End Of Garden Beets

This is the swan song for the garden beets for this year. Although they were not as prolific as last years bounty, we have enjoyed beets for many meals.

A pan full of baby beets ready to cook.These little beauties are the runts that were left after I had picked over the row all summer.

Many times I have made raw beet salad with diced apples and pears soaked in a honey, ginger and Balsamic vinegar dressing. But these are going to be boiled until tender, drained, and sliced to top green salad for dinner.

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It Really is Lobster-ish

For those who have been reading along with my blog for a while. You know that I enjoy fall days and mushroom hunting. Although I cannot name every mushroom in the forest, I only harvest the ones that I am absolutely positive are edible species. If in doubt, throw it out; this is my motto with any question about edibility.

Since the heavy rains we had, the forest is popping with mushrooms. I decided to take a one-bucket hike to see what the woods had in store. I figure I’m about two days away from having a large amount both in volume and diversity to choose from. The ground beneath the larger fir trees is now damp enough to support the fungus growths.

I was looking for chanterelles for dinner, Mike had been hunting deer the day before and said that they were starting to show under the more dense areas in the woods. I did find a handful of chanterelles, but I also found three lobster mushrooms. Continue reading

A Day at the Clatskanie Mill

A day away from the farm recently became a unique learning experience.

Since we do our own logging, even though it is small scale in regard to full-time logging operations, we had the opportunity to attend a Log Scaling Workshop in Clatskanie. Along with 80 other loggers, buckers, haulers and landowners, we reviewed logs set out in the log sorting yard and discussed the unique properties of each log and how the mill would cut the timber into useable log products. Continue reading

Fresh Peppermint

The peppermint has starting growing for the season in the wet areas down by the river. Crush a few leaves as I step into a patch and I am surrounded with the minty scent as it swirls around. If I had more gumption, I would pick armloads of the plant, take it home, and dry it for peppermint tea. I’m usually not that committed.

I do however, enjoy taking a handful of sprigs to the house. I break the stems off at about five or six inches in length.

Once at the house, I remove the lower leaves and place them in a small vase with fresh water. Without drying, the leaves can be used for a cup of tea at a time. Just make sure to crush the leaves before steeping to get the most flavor. More often, I use them when cooking, as garnish, and in garden salads. A balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing with a few raspberries that I had frozen from last years crop, along with a peppermint leaf or two makes a delicious dressing. In the fridge, the flavors mingle and are even better after 24 hours.

 

The dark stalk with the rich green leaves make the plant noticeable when walking by. The tinges of pink under the newer leaves are the ones that I like to use in the kitchen. These are the most tender and I think have the best flavor.