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Jerusalem artichokes soup April 15, 2011
A couple of days ago, I made this wonderful soup with Jerusalem Artichokes I had in the fridge and wild leek.
1 1/2 lbs jerusalem artichokes
5 tbs orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 wild leek, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
2/3 cup milk
2 tbs chopped cilantro (optional)
2/3 cup plain yogurt (optional)
Grated zest of half an orange (optional)
Place peeled jerusalem artichokes in a large saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of orange juice and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until the artichokes are tender (about 20 minutes)
Mash the artichokes.
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the wild leek and garlic and fry over a low heat for 3 minutes or until the leek is tender. Set aside a tablespoon of tender leek for garnish.
Stir in the mashed artichoke, stock, milk and remaining orange juice.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.
Blend the soup with a hand held blender for 1 minute until smooth or run through a food mill.
Garnish with the reserved leeks and serve.
At this point, the soup is already delicious.
These following steps are optional and will give the soup more ‘body’.
Return the soup to a clean saucepan and stir in the reserved leeks, cilantro, and yogurt and heat through.
Serve with the grated orange zest.
More snow… March 24, 2011
A look out our window yesterday:
The day before yesterday, we got some maple sap from my brother in-law’s tree. I use it for making tea and soup. Just the thought itself that this sap came straight from the tree, is invigorating;-)
In the meantime, I’ve been working on labels for my jellies, they’re not finished because I need to find a way to stylize pictures of my dandelions and such and use them in adobe Illustrator.
I really really dislike working with Illustrator!
Spring cleaning March 21, 2011
Yesterday was another day in the garden, it was still pretty windy but that’s what you get when you live on a hill.
I was mostly busy digging up all the Jerusalem artichokes and sorting them. Some were damaged pretty bad, eaten by worms and mice or were damaged by my garden shovel, some were already sprouting but most of them are still good to eat.
I also took some time for spring cleaning, but I didn’t get too far.
I took a picture yesterday of the watercress sprouts I have growing indoors:
Oh and the day before, I made Queen Anne’s lace jelly from dried flowers. The flavor is pretty much the same as when you use fresh flowers but the color is yellow/brownish instead of pink. I’d like to not use any food coloring so I better stick to fresh flowers.
Nice day in the garden March 18, 2011
It was a busy gardening day, at least most of the day. I had to make a cheesecake for my brother in-law’s birthday so I did that early in the morning, then my sister skyped me and asked me all kinds of questions about herbs, which took me a while to answer.
Finally at 11 am, I was ready to put on my boots, strap on my knee pads, put on my gloves, and get to it.
I dug up most of my Jerusalem artichokes today and plan to store them. Tomorrow I’ll put half of them in a big tub of sand and keep them in the cellar, and the other half go into gallon bags with paper towels in them, and stored in the fridge. I’ve read that both methods work but we’ll see which one will work the best and keeps them fresh the longest.
It’s a lot of work to make sure you get all the tubers out, but if I want a fairly neat row again this year and enough space so I’ll get nice big tubers, it’s worth the effort. And it’s fun too, I think, it’s just amazing how many you will find!
I decided to plant a row of tubers along the west side of my garden as well because it’s always very windy. So I hope one row is enough to function as a windbreaker.
Jerusalem artichokes and Elderberry sapling March 17, 2011
Wow, it’s a gorgeous day! The sun is shining and it’s 55 degrees.
I just took a walk in my garden and dug up some Jerusalem artichokes which we’ll have for dinner tonight.
And near the Elderberry that I transplanted last year
I found this little Elderberry sapling:
Wonderful isn’t it?
Today I’m working on a painting but tomorrow I plan to spend all day outside, it’s going to be even warmer!
Last year, I winter sowed a lot of seeds and had a high success rate. This year, I don’t really need to sow anything but I’m thinking of moving some things around in my garden, adding some new edible wild plants, and I really like the process of winter sowing.
I like to buy and harvest seeds, making and preparing the mini greenhouses, the whole activity is fun. It’s fun just knowing that in a few weeks, little plants will start to grow because you provided the right environment for them.
So, this week, I got some potting mix, aluminum baking pans with lids, cut open some old milk jugs, went through my seed collection and sowed seeds of the following plants:
Stinging nettle (yes, we need more!)
Queen Anne’s lace (because I plan to make a lot of Queen Anne’s lace jelly this year)
Chicory (I’m going to put these together with the dandelions instead of a separate bed)
Shepherd’s purse (put these on several different spots in my garden, I just love the flavor of the leaves)
Wintergreen (they didn’t do so well last year)
Jewelweed (I’m going to put these where I had my Chicory last year)
Autumn olive (husband’s going to be mad lol)
Dandelion (the more the better)
and I could have sworn I harvested a bunch of Burdock seeds last year for sowing but I couldn’t find the bag anymore, so I walked outside in the snow to harvest some more seedpods. The sun was shining and the light reflecting on the snow was so bright that it hurt my eyes.
Every book tells me that Chicory is a perennial and that it will not grow flowers in the first year, but all of my chicory plants had flowers in their first year and I couldn’t use their roots for growing Belgian endives. I tried but it didn’t work.
If my new batch starts growing flowers in their first year again, I will sow more seeds by the end of Spring, and see if that will keep them from growing flowers in the first year.
So, when I succeed I will show you how to grow Belgian endives.