Back in September when I wrote the first “A week of eating from the garden” post, I thought it would be fun to do this regularly and record how much of what we eat is homegrown and how the menu changes with the seasons. The last time was a moment of transition from summer to fall and this week feels like a transition from fall to winter. We had our first frost this week and by now we are only harvesting hardy vegetables.
A few thoughts:
1. I am quite proud (and thankful!) when I realize how much we still harvest. Quite a lot of planning goes into planting the garden in a way that will provide fresh produce throughout the year and it is definitely paying off now. That said, part of the reason the harvests are still so good is the unusually mild weather this fall.
2. Listing all the dishes we make and eat during a week makes me realize how many recipes from the blog archives we still cook regularly. A very good sign, I think.
3. Menu planning is a very good habit that I am trying to practice (sometimes more successfully than other times). We go to the allotment on Sundays and on Mondays I work in the community garden, so that is when I pick the vegetables for the coming week. If I sit down to make a menu plan for the week, I know we will eat better and I will not have to shop as often. But it is a very complicated task, since I have to take into account so many things: not only the available vegetables, but also the preferences of different family members, my schedule ( I teach two evenings so we have to eat early then), incorporating enough protein, etc.
4. I hate taking pictures in artificial light – ugh! Because I work at home most of the time, I often prepare dinner in advance, especially when I teach in the evening. In that case I can take pictures in natural light. But after 4 pm, artificial light is the only option, which is why some of the pictures look the way they look . Sorry, had to get that off my chest.
This is the harvest that I started with:
Romaine lettuces, beets and some smallish carrots, leeks, chard, radishes, mustard leaves mix, parsnips and endive. On Monday I also brought home Jerusalem artichokes, more chard, thyme and sage from the community garden. The carrots I just washed and put on the table and Sebastiaan munched on them while doing his homework. I prewashed most of the greens, because having an already washed lettuce versus having to wash it while preparing dinner can make a difference between having a salad with dinner or not. I do not always feel like washing the vegetables right away, but I know my future-self will thank me. I also boiled the beets, peeled them and mixed with a vinegary dressing and stored them in the fridge to use later in the week.
And this is what we ate:
Sunday: Spiced quinoa and roasted squash salad
The mustard greens were homegrown, the squash sadly was not, since our harvest this year was not great. We used our last winter squash for the soup on Saturday. Recipe for the salad is here.
Monday: Leeks and goat cheese galette with Gutsy lettuce salad
Tuesday: Chard, ricotta and saffron cakes with radicchio salad
Chard for the ricotta cakes came both from our allotment and from the community garden. For the salad I used some radicchio and endive leaves from our garden.
Wednesday: Potato mash with endive, smoked tofu and half-pickled beets
We still eat this Dutch classic weekly, since we have so much endive in the garden. Only I serve it with smoked tofu instead of the traditional smoked sausage.
Thursday: Farro and roasted root vegetables salad
The weather is finally seasonally cold, hence the appeal of switching on the oven and roasting vegetables. I used a mix of home grown parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and a few of our sweet potatoes plus some store bought organic carrots. I doubled the recipe to bring some to Friday’s potluck.
On Friday and Saturday I was teaching at the Permaculture Design Course in Deventer. All participants brought something to share for lunch and the food was delicious, unusual and in many cases at least partly home grown. In front, next to my farro salad, you can see pickled nasturtiums seeds and kimchi. There was a quiche, home baked bread, frittata, several salads and much more. It is almost worth taking the course just for the lunches 🙂
Saturday: African pumpkin soup with curry and ginger
Another recipe from the archives that we cook often. Remco and Esther made it from our last winter squash, when I was away teaching. I must say it is awesome having a fourteen year old daughter who knows her way around the kitchen!
Sunday: Souffléed Pancake with caramelized Apples
I was not kidding when I said we make this delicious pancake for breakfast every Sunday. And after the breakfast we go to the allotment and harvest vegetables for the coming week and then it is time to plan a new menu…