Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2011 Garden - Seeds ordered and planted

Here are all the seeds we have planted this year, some are coming up and doing well... some not so much.

Dragon Tongue Bush Beans

This famous Dutch heirloom bean has an incomparable flavor. The tender and superbly delicious 7-inch pods are yellow, with amazing purple streaks! Also makes a tasty shelled bean. Popular with chefs and gourmets. Compact plants set high yields.

 Albino Beet

A pure white, fairly smooth, round, heirloom beet from Holland. Its super sweet white flesh is unusual and tasty. The greens are also good. This beet can be used for making sugar. One of the best eating beets we have tried.

Crapaudine Beet

In 1885, the French book, The Vegetable Garden stated this is one of the oldest varieties. Today some experts feel this may be the oldest beet still in existence, possibly dating back 1000 years. This unique variety is one of the most flavorful, with carrot-shaped roots that have rough, dark colored skin which looks like tree bark. Inside, the roots are very dark, with almost black flesh that is of superior quality and sought after by chefs who want real flavor.

Golden Beet

This variety dates back to the 1820's or before. The beets are a rich, golden-yellow and very sweet. A beautiful beet that won't bleed like red beets. The greens are also very tasty.

Lovely, lemon-yellow roots have sweet, bright yellow flesh. Good for a summer to fall crop; large 8-inch roots and strong tops.

 Atomic Red Carrot

Brilliant red carrots are so healthy and unique-looking, sure to add color to your garden. The 8-inch roots are high in lycopene, which has been shown in studies to help prevent several types of cancer. Crisp roots are at their best when cooked, and this helps to make the lycopene more useable.

De Bourbonne Cucumber

Tiny pickling cucumbers are ready in about 50 days. This old French heirloom is used to make the 2" long Cornichon pickles that are so tasty. Still popular in France for this purpose. High yielding vines will be popular with all those who preserve food.

Early Russian Cucumber

This early heirloom was introduced in 1854. It produces loads of short, medium-green fruit over a very long season. They are mild and sweet in flavor and uniform in shape. The vines are quite hardy, making it perfect for northern areas with short seasons; a great little cucumber for salads or pickles.

Gele Tros or Yellow Dutch Cucumber

This is a large yellow cucumber that was popular in Holland for making yellow sliced pickles. The Dutch call this cucumber the “ancient race”. The ripe fruit are quite colorful in their sunny yellow color. A fine old strain that is very rare now even in Europe.

Parisian Pickling Cucumber

The old French gherkin or cornichon pickler. Listed in America in 1892 by Gregory. Great for making tiny sweet pickles. Rare. 

Sikkim Cucumber
The historic cucumber of "Sikkim". Fat, large fruit can reach 15 inches long by 6 inches wide. The ripe fruit is a unique rusty red color and is good eaten cooked or raw. In Asia cucumbers are often stir-fried and are quite tasty. This variety is grown in the Himalayas of Sikkim and Nepal. Sir Joseph Hooker first discovered it in the eastern Himalayas in 1848. Here is part of what he wrote about it: "So abundant were the fruits, that for days together I saw gnawed fruits lying by the natives' paths by the thousands, and every man, woman and child seemed engaged throughout the day in devouring them." 

Minnesota Midget
This very small, very early heirloom was introduced in Minnesota in 1948. Measuring just 4 inches across, they have sweet, orange flesh and are perfect miniature versions of the "Classic Muskmelon". Compact, 3-4-foot vines produce good yields. I fondly remember these as the only melons our family could get to ripen in Charlo, Montana, about 20 years ago.

Charentias Melon

A famous, superb heirloom. A French 2-3 lb. melon with light grey-green skin. The bright orange flesh is super sweet and very fragrant.

Valencia Winter Melon

A rare old-time melon that was listed by American seedsmen in the 1830's but probably goes back much further; believed to come from Italy. Can keep four months into the winter. Very sweet cream colored flesh and dark green skin; rare and delicious.

Australian Brown Onion

Introduced in 1897 by W. Atlee Burpee; medium sized flattened bulbs, flavorful and pungent, yellow brown.

Bianca De Maggio 
Flat, Italian "cipollini" variety. These delicious, small white onions command a high price at specialty markets. Very sweet and mild, used in Italy for pickling, grilling and in salads.

Chinese Five Color Pepper

Screaming hot little peppers turn a rainbow of vibrant colors; from purple, cream, yellow, orange to red as they ripen.

Purple Jalapeno

A large Jalapeno pepper that turns deep purple before maturing to red. Full Jalapeno flavor and heat; great for salsa and other Mexican foods. Plants both productive and ornamental.

Red Mushroom Pepper
Wrinkled, flying saucer-shaped fruit are so unique looking. They are flat, 2 inches
across and a glowing red color when ripe. Very hot with a superb, fruity flavor and unique taste that keeps you wanting more. One of the prettier and tastier peppers you will grow, especially if you like them hot! Attractive plants set huge yields as long as you have lots of warm summer days. 

Giant of Sicily
Large 2-inch round summer radishes are bright red in color. Tasty and good quality. We offer pure Italian seed for this heirloom from Sicily. 

Long Black Spanish Radish
Long 9-inch black roots have pure white flesh that is crisp and pungent. This long version of Black Spanish is much harder to find than the round. For fall plantings. This is a very old European heirloom. 

Round black Spanish Radish
Large 5-inch winter type, probably grown since 16th century or before. Near-black skin and snowy white flesh; will keep all winter in good conditions. Fine, fairly hot flavor, good raw or cooked.

