- What’s UP in the Yard: Baby buds and seaweed (yardandplate.com)
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Unbelievable! It’s blazing saddles HOT today. Like the kind of hot where you don’t even want to leave hot things in the car for fear they’ll go rubber on you, and then at 6 tonight we get this torrential moonsoon-like-rain in our backyard.
(Ok, maybe not like monsoon, but compared to the days we’ve been having, any wee bit feels like a moonsoon.)
And I’ve got the grill going. So I go out to save the fire, our dinner, and the rest of the evening.
(All I can think to do is cover the fire with the grill lid, but this doesn’t help the issue with me cooking in rain, so we start cooking inside, on the stove top.)
But I’m such a doof cause I don’t open the holes that allow air to travel from outside of the grill cover to the inside — and of course George catches this for me — and then proceeds to go out there — in the rain, I might add — and save the day by using the grill to make the best darn chicken. Geesh!
I was gonna steam the beets on the grill, too. So, my photo shoot got sidetracked.
Anyhow, to the point of this post, the WEEKLY MENU:
Dinner: Grill night featuring NY strip steak, turkey burgers and portabella mushrooms. Salad has creole red onions, purple cabbage, green onion and spring mix. Using Whole Foods’ ‘Health Starts Here’ Cesear Dressing made from Silken Tofu. Sweet potato fries with organic ketchup.
To Do: Pack lunch, cut portabellas and freeze. Clean up grill.
To Buy: Walnuts and hydroponic pesto for caprese-like salad Monday night. Brown rice off Whole Foods’ hot bar. Frozen peas for fried rice recipe. Oranges.
Costco trip: Waters, bananas, mushrooms, salad greens.
Lunch: Leftovers from Grill Night.
(Start making tofu rounds for Monday’s nights dinner. Work on photo shoot for ‘easy beet prep.’)
Dinner: Caprese-like Salad using tofu rounds instead of cheese. (Dairy-Free.) Drizzle with walnut/pesto/fresh hydroponic basil. Maybe use spaghetti squash.
To Do: Pack tomorrow’s salad for lunch
Lunch: Big ‘ole Kale Cesear Salad with Whole Foods’ ‘Health Starts Here’ Cesear Dressing.
Dinner: Pick Up from Bouldin Creek Cafe or Mother’s Cafe
Lunch: On UR Own
Dinner: Fried Rice BETTA than greasy take-out (brown rice, peas, carrots, egg/tofu, green onion).
To Do: Make pumpernickel, cuc and hummus sandwiches for lunch. Pack lunch.
To Buy: Green beans, sweet potato for Thurs. night dinner. Red peppers for Friday night. Plus veggie cheese, if needed.
Lunch: Pumpernickel, cucumber, hummus sandwiches (green leafy salad too).
Dinner: Buddha Bowl with cous cous, salad beans, green beans and sweet potato
Lunch: Fish tacos at Whole Foods Bar
Dinner: Whole Foods Whole Wheat Pizza Crust topped with fresh marinara, fresh basil, red peppers, veggie cheese and portabellas. Side salad.
I have maybe a few pics of our yard on this blog and this strikes me as odd since we’re called Yard and Plate.
So this morning I went around the house, and to my neighbors’, and shot some pictures with the new camera. Enjoy! Love, D.
AUSTIN, TEXAS — After all my yelling and banging on my drums about eating organic, I finally actually worked on the farm where some of our local organic produce comes from. Yes, a little action here and less talk.
I signed up for the Johnson’s Backyard Garden work share/volunteer program, which is a way that I thought I could:
A.) See the actual workings of a community-supported organic farm.
B.) Trade some work for a delicious box of JBG Organic Produce. (Come’on…a good bag of groceries can be quite costly.)
At 8 a.m. this morning there I am at the farm in my workin clothes, sunglasses and straw-brimmed hat.
I am there to work. I’m thinkin I’m gonna be dropped off from some tractor trailer into the middle of grape fields or somethin…I mean, I’m thinking ‘Grapes of Wrath.’
I’ve got my bug spray, my gallon jug of water and a handful of almonds just in case I starve to death millions of miles from civilization.
But I am set up at a cutting table underneath a huge tree and the summer sunlight is streaming through the leaves and it is relatively cool for an Austin summer morning.
I handled all varieties of cabbage and made them more attractive (i.e. taking off their exterior two layers, before they were taken off to be washed.) About two hours into this work, a hand comes and gets me and says help is needed with the carrots.
