Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fresh Corn from Farmers Market

Saturday morning Jupiter and I went to Farmer's Market. To be totally green, we should walk up to the Farmer's Market that we live close too, but I'm really in love with the Farmer's Market at Deering Oaks in Portland. I mean, they had belly dancers, of all things. Jupiter really liked the belly dancers. I think the farmers did too. But anyway, they also had corn on the cob. A few years ago, I bought fresh corn from Farmer's Market. I love fresh corn from Farmer's Market. It's SO SWEET. It's kind of like eating sugar. And I generally don't cook anything else for dinner, just corn. Jupiter is being stubborn, and thinks she doesn't like corn on the cob. More for me. It's the best corn I've had since I lived in Iowa and one time someone came up to me while I was working at Stop and Go and offered me some of the corn he was driving around in his pickup truck. So Saturday, I spent five dollars on 12 ears of corn. Seems like a lot of corn, but I ate two ears and Elmo ate two ears, then I cut the rest off all the ears of corn and put three ziploc bags of corn into the freezer. Man, do I wish there was a neater way to cut all the corn off the ears. It's a mess! But, come January, I can have some frozen "fresh corn from farmer's market." And I'll think of summer.
My pumpkins are orange. The first amazing fact is that I have pumpkins. That are large and normal looking and orange. This spring I finally got around to putting in a new garden bed between my house and my neighbors house. I have great neighbors. They snowblow my driveway for me all winter. This spring, when the 14 feet of snow from both of our driveways melted and we could find our yards again, my neighbor came out with his rototiller and tilled up where i wanted the new garden bed to go. Then after I hacked off most of the branches from the devil bush (it's not really called that, but it should have been. It has fourty billion thorns on it) they came out with the chainsaw and cut the rest of that down for me too. So I put tomatos and squash in those spots.
And lo and behold if I didn't manage to grow productive plants, for a change. Sunlight is amazing. The squash plants are taking over my yard, my driveway, and are encroaching on the neighbors property. Jupiter took sungold tomatos to school for snack the other day and told all her friends we grew them in our garden. Yay!! And the Roma tomatos are just starting to ripen. I think I will get enough to make some salsa. And the squash, well I have enough. I have to find more recipes. I can make nice chocolate chip cookies with zuchini in them..if you don't tell people they don't even know they have zuchini in them. And there are six full sized pumpkins. With any luck, I'll be able to keep them dry and not rotting until October 31st.
I think I want to cut down the one tree that's left between my house and the neighbors and just make one nice sized garden bed. That would be great.
I was making dal one day during vacation (because I wanted to play with all my spice bottles) and Jupiter was playing with the lentils. Lentils in their dried form are great for sensory kids. After I explained to her what they were, she wanted to plant some in the garden. We did and guess what?? We even have a few lentil plants. Which Jupiter also shared with her friends in Pre-K. It was way to late in the season to actually grow lentils, but she's happy with the plants, anyway. She built a little rock wall around them, even.

My favorite recipe for Masoor Dal

2/3 cup red lentils
1 md size onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder1
1 tsp ground coriander
5 tsp clarified butter (I just use regular butter, tastes fine to me)
1 tsp ground cumin (zeera)
pinch of tumeric
chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 green chili, chopped

Wash the lentils throughly

Put the lentils, half the onion, chili powder and ground coriander into a large saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until lentils are cooked. Skim the froth off from time to time.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and fry the other half of the onion with cumin and turmeric. Add the fried onion to the lentils, making sure the fat does not sputter. Garnish with cilantro and green chili.

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