A bumper crop of apples

 

And a few bags of wild plums, too. As of today there are 40 quarts of apple sauce and 14 pounds of apple slices in the freezer, about 12 pounds of apple slices and a few quarts of wild plums drying, 3 quarts of crabapples soaking in brandy, and 5 gallons of apple wine fermenting (and plans for more). But even after all that there are still many pounds of red and purple crabapples to harvest. I’ve run out of freezer space for these but want to preserve this abundance and will dry many pounds of mixed crabapples into fruit leather spiced with cinammon.

The Rhubarb Harvest is Coming In

Rhubarb

 

Seven quarts of rhubarb are in the freezer already and what’s cooking on the stove right now should add at least seven more. All that is from six plants lightly harvested. Last year’s rhubarb harvest of 35 quarts made it until mid-May, almost twelve months. I eat rhubarb nearly every day on wild rice or parched corn. It also gets added to soups in place of vinegar and sometimes in cakes and cookies to make them moist. With so much rhubarb this year I may try making a batch of wine from the stalks.

 

Rhubarb

Corn Bread with Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes For Corn Bread
Mashed Potatoes For Corn Bread

 

This is an idea I’ve had for a while using mashed potatoes in corn bread. I’m using the same recipe as in my previous post but with the addition of mashed potatoes as a substitute for wheat. I don’t have wheat allergy but I do have plenty of corn and potatoes which are much easier for me to grow and harvest where I live.

Corn Bread Made With Flour Corn, Toasted Sweet Corn, and Mashed Potato
Corn Bread Made With Flour Corn, Toasted Sweet Corn, and Mashed Potato

The recipe for corn bread with mashed potatoes is essentially the same as my other corn bread recipe with a few changes. I added maple syrup and a little more honey because the fingerling potatoes I used have a slight bitter aftertaste.

The Recipe:

2 Cups flour corn meal
1 Cup toasted sweet corn meal
1 Cup mashed potatoes (I used some of my roasted fingerlings)
2 Cups water (divided)
2 Eggs (use an egg substitute if you prefer)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
4 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt

Soak the toasted sweet corn meal for about 15 minutes in one cup warm water. Meanwhile mix the flour corn meal, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl.

When the sweet corn has soaked add the two eggs and oil to it and mix well. Next, add the mashed potatoes, honey, and maple syrup and mix well. Now add the dry ingredient mixture and stir it into the sweet corn meal/egg/potato batter. Add the remaining cup of water and mix well. If the batter seems dry add water one tablespoon at a time until it becomes looser. I don’t use a mixer with my batter just a large fork.

Pour the batter into an 8 inch by 12 inch by 2 inch deep greased pan. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 400º F for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the bread clean.

This is my first try at potato-corn bread and I like the results. The bread is firm, holds together and has a good flavor. I’m having some with my lunch of vegetable soup today.

Corn Bread Without Wheat Flour

Corn Bread
Corn Bread Made Without Wheat Flour

 

When I first began growing corn I only had two varieties of sweet corn (Golden Bantam and another called Black Iroquois). These were allowed to cross and I planted the seeds from that cross the next year resulting in a corn that was black and yellow. I had thought that sweet corn would be suitable for corn meal. It is not. Sweet corn meal becomes gummy and sticky when cooked and does not make a good corn bread. But sweet corn’s stickiness is not a drawback because it can be used in place of wheat flour as I discovered today.

Following the standard recipe for cornbread but substituting sweet corn meal for wheat flour makes a sweet tasting and firm corn bread. I used two cups of corn meal made from Painted Mountain Corn and one cup of corn meal made from toasted (parched) sweet corn. The sweet corn is from cobs that have grown past the milk-stage to full maturity and dried on the stalk.

The recipe:

2 Cups flour corn meal
1 Cup toasted sweet corn meal
2 Cups water (divided)
2 Eggs (use an egg substitute if you prefer)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons honey (or maple syrup if you have it)
4 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt

Soak the toasted sweet corn meal for about 15 minutes in one cup warm water. Meanwhile mix all the other dry ingredients (flour corn meal, baking powder, salt) together in a separate bowl.