This is the process … all the sweet carrots in various yellows, oranges and purples are picked, washed and then transferred to the sorting table, where I was.
I selected carrots by size, by one pound increments and bagged them.
Twist ties are used to seal em up and ship em out. (You are working alongside people who really love organic produce and the process of making it ready for market. And I found they usually like cooking it up as well…so the workshare becomes recipeshare. Voila.)
At 1 a.m. the actual guy who started the farm came around and told us it was QUITTIN TIME…(I imagined some steam-run bell going off in the distance.)
They even said they had some left over from something else…take as much as you want, they said. What nice folks!! Thanks JBG for such a great experience. And thank you for providing us all with such great produce. Yum!
(I’ve already looked up a recipe for the leeks from the Vegeterian Times: Sweet Potato Leek Gratin.)
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Blue Corn Tortillas made with real blue corn masa and filtered water.
An Austin Company at the downtown market sells them out of their Saturday booth. (reading Austin Urban Gardens blog, I had to try them.)
So on Saturday’s trip to the downtown SFC market, I spoke with the maker Gardener’s Feast…she assured me they were made simply with real blue corn masa and filtered water. Thats it. No lard, no other weird alien substance, just straight up corn masa.
So I bought a pack of eight tortillas for $3, licking my lips in anticipation of what wonderous salsa to drench them with. And we did. And we also applied heat, with a very hot grill…and the blue beauties puffed like a blow fish ….I imagined sopapillas with honey drizzle and any ooey gooey substance slathered right into the middle.
For dinner tonight I used them to hold charred tomatillos, grilled chicken and adobo salsa. (Oh lord, it was yummy.) For dinner Saturday I cut them in triangles and made corn chips for a Buddha-like bowl. (the bowl featured momotaro tomatoes…which I found out were Japanese and sweet.)
Thanks again to Austin Urban Garden for turning me on to these Tillas!
I just had to post today, had to show you this bootylicious mouthwatering treat from the yard. I think it’s called Black Krim. Definitely an Heirloom.
Well, I’m just gonna ask the tomato guy from the Farmers market. I believe I bought it from him in March. He grows the best heirlooms, the absolutely sweetest you’ve ever tasted. (All of this comes at a price, of course…there are only two pieces coming from the one plant.)
Instead of poke around the web reading from master gardener to master gardener, I just decided it would make sense to see how a real sfc farm does it. So to that end I’ve signed up to work a Tuesday morning at Johnsons Backyard Garden …it’s a really cool program called work share…and maybe in the ways of sfc this is standard, but this is the first time I’m hearing that I can work for a beautiful box of organic produce…plus suck up some vitamin c while I’m pickin.
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AUSTIN, TEXAS — These are the mornings you pray for, not too hot, not too cold, not too humid so you ban BREATHE. The birds are singing to each other and fluttering from branch to branch….and then I hear a rumbling motorcycle and I am reminded that we live in the middle of the city, a city that is growing, according to one smart friend’s calculation, by 250 people a day.
For this reason, I believe the city is becoming spicier, more interesting.
(I will admit that we find some sick fun in inviting people to town in the blistering heat of August. I know, totally sick, but hey, we feel like its also being honest. Austin has perfect weather, I mean perfect 80 degree non humid weather a few days to a week, each year.)
I just watched a video last night featuring two entrepreneurs from Austin. They said our city didn’t have any authentic Ramen joints, so they just opened one, just like that. Austin is extremely friendly to entrepreneurs and the energy that goes with it.
I love this flavorful city. And I’m just feelin blessed to be a part of it. I look out over this backyard garden and I see kale, lettuce, three varieties of tomatoes. And I see basil and cabbage.
I can walk over to the spinach, pick some bunches, and use it right away. I like that freedom, but I also realize this depends on Mother Nature…and as we’ve witnessed, Mother Nature can be downright cruel.
This idea of building ways in which we can feed ourselves is so intriguing to me. And I guess that is one of the reasons I started posting here on yardandplate.
I believe part of the kick start was an interview I heard on NPR with Will Allen.
Through his work over the years he has gained serious recognition as a developer of one of the top model sustainable food production systems.
(His Growing Power farm in Milwaukee, and programs, are detailed in this Wikipedia page.)
My hat goes off to him. What a blessing for the world. He and his team teach classes on how to compost, how to farm and how we can build zero waste systems. And most of all, he’s into the food he grows. He wants it to be nutritious and life-giving.
Thanks Will Allen, and people like you everywhere, you create a wonderful example.
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