Category Archives: Food

Winter garden clean-up and cooking something new.

It has been a few weeks since the snow storm. To us here in The Piedmont of North Carolina, a snow storm is almost two or three inches.

I cut down the Vivex bamboos which had broken and split. They average about 30 feet tall and 5 inches in diameter. I am sure I will find a use for them in the garden somewhere.



I haven’t shared a recipe for some time. I have wanted to make red curry with vegetables as it is my favorite. Here is my first attempt.

Asian vegetables in red curry and coconut milk

  • 2 bags frozen Asian/stir fry vegetables
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • Red curry sauce
  • Can of water chestnuts
  • Fresh ginger and two cloves of garlic
  • A few mushrooms
  • A lime


1) heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat

2) cut a piece of the ginger about an half-an-inch thick, cut off the skin, and mince it and the garlic (and mushrooms, if using) Add them to the Dutch oven and stir around with a wooden spoon to coat with the oil and until they are heated and release their flavor and fragrance – about a minute.

3) add the two cans of coconut milk after shaking them vigorously in the can before opening to mix the coconut fat which has separated. Adjust the heat to high.

4) once the coconut milk reaches a rolling boil add the red curry sauce. You may add as much as you like. I added the entire bottle.

5) add the two bags of Asian vegetables and can of water chestnuts. Once it boils again the vegetables should have thawed and be heated thoroughly. Reduce the heat to simmer.

6) squeeze half the lime into the pot, cut the other half to garnish. Serve wth rice.


I also added a bag of frozen broccoli because I wanted more vegetables and I always have frozen broccoli in the freezer. The amount of red curry paste will affect the yellow color and hotness of the final sauce.

atb

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Baby, it’s cold outside.

The weather has finally become more winter-like. After weeks of temps in the 60s and nights in the 50s, last night finally reached a low of 32f.
The yard needs one more cleaning to get those last leaves but it has rained for several days and everything is too wet. I did go outside with Gus and even moved the waste container to use to move the leaves to the garden but than decide I would just cook something hot instead.

  
Curried potato and onion soup

3 baking size potatoes

2 onions

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon of ground red chili pepper (optional)

4 cups vegetable broth 

1) On medium high heat melt 1/8 cup butter in a Dutch oven. Add the onions.

   
 
2) Once the onions have softened and browned alittle add the two cloves of garlic which have been diced and add the tablespoon of curry power and a teaspoon of turmeric.

  
3) Stir well to coat the onions and cook about a minute. Your kitchen should smell like an Indian restaurant now.
Add about a cup of vegetable both to deglaze the pot. Use your wooden spoon to scrap the carmelized bits of onion off the bottom.

  
4) Add the remainder of the broth and bring to a rolling boil and add the potatoes which have been cut into bite-sized pieces. Reduce to medium high heat and cover with a lid. It should be a gentle boil.

  
5) In 15 to 20 minutes, check the largest potato to see if it is done. You will also see small bits of potato floating around. It’s done!

   
 
I also graded one potatoe to have a hash brown on the side. I think this fulfills my daily starch requirements and may get me through the cold day of exploring the city!
  
Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of all the unwanted Christmas gifts and decorations being left at the thrift stores! Onward! 

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Time for a new mower and it is Peach season!

After 12 years of service the lawnmower has finally died! The blade was duller than an old razor and the choke had even broken and I had to use a plastic tie to keep the choke on to cut the grass. 

Of course, it was not until I had purchased a new mower and was heading to the Fiat that I even gave a thought about it fitting in the back! It did!

  
The dog days of Summer are here! Hot, steamy and humid here in the Mid-Atlantic States. I miss the breeze we have on the coast which very much reduce the effects of the humidity.

Most of the garden is enjoying the hot and humid days as long as I water daily. 

A new plant for me this year is Jewel Weed. It’s a native impatient which grows in moist lowlands such as along streams. I placed it behind my small lily pond where it would receive plenty of splashed water from the pond.

It grows to almost four feet and is know to be a generous reseeder to the point of becoming a weed. We will see!

   

 

Caramelized Peach Ice Cream

One of my favorite memories of Summer and growing up on Bouge Banks on the coast of North Carolina is homemade ice cream. The hum of the ice cream maker and the anticipation of the 25 minutes of watching the paddle going around in the canister just makes it all more exciting!

I usually make a simple honey ice cream but since it is peach season I was looking for a good recipe.

Caramelize the peaches

 To peel the peaches- cut an X in the bottom of 3 to 4 peaches ( about 1 pound) and drop them in boilng water. Once the skin begins to pull away drop them in ice cold water. Once they have cooled the skin will peel off easily. 
Combine the peaches and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until caramelized and syrupy. Let cool completely.

Make the custard.

Meanwhile,combine 1 cup whole milk and 1.5 cups heavy cream in a medium sauce pan along with a vanilla pod (or a teaspoon of vanilla extract) and simmer over medium stiring occasionally. Remove from heat once it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Freezing

Combine the cooked peaches and the custard and mix throughly. Pour into the ice cream maker canister and add whole milk up to the full line.  

Add layers of ice and salt according to the instructions.  

You will need to replenish the ice once or twice. When you hear the motor struggling and slowing you may also notice the motor shaking- the ice cream is becoming frozen and thick!

  
The motor will stop when it is frozen. Unplug it immediately so the motor doesn’t burn! You can see through the clear lid if the custard is frozen.

   

Remove the lid and check the mixture.

 
And I suggest test tasting.

  

Put the lid back on canister and cover with ice and then a dish towel or cloth and allow it to harden for a few hours. 

Of course, you may eat it right away is you are making it while you are grilling or cooking dinner or spoon it into containers and place in the freezer for later. I love it fresh from the ice maker as soft serve but it is just as fine later in the week as a harder ice cream from the freezer!

 We always use to fight over the paddle or beater because the coldest ice cream was frozen to it!  
It’s always yummy!

 
xx

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