Here is a little update on the progress of our winter garden:
We have broccoli!
We almost have red cabbage! (see the small little head amidst the huge outer leaves…)
And we’ve been eating kale, chard and spinach in abundance. Cilantro has made its way into nearly everything.
Oh, and we have oodles of blood red beets!
Our friend Mack spent a week here with us on the farm, gallivanting around the property and visiting local antique stores, but really we spent most of our time in the kitchen cooking up delicious meals. M and I have recently discovered how delicious and cheap homemade hummus and pita are, so we whipped up a batch and followed it the next evening with vegetable pot pie, then blew that out of the water with fried local rockfish, potatoes au gratin and sauteed broccoli, chard and beet greens. Ah, we foodies have such fun.
Beet greens, you say? Absolutely — if you’ve not tasted them, you’re missing out. Beets are actually close cousins to chard, and the greens have a similar flavor. We harvested a few pounds of beets that afternoon for pickling and had to put the remnants to good use!
As it turns out, pickling beets is about the easiest canning exercise I’ve come across to date. We found plenty of recipes, but neither Mack nor I fancy the overly sweet pickled beets you find on the salad bar at Sizzler. Yuck. So we created our own by piecing together a number of different recipes, and using just a pinch of sugar.
So to pickle beets, you simply boil the beets for 40 minutes, peel off the skins, slice them, jar them, and pour over some spices and boiling brine to fill the jar. Then just process them in the boiling water canner. Easy peasy. I can’t wait to add one to a sandwich!
We are keeping our shelves stocked for the winter and are already paging through seed catalogues and planning for what to plant in the spring!