Friday, June 23, 2006
Being an herb grower, needless to say I have beds of herbs all over the place, and being an avid cook I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I really like a small garden just as close to the kitchen as I can get it. This one is just outside my kitchen door, so I'm just a few steps away from whatever I need for a pot or a dish.
In the kitchen garden you should have rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, a few chives, some sage and dill. Herbs will grow very crowded so you really don't need much space. If at some point you feel they are too bunched together just cut something back very close to the ground and that will allow light and sun to reach the inside of the other plants before the new growth begins to come back.
Remember this is the month to cut and dry any excess you may have, just cut,dry by hanging or in a dehydrator and place in dark containers for the fall and winter, they make great gifts and just as tasty as fresh in your foods.
Have a Marvelous June week-end!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
June is here and so are the cravings for all those tasty, juicy fruits that we wait all winter for.
I have been doing a lot of research on the 'Lemon'....so much I didn't know!
Hopefully you recieve my newsletter from Sage Hill Farms and will enjoy all the things I discovered about the 'lemon' that doesn't pop up in everyday reading and reporting. If you don't get the newsletter you may do so here if you are intrigued enough. http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com
Lemons are so versatile in the kitchen...a potential pot of gold!
Lemons are always green when harvested and are picked by size.
The more acidic they are the longer they can be stored.
However when choosing Lemons from the market, never buy the ones with any green showing, they will be too acidic and have less flavor.
Lemons with a thick, pebbly rind will have far less juice than a smooth, thin skin lemon will have.
Always buy organically grown, pesticide-free fruit if at all available.
Most of the chemicals used in fruit growing ends up on the skins, so if you must depend on mass markets, be very dedicated to washing all fruits in cold running water before eating or serving.
Lemons can be stored in a basket on the counter for a few days.....in the frig for a few weeks in a plastic bag.(if you use plastic bags) I store mine in pretty glass bowl just sitting on a shelf in the frig.
When you keep them too long for food use, just slice and add to the compost pile....nothing lost!
Whole lemons can be frozen, they will be very soft and easily juiced when thawed.
Lemon Zest is a must in the cooking arena....I find the easiest way to have zest on hand is to buy a bag and plan on making a large pitcher of Lemonade.
With a vegetable peeler....remove the lemon peel very carefully, taking care not to get the white pith(it is bitter) let the peel dry(a day or so)then grind in a small food or coffee grinder, place in capped jar and it will keep for months. Just make sure the peels are good and dry befor grinding, otherwise you will need to refrigerate the zest.
Juice of 12 lemons
6 tbsp concentrated fruit sweetener
8 cups cold water
In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, sweetener, and cold water.
Mix very well. More juice can be added according to taste.
For an extra touch and taste, add a tbsp of cherry juice and you have Pink Lemonade.
I also add the hulls left over from juicing. Leave then in the pitcher for about 30 min. then remove. (If you leave the hulls in too long the Lemonade will be bitter)
Mint sprigs can be added to each glass, pinching the leaves to release the flavor.
They can also be added to the pitcher and left in.
I hope you have a sweet juicy summer!
Let me know how many uses you discover for the 'Lemon.'