Showing posts from May, 2011

Freezing Asparagus

I love asparagus, especially the fresh picked right off the farm kind.  We are lucky enough to have a farm close to us that sells asparagus every spring.  I planted my own asparagus patch, but you can't harvest for three years after planting...I have one more year of patiently waiting before I can harvest my own tender little stalks.  This year I decided to try to save a bit for later in the year, so I decided to bravely freeze fourteen pounds of the tender stuff.

It is a fairly simple process, you need a large pot of boiling water, an ice bath and a clean dry towel set up.  I always set my process up in a long line, it seems to make everything go faster if I am not walking back and forth all of the time.  You will also need parchment or wax paper, cookie sheets, and gallon sized zip top freezer bags.

Here's how to do it:

1. Wash and clean the fresh asparagus.

2. Trim the bottoms, I usually cut about an inch off, if it's really fresh there is no need to cut off more than t…

Rhubarb-Ginger Custard Bars

With rhubarb season in full swing, I have found myself on the hunt for new recipes.  I was lucky enough to run across this fantastic recipe from a new cookbook that I got at The King's English in SLC (fantastic little bookstore in the 15th and 15th area).  I love seasonal cookbooks, it makes it so easy for me to cook with whatever is growing in the garden.  When looking for this rhubarb recipe, I also ran across several other in-season recipes that I can make right along with it.  The unique thing about this book, which is called "Chicken and Egg" is that it focuses on recipes that use either chicken or eggs (go figure!).  Since I am the co-mother to a flock of 60 hens, this book sang to me as I eyed it.  It has a lot of pictures, which to me is essential.  How do I know what something is going to look like if I don't have a picture to reference?  Let's just say cookbooks without pictures are insanely useless to me (once again we have established my lack of sanit…


I picked my first bunch of rhubarb yesterday.  Oh, the joys of the first harvest and the hope that it gives of more to come.  I have to admit I am in love with rhubarb, not just for culinary purposes, but I am in love with the plant itself.  How can you not love a plant that is as old as dirt itself, that has leaves wider than my whole body, and glorious thick stained red stalks shooting up from the ground?  I love this plant!  It is the first to poke through the ground in the spring; it gives me hope that winter WILL (one day) end!!!  I needed rhubarb this Spring; Winter is still threatening, snowing in the canyons and higher elevations.  I kind of stick out my tongue at Old Man Winter as I slice those thick tangy stalks off the plant!

Rhubarb is a very ancient member of the buckwheat family and is a perennial, which means plant it once and it comes back year after year.  It has been documented in ancient China for medicinal uses as far back as 2700 BC.  It was used to treat fevers, …

Fava Beans

Have you ever had a fava bean?  They are amazing!  Also called broadbeans, they are packed with piles of nutrients.  Did you know that a cup of fava beans sports a whopping 14 grams of protein?  Surprise!!!  They are both filling and nutritious and they have oodles of folate in them, as well as tons of trace minerals (those little things that we forget to think about that make such a difference).  All around, fava's are something that you want to have around.  Broadbeans have been around for thousands of years, which is probably why I am so drawn to them.   I have this great book that is published by National Geographic titled "Edible"that tells all about edible plants, their nutrition and their origin.  According to my little "Food Bible", fava's are thought to be from Southwest Asia or the Mediterranean.  There have been remnants of these beans found in Neolithic sites is Israel dating to 6800 to 6500 BCE.  How cool is it that we are still eating the sam…

The Great Pea Assassination

I returned home from an anniversary get away to discover that my peas had been assassinated!!!  All around my kids' sandbox, I had planted sugar snap peas.  It's a great use of a very small space, and since they grow vertically, they make almost a little hedge around the play area.  They have been coming up nicely, I had just placed all of the old apple branches around them for support, like I do every year.  It's a great use for the pruning from fruit trees.  I collect the straighter branches and use them like a trellis support for beans and peas.  It looks really natural and it's very eco friendly, and that makes me feel like I am doing my little part to help the Earth.  After the peas are finished, I tear it all out and start again with climbing beans.  The kids love that they can play in the sand and eat peas and beans while they play.  What can I say, I am all about dual purpose!!!

As I walked toward the scene of complete annihilation, it struck me as to what happ…