Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Potato Salad from the Garden and Around The Garden.

Dear Folks,

There is nothing more satisfying to a gardener to create great tasting meal options directly from the garden.

The other day I harvested onions, dried and also caramalized them in a crock pot.

I my pantry I had dried Rosemary, Celery and Mexican Oregano all harvested from my garden and dried for storage.

In mid-May I harvested a variety of colored potatoes from the garden, just waiting in my kitchen basket for use.  In the top of the picture I show some of the potatoes I harvested.  I put the small ones aside in a cardboard box in the frig for planting next January 1st.

Yesterday was Potato Salad day.

After the onions finished cooking in the crock pot, in the bottom was dried/cooked remnants called "fond" by the chefs.  I decided it would be great to flavor the cooking water for the potatoes, so I soaked the fond in water, scrapped it all up and saved.

My Potato Salad Recipe

My potato salads tend to be basic components and I "wing" anything else.  I generally for what is called "German-type" versions which call for draining the hot potatoes, and immediately add oil (I opted for Olive Oil this time, I frequently use avocado), sufficient to coat the potatoes.  Then I start adding.

This was a small batch of potatoes, so I added about a teaspoon of whole celery leaf, rosemary leaves and Mexican Oregano, ground them in my palm for about 1/2 tsp of each.  Sprinkled over the taters.  Peel, and sliced 2 hard boiled eggs.  Added fresh ground black peppers, salt and about 3 tablespoons of the sun cooked onions from the other day (this was shown in my prior post - they barely wilted).  I cooked up 3 slices of un-cured bacon to crisp.  I checked if I needed to add more oil (I did) adjusted the salt and black pepper, tossed everything, then added the crumbled bacon and tossed again.  I added 2 tablespoons of mayo to give a bit more moisture, tossed one more time and it was ready.

So to recap: I used onions, potatoes, and herbs from my garden.  Very satisfying.

To serve, I had a crazy idea and decided on a potato salad sandwich!  Yeah, I know.  Deane was skeptical too but he is such a kind taste tester.  I did not want a lot of bread.  I used those "flatbread rounds," thin sandwich bread 5 grms each of Protein and Fiber because of the high protein/fiber combo.

A bit of mayo spread on the bread stacked about 1 inch high with the salad and served with apples from the tree.

It was a hit, really.  There was something about it - maybe comfort food - but it worked great, so we decided it was a keeper.  :-)

. . .

Around the Garden

One of the tomatoes I planted this year was from seed my sister sent me several years ago from New Jersey "Golden Jubilee".

I was happily checking as it started to ripen and then took a really good look at the cluster of 3 I was looking at.  The ripest one had bugs on it and as I looked closer I saw some in/out activity on the tiniest of holes, so I picked it, made sure there were not more intruders and set aside for a BLT later today.

The other 2 ripening - one has sunburn and the other is looking good.  I am going to let the sunburn one ripen fully and harvest the seeds.

While sitting out on the patio last night just as the twilight was approaching, Deane pointed out the Crescent Moon.  Because of my angle when I turned to look at it, what I was a leaf cutter "watermelon" citrus leaf high up and just framing the moon.  It called for a picture.

Finally, I am posting a picture illustrating the main mantra I seem to be repeating right now.  It is not about shading the plants, it is about shading the soil.

The picture is of one of my 22 inch wide pots.  I transplanted 2 small sweet pepper plants in May and tucked in there if you look closely are 2 moringa trees in small pots.  They are sitting on the soil surface temporarily because I have not figured out where to plant them yet.  I allowed the purslane (edible wild vegetable) to grow up and shelter the soil surface, all while giving all the plants the direct sun they needs. The pot sits in mostly full sun all day with late afternoon shade from a tree.  See how lush they all look?  The pepper has quadrupled in size and has flower buds on it (a variety I got from Vilardi Gardens I am eager to taste.  Suzanne Vilardi has the best Arizona Grown transplants.

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Have a great rest of the week.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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