artsy!

~

Ok, time to be honest here. In order to do what I did, you could read the text on your phone requesting you pick up artichokes, stop at the store and pick up a can of artichokes, arrive home with said artichokes, then wait patiently while someone else makes this delicious dish. Once the pie has been removed from the oven, you then make the garlicky-breath-owning chef wait while you pose the pizza in several different ways and take pictures, first without a flash, then with a flash, then try to get artsy by just pulling out once slice ever so carefully and taking more photos, first without a flash, then with a flash until you are finally reminded that the pizza is getting cool and that you’ve probably taken enough photos of said pizza and it was time to eat.

Enjoy!


After tasting this recipe, I asked, no, begged for it. And got it (insert evil laugh here, you know the one, the heroine is tied up to the train tracks and the guy in the cape is walking away, laughing? That laugh.) The thing of it is, this recipe doesn’t have anything to do with the Daisy Patch. Well, at least not our gardens. It is just a really good recipe and worth sharing.

When Keith and I first started living together, I had never been to a bed and breakfast and thought it would be nice if he and I got away. It was foliage season in New England and, well, I heard that’s what you’re supposed to do. So, I found a B&B online.

This B&B was nice. I would recommend it, if you like Bed and Breakfasts (Beds and Breakfasts? Bedss and Breakfastsss?) however, we soon discovered that the B&B scene wasn’t for us. Walking past grandma’s picture to our room which was very next to someone else’s room (let your mind wander…squeaky bed…right, now you’re sharing our cringe factor) then, the next morning, sitting in the living room with strangers while we waited for breakfast just wasn’t for us. We like our privacy. We also liked breakfast. A lot. The Inn owner served these golden brown baked blobs of goodness in a basket along with the meal. I ate two. They were so good, I almost swooned (What is a swoon? Do I put the back of my hand to my forehead and fall backwards? Do I just roll my eyes with a sigh? Trust me on this, go with it. Meanwhile, I’ll look into swooning and get back to you.)

I finally asked what they were – Scones. (Never heard of a scone.) “What’s in them?” I asked. “Dates and walnuts.” I’d never had a date (the edible kind, er, I mean the delicious kind…oh gosh, I mean..uh…) (Ok, that’s funny if you get it… At least I’m laughing.) before. I asked for the recipe. She was a bit hesitant, but I started gushing over how good they were. She went away and came back with a copy of the recipe. (Hooray! Evil laugh.)

I swear, I have made that recipe at least 100 times since then. They are so good. They are also fattening (so be forewarned). I don’t feel comfortable sharing the name of the Inn in case they don’t want their recipe shared. Yet, I feel I should give them credit, right? Ooh, conundrum. Ok, how about this, why don’t I just show you pictures of how yummy they are and, if you want the recipe, you can write me and I’ll send it?  thedaisypatchfarm@gmail.com

mmm with mascarpone on top

If you have gotten this far, I have to tell you, I am struggling with the title of this post. Why am I struggling? Because it is kind of on the dumb side, but, I’ve had a really long day at the DJ and it is just making me laugh. I erased it, came up with a few others, read it to Keith who, God love his honesty, told me it wasn’t my best, and still decided to put it there. And it made me laugh. Again. So, it stays. So there.  I’m going to have a scone and go to bed.


My parsnip haiku…ahem…

Parsnips what the hell?

Why can’t I pick like carrots?

I broke them all off.

I tried to pick the parsnips like carrots. You know, pull the greens, out comes the veggie? Epic fail. I broke off the greens and then had to dig the parsnip out. Try again. Happened again, and again, and again. I have to dig these babies out one by one? Come on! No one told me that. So now we have parsnips in the fridge, each one has fingernail marks at the top from my CLAWING at it trying to scratch away the dirt during extraction.

Now, since I only have eaten parsnips that a professional chef prepared, I am faced with the challenge of cooking them so they’re edible. Stay tuned.


My hot pepper haiku…ahem…

Spicy hot peppers

Must be careful when picking

Lest you touch your nose

I did that this morning. I picked all the ripe hot peppers and then wiped the tiniest drip coming from my nose in the chilly morning. Oh the sting. It’s been close to 2 hours and it won’t stop. I’ve heard that bread or milk helps get rid of hot pepper burn in your mouth, I’m wondering if I should snuff up some unsalted butter (we’re out of milk, hey, that’s dairy, right?) or just stuff a crouton up there (alas, no bread, the cupboard is bare.) I kept using a paper towel with cool water to wipe it, but it wasn’t helping and, quite honestly, making it drip more. So then I thought, “Maybe the snot is trying to help. Just leave it and it’ll flush out.” So now I’m sort of catching the snot drips with the wet paper towel and trying to not get snot on the computer. I live such a glamorous life, c’mon, who wants to switch places? (If you do, please bring bread, milk and tissues when you come over. We’re out.)

 During this adventure of learning how to farm and documenting it online, I’ve had to learn how to photograph food. I’ve experimented with 2 digital cameras – neither I know how to use very well (instructions? We don’t need no stinking instructions!) I’ve taken pictures of the veggies in the ground, in pots, I’ve put them on plates, platters, in bowls, on the counter, my hand, all in an effort to “capture the moment.”

This morning, I picked hot peppers. Many hot peppers. Here they are on the counter. The orange ones are called Bulgarian Carrot. According to Local Harvest these are an heirloom variety of pepper, open pollenated from Bulgaria. The fluorescent orange, carrot-shaped fruits have an excellent flavor – hot and fruity. They are not for the meek, about a 7 on a 10 scale.  Apparently, they’re perfect for chutneys and salsas and grow well in the North.  

