Veggie Mania

The other day, I commented to twitter that it’s time to bring in my plants from outside. For me this includes a thyme plant, a lemon thyme plant (neither of which grew in the slightest, but neither of which died back at all either), and an asparagus fern. There’s also some really cute volunteer flowers and some volunteer chives in pots my landlords left, but those can stay where they are. I’ll harvest the remainder of the chives, chop them up and freeze them.

My friend, Ellen responded, “I stood by my back windows and contemplated the huge task of harvesting the backyard… Too much food.” Assuming she meant that there’s just a lot of work getting all the food from her copious garden into her house, I volunteered to help.

No. That’s not what she meant at all. She meant there’s way too much food for three people, her and her two friends who help her garden. So when I showed up to help harvest, that’s when I found out I was gleaning from her backyard.

So, glean we did. I was glad Bill was there to help me decide what to take and to carry. When all was said and done, this is what came home with us.

A little bit of this, I’m going to share with our friend Rob. I’m going to freeze a lot of it. Bill is looking forward to several of those tomatoes becoming a beer tomato sauce I’m working on inventing1. And some of this, I’m looking forward to learning a new skill with. A goodly chunk of it, like that one lonely cucumber and some of the carrot, is going to become munchies for Bill’s birthday tomorrow.

The big brown mass in the middle is horseradish root. I’m going to try to make sauce from it without dying. The leafy bright green stuff in the glass is lovage. I’m going to try to learn how/if I can substitute it for celery in mirepoix. At least the leaves. I hear a stem can make a great straw for a Bloody Mary, but I doubt that’s the case after freezing, and I have enough stems that I can’t not freeze them. A small amount of kale.

This is all on top of food we had from our CSA

So far, I have made only a few things. Kale chips with kale from Ellen and our CSA. Pesto from some pecans, Parmesan and the carrot leaves. I made eggs and greens for breakfast this morning, but that was all CSA.

Tomorrow, I’ll make hummus and chop some of these for dipping in the hummus. Maybe I’ll use the lovage stems here. Tonight I’m hoping to make a pasta with some or all of the beets and the beet greens, but we’ll see how that goes.

But I need help with the green tomatoes. I have a few big ones that I’m going to slice and try my hand at fried green tomato slices. But I have a bunch of green cherry tomatoes. My mother-in-law suggested to Bill that we deep fry those, and we might, but I don’t think we can manage all of them.

I could also use help with the chard stems. I don’t love them. Rob Gardner suggested a gratin. He said he didn’t enjoy pickled stems last year. I may also try pickling some, as I have a LOT of chard stems. I’d still welcome other ideas, though. Repeat: I have a LOT of chard stems. Or, at least, several chard stems that are each, themselves, the equivalent of four or five of the stems I’m normally used to.

We get another CSA delivery tomorrow night. I’ll keep you guys at least a little posted on our adventures.

fn1. I threw together a bunch of stuff and it was fabulous. I know a lot what I did, so we’re going to see if we can replicate it/come close to making the same sauce, and make a real recipe out of it. As Bill pointed out, this is heartbreaking for me, because it requires I buy a bunch of a beer I love. Dang.

2 thoughts on “Veggie Mania

  1. I’m a little bit addicted to browsing TheKitchn lately, and I was also searching for chard ideas after last week’s CSA delivery. Not sure if you’ll enjoy any of these ideas, but figured I’ll pass them along anyway:

    Do you like fennel by the way? Because I was a little bit sad when I found out we might get some this week. I cannot stand the stuff, and I’d be happy to pass it along to someone who appreciates it.

    • TheKitchn has definitely shown up more and more in my searches of “what the heck do I do with THIS?” It’s a great site.

      As for the chard stems, I learned that I generally don’t like them by practicing #5 (cook them with the leaves, but longer). After struggling with gagging them down for awhile, I admitted this to myself and moved to #4 (freeze them for veggie stock). With the amount I get from Tomato Mountain, this has never brought up any guilt or anything. But the stems from Ellen are HUGE and I just kind of felt there had/has to be something I can do with them. Alas, as I leave tomorrow, I think I am accepting that they’re becoming veggie stock too. If only I had a composter for after I was done making veggie stock.

      I hate fennel too. I’m trying to figure out who to give our ENORMOUS bulb of the stuff. I have a friend who said he’d take it last night, but we saw him out of the house and after delivery and we almost never see each other, so maybe we’ll manage it, maybe it will go to Rob.

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