This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

store bought vegetables

store bought vegetables
Chinese broccoli sprouts

My garden supply of fresh vegetables has ended. I still have lots of root vegetables, squash and pumpkins, but I've run out of greens. Today I bought a fridge full at the supermarket.

Maybe its just that I don't usually go through the vegetable isles, but I had fun seeing all sorts of new things on the shelves. Something called Chinese broccoli looked interesting. I bet it'll be good chopped and stir fried. I wonder if this is a good home garden crop?

And I was amazed at all the different types of sprouts. Sunflower, basil, alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli. Amazing! I bought something called "Rainbow Blend". The package says, "Ingredients: newly sprouted arugula, amaranth, bulls blood beet, celery, parsley, red cabbage, purple kohlrabi, rainbow chard, red giant mustard, mizuna, red russian kale, pac choi." Wow! And it gets a premium price. $3.99! for a very small package. I've never grown my own sprouts, but will look into this as soon as I get my lights and shelves up after the holidays.

Something about going back to supermarket salads - I chopped up all sorts of things - tomatoes, cukes, red peppers, fresh young vidalia onions, avocado and the sprouts. It all tastes so mild. Ahh, the bland, even flavor of winter salads.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to share- Sprouting is super easy, all you need is a jar, a cheesecloth and a rubber band. you rinse the seeds, then put the jar upside down in a bowl or other container, at an angle. Keep in a dark spot and rinse a few times daily until the "tails" are the length you prefer. You can sprout just about anything, too.

December 16, 2009 11:42 PM

 
Blogger Laura said...

Chinese broccoli (gai lan) is tasty! It's a little more strongly flavored than western brocc and can sometimes be bitter. I like to blanch or steam it a little before stir-frying it, and eat it with a sweet sauce like hoisin.

It's a super easy garden crop to grow. I can usually get two plantings in before the big broccoli heads up, and it doesn't bolt. Every spring I plant more gai lan and less brocc. It's good stuff.

I like the seeds from botanical interests (they call it chinese kale).

December 17, 2009 12:09 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,

A friendly heads up about your layout. Although it displays properly in other browsers, it's off in IE.
The culprit is this background in the #content portion of your css:
background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/no565/bg_content.gif") repeat-y left top;
It shouldn't be there.

Have a nice day.

December 17, 2009 8:11 AM

 
Blogger kathy said...

Thank you sooo much! What wonderful comments. I am excited to try gai lan, and to set up a jar to grow sprouts. And - I fixed the blog problem in about 2 seconds! My husband told me about the format problem but I had no idea how to fix it. Thanks!

December 17, 2009 9:57 AM

 
Blogger Dan said...

What would we do for winter produce without California, might have to live on purple kohlrabi... :-) I picked up the same bags of key limes about a month ago. Made a key lime pie and juiced/froze the other bag.

December 17, 2009 3:39 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

Thanks for the lime idea Dan. I love the flavor of key limes and buy a bag every winter, but often don't use them all before they go bad. I will juice and freeze them after a few days. Great.

And that key lime pie sure sounds good! I'm almost tempted to make one. We like to go down to Mrs Mac's Kitchen on Key Largo to hang out at the bar and eat key lime pie. That would be the place to be about now.

I am planning to make some guacamole with key limes tonight. And maybe fajitas with key lime marinade too. And I probably need a key lime margarita with it.

December 17, 2009 6:03 PM

 
Blogger victoria T. said...

We have avocados here, Kathy, right off the tree. The problem is we have to get them before the little night-time critters do. Makes me think we should set up a light out there to see who these avocado robbers are. We usually cut away the critter damage and they are just as succulent as ever. We are being spoiled.

December 17, 2009 7:57 PM

 
Blogger Dan said...

Mrs Mac's Kitchen looks nice, could certainly use some of that atmosphere this time of year. I love key limes to, so good. The pie is really easy to make, just a graham crust, custard filling with egg, condensed milk, sugar & juice and topped with whipped cream. I can find the recipe and e-mail it to you if you want?

December 17, 2009 11:40 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

Thanks for the offer Dan. I'll just imagine it. I'm really not much of a cook. :(

Tonight my husband grilled salmon (inside) and we squeezed a few key limes on it. Delicious. I made something in between a salsa and guacamole - with avocado, tomato, garlic and key lime. Yummy. I also made the mei pan (Chinese Broccoli) by par boiling then stir frying in walnut oil with cayenne flakes and sesame seeds. (Excellent!) My son sauteed thin-sliced garden potatoes and store bought sweets. I'll imagine the key lime pie for desert.....

December 18, 2009 12:17 AM

 
Anonymous Debra said...

Come to the Winter Farmers' Markets! There are many to be found this season — you can search at localharvest.org for one closest to you. The one we have in Exeter might be closer but the one in Rollinsford (this weekend) is worth the drive. 40+ vendors, many with fresh, farm-raised fare. No need to buy bland store-bought food! www.seacoasteatlocal.org

December 18, 2009 9:16 AM

 
Blogger Matron said...

I must admit that supermarket veggies are convenient when you don't have the time, or out of season when you can't grow them. How did they taste?

December 18, 2009 1:58 PM

 
Blogger bzwax said...

We are so used to no flavor in our veggies that garden (especially heirloom varieties) is just amazingly tasty!

That chinese broc looks like something I'm growing that's called chinese kale according to the seed packet (Botanical Interests). Veeery easy to grow, very fast to harvest , hardy and yummy! It's ready to pick now under cover.

Love the info about the winter farmer's market!

December 19, 2009 1:35 PM

 
Anonymous Patrick said...

There's a whole family of greens, often called Japanese greens, that includes things like the Chinese Broccoli you have as well as Bok Choy and some similar greens. If you save seeds, many of them will cross with each other and are often grown as a sort of mixed gene pool green. They are in vogue at the moment, and indeed make a good home garden plant in most places.

The trick with these is they grow fast, and can't tolerate summer heat. In most places you should plant in August, and harvest late fall. I'm not sure if they would work well in your climate or not...

I was just looking into them too, and thinking about growing them next year.

December 19, 2009 2:56 PM

 
Blogger MUDNYC said...

I feel you about the bland supermarket veggies -- I just had the most WONDERFUL local salad last night -- it was winter spinach and root veggies grown at a farm a few miles away. Oh so rich and yummy, I wanted to roll around in it!

December 19, 2009 3:46 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

I think I'll look for a few seed mixes year. Its a good way to get variety in a small space. I enjoyed the flavor of the Chinese broccoli.

December 19, 2009 10:08 PM

 
Anonymous viagra online said...

With Chinese broccoli had the opportunity to cook .. but I recommend bleach before it gives a half bitter taste ...

May 26, 2010 1:45 PM

 

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