Dinner

beet-and-cabbage-mix

Tonight’s dinner was a “soup” adapted from an Epicurious recipe for Beet and Cabbage Soup.  It read like a Mexican borscht, but turned out like a hot vegetable puree for me.

The veggie mix above is a Cylindra beet, a red onion, 3 stalks of celery, and a quarter of a very small head of cabbage.  After sauteing the veggies in vegetable oil for about ten minutes, I added a container of frozen turkey stock from the freezer, and boiled it all for an hour or so, until the veggies were soft enough to puree in the blender. The only other ingredients were lime juice, stirred in at the end, and tortilla chips to crumble into it.

Seasonal Produce – March

March and April is the hardest time for me to stick to seasonal produce. At this time of year, before the spring greens and first asparagus become available, ‘seasonal’ mostly means fruits and vegetables that have kept well over the winter. For fruit, this means apples; I’m getting tired of eating them plain, but we’re still eating them cooked in oatmeal, or sliced to top off a toasted bagel with peanut butter. (That last is a great afternoon snack).

Root vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are still holding their own. I haven’t yet mastered the art of the slow cooker, but parsnips don’t need much cooking anyway. They, along with sweet potatoes, are our favourites when they’re roasted in the oven with a little bit of butter, lemon juice, and honey. Potatoes are always welcomed plainly boiled and mashed. Beets are a new addition to our repertoire.

Cabbage and squash are other good winter vegetables. The Smitten Kitchen’s Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad is the best use for butternut squash I’ve come across yet. Cabbage shines in cabbage rolls, bubble and squeak (with the potatoes mentioned above, usually augmented with bacon or served alongside pork chops), or sometimes in coleslaw.

We’re still a month away from pulling the first radishes from the ground, and tearing off the outside leaves of our first spinach… although I’m already looking forward to those first tastes of spring!

Seeds!

My son and I bought seeds today, at Bill’s Garden Centre, which is so far my favourite garden centre in the city (to be fair, I haven’t visited many). We’ve just started cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, and tomato in individual yogurt containers in the kitchen – just one of each, since we’re going to try the Square Foot Gardening method.

We also have zucchini, broccoli, pumpkin, corn, swiss chard, turnip, beans (yellow, green, and bush), beets, spinach, radish, onion, carrot, cucumber, melon, and pea seeds. I figured that lots of people must come in and buy an optimistic number of seed packets at this time of year, but the woman behind the counter joked that we must have a farm. We’re only planning 2.7 m² (30 square feet) of garden, including the 60cm paths in between the two raised beds. We’ll see!

New project – Fair Isle jacket

I’ve just cast on a new knitting project; the first of the baby items from my Etsy store, picked by a friend for her new baby.

I don’t know where I read about .5″ of yarn for a long-tailed cast on, but it worked perfectly – I needed 175 stitches, so I measured roughly 90″, and I cast them all on the first time with only a shortish tail left.

I’m pretty sure I did my second swatch on 3.5mm needles, but I only have 3mm and 3.25mm in circulars.  That’s what’s called for in the pattern, so I’ll start with them.