Wednesday, December 31, 2008


5280 is a wonderful local magazine highlighting the restaurants, artists, businesses, etc in Denver and the surrounding areas. Every month they have a feature called "In My Kitchen," where they talk with a local restaurant person about how they entertain at home.

They asked me to participate in the January issue. I really tried to place an emphasis on local and seasonal eating. I'm glad that the Colorado wine and spirits got a mention! I'm also happy that they mentioned DINR (the Denver Independent Network of Restaurants), since DINR's main event each year is Harvest Week, a celebration of local food and beverages.

You can click on the article to view the whole thing, the click on it again to make the text bigger.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Joy of Pickling

In June I attended a Colorado Wine Dinner, and I got to spend some time talking to Jake Norris, who makes Stranahan's Whiskey ( Jake is a big-time local food guy, and he's got quite the garden. I told Jake that I was interested in learning how to can and pickle food, and he told me to get a wonderful book called "The Joy of Pickling." I followed Jake's advice, and made my first attempts at food preserving.

I started with green beans....


Next came the lemon cucumbers. The garden this year didn't yield any regular cucumbers, but we had plenty of these pretty yellow ones.

Lots 'o good stuff in the jars.

Zucchini pickles with sweet Indian spices (ginger, corinader, cinnamon) and chiles.

Lemon cucmber, sweet Indian zucchini, and spicy zucchini/onion pickles.

Getting the tomatoes ready.

The tomatoes were very late to ripen this year, so we ended up with a lot of green tomatoes right before the first frost. Rather than giving up the fruits, I picked them to make canned green tomatoes.

Did I say that we had a lot of green tomatoes? Really, a LOT!!

Presenting.... Green tomato salsa, green tomato chutney, zucchini relish, and canned (mostly) green tomatoes.

Mid-September Bounty

Our little potato harvest.

Home grown potatoes really do taste different. Plus, it's fun to hunt for them in the dirt!

The veggie area of our kitchen counter.

The zucchini "boats."

I never get tired of tomato pictures! The lovely dish they're in was a wedding present from our friend Kamala, who teaches pottery.

A few not-quite-ripe tomatoes ready to catch the morning rays.

Fall salad with roasted beets, arugula, squash, and goat cheese.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zucchini, anyone?

Tomatoes along the fencerow.

Our 3 zucchini plants are producing new fruits daily. It only takes a day or two for a zucchini to grow to gigantic proportions!

Lemon cucumber trellis.


Green beans trellising themselves all over the place.
Looks like a pepper, but it's a tomato!
More tomatoes are ripening every day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Views of the Garden

The garden this morning.

This is the sight that prompted me to get the camera out. I love those baby scallop squashes behind the flowers.

An adventurous squash plant.

Squash forest.

Two of the 5 possible colors for rainbow chard.

Our first watermelon.

I think the fire bowl had better make a run for it.

The first eggplant.

Anaheim pepper.

The fencerow tomato plants...

...just hangin' out.

Taking Their Sweet Time

The tomatoes are finally starting to come in. I like to let the garden move at its own pace, but it's been hard to watch green tomatoes sit there, then sit there.... and sit there some more. I posed the question "Why are tomatoes so slow this year?" on my online organic gardening forum, and there's about 40 responses so far. Mostly from people saying "Me too! I thought it was just my garden!" No one is quite sure why --- a colder than average spring is generally blamed as the culprit. At any rate, part of the fun of growing food is how little control we have over it. Sometimes you just get what you get!

The Siberian tomatoes have been turning colors earlier than anything else.

The Sweet 100s are making a rainbow.

Fried green tomatoes, anyone?

Last year the Country Peach plants produced a serious quantity of tomatoes. This is a volunteer from last year, and the fruits are just starting to turn yellow. There's an almost-ripe Giant Valentine in the background.