Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cauliflower and Cheese recipe, because I love my readers

Hi, this is just a quick post and no pictures (sorry) after a long and busy and fun Thanksgiving weekend. We had some family in from out of town and we got good eating, good shopping and just good company in. The weather drop is a sharp reminder that winter does eventually come though isn't it? I am raising the chickens coop door up and night to keep the cold air out and their feathers are starting to come in. I'm having to keep on chicken water-er in the garage or house over night to carry out in the morning to keep them in fresh water. The chicken pen is going along at a good clip. We have the roof pieced up, the entire pen about 3/4 chicken wired, and the door framed out. The hens are snug enough in their tractor and I'm feeding them treats like leftover rolls to keep their spirits up. Below is a recipe that is a classic holiday side around the house. For the past several years I haven't been able to have it, but with Lactaid cottage cheese and cabot aged cheddar, I can have it once again. This is screamingly simple and super delicious! Preheat oven to 350 degrees Chop up on head of cauliflower into it's florets and boil until it is fork tender. Mix: one egg (preferably free range and delicious) 3/4 cup cottage cheese 1 tablespoon of flour 8 0z of shredded cheese Drain the cauliflower and mix into your cheesy mixture. Mix until it's coated, and all kinda melted together then spread in a 9x9 glass pan and bake for 20 minutes. Yes, this is a "would you like some vegetable with your cheese?" Kind of dish and it is yummy! Disclaimer: I did not make this recipe up. I got it from my Mom, who has had this recipe for like forever. I'm sure she got it from somewhere, I don't know where. I am not claiming to have any credit for this recipe. If I knew the culinary angel who came up with this I would credit them. Give it a try and leave a comment if you do. It's just as good reheated. I'll try to post some planned projects soon. thanks for checking in! PS I wish I knew how to put spaces between all these paragraphs and lists of ingredients. Sorry if it is hard to read. If anyone knows how to but spaces between paragraphs in, please let me know. thanks

Monday, November 19, 2012

Out and About the Garden

I'm toying with the idea of cutting off a ton of dill that's cropped up in the herb garden the past couple weeks and trying a cheddar dill bread recipe. A lot will hinge on time, but it hasn't been that hurt by the frost so I am tempted to give it a shot. On Sunday the 18th the late blooming monster of a mum was a bee magnet, and well, you know how much I like taking pictures of bees.
That orange you see on her leg is pollen that she will carry back to her hive to be mixed with honey and enzymes to make a "bee bread" that is then in turn used to feed the baby bees. I confirmed this with Honeyrun farm The Barnes family has a great operation going and you can find their honey products at North Star market, Smith's Farm stand, and online at I also like this picture I got because even though the bee is blurry, check out the shadow!
Speaking of a garden update, make sure you swing by I know I haven't posted in forever, but here is one, probably the last until spring.

Harvesting Rosemary

Well, with my three potted rosemary's still lingering between life and death in the guest room, I bite the bullet a couple Sundays ago and cut off all the rest of the plants in the garden. I do still have rosemary in one tub I am going to try to over winter using a cloche and some hoop greenhouse plastic so we will see. According to the Reader's Digest Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs, Rosmarius officinalis is the wild herb most commonly found on sea cliff around the Mediterranean. There are both blue flowered and pink flowered varieties and Rosemary if kept in an appropriate place to over winter can be cut in topiary like shapes and in warmer climates, grows tall enough to use for hedging. Maybe you will notice the recently popular rosemary trees sold at grocery stores this time of year. As I write this blog I find out that two of my rosemary plants have root rot as they are browning at the tips of the leaves. My gardening friend M was right, I am over watering them (sigh) okay, no more water and we'll see if they survive. Fussy things. Maybe next year Andrew will make me a nice cute mini green house with salvaged windows and I can try to overwinter them in the garden. Rosemary is also known as "Mary's Mantle" It is said that when Mary and Joseph were fleeing from Herod's men, she draped her blue cloak over a rosemary bush to try, and the blooms, previously white, were blue when she picked her cloak up. Rosemary has also been posted on doors to prevent faeries from kidnapping infants. Rosemary has a number of culinary uses but also medicinal. It's good for stimulating the nerves (rosemary is known as the herb of remembrance) and can clear one's head and help focus after inhaling it's resinous scent because rosemary increases blood flow to the head. Rosemary is also good for circulation , fatigue and sore muscles, which is why I rely on Elder Forest's rosemary salve for the aches and pains of gardening...or too much yoga with weights and Rosemary salve is especially good for cold nights as it has a warming effect and I've found that it helps me sleep. According to RDigest, rosemary leaves and juniper berries were burned in French hospitals to kill germs. It may have also helped medical staff on less sleep perk up a bit...but that's just a guess of mine.
Here is some rosemary soaking in water with a tiny bit bleach to kill germs. The salad spinner is one of those OXO pump action ones. Very durable and really gets the water out once it's been rinsed thoroughly.
After I have "spun" out most of the water, I line up the rosemary on a clean dish towel and then roll them up for further drying but I am careful not to add any pressure, as that would bruise the leaves and release oil.
And here are the sprigs tied with jute string to dry in a closet.
I'm hoping later this week to have the time to take the rosemary down and strip the leaves away and store in a jar but we'll have to see.