Garden Harvest 2012

It’s finally here! Harvest 2012 has arrived!! Justin and I were SUPER excited to start collecting our treasures from the garden over the weekend. It was so nice to see the fruits of our labour from the last 4 months! And I’m very excited to share my excitement with you, dear readers!

Here’s a before shot of the big green garden.

And here’s a before shot of the potato patch. Note the rhubarb leaves in the corner.

Here’s the massive zucchini plant, once harvested and ripped up. He got so big this year!

Here’s my hard working Justin, digging up out potato treasures.

The last of the monster zucchinis! I’m happy that I soon wont have to try and figure out what to do with them anymore. 🙂

Here’s the after shot of the garden, once everything had been pulled and cut, for compost. I left the strawberry patch intact. We are going to get a LOT of ruby reds next year!

Here is an after shot of the potato patch, all dug up.

Now for the fruits (of vegetables) of our labour! Here’s what was left of the rhubarb. I decimated the plant, knowing full well that it will come back in vigor next year.

Check out this awesome carrot! He’s hugging his neighbour!

Ok, from this angle, it looks like he’s trying to take him down… haha!

18 potato plants = this many potatoes! Take a look at these beauties, all washed and ready to roll! They’re so pretty, ern’t they?

Here’s the bulk of the harvest, drying out after a wash.

We got 7 acorn squash! Hot damn! I am so unbelievably excited to showcase some acorn recipes this winter!

Here are the remainder of the green beans. 7 rows was definitely a lot. I liked it. More next year!

And here are all the green tomatoes taken from our cherry tomato plant. They’ll turn red eventually 🙂

Here are also the tasty treats we picked during the pre-harvest frost that happened last week. We got some corn at least, and two decently large buttercup squash (despite the theft of a large one in July)! You’ll definitely be seeing those beauties in future recipes!

And so that concludes the garden posts for 2012. Thanks to everyone who showed interest in our Urban Gardening adventures. Stay tuned for next summer’s awesome endeavors!


Savory Whole Wheat Flat Bread

 

Ah flat bread. It has so much to offer! You can use it as a pizza crust, as a burger bun, or it can even be ripped and dipped into your favourite sauces. Its so versatile and pretty easy to make, which also makes me happy! (Bread recipes intimidate me!)

I started off which a bunch of herbs, spices, oats, flax and flour.

Here’s the ball of dough before it has risen.

 

I took this beauty outside with me on Friday afternoon and did homework in the sun for an hour, where it doubled in size!

I took a chunk and rolled it out.

Next, I popped it into a hot castiron pan.

Then I flipped it over to a nice brown crust.

This recipe made about 8 medium sized flat breads.

Which were perfect for that evening’s dinner of homemade salmon burgers (Recipe to come!)

Jacquie’s Awesome Savory Whole Wheat Flat Bread (Courtesy of Joy the Baker)

1.5 cup warm water, about 95 degrees F

2 package (about 2 1/2 teaspoons) dry instant yeast

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

3.5 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons uncooked old fashioned oats

1 tablespoon flax seed

1 tsp each of your favourite herbs (I used rosemary and Italian seasoning)

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, oats, flax, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the hot water. Bring mixture together with a fork, until all of the flour bits are moistened, and the dough is shaggy.  Dump out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to bring together.

Coat the medium bowl with a teaspoon of olive oil and place dough ball in bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.  Dough will double in size.

When dough has rested and risen, dump out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into six equal pieces.

Heat a non stick pan (I used my cast iron) over medium heat.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough piece until thin.  Place dough round in the ungreased, hot pan.  Cook on one side for 1 to 2 minutes, until browned on the bottom and slightly puffed.  Flip and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes.  Remove from pan and serve warm. Enjoy!


Sour Cherry Pie

It’s that time of year again – That’s right, it’s pie time! This year, I decided to try my hand at making my own pie crust, because, well, why not?

To keep with my healthy grain intake as of late, I used Gold Forest Grain‘s Soft White Wheat. It turned out great!

I put the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor.

These Evans Cherries came from an Operation Fruit Rescue pick. I probably should have pit them before I froze them!

If you don’t pit them before freezing them, they turn into a mushy mess!

But in the end, it worked out.

For the pie crust, I placed chunks of frozen butter in with the flour, salt and sugar.