When the sweet corn has soaked add the two eggs, honey, and oil to it and mix well. Next add the dry ingredient mixture and stir it into the sweet corn meal/egg batter. Now add the remaining cup of water and mix well. I don’t use a mixer with my batter just a large fork.

Pour the batter into an 8 inch by 12 inch by 2 inch deep greased pan. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 400º F for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the bread clean.

This cornbread is good with black beans or for breakfast and has a real and pleasing corn fragrance.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Roasted French Red Fingerling Potatoes

 

Last summer I grew more potatoes than usual and harvested about 400 pounds of spuds. Part of the crop was for my chickens and part for me. I’ve been eating potatoes in soups, in bean dishes, boiled, roasted, and cooked like hash browns in thick round slices, shredded, or cubed. Mashed potatoes are now a part of the ingredients in wheat bread and corn bread, too.

Yesterday I roasted about 10 pounds of French Red Fingerling Potatoes. I set them in a deep roadster pan, added a little water to create steam, covered the pan and baked at 400º F until they were tender enough for a fork to pass through them (about an hour). Today they will be sliced into thick pieces, browned in a frying pan with a little oil then served with garlic, onions, little bit of habañero pepper sauce, and freshly ground black pepper. They’re so good that way!

Flat Bread with Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Hummus and Flat Bread
Pumpkin Hummus and Flat Bread
A Stack of Flat Bread
A Stack of Flat Bread

I love hummus and baba ganoush but neither chickpeas nor eggplant grow well here in our cool one day, warm the next climate (but I keep on trying!). I grow hundreds of pounds of squash every summer so I’ve had to find new ways to enjoy this delicious fruit (yes, it is a fruit, a berry actually, and not a vegetable). Pumpkin hummus is, like chickpea hummus and baba ganoush, a Levantine spread that uses tahini (sesame butter), olive oil, and garlic with cooked mashed winter squash or pumpkin. The hummus recipe I use is one adapted from a vegan pumpkin-tofu hummus recipe that I’ve had for many years. But after the first few made with tofu I left it out because after freezing the hummus became very watery. I have also experimented with changing some ingredient quantities to my tastes using more tahini, more garlic, and hot spices. I make a lot of pumpkin hummus each year and keep many quarts of it in the freezer for year round use and often serve it on homemade flat bread. The recipes for flat bread and pumpkin hummus are very simple and easy to make.

Flat Bread Ingredients and Recipe
2 Cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
A pinch of yeast
Water

Preparation
Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, then mix in the oil. Add water slowly mixing with a spoon until a dough begins to form. Knead with hands until dough is soft and not sticky. Add a little more water if the dough is too dry. Keep covered in a warm place for 2 hours. Don’t worry if it doesn’t rise because it isn’t supposed to much.

After 2 hours take the dough and form small dough balls about 2 inches in diameter. Flatten these with your hand on a board sprinkled with a little flour and roll them out with a rolling-pin into round sheets about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. When you ave several made start cooking on a warm lightly oiled griddle. Flip the flat bread over after about a minute and cook the other side for a minute. Then flip again watching to be sure it doesn’t burn. Flip over cook a little longer. I flip the flat bread over several times to keep the cooking even. It should take about three to four minutes to completely cook. Some bubbles and air pockets will form as the bread cooks. Makes about 15 to 18 flat breads.

Pumpkin Hummus Ingredients and Recipe
16 ounces of cooked mashed squash
4 Tablespoons tahini
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (white wine vinegar can be substituted)
1 Teaspoon cumin
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2 or 3 large cloves of garlic

Preparation
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until very smooth. I gradually add more lemon juice or wine vinegar as the hummus is blending if it doesn’t taste acidic enough.

For a hotter spicier pumpkin hummus add crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. For a different flavor you can use roasted garlic in place of fresh garlic.

Serving
Chill, garnish with paprika, fresh parsley or chopped chives and serve on warm flat bread. The hummus is sweet tasting with a hint of garlic and lemon juice. Enjoy!