The red ones are Indian Pepper PC-1. Again, thanks Local Harvest, these are also called Naga Jolokia.  The PC-1 has a different flavor profile which makes it a perfect addition to a variety of cooking styles. Great used with Mexican, Thai, Oriental or Indian dishes. The PC1- is a very tasty and versatile pepper. This is a must have pepper for your collection. C. annuum. 90 days. Said to be one of the world’s hottest peppers, from India ranging apr 100,000 scovilles. The plant bears orange-red peppers, 2″ long by 1/2″ wide, growing horizontally on the plant. (DaisyPatch  note: they didn’t grow horozontally, they grew straight up.)

Here’s my attempt at getting artsy-fartsy with my photography. I’m such a hack.

I can give you my opinion of these peppers because I have such a tuned palate. First, the Bulgarian Carrot: I have no idea. Now, the PC-1: Beats me.

As my nose continues to drip and burn, I am easily reminded WHY I have no idea what these peppers taste like. I don’t like painful food. Keith could happily crunch these hot peppers raw without shedding a tear. The fridge door is dedicated to the hot sauces that, not only does he know the difference between, he actually uses on his food and sometimes on mine. At the beginning of our cohabitation, I always took the first taste of dinner with quite a bit of trepidation until he figured out which heat levels I would like (somewhere between “NONE” and “NONE.”)  As the years went by, something happened to my taste buds. They got more used to spice.  I still won’t side-dress with a splash from the bottle of, “Da Bomb Beyond Insanity sauce” (you know the one, it has the nuclear symbol on the side? That one.) but do not mind a bit of heat from time to time. His Jamaican Jerk Chicken is incredible, for instance.

Anyway, back to photography, I’m starting to get the hang of it. What you don’t see is the behind the scenes propping that takes place to get the pictures perfect. So, I thought I’d take you behind the scenes of Daisy Patch Farm Photography to show you my painstaking process of artfully arranging the food items and capturing edible still life.

INTRODUCING…THE FIRST EVER…DAISY PATCH BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO…(you’ll want the sound on)

Click the picture


Yesterday, I was out in the Chef’s Garden pulling weeds and thinning carrots when Keith came out to join me. Here’s what transpired.

Me: Hey, whatcha doin?

K: Helping weed

Me: Cool

Him: That your weed bucket? (points to bucket)

Me: (Weeding) Yup

Him: (Weeding)

Me: (Weeding)

Him: (Weeding. Puts weeds in bucket)

Me: (Weeding. Put weeds in bucket)

Him: (Weeding)

Me: (Watching him weeding)

Him: (Weeding)

Me: I will cherish this moment forever

Him: What?

Me: I will cherish this moment forever

Him: Why?

Me: Here we are, silent, side by side, working together toward a common goal like true partners. It’s special. I will cherish this moment forever.

Him: You’re queer


Remember how excited I was to grow Edamame? Remember that picture I had that showed all the little pods growing so beautifully? Fail!  Again. Below, is a breakdown of this tragedy forever to be known as ‘What the hell, Jenn? They’re just beans for chrissakes. You can’t grow a freeking bean? Jack just threw some seeds out of his pocket and he did just fine. You stink. Can’t grow a freeking bean. Jeez.” (Maybe I will work on the title of this tragic tale a little bit more. It’s a work on progress.) 
  
April: Plant Edamame seeds in starter packs in the basement.
April: Squeal in excitement as Edamame seedlings emerge.
April:  Dump out the dried soil with dead Edamame seedlings. Vow to water.
April:  Plant Edamame seeds in starter packs in the basement.
April: Water
April: Water
April: Squeal in excitement as Edamame seedlings emerge.
April: Water
May: Dump out soggy soil with dead Edamame seedlings due to too much water.
May: Purchase seedling heat mat to aid in germination.
May:  Plant Edamame seeds in starter packs in the basement.
May: Water
May: Squeal in excitement as Edamame seedlings emerge.
May: Water, but not too much.
May: Move Edamame seedlings into the greenhouse. Cover lovingly with a blanket on cold nights.
May: Water
May: Move Edamame inside on super cold nights and back into greenhouse in the mornings.
May: Carefully transplant Edamame seedlings into a place of honor in the Chef’s Garden.
June: Water
June: Check
June: Prepare frozen, pre-packaged Edamame for best friends, bragging about how one is growing a whole crop of organic Edamame just feet away in the garden and vow to share the first harvest.
July: Water
July: Check
July: Squeal in excitement as Edamame flowers emerge.
July: Squeal in excitement as Edamame pods emerge.
July: Brag about Edamame on blog.
July: Brag about Edamame at DJ.
August: Water
August: Check
August: Water
August: Check
August: Have family come to visit for a weekend. Don’t check.
August: Think, ‘Probably time to harvest.” Check.
August:  Edamame are all brown. And hard.
August: Rip Edamame out of the ground, bring all pods into the house, wash.  
August: Let Edamame sit on the counter for a day. I don’t know why. I think I was afraid to find out what I already knew.
August: Bite. Edamame have all gone to seed. None are edible.
August: Dump all Edamame pods and seeds. Don’t bother saving seeds for next year.  

The irony of planting seeds in order to just get more seeds is not lost on me. That doesn’t make it sting any less. Lesson learned? Unsure if I’ve learned a lesson. I’m just pissed.