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We have a few neighbors and friends that like to garden. One of them brought us some fresh onions the other day.

fresh onions

fresh onions

They were beautiful. A beautiful gift.

What treat are you enjoying from your garden or local farmer’s market?

Sincerely, Emily

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On Sunday I posted a photo of the quail eggs that I brought home from a recent barter.

They are so tiny and so beautiful. Each quail has its own distinct patter on the eggs that she lays – like a fingerprint. That is amazing, isn’t it?! Imagine my surprise when I started cracking them open and found some that were colored inside – a beautiful range of light blue/aqua. Nature is amazing!

Quail eggs

Quail eggs

I had no idea how many quail eggs made an omelet, so my plan was to just keep adding eggs until it looked like the amount of two chicken eggs. Well, I got a little carried away. The first omelet had 18 eggs in it. That was just too many.

Quail egg Omelet

Quail egg Omelet

We are eating a lot of things out of the garden right now. Peppers from the garden, along with beautiful onions from my neighbor, and local mushrooms from Kitchen Pride.

As I think back to the barter and all the wonderful things that I come home with, I smile when I think of the variety of eggs: Quail, Chicken, Duck, Turkey. All the eggs are beautiful.

What kind of eggs are in your refrigerator?

Sincerely, Emily

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“The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.”

Vita Sackville-West

When I read this quote, I thought about the onions I grow here at Chiot’s Run. For some reason, I have never been able to grow an onion of respectable size. I’ve tried each and every year, and no matter what I do or what variety of onions I grow, the onions I harvest are tiny. I still eat my “pearl” onions, usually peeled whole and thrown in with a roast. They’re quite tasty of course, but for their size they sure waste a lot of garden space that I could use for other more productive crops. I know that part of my problem is the terrible soil and my lack of full-sun (huge trees shade all up a small portion of my garden).

I definitely live this quote, I’m optimistic each and every year that the onions I grow will finally be larger. I’m confidant that some day my soil will finally be good enough, and I’ll find a variety that is suited to my conditions. I try different varieties of onions, I buy sets, start some from seed and this past year I tried heirloom potato onions and Egyptian Walking onions from Southern Exposure.

Potato onions are like shallots, you plant one main bulb in the fall and in the summer you harvest clusters of onions that grow from the main bulb. They vary in sizes from small to large. I planted a few of these in my back garden and few in the front garden. When I harvested the ones in front I was pleasantly surprised, finally a decent sized onion from my garden. I’ll definitely be saving some of these and planting more this fall. The Egyptian Walking onions didn’t do as well, I had one or two that grew nicely, but most languished and don’t look so healthy. I’ll most likely be moving these to another location in the garden to see if I can find a place they’ll love.

I’ll add potato onions to my list of must grow each year and I’ll continue growing regular onions from sets and seed and new varieties. This fall I’m attempting to grow leeks to overwinter. I do this because I’m never satisfied, I know I can always do better, especially when it comes to the food I grow! There’s such a wide variety of things to grow, one of my favorite things about gardening is growing all kinds of things, whether they do well or not!

Do you have a specific vegetable that you just can’t seem to grow?

I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.

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I don’t know about you but I have a lot of potatoes that are just at the brink of not being good for eating anymore.  So we have been scrambling about here to try to use them up asap!

A lot have gone into Baked Potato Soup since out weather is still cool and wet.  The morning after we are likely to use some of the leftover baked potatoes for potato patties…one of our all time favorite things!

The trick to these is to use a potato that has not been over cooked since you are going to grate them.  You can use baked, boiled or steamed.  Just make sure they are fairly firm and have been refrigerated…it is much harder to grate a warm potato!

Ingredients…

6 to 8 medium russet type potatoes, cooked, cooled, peeled (if you want) and grated

1/2 sweet onion grated

2 to 3 cloves finely minced garlic

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional herbs alone or in combination to taste…

Thyme

Celery Seed

Oregano

Cayenne

Chili Powder

Another option is adding freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Mix all the ingredients together. Using about 1/2 cup of the mixture for each, form into patties.  Place in frying pan and press with spatula to form.  Fry in hot oil or butter until nicely browned, flipping once.  Keep patties in warm oven until they are all fried and ready to serve.

So if you have left over cooked potatoes this is an simple way to please your whole family…these are seriously good!

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bunch of tomatoes

All I can say is my oh my do I have tomatoes…planted 40 plants

WHAT was I thinking???

They looked so little when in their tiny starter cells.

So what to do with all these?

How about raw tomato sauce

Raw? Why raw you are wondering…

Well here is the deal, I have recently become vegan…but this has nothing at all to do with that!

So no I am not a raw food vegan…

I am a lazy vegan….as opposed to a lazy vegetarian which I perfected over decades of hardly working!!!

I just don’t want to stand around a big pot all day cookin’ up sauce so…

tom crate3

I decided that lazy was the word for the day I would make the sauce raw…

Why not I said to myself…there is no law stopping me.

So that is precisely what I did!

tomato sauce1

First I washed…

Then I cored…

Then I threw…I threw them into my Vita-Mix that is!

Then I added…

pepper4

Part of a pretty pepper from my plot…say that 3 times fast!

To which I also added…

tomato sauce2

Fresh basil, part of a sweet onion…

Parsley from my window sill…

Salt, pepper…

Roasted garlic…I LOVE roasted garlic!

If you put something roasted in your raw sauce does that not make it raw anymore?

And a touch of organic extra virgin olive oil.

Whirred it all around and voila’

Fresh, raw, yummy tomato sauce…

Which I forgot to take a picture of…sorry!

 

We have used this on pasta

Over roasted eggplant

As chilled soup

As tomato juice with a dash of Tabasco!

And of course with as many tomatoes as I have…we froze A LOT!

I must say it is scrumptious…is it exactly like cooked tomato sauce…no

But it beats standing around a big ol’ pot in the middle of August!

Go… enjoy…

Eat!

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Cassandra’s Question: I have some multiplier onions that I have been harvesting as-needed for  the past couple of months. I can tell they are about to go to seed. I plan on saving some for my next planting. I have many that I need to pick for eating. How can I preserve them?  I have been told that onions don’t freeze well (aside from flash freezing.) How would they dehydrate, do you think? How else can I save  them?

Kristine’s Answer: I LOVE dehydrated onions. I slice them in rings, put them on the dehydrator and rotate until dry. They are so sweet and tasty, its easy to eat them all up just as they are! Otherwise, we throw them in some  hot water to regenerate them and add them to any dish we are cooking. To store them, we place them in a glass jar and store in a cool, dark place.

Kathie’s Answer:I like them dehydrated too, just like Kristine said.  French onion soup freezes well, its also something that’s easy to make in big batches.  Simply make it according to your favorite recipe and freeze before you get to the step where you add croutons and cheese.  Add the croutons and cheese when you heat and serve.  You can also make and can things like pickled onions, onion relish, and many chutneys include onions (but they may also include other things that aren’t in season right now).

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