More May Garden Recipes: a Cocktail, a Salsa, and a Cheese

I’ve been on a total cooking spree these last few days.¬† The weather’s been bad and trying out new things from the garden totally saves my mood ūüôā

First things first, Booze.

I want to give this a cool name, but I’m terrible at naming things.¬† Hanging Garden, maybe?

Anyhow, it’s simple to make and tastes like spring and happiness.

Pour a healthy shot or two of gin into a glass, add lemon thyme, mint, and strawberry leaf and let it sit for an hour or so to really get the flavor in.  Add a healthy squeeze of lime, then flower ice cubes (fill the tray half-way up, freeze halfway, add whatever edible flower you like, then fill the rest of the way and freeze).  Fill with tonic water and garnish with lime.

 

Second recipe is just as easy, it’s a veggie salad you can put on anything…pasta, toast, chicken, whatever.¬† This time I put it on lettuce and fun stripey pasta.

Take yellow zucchini, tomato, garlic and dice the hell out of them.¬† Then add chopped pea leaves and shoots, japanese mustard greens and radish greens, rosemary and marjoram.¬† Stick on some salt and pepper, then mix in olive oil and lime juice.¬† It’s so good and takes like, 10 minutes to make.¬† It’s a good way to use things from the garden and deal with veggies that need to get used soon.

 

Finally, today I made paneer cheese with hyssop, rose petals and lemon thyme! I’m really damn proud of myself.¬† It’s totally easy, tastes incredible, and takes almost no time of active cooking (there are a few hours of waiting impatiently next to it, though ūüôā

 

I used this recipe here, with lime juice (and you do need 3-4 teaspoons if you use lime juice, 1-2 for vinegar. ¬† Mixed in the herbs/flower petals in the colander, squeezed out the whey (I’m currently trying to make mysost with the whey, which is a Norwegian sweet cheese), and pressed the cheese down for 3 hours.

bring the milk to a boil and watch out, it will boil over ALL over the place. Quickly add the lime/lemon/vinegar and take off the heat. there’s a big bowl, the colander is in the bowl, then the linen, then the curd.

 

so pretty!

Thank you, Discworld!

after I took the photo I sprinkled on a bit of sea salt and pepper.

how cool is that???¬† The garden looks great right now, I’m going to have a ton of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries soon, and I also got a cowberry (preiselbeeren) bush which is covered in flowers right now.¬† I can’t wait!

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May Garden Pasta for One

I’ve got an extra day off today so I decided to make something new from the garden and decided on pasta.¬† This time I used pea leaves and tendrils, radish greens, japanese mustard greens, viola petals, Spanish mint, hyssop, and marjoram from the garden, added olive oil, a splash of malt vinegar (only because I don’t have any lemons on hand) garlic, salt and pepper and let it sit while I boiled the noodles.¬† This takes exactly as long as it takes you to cook the noodles so if you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like cooking this is perfect.¬† You can make the dressing a few hours beforehand too, the longer it sits the better it will taste!¬† I also added a bit of parmesan cheese.¬†¬† And again, this will work with any greens and herbs in your garden, I can absolutely recommend this combination though, the mint is really great in it.

 

about this much is a good amount for one person (about 3 centimeters high I guess)

so good.

The great thing about growing vegetables like peas, mustard and radish is that all parts of the plant are edible so you can use them in a ton of different ways.  Also, all three of them grow quickly and early, so you can get some fresh greens earlier on in the year!

And I do promise to do some more vintage sewing posts soon!¬† First rainy day I promise.¬† Enjoy the fine weather ūüôā

Spring Garden Eggs for One

Finally! my first meal from the garden this year!¬† Even though there aren’t any fruits and veg growing yet, there’s still a ton you can do with what’s available in early spring.

This morning I made eggs with sorrel, japanese mustard greens, lemon thyme and marjoram with viola garnish, and it was so good!¬† If you aren’t growing these in your garden, any greens and herbs will do (like nasturtium leaves, radish greens, and pea shoots, for example).


All you have to do is crack 2 eggs into a hot pan with a bit of olive oil in it, then add 2 chopped mustard leaves, one minced sorrel leaf, chopped marjoram, the thyme leaves and a bit of salt and pepper and wait till the eggs are almost cooked through.¬† Then flip, wait a second and they’re done! serve with brown bread and garnish with viola flowers.¬† I also added a bit of grated parmesan cheese.¬† I can’t think of a better way to start a day off ūüôā¬† Plus this takes MAXIMUM 5 minutes to make, so if you’re in a hurry or really hungry after work these are perfect.

et voila!

 

Herbs and Rain clouds

Chances are, no matter where you live now, the weather’s pretty much shit. ¬†You’re either roasting, or, like me, drowning in a never ending sea of freezing rain and cloudy skies. ¬†It’s to the point now where even my garden has had enough of the rain and is starting to look like it normally does in September. ¬†Which is not cool.

