Friday, June 11, 2010


Mr. Claus is an avid mushroom picker. He can find morels where nobody else can. We've had some mighty tasty meals in our married life. He's always wished they grew in our yard like fairy rings do, so every time we clean them we dump the water and trimmings in the grass. I think something finally took:

Here it is in a better perspective, next to my 5 and 6 year old grandsons' hands:

This one will NOT be picked but left in the hope that it has babies.

A Couple of Links

Here are some inks provided by my Facebook friends:

The second post kind of goes along with my beliefs. We have changed how we grow, process and cook our foods. I think our poor overworked bodies are objecting. I did not have the allergies I have now when I was a young adult.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Savory Chicken Thighs

Sometimes, being allergic to so much, I run out of dinner options. Thawed out a bunch of boneless thighs today, and put this together to use them:

Savory Chicken Thighs

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup chopped celery
Salt and pepper
2 tsp butter
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 T potato starch
Cold water
1/4 cup heavy cream

Season chicken with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Melt butter in skillet and shake a few more seasonings over, add celery. Cook until celery starts to soften, push to one side and brown chicken in same pan. Spread the celery evenly around the chicken, sprinkle cilantro over and pour chicken stock over it. Cover and simmer til tender-20 minutes or so-turning once. Remove chicken from pan. Mix water and potato starch, stir in cream. Bring liquid in pan to a boil and whisk in the starch/cream mixture. If it thickens too quickly, add water, a bit at a time until it has a nice gravy like consistency.

Serve chicken and gravy with starch of your choice. We had potatoes but rice or pasta would be heavenly.

There is enough chicken and sauce left that I think I'll make gluten free tortillas tomorrow for chicken enchiladas. I'll just add a chopped jalapeno pepper.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


For the last 25 or so years we have gardened with black plastic. We went to a farmer and bummed an old "ag bag," the bags they blow the chopped hay into. If they're not reused, they just go to the dump, because they cut them open to feed the cows. The outside is white but the inside is black, so we put it in the garden black side up. It is extremely durable-we've never replaced it. (Much to the dismay of a fussy former neighbor, who thought we should throw it away every year!)

We hold it down on the sides with old belting from the cement plant my husband worked at, along with various rocks, bricks and boards we've collected along the way.

Then we cut holes in the plastic-squares ranging in size from 6" to 18". The smaller holes are for beans, peas, corn, etc., while the larger ones are for lettuce, carrots and radishes.

About every third or fourth year we take the plastic off, spread horse manure over, till and replace the plastic, rotating it at least once so there are new areas of soil to plant in. On the off years we use a garden claw and work a bit of manure in each hole. It's not as much work as it sounds and the bonus comes throughout the summer when the water doesn't evaporate as quickly and weeding is minimal. We don't have nearly as much trouble with pests, either. Watering is easy-we just sprinkle. There are enough holes in the plastic that nothing stands on top, it all drains down to the soil.

Even our strawberries are planted in the plastic.

As the garden grows, I'll post pictures of our bounty.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quinoa Salad

Holy cow, it's been a whole month since I posted on my cooking blog! I've been doing a bit of traveling and that always puts one behind. Anyway, I made up this recipe driving home the other day, and to my surprise it turned out really tasty.

Quinoa Salad

1 C quinoa, rinsed
2 C water
salt to taste
1 C dried cranberries
1/2 C finely chopped celery
1 C mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon yellow mustard

Be sure to always rinse the quinoa before cooking-it takes that "grassy" taste away. Cook in salted water 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grain gives off its little white rings. Just before the end of cooking stir in the cranberries.

Let cool, then stir in rest of ingredients. Serve cold. Makes about 8-10 side dish servings.

I'm thinking of having some for breakfast!