Beka To Basics

Real Food Cooking

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Growing Things…

So, I kept seeing these pictures online saying you could grow things from kitchen scraps.  Being the person I am, I had to try it.  For the sake of saving everyone I know some trouble if it didn’t work, of course.  I tried romaine hearts, celery and onion.  Here’s the update:

IMG_0082It works!  The two tall plants in the back of the planter are romaine and the smaller ones in the middle are celery.  The celery seems to be much, much slower than the romaine, but they’re growing!  The front of the planter is bare because that’s where I tried onions.  Yeah…. they didn’t work so well.  I’m not sure if a planter is the best place for onions anyways, so maybe I’ll try that one again somewhere else.

In other news, I have a few tomato plants and some strawberry hanging baskets.  I read about strawberries doing well in hanging baskets, but I don’t think I’ll do it again next year.  They get so dry!  At least in the ground they could look for water if I’m not around to water them.  And of course, a little rose bush.

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Crabcakes! (?Hash?)

I can make fish cakes. I can make black bean patties. I can even make eggplant cakes. But for some reason, whenever I try to make crab cakes, it turns in crab hash that tastes like crab cakes. Oh well, at least it still tastes good, right?

I’m not sure what the problem is.  I have a slightly different recipe for these than my other cakes – it includes an egg, mayonnaise and mustard, but I make it the same consistency as the others, so theoretically, it should work as a crab cake.  I would just bake them, but having that oh, so delicious, crispy crust is so important to me, and I feel like I wouldn’t be able to get it in the oven.  I can’t figure out the problem – too many breadcrumbs? too few? more liquidy stuff needed? less?  Anyone else have this problem?

Butternut Squash – Don’t be afraid of soup in the summer

I’m not, but you probably already figured that out.  It is summer though, so instead of serving soup with lots of broth, I tend to make it thicker, with more veggies and serve it with a salad or follow it with ice cream.

Sometimes, though, a real soup in the middle of summer is ok.  Especially if you time it right, so that you make the soup on the first cool day in a month. So, don’t be afraid, have your soup and eat it too, even when it’s summertime.

This one is really easy and fast too!

Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup

Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup

  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 quart of stock
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
  • olive oil or butter
  • fresh basil, chopped

Heat the olive oil or butter and add the onions and squash.  Saute until softened a bit and then add the garlic and saute for another minute or so.  Add the stock and simmer until the squash is soft.  Add the chicken and basil and serve.

I will admit, while this was good, I feel like it could have used a little something extra.  Next time, I’ll try adding a bit of tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes, and maybe top it with croutons.  Any other ideas?

More Greens

I’m going to guess here and say that Greens are one of the easiest vegetables to grow.  I am guessing that because I have been getting greens every week for the past few weeks.  I have been assured that there will be plenty of other types of vegetables coming, along with… more Greens.  Which leaves me in my kitchen organizing more greens than one person needs in a week, even though I signed up for a one person share.  Oh, and 6 eggs 🙂

CSA Greens

What that doesn’t include is the romaine that is already in my fridge or the peas I got at the market last weekend or the garlic scapes.  They deserve their own post.

All of the greens need to be eaten, or saved in some way to be eaten later and that means I have to figure out how to use them all.  Ok, easy.  Salad greens get washed a cut up with the romaine for salads (with every meal – I now understand why salad greens are only in season for a few months… you eat them, and lots of them and lots more of them until 1) you cannot handle another salad 2) it’s too cold to grow them anymore at which time you move on to the greens that DO grow in cold (ish) soil.)

After the salad greens are taken care of, that leaves sorrel, mustard greens and pak choi (bok choy depending on who you talk to).  I have grown to love sorrel in the past few months and have special plans for another pseudo soup later this week.  Solution?  Put Greens in EVERYTHING:

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