However, today I managed to scrape together enough veg to make a small salad, which thrilled the hell out of me. ¬†It’s the first 100% mine salad I’ve had this year:

8 ball zucchini, cream sausage tomato, monkey face peppers, red basil, lemon thyme, and gold oregano. For dressing I just used a bit of olive oil, black pepper and balsamic vinegar (I put it on after the photo so you could see the colors)

Now probably the best bit of my garden is the herbs. ¬†If you’re thinking about starting a container garden, start with them. Most of them are hardy, last all year in a mild winter, and can be used all the time! Also, you can use them on just about everything. ¬†And when the weather is this bad I find making things from the garden is a good way to cheer myself up. ¬†So I also made rolls with herbs:

this takes 5 minutes to make. Toast a bread roll, add cream cheese, a bit of vinaigrette, fresh herbs (I used marjoram, hyssop, lemon thyme, red basil and hyssop flowers) and squeeze half a lime over the whole thing. awesome.

And of course you need booze so I made a sort of pimped out gin and tonic:

to make: a bit of gin, a lot of tonic, Spanish mint (from the garden), juice from a slice of lime. garnish with raspberries and half a slice of lime.

and here are some photos of the balcony now (we had exactly 11 minutes of sun today, so you might see a stray sunbeam now and again), you can see how pissed off my tomato plants are looking:

8 ball zucchini. They're small but it's the first year I've managed to get any zucchini to grow at all. I was starting to take it personally.

my sad-looking moonglow and cream sausage tomatoes.

the herbs and strawberries are looking amazing though.

one of my mystery tomatoes. I'm thinking it's a mr. stripey.

monkey face peppers, which I bought only because of the name. Turns out they're really good, hot, but not scorching and a good flavor. I totally recommend growing these!

two of the mystery tomato plants turned out to be green sausage. Seriously if you're going to grow heirloom tomatoes, make sure you have a few from the "sausage" family. They grow quickly, produce early and A LOT, so while you're waiting for your other tomatoes to give up the goods, you can always have some of these to eat.

another mystery tomato, I'm hoping it's a Black from Tula

the bees have been making sweet love to my dahlias and marjoram flowers all summer.

Happy Saturday!

Ant cattle ranches and the container garden

Yes, it’s another garden post. ¬†Generally summers will be about gardening and sewing, winters will be about xbox and sewing, so you’ll have to stick with me if gardening bores you to tears ūüôā

I’ve been container gardening for a few years now, but this is the first year I’ve really been satisfied with how it’s going. ¬†My pumpkin plant is actually trying to grow around the door and into the apartment, and my green sausage tomato plant is full of unripe tomatoes! ¬†Unfortunately this is also the year that the ant community decided to make my balcony their version of Wyoming and brought their aphid farms with them. Those of you who know me know that I’m not a squeamish person, but clusters of those little black tick like aphids grosses the hell out of me. ¬†Today I declared war. ¬†I squished, I washed, I sprayed and I smushed, and I’m pretty sure my neighbors thought I was doing a Mexican hat dance on my balcony, but I think I got most of them. ¬†Except on my¬†zucchini¬†plant. ¬†I think tomorrow I’m going to have to bring the whole pot in and hose it off in the shower.

On the postitive side, I’ve been eating really well from the garden so far, even though it’s too early for veggies. ¬†Here’s what I made yesterday:

Garden Salad

From the garden: rose petals, zucchini flower, two kinds of mustard greens, nasturtium greens, gold oregano, marjoram, hyssop, Spanish mint,  and tarragon.  I added bell pepper, tomato, feta, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

It tasted awesome, and was really pretty.

Here are a few pics of what my balcony looks like now (the zucchini flower ones were taken three days ago)!

from three days ago. zucchini, bell peppers, nasturtiums, green sausage tomato, rasberry and roses

hokkaido pumpkin, chinese mustard flower, white cucumber

the pumpkin invasion

chamomile, strawberries and peas. Three years now and I haven't had a decent pea plant yet ūüė¶

My heirloom watermelon radishes. I just got the seeds last week, so I'm really excited for them to grow!

lilac, Spanish mint and the view

Mr. Stripey tomato, gold oregano, chocolate mint, blueberry bush, and what I hope to be a newly sprouted spinach

green sausage tomato.

peas and roses. you can see where the little bastards have been going for their dinner parties

pear tree, rose bush and snapdragons

tarragon, marjoram, and rue. I've been using the straw from the chair seat as mulch for the strawberries

ivy and green-in-snow mustard flowers

view one. There's also pink accordion tomatoes, lovage, hyssop, st. johns wort and a bell pepper plant that somehow didn't make it into the photos.

view 2