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Friday Favorite: Vegetable Soup

August 28th, 2015

Since the garden is bursting with fresh vegetables, I’ve been making pots of vegetable soup. The soup gets ladled into wide mouth pint mason jars and tucked away in the freezer, ready for quick meals come cold weather. We eat some in the summer too, last night I made a pot of minestrone and we will be enjoying that this weekend. It was filled with: potatoes, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, celery, green beans, and herbs from the garden.
curried broccoli soup
I make soup with whatever vegetables are ready to harvest, curried broccoli, tomato, vegetable, etc. It’s nice to know that there are instant meals ready for fall days when I’d rather spend every drop of sunlight working in the garden. I also love using up all those bits of vegetable peels to make vegetable stock for all these soups. I feel like I’m making the most of the bounty of summer.

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

Friday Favorite: Frozen Strawberries

August 21st, 2015

Way back in June, we had a flush of strawberries. Our patch produced over 100 quarts of berries. A few went into a batch of jam, some were eaten fresh, some went to the neighbors, and the rest were frozen. Lately, on these hot days, I’ve been enjoying strawberry smoothies for my lunch.
Strawberry smoothie
They’re quick to make, tasty to eat, and give me just the right boost of energy without being too filling. I add frozen strawberries to the blender, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, a pinch of salt, and a splash of maple syrup. Whir it all up and enjoy!

What’s your favorite quick meal on a hot day of garden work?

Making the Most of Each Harvest

July 21st, 2015

One of the things I find myself doing is trying to maximize what I can grow in the garden. I don’t like to waste anything, particularly things I grow. The result has been a lot of creative ways to use up things that might otherwise go into the compost, like broccoli stems.
broccoli stems 1
broccoli stems 2
I used to peel them and cut them up, then I started putting them in my mini food processor and dicing them finely. Then I make slaw with them or blanch and freeze them to be added to soups or sauces. I really love doing this because it essentially doubles my broccoli harvest. These shredded bits are particularly good in the curried broccoli soup I love to make.

Do you have any great tips for maximizing your vegetable harvests?

Friday Favorite: Rehash

May 1st, 2015

Last Friday I talked about homemade pizza and how I make it and freeze it. There were lots of questions in the comments so I decided to answer a few of them here. First off, I bake the pizzas before freezing, though not fully. I undertake them by a minute or two. The key is to get the crust fully cooked but not browned. Then I cut the pizzas in quarters and freeze them in ziploc bags. If I want to freeze them whole or in halves I use the 2 gallon ziploc bags.
File Apr 23, 8 12 47 PM
frozen pizza
When I want to reheat the pizza is usually pull it out and thaw it on the counter for 15 minutes or so. Then I warm it in a cast iron skillet – crazy I know. Pizza reheats much better in a skillet than it does in the oven, I think it doesn’t dry out as much and the crust gets much crispier.

So if you have any more questions about freezing and reheating homemade pizza let me know, I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

Friday Favorite: Homemade Pizza

April 24th, 2015

Mr Chiots loves pizza. There aren’t a ton of place that are close and convenient so we sometimes make our own. Last night I finally had time to make eight, one to eat and seven for the freezer. Now we have quick meals this summer that will pair perfectly with a salad.
File Apr 23, 8 12 47 PM
I used this sourdough pizza crust recipe and it turned out very well, definitely a dough I’ll be making over and over again! They were topped with fresh mushrooms, red onions from the garden, kalamata olives, and Italian sausage from our pigs. Perfectly delicious.

What’s your favorite pizza topping?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.