Green Garden Goodness™



Juicing What?

Sabastian : May 19, 2013 10:02 pm : Community, Green Garden Goodness, Real Estate Market, Recipes

Juicing is quite the rage in Santa Cruz.

In this fest carrot, beet, apple, loquat, two types kale, Jucingmint, oregano, rosemary, zucchini leaf, ginger, aloe and red, green and yellow chard with a lemon. You can juice just about anything.Split_AloeLoquat-Fruit

 

 

 

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The Garden – Blasting Through The Universe

Sabastian : May 18, 2013 2:23 pm : Community, Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

The Garden is Blasting through the Universe at speeds not recognized by the naked eye.

Get fresh Basil by making a donation to the Community Housing Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Inc.

Get fresh Basil by making a donation to the Community Housing Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Inc.

Right now you can get Basil by making a donation to the Community Housing Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Inc.

Call the CHLTSCC Now at: (831) 345-2303

Basil is so nice on a summers day zesty and spicy.

Pesto Bounty

* 2 packed cup fresh basil leaves washed and spun
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1/4 cup pine nuts
* 5 large garlic cloves cut in pieces
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground salt
* large pinch coarse ground black pepper

Layer half the oil, garlic and pine nuts; add basil leaves, cheese, salt, pepper, then remaining oil. Puree in blender until smooth. Makes over a cup aromatic Pesto Bounty from Green Garden Goodness.

Make Pesto Bounty with the heads of this deep green gift.

Make Pesto Bounty with the heads of this deep green gift.

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Ol’ Cowboy Boot Starter

Sabastian : January 1, 2011 3:00 am : Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

There is no better way to start the new year than to get some sourdough starter goin’.

Thirty years ago, or so, my Uncle Bob stumbled across some hundred year old sourdough starter said to have been carried across the country in the boot of a cowboy. It was kept a kickin’ and pasted from boot to hand, city to town, hill to dale, prairie to trail. The stories are as deep as a ten gallon hat and as long as a cattle drive. Yee haw!

Ye all know a good story is made of part truth n’ part fiction, but therein lies the worth in tellin’. How good is it in the life of them that heard? And this tail got me thinkin’ I might just be game to havin’ a wild bunch of livin’ culture on my counter fer a spell.

Now you all just settle down. This ain’t any more complicated than fattenin’ a herd. Starter is just a flour and water mixture containing yeast. Back in the day they used wild yeasts that came straight out of their environment. In fact, starter begins to take on the wild yeast of it’s local. That’s probably why San Francisco has such a reputation for sourdoughs and it being so difficult to duplicate breads from other regions. But hell, what do I know? This is just a tail anyway.

Now I happen to be lucky enough to have a starter that has been workin’ fer awhile. You can just as easily start one up from scratch. But then, what is really scratch these days? A lot people think that ‘from scratch’ is a can this and a package of that, mix ’em up and voilà, as they say in french. I like to think that ‘from scratch’ is a whole lot more basic combination of bare elements and not some pre-packaged stuff. But I’ve been known to take a short cut or two, once in a while, so I’ll forgive you and myself at the same time.

The Not So Scratch Recipe Is Pretty Simple:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet active-dry yeast
2 cups warm water

Mix it together and cover with a cloth (wild yeast from your environment can pass through the cloth) and set the starter in a warm place. Shortly it’ll bubble and froth as it ferments. That reminds me of a story about my Grandma’s ‘Worthy’, but that ‘ill be told another day. The starter will develop a pleasant sour smell. Every couple of days take some out and feed it with like amounts of flour and water.

Yeah. You can use some wholewheat or even some rye. It’s  just like a story, never told the same, but if you get certain things right, it works. For instance a warm place is 70 to 80° Fahrenheit (temperatures over 100° will kill it) and warm water is 105 to 115° Fahrenheit. Use only glass or high fire glazed ceramics. Don’t use metal, plastic or low fire ceramics that may contain lead. High chlorine will stop the process, of course, that’s what chlorine does, is kill everything. Try a diluted mixture of chlorine and water on the mold in your tub. Zing!

Really From Scratch Recipe:

Get some organic rye and wheat berries. Grind them down to flour. The wild yeast is on the berries and just needs to be woken up. On day one mix together two tablespoons of the whole grain flour and  two tablespoons unsweetened pineapple or orange juice, cover and set in a warm place. Yeast needs a little more acidity to grow, thus the juice. The next day add the same amount of flour and juice, stir it up good, cover and set again. You should start it bubble a bit. On day three you add more of the same. The fourth day you throw half away and add a quarter cup of any kinda flour and a quarter cup a water, stir it up good, cover and set again.

