December 2010

My Seed Catalog haiku…ahem…

Oh Seed Catalogs!

With all your varieties

Can’t we get them all?

As I pore over seed brochures, I need to recall lessons from last year when we overcrowded things a bit. (Ok, more than “a bit”). We also realized that we want more varieties of things. How the hell are we supposed to accomodate more types of veggies? We didn’t really have too much go to waste (except during the tomato blight).

So, what is a homesteader to do? I think the solution is to plant more varieties, but fewer plants of each. This way, we can try more things. Also, I need to add some things to the list that I forgot last year:

  • Zucchini
  • Sugar Pumpkins
  • Butternut Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • and of course…daisies (although not a vegetable, I do find it necessary to have some daisies considering our homestead is called The Daisy Patch)

I need to plant fewer of the following:

  • Basil (I know, can you believe it? We had so much though.)
  • Lettuce
  • Green Peppers
  • Husk Cherries (WHAT? But you love those! True, but they naturally re-seeded themselves and grew all over the damn property and by the side of the road, there is NO reason we have to start as any this year.)
  • Scallions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers – maybe just 1 less.

And more of…

  • Edamame (ONE LAST TIME and then THIS IS IT! If I don’t get them to work this year, I will NEVER try them again.)
  • Thyme
  • Salad tomatoes (We lost them to the blight and were left mostly with plum and Reistomate)
  • Potatoes

Now it is time for some new things. This is where I am stuck. I have no clue what we would like. We did not like Brussells Sprouts (thanks anyway, Doreen!) We did like Parsnips. So any recomendations for some newer things we might like? Please note they’ll need to be able to grow in the North East. Thanks!

And Merry Christmas (on a Christmas side note…I plan to bake like a fiend this week. I finished one knitting project, hope to finish another and still have some Christmas Shopping to do. It’s going to be a great week (I mean it – I love this stuff!))

My Christmas haiku…ahem…

I just love Christmas

I bake a lot of cookies

For our cookie jar

It is 8 days before Christmas here at our little New Hampshire homestead and I’ve decided to take next week off my my D.J. (day job) which means I will have plenty of time to bake cookies. I have been going to sleep at night, planning out the batches. There are many types of recipes in my repertoire (origin: French répertoire, from Late Latin repertorium meaning, “Big-ass recipe book up in the cupboard). The tried and true recipes passed through the generations (Coconut-Oatmeal cookies that make your arm hurt from stirring the thick batter), coveted recipes given to me by others (my ex-mother-in-law’s Chocolate Chip cookies that I tweaked a bit to make my own), new recipes I can’t wait to try (I saw this recipe for truffles that looks pretty easy! I STINK at melting chocolate, so we’ll see how it goes) or recipes I married (Rum Balls which make the whole family happy).

I bought a cute cookie jar a few years ago. He’s a happy Santa. I’m not a “cute cookie jar” kind of person, so the fact that this object 1) was purchased 2) was not returned 3) was used 4) was carefully stored and 5) repeat steps 3 & 4  COMPLETELY amazes me. It does, however, make Keith happy and THAT, my friends, is what Christmas is all about. So, the SECOND it comes out of storage (ok, well if you’re going to be literal about it, it is actually approximately 2 hours after it comes out of storage, gets washed and dried and then patiently waits while I whip up and subsequently cool a batch of cookies) it gets filled with homemade goodness. (Ok ok!  So this year, we had Oreos, Jelly Bellys and some packaged biscotti in there until I could make cookies a few nights after we took it out of storage, sheesh, give a  girl a break here. I’ve been BUSY!) (Please go back, read that sentence again and say, “BUSY” in the same tone as Gollum says “PRECIOUS” in this scene, you’ll then understand the tone of how busy I have actually been.)

Here we have those famous chocolate chip cookies. I experimented with three of them and crumbled some bacon into the batter. I haven’t tried them yet, but since baconygoodness is usually a good ingredient, not matter what the dish, I expect them to taste divine.

Each year, I buy holiday plates or platters and arrange a cookie medley for hostess gifts. I also put some in those clear cellophane treat bags (available at Michael’s Crafts), tie with curly ribbon (it doesn’t matter how old I get, curly ribbon and I will never be parted) and give to friends when we see them. We bring an entire platter to Roy and Jen’s for our New Year’s bash each year. They never go to waste. There’s really something about receiving homemade cookies at Christmas that makes the giver, and I hope the receiver, (gosh, imagine if I’ve been giving them all these years and everyone’s like, “Damn, more burned blobs with chocolate!” I doubt that, my cookies rock) happy.

So, although this post wasn’t about our gardens, it was about our little homestead and the feeling that comes from doing it yourself.

My repertoire

edible South Shore magazine has asked this humble blogger to write an article for its Winter issue which is available now. Um – HECK YA! How freeking fun is that? So…if you are near, around, passing through or know of anyone near, around or passing through the Massachusetts South Shore area, please be sure to support this FINE, FINE publication.

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edible SOUTH SHORE is a quarterly magazine that celebrates the abundance of local foods in Southeastern Massachusetts. At edible SOUTH SHORE we believe that our food choices do make a difference – to our health, to the health of our planet, and to our enjoyment of life. With that in mind, we bring you news of our region’s farmers, brewers, food artisans, chefs, home gardeners, and others who have a dedication to producing and using sustainable produced, local, seasonal foods.

edible SOUTH SHORE is intended for those who are interested in:
— Eating delicious, locally grown, seasonal foods
— Getting to know the people who grow, produce, cook and sell those foods
— Learning more about what’s available in the region in terms of great dining, day trips, food events, festivals,  books, and food products.

Truly, I’m not just pushing the eSS agenda because they published me, but also because eSS is the epitome of what the Daisy Patch Farm is all about – local food and  sustainable agriculture.