I’ve been trying to get the kids into stop motion animation this summer. I think they’ll like this one. (see the animation after the jump) (more…)

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And the first crop is… cilantro

Apparently the cilantro that we let turn into coriander (cilantro seeds) last summer took advantage of a long winter in the ground and has leapt out as our first crop of the year. We had a cilantro sauce with some Peruvian chicken awhile back that was unforgettable, and I found a comparable recipe on a blog that makes me feel less bad about the infrequency of my own posts. Cilantro (stems and all), lime, jalepeño, olive oil and garlic. Pair it with the infallible carnitas from Homesick Texan on a freshly grilled corn tortilla and life is good.


The cilantro patch gone wild.


Chopped and ready for the food processor.


The final sauce. 15 minutes later this bowl was 90% empty.


Eat them in the yard or drip all over your shirt, dude.


Bean Season

The garden is in pretty rough shape this year, having been ignored for 3 weeks while we travelled and not getting enough water in general. But the beans are soldiering on, so much so that we got to can some pickled beans.


Lazy on the vine — these ones will be ready in a couple days.


Ready to process.


Spicy beans with red chili flakes added.


Lemons + herbs for the win

This summer we added two new recipes to our family repertoire. First, on a whim one day while playing tourist down at the Pike Place Market we bought a baby shark for Robbie. Which was actually a trout but he didn’t need to know that. We brought it home, filled the fish with sliced lemons, rosemary, mint, lavender, thyme, and oregano, tied it up, and put it on the grill for a couple minutes a side. Miracle of miracles, the kids devoured it, and then played pretend with the bones for the rest of the afternoon. In the times since, Hannah has been enthusiastic all they way until it came time to actually eat the fish, but Robbie still loves Grilled Baby Shark with Local Herbs and Imported Lemons.


Our other new tradition is lemonade made by mashing up lemon slices with sugar and herbs. One time we tried it with honey and it was pretty tasty that way too. And after the kids go to bed if there are any leftovers, a little (or a lot of) vodka makes for a mighty fine cocktail. Pretty much the same herbs as the last time – rosemary, mint, lavendar, and thyme. I usually skip the oregano for some reason.


We were in Bellingham for a music festival and there was a great hippie/hipster (getting harder and harder to tell the difference) lemonade stand, where you could have mix-ins added to your drink. I had a blueberry-ginger lemonade, and the kids got basil raspberry. The truly hipster part was that it came in a mason jar that you had to bring back to the stand to get your dollar deposit back. All this to say that if you treat your lemonade well, it will show you respect and be delicious. If you make it from a can, you’re on your own, and results may vary.


Picked and Pickled Beans

We’ve had good luck in the last couple years putting some beans in a little late in the season (maybe June-ish) and having them do really well. So usually when the peas are starting to peter out, I start thinking beans. This year was no different, and though they were growing really well I wasn’t paying close attention to them.



I stuck my head in the bean-pole the other day and realized we had a ton of beans just on the verge of getting too big and turning mealy, so I started picking, and pretty soon I had to go get a bigger box to fill. I ended up with a really good harvest of beans, maybe 8 or 10 pounds, so pickled beans were called for. My grandma Jackie made them and I still remember loving them, still a little crispy, straight from the jar.

Alicia got to work today and canned up 20 pints (one cracked during processing so we ended up with 19). Pretty impressive for a totally home-spun canning operation, since we didn’t make it to Yakima this year. Now to figure out what to do with all these plums…

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