Well now, I suppose you want a bread recipe. This is as simple as it gets:

Lil’ Loaf

¾ cup Starter
½ cup Water
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Sugar
¾ teaspoon Salt

Mix, knead, let rise twice till doubled, third time shape, when risen bake in 350º Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes, brush with water, bake another 35 minutes. Oh, by the by, replace what was taken from the starter jar with like amounts of flour and water.

As you slice, tear, dip or drizzle remember the story that brought you to this place and always know, ‘You’re never alone when it comes to food.’

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Bread Stuffing

Sabastian : December 18, 2010 3:26 pm : Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

Bread Dressing or Stuffing

For One Turkey or In Mass

*** NOTE *** One or In Mass separated by ‘/’ forward slash

INGREDIENTS:

•    1/4 cup finely chopped onions / 4 cups -2 extra large
•    1/2 cup chopped celery / 8 cups – two bunches
•    1/4 cup shredded carrot / 4 carrots
•    1/3 cup butter / 2 lbs
•    4 cups bread cubes / 6 loafs dried bread cubes
•    2 eggs, beaten / 16 eggs
•    Turkey or chicken broth / 4 – 14 oz. chicken broth
•    1 teaspoon pepper / 6 tablespoons
•    1/2 teaspoon salt / 3 tablespoons
•    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground sage / 3 tablespoons
•    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning / 3 tablespoons

PREPARATION:
Sauté onion and celery in the butter until softened with salt, pepper, sage and poultry seasoning. Mix broth and eggs together combine with onion mixture and in a large mixing bowl or chaffing dishes, toss with dried bread cubes until well moistened. Enough for an 8 to 10-pound turkey or 3 chaffing dishes. Or, bake in a greased covered shallow casserole at 325° for about 35 to 45 minutes. Take the cover off the last 5 minutes to brown.
There are many variations to stuffing. This is just a base recipe. Other suggested ingredients are: Apple and/or Raisins, some people like the giblets in there, and some like oysters. I suggest trying it on yourself before subjecting your guests to a wild experiment.
This recipe has been used many times, small and large. Please be careful of with the ingredients list. It has the amounts for both small and large portions. You won’t like six tablespoons of pepper in a small recipe.

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Flaky Pie Crust – How?

Sabastian : November 26, 2010 8:58 pm : Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

Flaky |ˈflākē| (also flakey) adjective ( flakier , flakiest ) 1 – breaking or separating easily into small thin pieces; 2 – crazy or eccentric.

Let’s go with the ‘separating easily into small thin pieces’ bit. Isn’t this what you want your pie crust to do? Flake? Why does or doesn’t it flake? And how do you make it do it?
I like to remember that cooking is basically chemistry; mixtures, solutions etc. This is one of those times you have to get it right if you want it to do what you want it to do. Flake. With pie crust we are dealing with water and oil; they don’t mix and that’s good.
With flour and a bit of salt in a bowl, cut in cold shortening with a couple of table knives and then fork in some water. The shortening attaches to some of the flour; the water is repelled by the oil and attaches the remaining flour. The water activates the sticky nature of the gluten and the oil is absorbed by the flour leaving some of the flour free and some of the other flour stuck. There you have it flakes when cooked.

Measuring shortening is a trick, if you want a precise measurement. For this we consult Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Archimedes was asked by King Hiero II to calculate the volume of an irregularly shaped Golden Crown without damaging it. In contemplating the problem he took a bath and noticed the displacement of the water in the tub as he got in. So back to pies. Fill a large vessel with water, to the brim. Remove one cup of water. Spoon in shortening until the water brims again. Eureka! One cup of irregularly shaped shortening.

Flaky Pie Crust

* 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 cup shortening very-cold
* 5 to 7 tbsp ice water

Let’s make a pastry shell. Mix flour and salt in round medium bowl. Cut in flour to the size of peas.

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Make a well and fork in Ice Cold water, one tablespoon at a time, lightly fluffing up the well area and being careful not to smash it all up.

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Roll out pastry on a cold, floured surface, from the middle out. Loosen and fold in half for ease in setting a top the pie.

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Moisten the edges with water as a gluten sealant. Don’t forget the butter.

