I do indeed have a harvest to report this week, despite the record-breaking heat wave last week. The temperatures at John Wayne Airport here in Orange County, CA reported 100 degrees F on both Wednesday and Thursday. No wonder it seemed hot!
On Harvest Mondays, gardeners report what they harvested or what they used from their stored harvests. I’m pleased to report that we ate some of my homemade dill pickles last week. It was too hot to cook, so I just nuked some Hebrew National knockwurst, sliced the sausages, and put them on toast along with mustard and my homemade pickles. Yummy.
Last night, we had a dinner of beef stew. I used grass-fed beef, raised with no hormones, no antibiotics, and never in a feedlot. Ah, but the beef came from Australia, so I get points subtracted for not eating locally. A lot of fossil fuel got burned bringing that beef to my kitchen. I hope it was less than the fossil fuel that is needed to raise corn and soybeans to feed cattle in a feedlot. I know, a vegetarian meal would have been even more environmentally sound, but we do eat meat once in a while.
If you’re like me, you make these things up as you go along. In case you’re interested, here is the recipe.
Beef Stew with Barley and Collard Greens
1.5 lbs grassfed beef stew meat cut in 1″ cubes
1/3 C white whole wheat flour
pepper (freshly ground white, green and black peppercorns)
2 T bacon fat
Dredge the beef chunks in flour with salt, pepper and thyme added to taste. Brown the beef chucks in bacon grease in a large stock pot.
3 small to medium onions (or one large)
1 clove garlic
Add the onions and garlic and continue to brown.
1 C red wine
1 C water
6 tomatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Add liquid and tomatoes, cover, and cook for one hour before adding vegetables.
6 oz. sliced collard greens, ribs removed
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
6 gold potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 C fresh green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
Add the vegetables in the order given, slicing up each new vegetable as the last one was added.
1/2 C barley
1.5 C water
While the vegetables are cooking, cook the barley in water for 45 minutes. Add cooked barley to stew and cook another 15 minutes. Serve with a good bread and a fruit dessert.
My collard greens and the last of our green beans went into this stew, along with homegrown tomatoes and the onions and garlic. Here is our harvest for the week ending November 7, 2010.
3 oz. chard
6 oz. collard greens
4 oz. cucumber
1 oz. green beans
3 lbs 9 oz. tomatoes
TOTAL 4 lbs 7 oz. produce plus 2 eggs
If you’d like to see what other people around the country are harvesting this week, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.