Triple Ginger Cookies

Served @ Nichols 2013 Plant Day and a few tea and Ginger Cookiescookie Saturdays. My favorite cookie. Easy to make the dough can be frozen and pulled out as needed. Use unsalted butter for a crisp cookie. we offer the spices listed below and recommend the Bakers Cut Ginger, so easy to handle and the Vietnamese Cinnamon is rich in flavor. I tend to usually not cloves but they belong on this cookie. Grating a cold cube of butter is a quick solution when butter is cold from the refrigerator.

Oven temperature 350 degrees  Form into 1″ balls  Bake 12 minutes  Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper and leave cookies on sheet for three minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Makes two to three dozen cookies depending on size. With a 1″ ball I get 30 cookies.

2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon Vietnamese/Saigon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves, ground
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup Bakers Cut Ginger or minced crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon pressed minced fresh ginger juice
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter (softened or grated)
1 egg
¼ cup unsulphured molasses

Sift first six ingredients and set aside. Place remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, turn to medium low speed and when ingredients are well combined add flour mix one cup at a time and only mix until it develops a dough like consistency. Place dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove and follow instructions above. These cookies spread  so don’t place closely together.
*The ginger juice will be about 1/2 teaspoon and can be pressed through a very clean garlic press. If frozen and thawed before pressing it will be quite easy.

Cinnabar Moth Larvae Devouring Groundsel

IMG_20130711_132115_698Started to pull a groundsel plant from an Oca bed and realized Cinnabar Moth larvae were actively defoliating it. Cinnabar moths, native to Western Europe, were introduced  to Western Oregon some thirty years ago to control Tansy Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea and G alternate food source for moth larvae. Tansy ragwort is exceptionally vigorous, non native and will edge in and cover a pasture. The abundance of toxic alkaloids in ragwort can cause fatal liver damage in both cattle and horses. I’m leaving this weed in my garden to nourish these beneficial larvae but will clip off flowers and seed heads. The drama of nature plays out in the garden.

Plum Salsa

Plum Salsa

Plum Salsa

If summer demands fresh salsa and tomatoes aren’t ripe consider plums or other fruits as a base. Here in the Pacific Northwest a good plum tree will easily produce a bushel or two of fruit every year. This recipe has a touch of SE Asia to it but if you want a savory Mexican touch, hold the mint, cucumber, and fish sauce. Spice it up a bit with chipotle pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon mild chile powder and possibly some minced garlic. This “free form”salsa is good in a burrito, over veggies and rice, with chicken breast, fish or meat.

2 cups chopped fresh plums (not overly ripe)

2/3 cup Walla Walla Sweet or other mild onion

½ cup diced cucumber (include no seeds)

2 minced Jalapeno peppers, seeds and removed

4 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons minced cilantro

2 tablespoons minced Vietnamese or other mint

1 tablespoon Nuoc Mam fish sauce or salt to taste