Thursday, December 22, 2011

December Post Produce: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts!!!

Winter may actually be here now that we've had a couple of snowfalls. Now is when the staying power and storage characteristics that have made some crops popular is evident. When I visited the garden recently to harvest the last parsnips I also checked on the abandoned Brussels sprouts. Temperatures had been below freezing more than once so I wasn't really expecting them to be usable anymore. Mostly I wanted to get them pulled out and composted to keep the garden as tidy looking as I could, a hang-up I may work on overcoming in 2012. There were still at least a pound of tight little sprouts on the stalks just the right size for eating. I stripped them all off knocking ice pieces from inside the outer leaves as I went. A few days later we were doing a typical "what should we have for dinner?" and pulled the bag of sprouts out of the refrigerator. I was pleased to find that they weren’t mushy and watery like other vegetables that have been through freezing temperatures.

A quick sauté of lamb gyro sausage we had laying around with onions, red chili flakes and cherry tomatoes made a delicious and colorful dinner. There are still some sprouts in the fridge waiting for the next meal. I’m thinking they’ll probably accompany one of the local, free-range chickens we’ve got stashed in the freezer along with the last of the turnips.

This fascinating dish was brought to you for Post Produce for Daniel’s Your Small Kitchen Garden. Check it out for more gardening, cooking and preserving inspiration.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not What I Expected

Today I made what was probably my last trip to the garden for the year. The aim was to harvest the last of the parsnips before the ground freezes much more. There were only a handful left. The few that I had dug up previously were really tasty. They were also surprisingly long and straight considering how much clay there is in the garden’s soil. Not so with today’s harvest! Most of these roots were forked and twisted like crazy. Only one was somewhat straight. A couple had wound around each other and intertwined but I managed to wiggle them apart. Another reminder that if I’m going to grow more root crops next year like I plan to I’m going to have to do some more soil prep.