Sunday, November 28, 2010

Plant A Row For The Hungry

Territorial Seed Company was giving away free carrot seeds for gardeners that would plant extra in order to help feed people in need. The instructions were simple, plant these free seeds in extra space in your garden and donate the veges to a food bank, soup kitchen or a neighbor in need. This act is a vintage concept of community that was pervasive in earlier days and was also a key concept in the book Radical Homemaker by Shannon Hayes.

I enjoyed this book tremendously. Thanks Julie for recommending this book!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am a bit late on harvesting the carrots. I just didn't make time to harvest them earlier. It's one of the benefits of gardening with root vegetables and many winter veges, you can harvest them when you need them or when it's convenient to you. There are fewer pests in the winter to ruin your veges so I tend to just water them like I do the rest of my 'plants' and 'go to the garden to fetch dinner' as needed.

Carrots are easy to grow, just make sure to dig and turn the soil about 6-8 inches so the roots can grow freely. They are somewhat forgiving if you forget to water them for a while. Carrots are very nutritous and are easy to cook.

This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Manganese.

You can 'Put By' carrots by canning, dehydrating or freezing. I don't have a pressure canner so I decided to freeze mine. I washed and sliced the carrots into discs, laid out carrots in a single layer on a cookie sheet, placed in chest freezer. This way each carrot was frozen individually and they won't freeze into one, solid block. I can then store in two freezer jars and 'shake out' what I need for recipes. It's very convenint to do it this way.

In this part of Texas, we can grow carrots year round. In fact, I have some new seeds in the ground now. I hope you decide to grow carrots too!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why Girl Scouts?

Smokey Mac & Cheese Casserole

Here's a twist on an old favorite that I love. Smokey Macaroni and Cheese. It's simple to make and is well received by my picky eaters.


4C large elbow macaroni
3 T flour
3 T oil
1 C smokey or regular cheddar
1 C smoked gouda
1 C half & half
1 C sour cream
1/4 t cayenne
1/4 pepper
1 t salt
7 slices of smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Cook macaroni according to directions on package. Make roux with oil and flour, basically heat up oil, stir in flour and adjust flame til mixture boils a little. It is done when roux turns a tan, nutty color. Add the rest of the ingredients starting with half and half. Stir until cheese is melted. Add macaroni. Spoon into baking dish and bake at 350 until toasted on top. For a more moist casserole, cover with foil and bake until hot and bubbly.