Thursday, October 22, 2015

Emerging from procrastination

What a year it's been, and it's not over yet. Seems like every time I turned around, something new was demanding my attention or time--or both. It's not like anything earth-shattering happened. Just life, with the occasional mild excitement. Somehow, though, I fell behinder and behinder, until I feel as if I'll never catch up.
But I have, more or less. Enough so that I no longer have an excuse for not getting at the next item on my unending TO-DO list. Several years ago I made a first entry into what I'd planned as a regular blog, gradually replacing my newsletter. That was it. Doing the next one kept moving down the list, displaced by stuff I felt was more important. Some of it actually was, but let's face it. I was procrastinating.
No more. I decided I will NOT take on anything new until I get this done. Hence, I have dug out my old password, tried to remember which email address I used, and blessed Google's help pages in order to get to this point. I am exhausted, and will merely post what I'd written the other day, rather than what I intended to write when I realized it was time for a new issue of my newsletter.
I've probably spent more time playing with my vegetable garden than anything else this yea. You have to understand that "playing with my vegetable garden" includes doing stuff with what comes out of it. Most years I try one or two different crops (if you can call a couple of plants in a raised beD a "crop"). This year my first-timers were leeks and hubbard squash. I actually planted half a dozen leeks, but only one squash. Good thing too, as the squash spread itself across two beds and fought with the tomatoes, cucumbers and garlic for space. And for all that, it only managed to give me two fruits. The other five died on the vine.
So back to doing stuff with what came out of the garden. I've already baked one of the squash and it was delicious. Nothing special, just mashed, mixed with either salt and pepper or brown sugar, cinnamon and clove. It wasn't a very big squash, but I still got four servings out of it. I plan to be more adventurous with the other one. But not until later. Hubbards keep well.
The leeks multiplied. I didn't know they could do that. What I thought were single leeks must have been multiple ones, because I ended up with couple of dozen leeks, half of them an inch or more in diameter. The little ones (pencil thin or less) I stuck back in the ground and as of now, they seem to be thriving. So more leeks next hear...
Leeks were not something I'd cooked often. They are expensive, for one thing, and I always hated tossing out all that dark green stuff on top. Yes, I know one can freeze it and use in when making stock, but these days my stock comes out of a can, since I rarely need more than a quart at a time. so I had to go looking for recipes for leeks. Since both of the recipes I chose are online, I won't copy them here, but I can tell you how to find them. Both were delicious. Better yet, both were easy to make smaller, since I cook for one most of the time.
Creamy Pappardelle With Leeks and Bacon came from Bon App├ętit . I confess I substituted double-strength nonfat milk for the heavy cream, but it was still rich-tasting and delicious. I went to Simply Recipes  for a creamy (but creamless), yummy Potato Leek Soup. Super simple, relatively low-fat, and just about the best potato soup I've ever eaten.
Stay tuned. As soon as I figure out a couple more things, get some must-do stuff done, and finish my newsletter, I'll post again.

1 comment:

Mary Thornburg said...

Jude! It's good to see you emerging (after SEVEN YEARS!!) into the light of the blogosphere! Your vegetable garden sounds wonderful and appetizing, and thank you for those recipe links. I haven't used leeks much, but I intend to try both of those out and I WILL use heavy cream... you only live once.