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.


Bacon Jam: Stocking Stuffer Edition

I planned to swing by Skillet Diner and pick up a jar of Bacon Jam for my brother Alex’s stocking, but I realized that I could probably make it cheaper, and then I would have more to give away. A quick search got me this recipe, which looked pretty good, and I was off and running. It is basically equal parts bacon and onions, cooked down for hours and hours with garlic, coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vinegar to round out the flavors.

So how does bacon jam taste, you may want to know. I won’t resort to the superlatives that the other blog did about this stuff, but I will say it’s pretty tasty. It won’t change your life, but it would definitely improve a burger. When it finished cooking at midnight or so, I decided to test it with an egg poached in plastic wrap (testing a breakfast I was planning for the family getaway) and it definitely satisfied that late-night fat- and salt-tooth that I could really do without. Alicia said it was sweeter than she expected, but it is called jam, after all.

A personal note and disclaimer on bacon: I am not usually one to want to wrap everything I see in bacon. We do have a freezer full of it from buying half a pig earlier this year, though, so access isn’t a problem. However, this month I not only made bacon jam as a stocking stuffer, I also brought bacon-chocolate-chip-pecan cookies to a Cookie Exchange Party. And when I noticed that I was almost out of Bacon Salt (a stocking stuffer I received – and secretly mocked – last year), I thought, “I wouldn’t mind more of that.” Hmmmm…. I may need to re-examine the cool distance I try to maintain from bacon-obsessed dudes who are weaving bacon baskets to hold a dozen pigs sculpted in foie gras (or other ridiculous things…).


Garlic hairstyles

In a good year, we have time to braid our garlic. Last year it all got dumped in a box and didn’t hold up very well. This year, I’ve settled for the messy bun approach in lieu of braiding. Not as pretty, but hopefully effective.


Garlic peeking

Our garlic is looking happy and healthy in the ground for next fall’s crop.  This is the only successful propagating we have done so far this year (or ever).  We used last year’s garlic to plant this year’s and so had no need to buy anything to get another crop.  Having a self propagating garden is our sustainable dream, but apparently reading one library book on the subject did not give us enough understanding to pull it off.  Hopefully this year we can choose better varieties and see if anything sprouts next spring.

Written by alicia in: Food,Garden | Tags: , | No Comments

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