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Secret To Real Stand-Up Fluffy Waffles

Sabastian : November 21, 2010 5:46 pm : Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

Real Stand-Up Fluffy Waffles
Fluffy is airspace and in this case it is provided by whipped egg whites. If you make extra, the leftovers can be frozen for a taste treat another day. (see note)
•    1-¾ cups    all-purpose flour
•    2 tbl    sugar
•    1 tbl    baking powder
•    ¼ tsp    salt
•    3    eggs
•    1-¾ cups    milk
•    ½ cup    cooking oil, olive oil or melted butter
•    1 tsp    vanilla
In a bowl stir together Dry ingredients. Separate yolks form whites. Whip egg whites to a peak. In another bowl stir together remaining wet ingredients.
Mix together wet and dry mixtures. Fold in Whites
Pour 1 cup batter onto grids of a preheated, lightly greased 7” waffle baker. Do not open until done (approx. 3 min.) Use a fork to lift waffle off grid. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes six waffles.
For Buttermilk Waffles: Reduce baking powder to 1 tsp and add 1/2 tsp baking soda. Substitute 2 cups buttermilk for the 1-¾ cups milk.

Note: Freeze the left-overs between wax paper sheets for toasty taste treats later.

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Sebastian’s Chicken Genius

Sabastian : November 11, 2010 7:39 pm : Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

A Simple Life Saver

In big pot and a little oil, add two halved and quartered large onion, ten cloves garlic minced then half dozen each, carrots and celery stalk, chopped large and sauté flavors together.
Place rinsed whole bird into pot, cover with water, bring to boil, turn down to simmer. Add tablespoon poultry seasoning and teaspoon pepper. Continue simmering until the liquid reduces and meat separates easily from the bone, approximately one hour. Remove bird and let cool to de-bone. Add twelve ounces wide egg noodles, cook al-dente. Return meat to stock, salt to taste.
Sebastian Genius!

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Pesto Bounty

Sabastian : October 19, 2010 1:27 pm : Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

When we first planted basil, years ago, we planted an enormous amount because we loved pesto so much we wanted basil all year. We thought we had to pull the whole plant up to harvest it. Not so. With a small patch of basil you can have a seemingly endless supply of Pesto Bounty all year.

This little patch has given us more batches of pesto than I can remember. There are so many ways to enjoy basil and pesto. We’ve made Pesto Pasta, Pesto Pizza, Insalata Caprese (tomatoes-basil-mozzarella), Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil and mid-night snackers is spreading fresh pesto on sour dough french bread. (Note from Chef: Swab out the Osterizer with bread. Yumm!)

As the basil grows we harvest only the crowns, allowing new crowns to sprout and mature. On each stalk, just below the crown, there are small shoots ready to take over and grow into new crowns.

Each time you top the plant it is doubled with two more shoots. Crowning allows you regularly harvest the true bounty the plant has to offer. Basil doesn’t need to dominate your garden area to be plentiful.

Don’t let the plants flower or the growth process will shift to reproduction. If you want seeds for the next year let one of the plants mature after the first few toppings.

A basic pesto paste can be used in numerous ways. This is a simple basic pesto recipe. You should tinker with ingredient amounts to develop a receipt that suits your palette. Don’t be afraid of varying the amounts. You will soon have a recipe that you can call your own:

Pesto Bounty

* 2 packed cup fresh basil leaves washed and spun
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1/4 cup pine nuts
* 5 large garlic cloves cut in pieces
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground salt
* large pinch coarse ground black pepper

Layer half the oil, garlic and pine nuts; add basil leaves, cheese, salt, pepper, then remaining oil. Puree in blender until smooth. Makes over a cup aromatic Pesto Bounty from Green Garden Goodness.

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Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Sabastian : October 5, 2010 9:47 pm : Green Garden Goodness, Recipes

This is a simple banana nut bread for a simple November 2nd election.

* 1 cup sugar (white & brown ½ & ½)
* ½ cup butter
* 2 eggs
* 1 tea vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 tea baking soda
* 3 soft, ripe bananas
* ½ cup chopped walnuts
Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs, flour, soda, bananas, and chopped nuts. Pour banana bread batter into a greased and floured 9×9 square; bake in a preheated 325° oven for about one hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. This banana nut bread recipe makes one loaf. Let stand.

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Spider in the Garden

Sabastian : September 26, 2010 12:56 pm : Green Garden Goodness

Spidy

Spider in the garden
Stealth and sleek
Climbed on your shoulder to take a peek
Found a little pocket, eggs she laid
All the little spiders danced and played

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Its time to take a fresh look at the garden and get a little closer to where our food comes from. Being detached from our food’s origin can be costly and poisonous.

We Want Our Garden Back

Consider the simplicity of the concept of freshness. What is being promoted as fresh may in fact be dead. The greens and lettuce are rinsed in bleach. The apples are cold storage in gas. And much of our food is irradiated (expose to gamma rays to kill microorganisms.

This Section of Fresh Ground News™ is dedicated to finding you the best, freshest and most desirable foods available in our Santa Cruz County area. Everything from CSA Farms to local grocers and farmers markets. We encourage active input and comment to help us find these valuable resources. Green Garden Goodness™ will post and index businesses and resources as we receive and verify their validity.

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