For people who eat very few packaged foods this would seem like an easy task. I went into it confident that it would not be a problem. On day three we ran out of coffee. . .oops! It was either cheat or go without coffee. . .any guesses on what happened here? A couple of days later I was in Costco and headed for the produce section intent on getting avocados and onions. I got them in the cart and then remembered the challenge. . . (more…)
Category Archives: Cote Home Grown Fare
I used the potato salad in a mock-nicoise salad. Made a big green salad – lettuce, green onion, celery and tomatoes. Next I added garbanzo beans (chick peas) instead of the tuna and a scoop of the left over potato salad instead of the traditional eggs and potatoes. I prefer asparagus to green beans, but either one works well. As for anchovies? Forget about it!
The corn was another matter. I used to make corn fritters. When we gave up eggs and cheese during our vegan year, they just disappeared from our diet. And evidently from my collection of recipes. Since we are eating a few eggs a week, I decided to try to approximate what I used to make. (more…)
The NOT easy part is getting the juice: taking out the juicer, feeding the veggies into the juicer and finally, cleaning the juicer and the counters and putting the clunky thing away.
Over the years we have made many attempts to juice on a regular basis. All have ended in a matter of days because making the juice is such a hassle. Last month, my friend who is moving, offered me her extra NutriBullet, I almost said no. Then I decided “what the hell!” The price was right and besides I was curious to see if the hype about how wonderful it is was real. So, I took it in spite of my deep skepticism about if I would use or like it. I brought it home and started to use it. (more…)
A favorite simple solution is stir fry. Stir fry uses most available vegetables. In fact I use almost anything except tomatoes and beets in it. Just add protein with tofu or nuts and to punch up the flavor use very simple ginger sauce. (more…)
Don’t get me wrong, I like eggplant. I use it in various Asian dishes, grilled (used as a sandwich filling), in salads and still I have more eggplant. (more…)
For one glorious week in May, we have spring here in New Orleans! Right around Mother’s day the threat of frost leaves, the rains die down and the weather is reasonably cool. That’s it! One wonderful week before it gets too hot and muggy to want to move.
The big news in our house is that we picked and ate our first tomato of the season. We started the seedlings in February. We planted seven different kinds of seeds: cherries, local creole strains and several hot weather varieties. We watched them come up, replanted them in larger pots carefully fed and watered them. We transfered them to their permanent homes at the beginning of May. Right now we have one cherry tomato with a bunch of fruit and a lot of the others are in full flower. If we can fight off the black cutworms, the green horn worms and the swarms of insects that love this city, we are set to have a great tomato crop. (more…)
I haven’t written anything for weeks. Mornings have been spent doing things to get us settled. Afternoons have been hot and humid and are officially designated as nap time.
The heat and the bugs have pretty much eaten or killed the garden. So there isn’t much material there except that we have a lot to learn about gardening in this environment!
The kitchen is still unfinished. No counters, no cupboards, no dishwasher or garbage disposal and no window covering. It is hot and primitive. Before we do cupboards, counters, dishwasher etc we need to lay a sub floor and tile the entire kitchen and pantry. We have had 4 different attempts to get the work done and so far not one of them have panned out. Very frustrating! We finally decided we should do it ourselves. Scheduled to start next week. All of which is the the long way of saying that it is pretty hard to write about food when your kitchen is inadequate and you aren’t cooking very much.
Last week I finally got a little smart and bought a new appliance: an electric pressure cooker. We need to be able to cook quickly and with as little heat as possible. If you read this site you know that I am a long-time fan of pressure cookers. The problem with them in this environment is that the steam heats up the kitchen. So I finally started looking at electric versions. (more…)
Last week the weather was alternatively sunny and humid or rainy and even more humid. The herbs really love it and the basil has grown like mad. By Saturday it was starting to bolt and take over the garden.
I was down to use it or lose it time. I waded through the mud, out to the garden and started cutting. Brought in all the cuttings, stripped the leaves and the bolted flowers. Ended up with 8 cups of washed and tightly packed leaves and bolted flowers. (more…)
The funny thing about gardening is that once you figure it out in one place there is NO guarantee you will be successful (at first) in a different place.
Some of the tomatoes are being eaten by something – not cutworms, but something I have yet to identify. There are bugs and worms that I have never seen before! So far no aphids like the ones that drove me crazy in Prescott last year. Instead we have Assassin bugs (good), beetles (bad) and and other very strange insects like wasp moths. The insect identification book is getting heavy use.
The soil here is amazing; river bottom mud. Really sad to not be using it this year. Until we have it tested it is unwise to plant food. Katrina left a lot of chemicals in the ground, so until you have your own soil tested you can’t know if you have any contaminates like lead or mercury. And if there are contaminates we need to know what they are! For this year we have contented ourselves with grow beds.
The one thing we have planted in the ground was milkweed. Someone told Meggan it would attract Monarchs. She bought some and planted it. No Monarchs! We started to think that milkweed and Monarchs were an urban legend. And then. . .the Monarch’s appeared. We have quite a collection that fly around all day. They put on a real show! The Monarchs have been joined by Black Swallow Tail and a couple of other ones I can’t identify.
Here is a picture of the milkweed and a Monarch – just look for the circle; I know it’s hard to see but you will get the idea. They are so beautiful!
Meg and I went to the nursery over the weekend and invested in $70 worth of butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants to create a “butterfly garden.” They are all planted neatly along the front fence.
So far – no butterflies and no hummingbirds. Either another urban legend or a lesson in patience. . . we’ll see.
Since we have a “primitive” kitchen at the moment, we invested in a propane gas grill. Two advantages – it is a great cooking surface and it is outside. The outside part keeps the heat out of the house; something to consider in this climate!
A few years ago we grilled a lot. Part of it was because of the heat in Palm Springs and part of it was because I banned meat from the kitchen. There is something about the smell, the blood and the mess. . . But meat was not the only thing we grilled. We regularly grilled onions, corn, eggplant and a variety of other veggies.
When we moved to Prescott and David became vegan we decided not to buy a replacement for the one we left in Palm Springs. He didn’t think it was worth the money if he wasn’t going to be eating meat. I knew I missed grilled vegetables, but until we got this new grill I didn’t realize how much!
We have been haunting the Farmers Markets. Two or three days a week we come home with a bag of fresh fruit and veggies.. Over the last two weeks we have grilled corn, potatoes, onions, eggplant, summer squash, cauliflower, beets, carrots and tomatoes. We have been going through lots of foil sheets !
Grilling veggies is really easy to do and really tasty! One of those fun things to experiment with.
Here is how we do it:
- Wash the vegetables and trim if necessary. Remember for potatoes, whole beets and other large veggies to poke a couple of holes in the surface
- Layout several pieces (4-6) of foil on the counter
- Drizzle a little olive oil on the middle part of the foil and salt it lightly
- Add herbs to taste; examples include:
- Garlic for eggplant
- Rosemary for carrots
- Tarragon for squash
- Place veggies evenly in the middle of the foil
- Use your hand a sprinkle a little water on top of the veggies
- Wrap tightly in little packets (if the foil breaks just add a second sheet
- Place on the grill and when the veggies are about 1/2 done turn them over and continue cooking
- Cooking times will vary but for most veggies about minutes is perfect; for onions, potatoes and whole beets it is closer to 50 minutes.
Summer is a great time to experiment and find your favorite grilling veggies. Don’t forget to try out different herbs they have a way of making a “plain” veggie a whole new taste treat.