Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Update

For those of you who were worried, you will be relieved to know that my garden has been doing much better with the nice weather we're having here in Portland.  I even have a ripe tomato!

The tomato plant is still really small, but I bet I have the first ripe tomato in Portland.

I also have some diminutive crookneck squash growing.  They are tiny, can you see them?

How is your garden doing?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Garden

Last year by this time I had done plenty of posts about my garden.  This year I haven't done one until today.  I have a community garden plot this year and it is a brand new garden; last year the space was a parking lot.  On top of the challenge of starting with fresh beds, my garden hasn't liked the cool wet summer we've had this year.  My tomatoes are kind of sad, even though some of them have fruit on them.  This is my Sun Gold tomato plant:
 It was just too cool for them in June.  This was my Sun Gold plant in the middle of July last year:
 I already had ripe ones!  You can see last July's garden post here to compare.

I have had better luck this year with more cold-loving crops.  This pretty volunteer has already been eaten.
Tonight I thinned some of my rainbow carrots.   They are doing so well that even the little ones I was thinning out are big enough to eat - even if they are only a nibble.  These will be my snack tonight.

Last year my carrots didn't thrive.  I didn't have this many by fall.  At least one thing is doing well this year!

There is hope.  I must have planted this tomato at just the right time, because it's the only one that's thriving.  It's a Mr. Stripey.
It's growing bigger every day.  I just hope I get tomatoes by October a this rate!

How is your garden doing this year?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Simple Meal: Lamb Chops and Bhutanese Rice

I haven't been blogging much because I haven't been eating a wide variety of food lately, or creating any new recipes; I've been on a food elimination diet.  It's an interesting challenge to come up with different meals with a limited number of ingredients.  I tend to do a lot of chicken and potatoes using the 450 degree oven approach.  I also try to explore different varieties of rice.  Tonight I had a great meal cooked really quickly and simply on the stove top.

Lamb Chops with Bhutanese Rice
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: two

4 lamb chops
olive oil
1 head broccoli
1 C Bhutanese rice
1 cup water

Put the water, the rice, and some salt in a small pan and bring to a boil.  Stir, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook 25 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, heat a large cast-iron skillet on medium-high.  Cut the broccoli into pieces.  Rinse, pat dry, oil and season the lamb chops.  When the skillet is hot, place all the chops in the skillet.  Cook until they look done halfway up the side of the chop.  Flip them over, making sure there is plenty of oil in the pan.  Throw in the broccoli.  If the chops are thin (about 3/4 inch), immediately turn off the heat.  If the chops are thick, turn the heat to medium-low and cook for a few minutes at that temperature before turning the heat off.  Leave the chops in the pan, stirring the broccoli as needed, until they stop sizzling.  When the rice is done, serve everything together.  Soak up the browning and drippings in the pan with the broccoli for extra flavor.
Okay, you just caught me drinking beer while on my food elimination diet!  But it's gluten-free beer.