The garden is a constant source of contemplative work for Attila, and food preservation projects for me.
The kale is doing well this year, we have had two harvests to date. Last year we blanched and froze the kale. This year, to save freezer space, I decided to dehydrate it. We found that chopping the frozen kale, kohlrabi leaves, spinach, Swiss chard, and beet greens, was not enjoyable. Perhaps a powder would work better for us. We shall see.
Two batches of kale were dehydrated, it took ten hours in the electric dehydrator each time. Then the leaves went into the little blender, and were reduced to about a cup and a half of kale powder. A teaspoon or so of this powder will be added to most of the meals I prepare, such a Spaghetti, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Sweet and Sour Chicken with Vegetables, and so on.
Dill weed was harvested over the weekend. It was set to dehydrate in a mesh dehydrator, which is hung on the porch clothes line during the day, and on the bathroom shower rod at night. The process takes days and days, unlike the electric dehydrator used for the kale.
It is early days in the garden. We are eating green salads every day now, as our lettuces are doing well. A few mature beets were harvested over the weekend and they are delicious. The greens are used for my lunch, sauteed with a garden zucchini, onions, garden garlic, and garden edible pod peas.
I have found certain foods that seldom trigger the nausea I have been experiencing since Christmas 2021. Breakfast is always the same.
1/3 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon ground flax
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 apple peeled and diced
These ingredients go into a large bowl, then microwaved for 1 minute and 30 seconds twice, stirring in between.
For years now the apples purchased are “almost perfect” items. These are apples that didn’t make the cut to sell at regular prices. The shape and size are usually odd, but the fruit is good. One, and only one, bag of apples received was unripe, red delicious. They did not look unripe, quite the contrary, it was not detectable until they were peeled. Green apples are not pleasant to eat, but were consumed nevertheless. Waste not, want not. The most recent bag of apples are Ambrosia and they are wonderful.
Winter lunches are always some kind of vegetable rich soup, chicken noodle, or stone soup primarily, with a piece of whole grain toast, and dab of sodium free margarine. Attila takes sandwiches on homemade bread to work, along with homemade muffins or squares, and a helping of pickled vegetable from our garden, and Switchel as a beverage. Attila’s job is physically taxing in a hot environment, so he needs foods and beverages that keep his electrolytes in balance.
Summer lunches come from the garden, stir fries with whatever greens and vegetables are ready, tossed with noodles, and seasoned with a bit of garlic plus spice.
Winter dinners are usually prepared in the Instant Pot, we have a lot of dishes we like, all of them vegetable rich. All one pot meals are prepared with mixed vegetables added, and using homemade vegetable broth. The vegetable broth is made from collected vegetable scraps. There are a great variety of scraps throughout the summer, and in the winter that variety diminishes and the scrap bag consists primarily of onion and carrot. Salad greens are not consumed in the winter, when they are out of season where we live.
Summer dinners include a green salad whenever possible, and vegetables from the garden such as peas, Swiss chard, beets, etc. Red meat is consumed once a week, occasionally two times a week, in the form of homemade pork sausage patties, or ground beef used to make soups or casseroles. Fish is consumed at least once a week, in the form of air fried haddock/sole or whatever we can access at the time, as homemade salmon patties, or as tuna noodle casserole. Chicken is for special occasions, and usually consists of a roasted chicken breast shared between us. From time to time we indulge in sodium free corn chips, served with our homemade salsa verde. Our summer diet is more diverse than our winter diet.
We came through the heat wave easily. The mornings were lovely for sitting out on the back porch, and working in the garden. The afternoons were spent comfortably indoors with the thermostat.
The air source heat pump is wonderful for cooling in the summer, and heating in the winter. Our new system will include an air source heat pump, an electric furnace for weather below -28C, and a wood stove to keep us going in the event of power failures. The installs will be done in July, in theory at least.
Yesterday the weather was cooler. I love it! The daytime high was 22C. Every window in the house was open, all day long. The air was fresh and wonderful, and occasionally the scent of Granny’s Roses wandered in through the kitchen window.
We live near farms. Farms need to do things that smell bad. There are days when the farmers are spreading manure. Manure spreading days aren’t as nice for open windows.
The surgeon’s office called yesterday to book my surgery for July, as the surgeon requested that it be booked at the first available opening. This is a little scary, but a relief at the same time.
Updated on Tue, Jun 28, 8:45 AM
A few clouds
Wind 8 NW km/h
Humidity 76 %
Visibility 21 km
Sunrise 5:26 AM
Wind gust 12 km/h
Pressure 102 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:55 PM
“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.”
Learning seems to build on itself, the “muscles” develop slowly over time, their use becomes habitual. Some people enjoy this type of “exercise”, as some people enjoy physical activity.
Many (perhaps most) have not learned to enjoy learning, and avoid it, opting for the intellectual “couch potato” approach to life. Knee jerk fear thinking is the result, and fear is easily led. Humans are limited in this way, we are the disadvantaged species on planet earth.