Rhubarb!

This weekend I was fortunate enough to pick up some rhubarb from Three Springs Fruit Farm at the Farmer’s Market.IMG_1545

Rhubarb grows like a weed but hardly anyone keeps it on their land because it is a bit of an eyesore.  It is however, one of my favorite flavors of springtime!  Strawberry rhubarb is my second favorite pie flavor behind pumpkin.  Given my shortage of butter and oats I was stuck looking up some recipes for my rhubarb.   I found a cake recipe on a Rhubarb website (yes there are entire sites dedicated to the stuff) that did not involve butter or oil, so I was sold.  I cut down the sugar and made it half whole wheat.  I also used pecans instead of walnuts because I am allergic, and I have a big bag of pecans on hand.  Lastly I added some lemon zest to the batter because it really helps to bring out the flavor of rhubarb.

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This was delicious!  The cinnamon, pecans and rhubarb really came out in this.  I had some rhubarb leftover after making my cake so I whipped up a quick compote to slather on top of my oatmeal and toast.IMG_1547

Just boiled sliced rhubarb, a little water and a little sugar.  I might need to figure out how to get one of these growing at our non-existent future house!

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Farmers Market Finds

 

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Farm eggs, ramps, asparagus, and cut flowers.  Sissy inspected and approved.


Garden Update!

Yesterday I got to work in the garden!  It is warm enough to start greens and peas so I went ahead and started planting!

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I started by fencing off my little plot and found out it is about 15ft x 4ft.  Super long!  I tried to get out all of the rocks and pieces of glass while also checking out what was leftover from last year.IMG_1538

Bucket of rocks and lots of little baby garlics.  IMG_1536

Lots of little squash of some sort.  I pulled a bunch of these out so they  weren’t over crowded.  We shall see what they turn out to be!  Tilling was seriously hard work.

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Next I dumped out a giant bag or organic compost and some organic plant food.  The odd shape is because I am trying to give everyone an equal amount of light and my plot is east, west lengthwise.  Till, till, till.IMG_1539

Planted!  4 mixed greens, 6 spinach, 6 heads of romaine, 6 heads of kale, 4 sweet peas, and 2 green beans.  Next up, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, and herbs!

I need more compost!


Dry Rub Catfish

There was a new fish on the dinner plate tonight!  I have always known catfish to be southern and fried, but I also know there are a ton of them swimming in the rivers of North America.  I consulted with my fish expert Jess, and she said that catfish was a good choice when looking for a fish species to feel good about eating in terms of sustainability.

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My former fish market boss said the best way to cook catfish is blackened.  I just made Emily’s blackened tofu last week so I thought I would go with about the same spice mix but bake it on high heat until it started to crisp.

I mixed together garlic powder, cayenne, celery seed, paprika, salt, pepper, coriander, and oregano, then coated my fish before baking it at 425 for 17min.

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It was good but I think I like trout better.  Something about it was just off.  I’m not really sure what?  Maybe it does need a good sear in some oil.

Along with the catfish I cooked up a wheat berry salad with baby kale, onion, garlic, beets and smoked paprika.IMG_1533

The sweet onions were a good compliment to the slightly bitter kale.

I will give catfish one more try, but given a choice I would pick another sustainable fish.  Next up, mussels!

Have you eaten catfish?  How was it prepared?  Did you like it?


Goals, Garden, and Great-Grandfather

Today was my final day working for the State of Maryland.  It has been a good 3.5 years but my heart and soul were suffering.  I will miss my boss and colleagues but not the spreadsheets (I feel like I said this before, Ha!). My next steps are scary but they should be more exciting than 8 hours in a cube.  I am fortunate to have the opportunity to follow my dreams and start a career based in something I am passionate about.

I create a goal list every year.  I don’t make it public, and it has sat by my computer in my cube for the past 3 months.IMG_1531

I am amazed that I have completed the fist 3 goals already, and Nick has a plane ticket for June (he is deathly afraid of flying).

My Health Coaching journey is in its second week and I am focusing on getting people to grow their own food to have a sense of pride and control in their health.  I’m starting with my own garden, which though lots of drama, we finally got assigned yesterday.

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We have acquired plot 2B – about the width of the little fence and half way to the parking lot.  I need to actually measure it to see how many plants I can fit in there but here is my wish list:

  • pole beans
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini
  • tomatoes – cherry and heirloom
  • peppers – sweet and jalapeno
  • eggplant
  • beets
  • kale
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, cilantro

It seems to be a lot but there won’t be a ton of each and I have done a bunch of research this year on spacing and how to plant them in a raised bed.

I am trying to channel my inner agrarian maternal lineage.  My Great-Grandfather on my mother’s side was a farmer and represented Iowa in the US Senate from 1913-1945.  Now he did have mainly cows, but I think back in the day there was no such thing as a single crop farm.

I leave you with a poem he wrote during his time in the Senate – it reminds me of the early days before the farm bill with Butz and the New Deal was still law.

Farmer in Assembly

How dear to my heart is the lure of the farmyard,

With the grass growing green and the buds on the swell;

Makes me want to get out of this old legislature-

But the time of adjournment seems as far off as May.

We work mighty hard to make laws for the people;

The folks who are watching us think it’s all sham.

The people at home keep on sending petitions

Which if they only knew it don’t amount to a cent.

I guess I’ll just leave this uninteresting session;

They can run the blamed thing without me, hit or miss.

Bills?  I eat’em and dream of ‘em;

yes, and I spend ‘em.

But here my stenographer comes for a letter!

– Walter H. Beam