Monday, October 24, 2011

A busy autumn and a recipe to share

I have found myself thinking about writing a blog while working in the garden or weaving or cooking, wishing I had time to share this something or that something. I have done pretty well at writing myself notes with subjects to blog about. The Baked Fries recipe I am sharing a little later is one of those ideas. I hope there will be more spare time soon, now that the summer garden is close to being put to bed for the winter and the winter garden is on autopilot for the most part. But more on the garden in a minute. 

I have recently been working most days in my studio, weaving the new handbag design I've created, and which I'm really excited about. I hope to have 5 finished for my Studio Open House on November 5th and 6th. For more information on my Studio Open House and Garden Sale go to and click on News and Events. My new studio is finished and I'd love for you to come and see it. I'll have my weavings available as well as other gifts and Young Living Essential Oils.

I will also have some things from the garden available out in the greenhouse. You'll find such things as seeds and gourds, herb plants and cut herbs, as well as free information on the hoop houses I've been using for my winter gardens. Visit the hoop houses in the garden if the weather will allow, and please feel free to wander around our farm if you are inclined in that direction.  

As I said earlier, the summer garden is winding down, although there are still pepper, eggplant and zucchini plants out there. The zucchini, which I planted later in the summer, are under a row cover and have been producing pretty squash quite regularly despite the cooler temperatures.

The broccoli which my daughter, May, bought for me at Wal-mart in September, rewarded us with a couple of 8" heads a few days ago, a record for my gardens. There are 3 more out there nearly ready to be picked. The cabbage caterpillers have found the older broccoli plants, one of which I planted in the spring of 2010 and wintered over last year and which is still pumping out good size sprouts. But so far they haven't found the new plants.

One thing that didn't go well for us this year was the Yukon Gold potatoes, which are usually reliable for us. They didn't come up well in our very wet spring. We usually have some late blight, but this year I didn't get them dug as soon as I should have, so we have a small yield and some bad spots on them.

Anyway, we have had to eat them quickly and they won't last until spring like they usually do. Bummer. One of our favorite ways to eat them is Baked Fries. This recipe works well with sweet potatoes, too, which, by the way, did well for us this year and are actually better for you, I have heard.

Baked Fries

Nonstick spray
2 large potatoes (~1 lb.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper

Lightly spray a cookie sheet or large stoneware bar pan with Nonstick spray. Cut potatoes into thin "fries". A layer at a time, put the fries into a bowl and lightly spray with Nonstick spray (olive oil or butter spray both work well, but any will do) and toss after each layer to get the potatoes evenly coated. Mix the rest of the ingredients, adding cayenne or red pepper flakes or any other seasonings you prefer. Add the cheese mixture a little at a time and toss the potatoes until lightly coated. (I save what I don't use in the refrigerator  for the next batch rather than putting on too much. You can even make a double batch of the cheese mixture so you have some on hand for a quick batch on another day.)

Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the pan and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and tender, turning once. Season with salt.

Next time I'll tell you why we think we got such a good crop of sweet potatoes, and, by the way, it isn't too late to plant some spinach and lettuce. I'll post some photos of my hoop houses and give a link to information on how to make one.