Cocozella di Napoli

Long, slender fruit are ribbed, pale greenish-yellow and striped with dark green; very firm and flavorful flesh; a unique and tasty Italian heirloom. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


All of my seed ordering has been done for about a month.   In 2009, Mac and I decided that we would only plant non GMO and heirloom seeds and that we would try and learn to save seeds.   We found a site (Council for Responsible Genetics) where you seed companies have signed a pledge as to whether or not they sell genetically modified seeds.    So last year we only bought seeds from companies that signed this list.   But, there was one particular company I fell in love with - Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - and this year all of my seeds came from them, they have the largest collection of heirloom seeds in the country.    I am going to do a separate post about what we ordered... but check out their website... they are fantastic.

We also tried our hand at saving seeds...spending  the summer collecting some seeds and this year we planted -  with our fingers crossed - an entire flat of saved seeds.  We have already had success with our seed saving - I let my lettuce bed go to seed at the end of the summer and in the fall I cut all the flowers and sprinkled them into the bed.   We now are watching lettuce come up... and will be eating it by April. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mixed Tape - February 2011 Edition

Yes... it is true... I have been AWOL for a month.  Ugh.   What a bad blogger I am.   I will promise you I haven't been loafing around watching soap operas and eating bon bons.   I am creating life here people (Mac tells me he created the life... I am just growing it... whatever).    Anyway, been listening to some new music and I made another compilation last month, yeah I am even late with the music.    This one is good.   I, like everyone else have flipped for Adele's new CD... go get it now people.   Another favorite in this mix is Foster the People's Pumped up Kicks... which every time I hear it reminds me of my friend Sara... who always calls 'em kicks.  I love that. 

One other thing that delayed the posting of last months mix was that I got the brilliant idea that I would start making a widget for the blog on Grooveshark.com that contained that months mix.   I thought it would be awesome if you all could stream the mix from my blog and get a sample.   Well that didn't work out too well... Grooveshark kept rejecting my MP3's and was not very user friendly.   I am going to try it one more time before I give Grooveshark the finger for good... anyone have any tips on using Grooveshark  or any better sites for building a musical widget please, please let me know.

1.   Young Blood – The Naked and Famous
2.   Sydney – Brett Dennen
3.   Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
4.   Calamity Song – The Decemberists
5.   Love is Endless - MoZella
6.   Rolling in the Deep – Adele
7.   Cat and Mouse – Nickki & Rich
8.   Under Cover of Darkness – The Strokes
9.   Fade Like a Shadow – KT Tunstall
10. Second Chance – Peter Bjorn and John
11. Come Home – Chappo
12. I want the world to Stop – Belle and Sebasitan
13. The Brightest Star – Chazz Valentine
14. I Follow Rivers – Lykke Li
15. Aberdeen – Cage the Elephant
16. My Name is Trouble – Keren Ann
17. Quiet Hours – Wild Nothing

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Should of gotten me one of these things years ago....

My dear sweet husband... last night upon request whipped out a entirely from scratch peach pie... eat your hearts out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weeknight dinner: Vegetarian Greek Burgers

 Conversation at the B-Mac household last night....

Mac: What's for dinner
B: Greek Burgers, they are vegetarian
Mac: Tilts his head in confusion, much like Moxie
B: I am trying to cook meatless one night a week
Mac: Ok, as long as we can have a veggie-less dinner one night a week

Funny guy!

I found this recipe while surfing the web last week (sorry to the blogger who posted it... I can't find you again... I will keep trying) and I made it last night.   It was a quick delicious burger (say it like Fabio people) and I mean quick, if it weren't for the Alexia waffle fries which needed 30 minutes of oven time... I would have been done with this in 15 minutes.  Of course, that is assuming you made your Tatziki the night before, which you SHOULD do. 

I am committed to making a vegetarian meal once a week... I can't seem to get a handle on cooking with tofu so I am searching for great recipes (PLEASE let me know if you have some... I would love it if you would help my cause).   If you all are interested there is a blog out there called Meatless Mondays... check it out.

Vegetarian Greek Burgers
Next time I make this recipe I will add a bit of chopped scallion to the burger mix... I think it needs a bit of onion.

1/4 cup  olive oil
1 clove  garlic, minced
1 tsp.  dried oregano
1  tsp.  dried dillweed
1 cup  herb-seasoned stuffing mix
2  eggs, lightly beaten
1  10-oz. pkg.  frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup  feta cheese, crumbled (2 oz.) |
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted|

Toppers such as crumbled feta cheese, plain yogurt, sliced roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and/or sliced red onion (optional)


1. In medium bowl combine oil, garlic, oregano, dillweed, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Stir in stuffing mix to coat thoroughly. Stir in egg, spinach, and 1/2 cup crumbled feta; mix well. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.
2. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned and heated through.
3. Serve in buns with assorted toppers. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, February 7, 2011

They are all mine....

The Portlandia clip Put a Bird on It, has made me think a lot the past week about design - particularly the design trends we all get caught up in... like granite; avocado appliances; brass fixtures; mass-produced, over-sized, cheap leather club chairs; laminate wood floors... the list goes on.   What always trips me up these days... fake animal heads.   Tell me you don't see them EVERYWHERE, I do because when I do see them they always stop me in my tracks.   I am sure you are all having visions of my house as being covered in wood and ceramic animal heads, but it is not, most of the reproductions are a bit out of my price range for a tchotchke.

Anthropologie released these beauties in their new spring catalog - they are wall hooks!   I bought them today... thank you Piper, I finally used the gift card you gave me a million years ago!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So... last night I watched one of the episodes I had recorded of the show on IFC called Portlandia... Oh and what a  fantastic little bit of awesomeness it is... yes indeed.   I think they should make a show about every city... I could do some serious writing for the D.C., San Francisco and Denver versions...

Here is more info on Portlandia.

Shelly... have you watched this yet?