Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cippolini in Agrodolce

Red Marble Cippolini - Ready to Go
Last week we harvested our Red Marble Cippolini and set them out to dry. Today I cleaned 'em up and sorted them by size. I had about a pound of medium sized onions - about an inch in diameter so I decided to prepare them "agrodolce" style.

I used Mario Batali's recipe, which can be found here: Cippolini en Agrodolce.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gardening 2012 - Drip Irrigation Part 2

Messy Drip Line Installation
In today's installment we're running the 1/2 inch mainline back to the new upper bed. Nothing much to that:
  1. Remove the stub from the right arm of the faucet "T"
  2. Connect the 1/2 inch main line in it's place
  3. Carefully unroll the main line, holding it in place with wire hold downs.
When it actually reaches the upper bed, we've finally got something interesting to see.

Drip Line and "Goof Plug"
With the onions drying on the porch and the tomatoes plagued by Fusarium Wilt the upper bed isn't very interesting.  The tomatoes each have a 1 GPH emitter just like the zucchini out front. However, there are four "mini-rows" of Swiss Chard and they most definitely need water. So for each pair of rows I punched a hole in the main line, inserted a transfer barb and this time added a length of drip tubing. It's like regular 1/4 inch tubing with little emitters embedded every 6 inches. The ends are closed with "goof plugs" rather than emitters.

Emitter Emitting

From the upper bed we make a right angle turn with an elbow fitting and head about 10 feet south to the old "lower bed". Another elbow fitting turns right and it's off to the front bed.

Back at the lower bed, things are essentially the same as in the upper bed - 1/4 inch supply tubing and emitters for three tomato plants and (eventually) drip line for fall planted stuff: Cima di Rapa, another try for beets and maybe some lettuce or other greens..

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gardening 2012 - Onions!

Red Marble Cippolini
A couple weeks back the Red Marble Cippolini's tops started to fall over - the first sign they're almost ready to harvest. Since it's supposed to rain on and off for the next four days I decided to pull them this evening rather than risk having them start growing or end up so wet they'd rot rather than dry.

From the 80 or so I planted we ended up with about 60 of the little cuties. They'll dry for a few days on the front porch, then I'll cut back the stalks, clean them up. The plan is to can them "agro-dolce" style in pints. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gardening 2012 - Drip Irrigation Part 1

A week ago I ordered the various parts I need to assemble a drip irrigation system for our little garden. I probably should have done it as soon as I realized we would be facing another scorching summer. Unfortunately, I never really got motivated to do the measuring and planning (I thought) it would take.

So I hit the website, figured out what I'd need and ordered:

1 12100 1/2" Mainline Blank Tubing (.600 ID, .700 OD) - 1/2" x 100' Blank Tube $13.50
1 1250 1/2" Mainline Blank Tubing (.600 ID, .700 OD) - 1/2" x 50' Blank Tube $8.50
20 14GP2 1/4" Goof Plugs For Repair $1.20
1 1450 1/4" Polyethylene Micro Tubing (.170 ID, .250 OD) - 1/4" Tubing x 50ft $3.70
30 14LTB 1/4" Transfer Barb - 1/4" Long Transfer Barb $4.20
1 DSD6L Dripline 6" Spacing, 1/2 GPH - 1/4" Soaker Drip 6" 50' Roll $15.50
2 ELL Easy Loc Elbow $2.60
7 ELMC Easy Loc End Cap $6.30
1 ELFH Easy Loc Female Hose Beginning $1.05
7 ELT Easy Loc Tee $11.55
1 PUPKT Pocket Punch $5.95
30 DTA1 Take Apart Emitter - Take Apart Emitter-1 GPH (black) $6.60
20 SUHD U Shaped Wire Hold Downs $3.00

Subtotal: $83.65
Shipping Rate: $17.00
Total: $100.65

Yeah, a hundred bucks. And I left out a couple more expensive items like the pressure regulator and a timer that I'll probably add next spring. Plus I've probably more "main line" tubing and fittings than most people would need because our 4 little beds are at the corners of a 15 x 50 foot rectangle so the basic layout is a big "U" shape. On the other hand a more traditional row type garden would use more of the rather expensive dripline - I'll use less than half of the 50 foot roll.

Here's how it's laid out...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

The Best!
One of the most delicious ways to begin consuming the glut of zucchini summer brings has got to be Chocolate Zucchini Bread. Beth has had a number of recipes for this yummy summer treat but yesterday we found what we both agree is the best one so far.

It's over at Taste of Home where it was republished from the August 1994 edition of Quick Cooking magazine (now Simple & Delicious). Click here for the full recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

Beth baked the loaf in a bundt pan rather than the suggested pair of loaf pans. She also found cooking time to be a little more than the suggested 70 minutes due to the increased volume so be sure to test your loaves to ensure they're completely done.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Polpette di Melanzane

Polpette di Melanzane

The garden is overflowing with tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant. This recipe uses two of the three along with a few herbs.

  • 2 lb Eggplant
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tbs Grated Pecorino
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs Parsley, chopped
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Sunday, July 8, 2012

#MeatlessMonday - Zucchini Parmigiana

Zucchini Parmigiana

Recipe by Bill C

A (somewhat) lightened version of the ubiquitous Eggplant Parmesan. Quickly grilled zucchini slices are layered with crushed tomatoes, basil and cheese. the result is a sweetly succulent casserole that works equally well as a vegetarian main course or as an accompaniment to any kind of simply grilled meat.

  • 3 lb. Zucchini
  • 12 oz Mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 28 0z Can Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gardening 2012: July Update

It's time once more for a gardening update!

Coming Along
San Marzano Tomatoes: They're exceding every possible expectation. The plants in the upper bed have reached the tops of the double height ladders and although the three in the lower bed are not as tall, they easily match the others for quantity of fruit. We got our first ripe tomato from the lower bed on July 3rd. and now there are quite a few beginning to color. I'm a little concerned about the wilting leaves, but the plants seem otherwise healthy.

I didn't think I'd start needing to buy quart jars until August...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Il Talismano della Felicita: Maccheroni Con Mozzarella

Maccheroni Con Mozzarella
Recipe by Ada Boni

Maccheroni Con Mozzarella
Another classic recipe from Il Talismano Della Felicita this is a meatless baked pasta dish enriched with a scratch made fresh tomato sauce and lots of cheese.

As usual with Ada Boni's recipes this one can be cut in half to accommodate modern appetites or left "whole" to yield plenty of leftovers.

Yield: 6 servings

  • 600 g Ziti, broken up if long
  • 1.5 Kg Tomatoes
  • 2 Medium Eggplant
  • 1 Tbs Lard (or Olive Oil)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib Celery, chopped
  • 100 g Grated Provolone
  • 200 g Mozzarella, sliced thin
  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil for frying


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