Friday, December 27, 2013

The Wheels Are Turning

  It's not quite January but I am already plotting how I'm going to tackle this springs garden. This will be my first early garden so It should be eventful.

  I am hoping to apply what I learned from the summer garden, but apparently this past summer was out-of-the-normal for gardens. This is just the thing that would come my way. I always seen to try a first when everything is all out-of-whack. Technically I think it might actually be a good thing. I mean the more hurdles that are tossed my way just forces me to learn even more.
Cross Pollinated Cucumber

  A few things I learned last year are not to plant some plants by others or they will cross pollinate. For
example; don't plant cucumbers by zucchini.You will get these funny gourd looking cucumbers.
Another tips is to make sure to net your berries or they will be swallowed by the birds.
I also opted not to make raised beds and that will not be happening again.
Beautiful Raised beds a River Banks Zoo

 Being that we have fresh ground to work with, we have a few big projects ahead of us. One being the beds. I must work on that shortly or I might miss my window for planting. I'm such a procrastinator about the things that I think won't take that long.

I feel like I already have a jump on the planning though. I have my seed source ordered, my garden mapped (mostly) and a watering system plotted.

I actually think I might pull out a calender and write out my plan. Go me! That is definitely a first. Here's to getting organized.

A few fun things to look forward to;

11 January Seed Swap at  701 Whaley 10:30-1:00

Smokin at the Farmers Market
“Commissioners Cup”

BBQ Cook Off and Festival
sanctioned by the Southern BBQ Network (SBN)
March 21 & 22 
State Farmers Market

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gluten Me Please

I have heard so many people use the term gluten. I see it on labels, in adds and pretty much anywhere I grab a quick bite.

 Many people have explained what it is to me. They go into great detail about the wheat and process that expands it's reach. So I know what it is, technically. But I never really understood WHAT it was. That was until I happened across a show that said it so plainly that it finally clicked.

It is literally in almost every processed product we, as American's create. Y'all I was shocked to learn that it's even in the glue on envelopes! Envelopes, really?

Here's a quick snippet of the show and all the crazy places you can find it.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday My sister- in-law asked me to make a gluten free stuffing. I have been fortunate enough to not have any food allergies, so shopping with such tight restrictions was something new to me.

I headed to Whole Foods Crosshills knowing they would take me by the hand, and walk me through the madness of products.

 With all the base products in hand, I made my way through checkout confident I could actually pull this off.

I have bee told gluten free breads can be dry and quite bland. To assure this didn't happen with the stuffing, I made two.
Yup, and Im glad I did because the recipe I used really needed some tweaking to get a nice flavor and texture.

Here is what I did ~

wholefoods sandwich bread to make the croutons. Just cut them in squares and baked until brown. Then sautéed onions, shallot, celery and mushrooms. Added salt, sage and thyme and 1/2 cup white wine. Simmered down then added the mixture to the croutons with chicken stock (g free of course) until moist then baked about 20 mins on 325.

Upon my taste test, I decided it needed more moisture so I added two medium eggs to the mixture before baking.