In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen
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California Farmers Markets

California Farmers' Markets

In Maryland, my local farmers' markets close up for the winter season. In warmer climes like California and the southern states, markets go on year round. For we gardeners who are awaiting the growing season with baited breath--here are some mouthwatering shots of produce taken at the Santa Cruz farmers' market.

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Homemade Kombucha Know-how

Homemade Kombucha Know-how

Whether you’ve been enjoying kombucha for years or you’re new to the idea of drinking fermented sweet tea, The Big Book of Kombucha is your complete guide to the art of brewing and enjoying this healthful beverage.

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Cilantro & Citrus--Great Salad Combo!

Cilantro & Citrus--Great Salad Combo!

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It is January and here in my zone 7 garden, my fall-sown coriander seed is still producing cilantro leaves. While they are not huge and hearty as they are in spring and fall--I am still gathering fresh leaves to brighten winter salads. Here is one of my favorite salad recipes.

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Cilantro & Coriander, Herb of the Year 2017

Cilantro & Coriander, Herb of the Year 2017

This year we celebrate Cilantro & Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) as Herb of the Year 2017. The leaf of the coriander plant is known as cilantro throughout much of the western world. It is often called coriander leaf and Chinese parsley in other parts of the globe. The seed is known as coriander and has been used as a spice--from as far back as the ancient Egyptians and was mentioned in the Bible. It's time to order your seed to have it in time for early spring planting!

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Resolve to Enjoy Fermented Vegetables in the New Year

Resolve to Enjoy Fermented Vegetables in the New Year

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One of the newest healthy food trends this year is also one of the oldest. Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, are good for you, and they’re also just plain good. Here's all you need to get started.

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Herbal Products for 2017

Herbal Products for 2017

I had planned on doing a blog about favorite herbal products for holiday gifts, however this is an even better time to post some of these amazing creations--for the new year--and to help get us through the cold and dark days ahead. I want to extol the virtues of some herbal businesses that I know and use on a regular basis from growers, purveyors, bloggers and creators of delicious and delightful herbal products.

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Yuletide Plants from the Global Garden

Yuletide Plants from the Global Garden

The plants we like to grow in our gardens hold special symbolism at Christmas time. Many of our favorite fruits, berries and nuts are much more than sweet treats we enjoy in December.

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Holiday Gifts from Gardeners

Holiday Gifts from Gardeners

Lists for holiday gifts for gardeners are just about everywhere you look this month. But here’s a list with a twist: ideas for gifts from vegetable gardeners, like you.

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Cucurbitas: Winter Squash and Pumpkins

Cucurbitas: Winter Squash and Pumpkins

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One of the best things about fall and winter seasons is that we get to eat seasonal foods--root vegetables, winter squash and pumpkins, brassicas, cool-weather greens, apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmons, all sorts of nuts and more. Most of these foods store well, so we are able to enjoy them during the cold weather. I especially like winter squash and pumpkin; their bright orange and yellow flesh brightens our meals and nourishes us. Here are a few that I have grown, or are easy to get at your farmers' markets, local farm stands, organic markets and even the grocery store.

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Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Sweet Potatoes and Apples

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It's that time of year that we want to eat warming comfort foods. I try to use vegetables, fruits and nuts that are in season. This recipe features two of my favorites--sweet potatoes and apples--in a simple yet scrumptious dish. It is easily prepared in a crockpot, although it can be made in a dutch oven or covered casserole in the oven.

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Tips for Keeping a Waste Free Kitchen

Tips for Keeping a Waste Free Kitchen

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This holiday season is the ideal time to rethink your approach to cooking and eating. It’s easy to get started with "Waste Free Kitchen Handbook" by Dana Gunders.

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Have you planted your garlic yet?

Have you planted your garlic yet?

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It's that time of year again... as the leaves begin to fall, it is time to think about getting your garlic bed ready to plant. It is so worthwhile to grow your own because there is such a vast array of types to choose from, which you just cannot get at the grocery store. I personally prefer hardnecks over softnecks, although I always grow some of each for their flavor and for storage.

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The Burren Perfumery Garden

The Burren Perfumery Garden

Here's one last garden for you to see from my recent trip to Ireland, the Burren Perfumery. It is a unique and lovely place to visit with its shop full of fragrant botanical products, informational video of the burren and its plants, soap room, distillery, cafe and herb gardens.

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How to Start a Food Swap

How to Start a Food Swap

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Do you have a hankering to put more homemade edibles on your pantry shelf while building community at the same time? Then it’s time to learn how to start a food swap.

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Quinoa

Quinoa

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Quinoa is another food indigenous to South America domesticated as a food crop 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. We are seeing more and more recipes using this crunchy, nutritive grain. This tasty salad is easy and quick to prepare.

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Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring Plants of South America

Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring Plants of South America

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Last weekend, we celebrated the 27th annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring the foods of South America at the Ozark Folk Center. Learn about some of the foods indigenous to this continent--you might be surprised!

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Herbal Harvest: Basil and More...

Herbal Harvest: Basil and More...

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It's that time to gather in the last basil harvest--as well as any other tender herbs--because they will go with the first frost. Here's a few things that I do with an abundance of basil.

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September Garden Harvest

September Garden Harvest

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Well the late September garden is full of chiles as well as herbs to harvest and preserve... that's what I've been doing the past few days. And the annual flowers are blooming their hearts out--getting the last of the calendula flower heads and gathered the nasturtiums for a lovely, peppery vinegar. I also sowed some lettuce seeds, cold-weather spinach, cilantro,kale and radishes; I am not sure whether they will germinate and produce before the cold weather sets in, though I decided to take a chance. If they do germinate, I'll be covering them with floating row cover for sure.

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Last Day of Summer

Last Day of Summer

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Today is the last day of summer and tomorrow heralds the autumnal equinox. The summer garden is definitely looking like fall is in the air. See what my zone 7 Maryland garden looks like and what I'm harvesting and preserving.

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Small Batch Fermentation Made Simple

Small Batch Fermentation Made Simple

Fermenting is the age-old method for preserving fruits and vegetables and making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi and more. Here's a DIY fermenting kit to help vegetable gardeners get started with small batches of tasty, healthy foods.

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