Once the butter was incorporated, add a tablespoon of ice water at a time, until it starts to clump together like this. Place in the fridge for an hour (or the freezer for 10 minutes), while getting the filling ready.

The filling was super easy. It was just some sugar, cornstarch and the cherries!

Once the crust has had time to rest, roll it out.

Add the filling.

Add the top and fold the edges over to make a nice end to your pieces.

I decorated it with a C to remember which type of pie I made this time!

Here’s the beauty, once baked.

And a picture of a piece, with ice cream, of course!

Jacquie’s Awesome Sour Cherry Pie (Courtesy of Simple Bites and Smitten Kitchen)

You will need:

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter

6-10 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 1/4 pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted, or 2 pounds frozen sour cherries, partially thawed

In a food processor combine the flour, salt and sugar.  Blend to incorporate.Cut the butter in small pieces, making sure to not handle it too much. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse 6-8 times or until the mixture resembles a coarse grain. Do not over process. Add 1 tablespoon at a time of water and pulse. Continue to do this until the dough just begins to hold together without being wet or sticky.  Again, do not over process. The dough should not stick together in a ball-shaped form.  It should just begin to hold.  Once you’re at this stage, empty the dough “pieces” onto the counter and shape quickly into a rounded ball.  Divide into four balls. Quickly shape each piece into a disc and wrap in plastic.  Do not overwork. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using, or place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

While waiting, combine all ingredients for filling. Roll out pie crust on lightly floured surface. Ad filling and top cover. Fold in edges and add vent holes to the top cover. Bake at 375 for about an hour, or until golden. Enjoy with ice cream or whip cream!


Flax Oat Squares

So! I decided that it was time for an easy-to make, healthy snack for my loyal customers on Saturday at the Market. AKA: Samples, people! Come and get ’em! Here’s my latest Gold Forest Grains creation:

This snack is super easy to make, takes almost no ingredients, is crazy healthy, and is gluten free, baby! How much better can it get?

Start by melting super and butter.

Heat until just bubbly.

Next, add in the dry ingredients.

Next, spread it out in a baking pan.

Bake for about 10 mins.

and voila! Super easy, and delicious!

Jacquie’s Delicious Flax Oat Squares (Courtesy of non other than John and Cindy Schneider from Gold Forest Grains!)

You will need:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups Gold Forest Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Gold Forest Golden Flax seeds
1/2 tsp. baking powder

(I also threw in a handful of chocolate chips with the dry ingredients!)

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and vanilla and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in oats, flax seeds and baking powder; mix well. Press firmly into greased 12×8 baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool; cut into bars. Voila.


Ginger Pear Chutney

 

What better to do on your last day of freedom before school starts than to make some homemade pear chutney? Justin and I did another fruit pick with Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton, this time for some little pears. They were super sweet and delicious! They also make a great chutney!

First things first, chop and core all your little pears. We did this all at once and had a big pear chopping and coring party, and then froze them in large and small quantities. It worked out pretty well!

 

 

 

The recipe I used called for crystallized ginger, but all I had lying around was fresh ginger. I took a chance and went for it!

 

 

 

I used a whole bunch of earthy fall-themed spiced like cloves and all spice. It made for a wonderful sweet/savoury combination.

 

Into the big dutch oven it all went.

Here are all the ingredients combined.

And here they are after they have been reduced for an hour and a half.

I filled some clean, sterilized mason jars, and boiled them for 15 minutes.

Then I let them cool on a rack for a while.

 

I bought some biodegradable labels too. Pretty sweet, eh?

Man, that looks good!

The recipe only made three jars, but I’m sure that’ll last us a decently long time!

Jacquie’s Awesome Ginger Pear Chutney

You will need:

8 cups peeled chopped pears
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (I used fresh!)
3 cups cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large dutch oven, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, continuing to stir occasionally. While you a waiting, sterilize three 500ml mason jars in boiling water, for 15 minutes each. Remove chutney from heat and pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace. Add lids and rings and process jars in a boiling water bath in a canner for 15 minutes. Take the canner off the heat and let water stop boiling before removing jars. Carefully remove jars and let sit. As they cool, the jars will seal themselves with a”pop”. Label, and store in cool, dry, dark place.
Enjoy over cream cheese and crackers, as a condiment in sandwiches, and as a side to any fish, poultry or pork dish!