Welcome to Growbox Hill

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Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gardening and food and mmmm...

Started this post March 25....

So, got some cleanup in the solarium done. Finally set up the last of the stupid green can border. And finally got some cinder blocks for under the workbench planks- we really had to free up the coolers that were the "legs". All the tulip pots are now sitting there. Pulled the first batch of booze bottles form their buckets, only a few didn't want to let go of their labels- and I plunked in another batch to soak. It's supposed to be pretty darn nice out midweek so maybe I'll get some border setup done. 

Picked up some seeds- mostly different kinds of nasturtiums. Because by golly I will grow enough nasturtiums to make CA capers darn it! Or at least enough seed pods to be able to grow from my own seed last year- I was pretty bummed to not get anything out of the Milkmaids :(
And a couple kinds of tomatoes- Great White and Nebraska Wedding, White Icicle radishes, Little Marvel pea.

And SQUEAL with JOY!!!! On the gardenweb, someone was getting rid of last years tomato seeds. A recycled bubble envelope, three forever stamps, and 92 cents postage to send those off and I will be getting 27 varieties of tomatoes- yeah, 27 kinds. Fill out all my blacks, a few kinds of whites, and of course, a whole heap of yellows and oranges. I'm just tickled!!!
This year I totally skipped starting tomatoes and peppers- just had too much other shit to do that I was too winter depressed to to, and knew I would be eating up a ton of bench space with tulips and marigolds anyway... But next year will see the first round of the rainbow tomato garden- I will try to grow as many different kinds as I can for seed saving, the proceed onto color years from there.

Went out to the nursery today and ordered the tree for our wedding. We went with a Greengage plum. It's an heirloom variety, excellent for fresh eating and for making prunes :) And like the name suggests, it has a dusty green skin with a lush orange/yellow flesh. And talked to the folks- I may perhaps be getting some homegrown horseradish rootstock! How frigging awesome is that? I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if they carry it while I was there, and one of the older gents said perhaps he could dig out a bit from his garden for me :)

I so need to sort through all my seeds and figure out if/what I want to put up for trade on the gardenweb- perhaps it would be smart of me to bag it all up and take it with me to tinker with when I'm with the family- I'm hooking up with Bad Bear for my wedding dress and my Brewmaster for wedding yumminess.

Gack, made one of the biggest money expenditures for the wedding a few days ago- rentals. A big tent- geez, did you know they drill into the asphalt to put the thing up? I didn't. Bunch of chairs, couple big tables, several 4/6 top and 2/4 top tables. And my love is too kind to my whimseys- we rented a popcorn maker for the wedding too. I thought it would be nice fun snacky bits.
Holy crap, average wedding in the U.S. is almost 30 grand- price of a really decent car, or small home. WTF?!?!?! Right now, looks like we might be able to make ours in at under 5, with doing it here at Growbox Hill and making it potluck and all. It's really getting back to the "good ole days" like before I was born.. When folks just put on their best dress and brought a dish to pass at the happy couples home.

Checked the cans of herbs today- all 5 basil and dill cans are popping up right fine, the cilantro and parsley still haven't popped yet. The basil is still in it's first tiny leaf stage, but the dill is already leafy a bit :)

Anywho.. off wedding, hehehe.

March 27

Started 108 marigolds, big pot of parsley, three kinds of mustards, oregano, lemon balm, and toothache plant seeds. Potted up the irises I picked up on clearance last fall.
1 Going My Way
2 Firebreather
4 Devil's Riot
4 Rock Star
3 Fall Fiesta
Started a big bowl of mixed lettuce, some broccoli, brussels sprouts, red kale, ornamental kale, golden beets, mixed radishes, rainbow carrots, atomic red carrots, and cosmic purple carrots. 

Started a new food scrap growing experiment today- horseradish. We tons of the stuff, so it's past time to try growing some. When I was out at the nursery the other day, the gent said I could just get a horseradish root from the store and grow it. I'm still hoping that he will give me some roots, but I did go to the store and bought a root- plenty to grate up for good eats and potted up three chunks from the crown. We shall see if those pop up into plants or not. 

Finished cleaning up the Solarium, everything is put away proper now. Still need to sweep though.

