Champoeg State Park_Oregon

I visited Champoeg State Park last week. The Pioneer kitchen garden there was fantastic. It demonstrated how gardening was done 150 years ago. It is filled with heirloom vegetables and they plant the garden in wide rows, leaving grass in between the rows. There are tomatoes, beans (both bush and pole), turnips, beets, melons, tobacco, squashes, old fashioned concord grapes and various types of flowers. It is indeed a very interesting place to visit. And, the camping facilities there is one of the best!

Almost Ratatouille-Sooo Delicious!

Today's finds from the garden: eggplants, Speedy Silver Zucchini, Yukon Gold potatoes, small onions, fresh garlic and fresh basil. Using the veggies from the garden and a few ingredients on hand, I made this delicious ratatouille.

Here's how: (Note: I replace the peppers with potatoes, as my peppers have not yet arrived;)
Slice the eggplant, zucchinis lengthwise to 1/4 slices;
Slice potatoes in thin slices;
Finely chop the onions and garlic cloves;
Cut basil leaves in thin shreds;
Heat a large skillet with olive oil on the bottom, pan fry eggplant, zucchini and potato slices until they take on some brown coloring. Remove vegetable slices from the skillet. Heat a little olive oil in the skillet, saute onion and garlic until they turn translucent. Add the basil and homemade tomato sauce (from last year, will explain how in future blog). Add the veggies previous removed from the skillet. Cook until sauce thickens a little. Add salt and pepper to taste, Stir. Garnish with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.... enjoy!

My First Egg-A Perfect 10!

Went to check my chickens this morning, a brown egg was in the box on top of the straw...It was perfect, about a size medium. I picked it up and here comes Red. I am so proud of her!

Pepper Jelly

I took the Master Gardeners Food Preserving class a few days ago and learned how to make pepper jelly, wow it's good! Here's how: 2-3/4 C. chopped peppers (use a mixture of hot pepper and bell pepper, make it as hot or mild as you please) 1-1/2 C. cider vinegar 6-1/2 C. sugar 1 pouch of liquid pectin. Make pepper jelly same way as jam. Serve with cream cheese and crackers, YUM! (Tip: I bought the "Onion Chopper" after the class. It is a rectangular box with a steel grid, it worked really well for chopping peppers.)

Fresh veggies arriving in a steady pace

Now it is early summer, my garden is going into its maturing stage. The early Xupar No-string bush beans are in full production, shelling peas planted along side of it is also maturing. I decided to plant the two together in April under the Minihooper, it certainly paid off. They appear to be crowded together by normal standards, but they really don't mind, and surely I don't mind it if they don't!
Cucumbers and pole beans were trellised us last month. I had my first Stallion White Cucumber yesterday, I got so eager to bite into it I forgot to take a picture first! It was DELICIOUS!
I used the re-bars to train up the tomatoes this year. The result is very good. I am getting some Sun Gold tomatoes, they are sweet!
Other things coming out of the garden include: a few eggplant, a few peppers, beats, swish chard, peas, baby bok choy, Chinese cabbage thinning that are good stir-fry material, new potatoes and onions.
Oh, let me not forget mentioning the fruits, we've got a BIG cherry year. The Lambert were the first to mature, then came the Rainier, we still have the Queen Anne arriving as of now. Blueberries are turning, raspberries are ripening, and a few varieties of blackberry, including Marion berries. They are sooooo delicious! I love summer! Others might think its a good time to go on vacation, for me staying here and enjoying all the fresh goodness right from my backyard is the best vacation! Ciao!

Zucchini Pancake elevated to a new level

Zucchini season is undoubtedly here. I have been making zucchini pancakes for breakfast every morning. Bored of the same ol thing, I added some variations to my original zucchini pancakes. I made these little ones and put fish row on top of it, it made perfect appetizer. I also added other fresh veggies from the garden, elevated the zucchini pancake to a whole new level. I grated the zucchini, new potatoes, fresh onionlets (small onions just big enough to eat) and fresh snap peas, mixed in with an egg, salt and pepper and just enough flour to form the batter, and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg. The result is this delicious zucchini pancakes with a new twist.
The Original recipe is as follow:
Here's the recipe:
Two 5" long zucchini, grated,
One medium new potato, grated
(in this case, I used the Yukon Gold I grew)
1/2 C. tempura batter
One large egg
Dash of garlic powder, dash of onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste, and oil for cooking.
Mix all ingredients together and let set for 15 minutes. Cook on stove top same way you cook pancakes. Serve with Tabasco sauce.