My three weeks wandering across parts of the Western US is over and I can spend the next several weeks at home, recharging my personal batteries, prepping the garden for spring, investing in some needed family time and possibly brewing a new batch of beer – the beer doesn’t have anything to do with my gardening but it is one of my many vices/hobbies.
Sunday I pulled up a bunch of the purple carrots. My soil is still a bit heavy in one of the newer beds for best carrot growth. They tend to be short, stubby and prone to many forks in the root. Some of the deformations are pretty comical but it doesn’t seem to impact the taste at all! I usually cook them unpeeled….the skin is purple but the meat is carrot orange. When sliced cross cut, the carrot bits have that nice purple edge and the usual common carrot interior color. Adds nice color to the plate.
I have strawberries in all phases of development. In fact several appear to be showing signs of turning red. I shouldn’t be too surprised; two years ago I picked a beautifully red, heart shaped strawberry on Valentine’s Day – how appropriate! I may be able to share a few with my wife on or around Valentine’s Day. Fingers crossed for just enough rain but not too much – too much rain tends to mute the strawberry flavor – dry conditions seem to concentrate the sweetness.
I fired up the leaf vacuum and added close top another cubic yard of leaf litter to my compost bin. I have seen a few locations in the neighborhood where I can go out and round up another few loads to top off the bins. I will be adding some as mulch in the next few weeks to help keep the dad-burn weeds at bay!
Tonight I brought some of the colorful and yummy carrots into tonight’s menu. I cooked up a couple of Speckled Trout filets that the boys had caught a short while ago. I sautéed the carrots in a little butter and let them steam, no added sugar, they were sweet just as picked. The fish was simply prepared, fresh home squeezed lemon juice, a little olive oil, salt & pepper, a pat of butter then sealed up in foil and placed over medium heat on the grill. The rice was an experiment in a pouch – a lime flavored microwavable pouch – it was very limey and will probably not grace our table again. The fish was awesome, of course, and the carrots were like candy. Kathy had one of my home-brewed Pumpkin Ales and I tried a Breckenridge Brewery “After Rackin’ Autumn Ale” – after we swapped…..the Autumn Ale – not too hoppy for her but the roasted malts imparted a bit of coffee and chocolate notes…..the coffee notes are not her thing.
Lettuce and Swiss Chard will be featured for tomorrow’s meal…….fresh from the garden.