Thursday, February 23, 2012

Urban Homesteading

So far this year, a lot of our personal growth has been centered around urban homesteading, working in the garden and playing in the kitchen.

Last weekend, we planted our Spring crops: strawberries, peas, carrots, parsnips, beets and radish. We pulled a lot of the winter crops (mostly greens), leaving only a few behind that continue to produce (mustard greens, cabbage), and those which we hope will over-winter and produce next year (habanero and jalapeno peppers). The blueberry and goji berry bushes continue to grow (slowly), the herb garden is looking healthy, the camelia is starting to bloom, and it appears as though some self-sown tomato plants are trying to get an early start to the season.

Mustard Greens and Cabbage

Strawberries in a wine half barrel

Recently, we made granola for the first time: a blueberry macadamia granola, and a cranberry almond granola. Both turned out amazing, much better than store-bought granola. Here's the recipe we used:


3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweeteend
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1 cup toasted mixed nuts, chopped
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
4 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups mixed dried fruit

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the dried fruit. Stir well to incorporate.

Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out into an even layer. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the depth of goldenness you’re looking for), stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and and cool completely, in its pan. Once the granola is cool, mix in the dried fruit, and serve.

Cranberry Almond granola

We also made a Serrano pepper hot sauce (which will be stored in a cool dark place for six weeks before use), and apple butter. Apple butter and almond butter on a rice cake or toast is divine.

Hot Sauce

Apple Butter

OK, that's all for now. It's time to decant the kombucha, and soon the kim chee will be ready, and isn't it about time we went on another mushroom hunt, and then it will be time to try the hot sauce, and what about…

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