Friday, March 19, 2010


Wow, this blog is languishing. I guess we've all been busy with the quotidian and have neglected the more delicious luxury of writing. Well, between the lot of us we've had some significant life changes: gained a baby and some new food restrictions, lost some chickens and a dog, undergone all the preliminary paperwork for an adoption. Whew. No wonder our gardens aren't in yet! I hope all of your quotidian days are worshipful. (Doesn't that sounds very spiritual and idealistic some days? Well, they are worshipful to the Lord even if our hearts aren't quite tuned to hear the praise.) While we neglect to write, maybe you would enjoy perusing this website that Danidoodle found: Quotidiana.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I miss my garden.

'And this brings us to the third, and what may be the most important
reason why you should garden. It is the cheapest, healthiest, keenest
pleasure there is. Give me a sunny garden patch in the golden
springtime, when the trees are picking out their new gowns, in all the
various self-colored delicate grays and greens--strange how beautiful
they are, in the same old unchanging styles, isn't it?--give me seeds
to watch as they find the light, plants to tend as they take hold in
the fine, loose, rich soil, and you may have the other sports. And when
you have grown tired of their monotony, come back in summer to even the
smallest garden, and you will find in it, every day, a new problem to
be solved, a new campaign to be carried out, a new victory to win.'

-- F.F. Rockwell

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Portuguese Stone Soup

I adapted this from the recipe of the same name on, originally from Bon Appetit, Dec. 1992.

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 lb. peeled diced boiling potatoes
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 head savoy cabbage, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 lb. turnips, peeled and diced
2 leeks, chopped, rinsed very well to remove sand
2 large carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, and cook on high 2-3 hours, until vegetables are tender. Best if refrigerated overnight and rewarmed the next day.

I served it with rye crisp bread and Emmentaler cheese. Also good with hearty brown bread.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This is the Jam that friends of QD may recognize in their Christmas packages, unless it's already been eaten by our husbands!

The recipe is slightly adapted from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving. I grabbed all of the preserving books at my local branch of the library, and I particularly liked this one for it's approachability. The recipes have proved tasty, too.

The jam takes at least 32 hours, so plan ahead. The long resting times allow the pectin in the strawberries to develop without excessive cooking so the beautiful red color of the fruit is maintained.

4 cups halved or quartered (depending on size) firm strawberries
2 cups finely chopped red rhubarb
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup bottled lemon juice

1. Mix berries, rhubarb and sugar in a non-reactive (stainless steel or enamel) pot and let stand for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Bring fruit and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Add lemon juice and return to a boil without adjusting heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 24 hours.

3. Bring fruit mixture to a rapid boil over high heat and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and test for gel formation. Continue boiling at 3-5 minute intervals until mixture forms a gel. **

4. Once the mixture forms a gel, process in sterilized jars in hot water.

Makes 2 to 3 pints.

** To test for gel formation, have a plate chilling in the freezer while you cook the jam. Remove the plate and place a spoonful of hot jam onto it. Return it to the freezer for 2 minutes. If the jam moves slowly across the plate when you tilt the plate to one side and/or wrinkles when you press your finger into the edge of the spoonful of jam, then the mixture has cooked enough.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bully Barley

We're trying to introduce ourselves to more of the whole grains in this world. Last night we ate pearled barley. Later this week: spelt. So while Danidoodle and Jesse use these all the time, they are new over here at the house of meat and potatoes. The barley was a huge hit. Patrick even took the leftovers for lunch and asked me to write down what I did. So here it is. For the record. So that I can make it again. Yums.

Saute about 5-10 min:
1 med onion
2 sm heads of garlic (about 5-8 cloves)
2 Tbs butter

Add and stir:
2 Tbs curry
Cook about 5 min.

2 chopped apples
2-3 sausages (hot and Italian)
1 1/2 c pearled barley
3 c. chicken stock

Stir frequently and cook until liquid is absorbed.

Serves 4 with a little bit of leftovers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Carrot Orzo

This carrot orzo from is fantastic. Even Patrick liked it! And it can easily be gluten free.

yield: Makes 4 servings


* 6 ounces peeled baby carrots (about 1 1/4 cups; from 16-ounce package)
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
* 1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 8 ounces)
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
* 1 large garlic clove, minced
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary


Place carrots in processor. Using on/off turns, finely chop carrots. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and carrots; sauté until orzo is golden, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, broth, and garlic; cook uncovered over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese, green onions, and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grandma's Home Brew Eggshell Fertilizer

Earlier one of our number shared a few ideas for solving quotidian problems. Laundry stains, if I remember right. I just thought of something my Grandma used to do. To make a 'fertilizer' for all her flowers (outdoors) she used to take all our egg shells and throw them in a gallon jug with the top cut off. Cover with water. Let them sit. Until they stink. A couple weeks?

This egg shell juice makes a great natural free fertilizer for all your flowers! (And I'm sure it'd be great for tomato plants, as well, as they tend to get blossom end rot when lacking certain nutrients.) I can't speak as to the 'why' it works, but can testify that it does.