And blech, took the Seabring in yesterday, for what I thought was rear brakes. It turned into emergency brakes and a pair of rear upper ball joints. Grrrr, way the fuck more expensive, and something we can't really afford at the moment... But imperative for safety, especially because I'm driving it to WI next week-heh, can't have me dying in an accident right before the wedding. And for the first time, there wasn't any trouble with the back end after work got done, so yeah, very happy with our shop.

And doing bits of cooking today... Decided since it's such a fine day, burgers on the grill with baked garlic dill potatoes and salad, yum.
Picked up a couple packages of flour tortillas the other day on sale, baking those up into garlic chips, super yummy crunchy.
Boiled up some eggs for egg salad sandwiches tomorrow. Gonna make up some Italian veggie salad to go along with it.

Burgers- dude, if you don't know how to throw a burger on the grill, dunno what to tell you. Though I do like to sprinkle some grill seasoning on them.
Garlic dill potatoes- I like to use reds for this. Chunk up taters, drizzle with olive oil, a bunch of fresh garlic, salt and pepper, and dill. Bake uncovered at 350 till tender and yummy. 

Tortilla chips. I like to use the smaller ones for this, but the bigger ones work great too. Simply spray them with a little oil- I own a misto, a pumping oil sprayer, and I would suggest everyone own one, PAM is gross. I like to put a bit of garlic powder on when I'm spraying, but you can do most seasonings, or skip it entirely. Cut into sixths in wedges, if you spray and pile em up, you can cut the whole stack at once. Lay them out in a single layer on cookie sheets, I find one package of smaller tortillas fills two sheets. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, swap the sheets around, and bake another 5 minutes. If needed, bake another minute, but watch those suckers because they brown up FAST!

Egg Salad- Hard boil your eggs and toss them in the fridge overnight. This works best if they are completely chilled. My biggest secret for making great salad is using a pastry cutter. Seriously. Peel all your eggs, and mash them into the texture you like with a pastry cutter before adding anything else in. After that, I like to add in Miracle Whip- I prefer it over Mayo for this. Dry mustard- don't need to add any more liquid, the MW should do it all. Some finely chopped onion- I use regular onions mostly because it's what I have in the house most often, but when I use green onions, I use the whites and greens, adds some pretty color. Capers- I always skip the pickles and go for the capers, frigging waaayyyy better. I like my pickles on the side. A bit of celery salt and white pepper, some parsley. Your stirring in of all that stuff is what gives the eggs their final breakup. Makes a nice firm salad that's very eggy and nicely seasoned, perfect spread on toast. Then I chill the salad for at least an hour to let all those flavors blend.

Italian veggie salad- really, it's just a bunch of chopped veggies tossed with Italian dressing. I like to use tomatoes, cucumber, yellow summer squash, onion, celery, and bell pepper. I often use yellow or orange peppers to add some variety of color, but green works too. Chop all that up into bite sized chunks- don't dice it too small. Add in a drizzle of dressing, and stir it up. TASTE IT before you add salt and pepper, but you will probably need to add some. I like to toss in some extra garlic and Italian seasonings to it too. Let it sit on the counter for at least an hour before serving.
Made too darn much to eat up in a day or two? No problem- it makes for an excellent saute base to cook up a couple sausages or kielbasa- just dump it all in, liquid and all, and toss in your sausages, and burble that shit up. Extra good if you toss in some mushrooms, serves well with a side of rice.

Reset the bird goodies yesterday. Geez, found a dead red belly woodpecker on the squirrel feeder, that was distressing. But I think he fell there rather than something he ate. So I cleared off the feeder and filled it with the ornament nuts that were supposed to go onto the Christmas tree that didn't happen. Tossed all the now completely dried marshmallows down in the sanctuary- even tossed a couple into the water and giggled at the swans trying to figure out WTF to do about them. Refilled the finch feeder with nyjer seed- the finches, sparrows, and chickadees are happy about that. Filled the regular feeder, and the red wing blackbirds, grackles, and chickadees are happy about that. Put up a container each of the dried lemon, orange, and apple slices. The apple and orange are getting snapped up, but the lemon isn't, shocker. Also put out a pile of ground up chicken egg shells for grit and calcium supplement for everyone.
And I swear, the same pair of geese came back this year to plague Mr. McSwanums- it has been funny watching him chase them off.

So, that's been the week so far...

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