Monday, February 27, 2012

Garden & Table

   Butter crunch bib lettuce has been gracing our table for months now..and will for many more to come. Drizzled with our own dressings and tossed with a few flax seeds; excellent side for roasted meat or a pasta dish.

   Tasty mint transforms into refreshing tea. Our family loves a tall glass of cold mint tea after a long stint of garden work. No sweetener needed..this tea is beyond compare!

   Crisp broccoli, bright green chard, spinach and kale just keep coming. Lightly sauteed with a drizzle of oil, a clove of garlic and a pinch of crushed red peppers..excellent and nutritious!

   Cabbage heads are starting to make their way to the table in the form of crunchy slaw. An occasional sauteed side dish may make an appearance, but only once in a blue moon..I'm not a cooked cabbage fan. We do put up a few crocks of sauerkraut, but not many.  

   Then there are the beets. Now, beets on our little farm are typically fodder right along with turnips and mustard greens, yet..there are a few rare years when they make it inside. Not well grown here in my area, beet tops are generally all we harvest; dried or fresh the flock and herd love them. When the roots come in at any decent number I see it as God's guidance to make my grandmother's pickled beets (the one and only way you will ever see me eat a beet). Let me share her recipe as she gave it to us.

Pickled Beets

the base

1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon 
2 Tablespoons salt

Place in a heavy sauce pan and bring to boil, ensuring the sugar dissolves. Pour this over beets in canning jars and seal. Makes 6 pints.
To get fresh beets ready to pickle cook beets with tails and 2 inches of tops still on. Cook until skin rubs off. Dice and put in jars.

   That's it..unless you count the tripled version she had noted on the side of the recipe. Basically beets are a tricky crop everywhere and she made them according to how many were harvested. The base was made up in batches after the beets were prepared and she knew how much she needed. I only recall one other beet dish she served and it was a cooked buttered beet and as far as I know we do not have her recipe. Just as well...if I am eating beets it is because they are her pickled ones and I am honoring her memory. Otherwise the livestock can have them!!

   Hope you all are planning and preparing for garden and table days of you own!!


Heidi said...

Your produce looks great and your cabbage (in particular) looks fabulous. Thank you for sharing your Grandma's recipe for pickled beets. The ingredients are yummy. I hope to try this in a few months.

Clint Baker said...

I started planting some of my veggies yesterday inside! I can't wait to get things going full go.

Deborah Jean at Dandelion House said...

Beautiful produce and yummy recipes too! Looks and sounds scrumptious!

Savories of Life said...

i willl try your recipe as it loos good!

April's Homemaking said...

Your garden produce looks wonderful, I am looking forward to my swiss chard and kale coming on, I haven't had much luck with broccoli, I can't wait for spring planting though!! Your bibb lettuce looks delicious!

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

Yum! Your garden is producing so much already -- that's awesome. I can't wait for the cold to finally leave us alone so we can get back to growing again. Maybe I'll try my luck with some salad already... ;)

Would love for you to share your gardening experiences every Friday on my blog and check out what I'm up to :)