Kale Salad with Quinoa, and Black Kabuli Garbanzo Beans.

It seems we’ve moved into that time of year when a good selection of food from the garden becomes a bit scarce, what in olden times was called The Hungry Gap. Making a salad becomes a mix of what is in the house and garden. kale salad with garbanzosYesterday’s salad was based around the ever reliable kale. It’s getting a little tough but stripping it off the stem, tearing it into small pieces and then massaging with a small amount of olive oil renders it rather succulent.

We’re offering a new garbanzo this year, Organic Black Kabuli Beans. The skin is very dark, almost black. black Kabuli GarbonzosDecided to simmer it three minutes like we often do with any bean. Set it aside and tasted a bean that was nearly cooked, gave it another round of three minutes at a steady simmer and repeated. So all in all pretty impressed and it has a fine flavor.

So back to the salad, add some quinoa to the kale, some chopped apple and an orange. Add a bit of olive oil, lightly salt, sprinkle on a little chipotle pepper, some rice vinegar, You see it’s turning into a delicious melange that can’t ever be totally repeated but that’s what is nice about salads…we just make them. Take this mix and lay on a plate covered with arugula or lettuce leaves top with a good handful of Black kabuli chickpeas/garbanzos and crumble some feta over the top. Little of this and a little of that makes a good salad this time of year. Hope you are enjoying your garden as days grow just a little longer.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Squash Muffins

SquashKatysSweetMeatKaty's squash muffin

 

These muffins are for Nichols Plant Day, Saturday, May 16th, 2015.

Katy’s Sweet, Sweet Meat type winter squash, upper left, has a smooth, rich flavor and is also one of the sweetest winter squash varieties. It stores well for the winter pantry. The squash run 7-12pounds, I split them open, remove seeds, turn flesh onto the pan and cook slowly at 325 fahrenheit. Pierce the rind and when it gently gives and you start to see some juice running the squash is cooked. There usually more than than can be eaten at one sitting so I often freeze extra in a one quart container and sometimes when a friend comes by I’ll ask if they would like a piece of cooked winter squash. Almost always, the reply is “Cooked?, Why yes.”  Let me add this squash turns sweeter after picking. we harvest in October before frost and always enjoy it at Thanksgiving on through March.

A local gardener who loves this squash has developed his own Katy’s Sweet Squash muffin recipe. He generously comes by with these at least once and sometimes twice a year.

Katy’s Sugar Meat Muffin Recipe

2 eggs
1 cup cooked Katy Stoke’s Sweet Meat Squash
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup milk
1½ cup sugar (we adjust to ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt (may reduce or omit)
1 ¼ cup unbleached flour
½ cup wholewheat flour (or simply use 1 ¾ cup unbleached)
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup milk chocolate chips…the milk chocolate melds better with the squash than standard semi-sweet. Chocolate chips are optional but very good.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.

Place eggs , oil, cooled squash, and milk into a bowl or mixer and whip. Sift sugar, soda,baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt and flour. (I double sift)

With a large spoon mix ingredients until lightly moistened. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Fill muffin or cupcake pans 2/3 full. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. If using mini muffin trays bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Fill muffin cups with paper liners or mist cups with a 50% oil/50% water emulsion from a small sprayer. Yield is 12 regular size muffins or 24 mini muffins.

Katy Stokes began selecting this variety in 2,000. One plant produced superb squash, she carefully selected her seed for planting the following year and did this for eight years. Every year she only planted seed from squash with the quality she sought. And now she supplies us with planting stock each year from only the very best and has developed a fine variety that is an ideal size for most household.

Katy Stokes began selecting this variety in 2,000. One plant produced superb squash, she carefully selected her seed for planting the following year and did this for eight years. Every year she only planted seed from squash with the quality she sought. And now she supplies us with planting stock each year from only the very best and has developed a fine variety that is an ideal size for most households.

 

Chiffon Cake -gluten free- with Magic Manna Flour Corn

Friends with celiac disease or otherwise unable to eat any gluten products will enjoy a delicious cake now and then. IMG_2836copyFor some keeping track of all ingredients is a paramount health concern. Carol Deppe, artisan corn breeder has introduced us to her versatile and flavorful Magic Manna flour corn. Wise in the ways of cooking for celiac disease she has developed the finest and most flavorful flour corn we’ve used baking.

Manna Flour CornChiffon cake made with Magic Manna Flour Corn flour is an authentic, no fussing cake with a simple substitution of this delectible corn flour for wheat flour. Baked in an angel food tin it produces a light  cake with a delightful aroma and flavor from the Magic Manna corn flour. Bob’s Red Mill also offers Corn flour for baking. It is widely available and can be found throughout the west and through the mail.

 This Chiffon cake has a fine texture and holds together perfectly when sliced. It is particularly convenient that home grown Magic Manna has soft kernels and can be ground in a coffee grinder, blender or a home style flour mill. Carol Deppe the breeder of this artisan flour corn recommends the “Whisper Mill”. After grinding freeze any extra corn flour in a well sealed heavy duty plastic bag to preserve quality and retain the savory aromatics.
The following recipe is an adaptation of the classic Williams-Sonoma Orange Chiffon Cake.
2 1/4 cups Corn Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup seed or nut oil
6 whole eggs, separated,  plus 2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Directions
Position a rack in the lower third of oven and preheat to 325 F.
Separate the eggs carefully as even a speck of yolk dropped in the whites will prevent them from fully expanding.
Mix Batter
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into bowl. Into a large bowl whisk to combine the oil, 6 egg yolks, orange zest, and water until well blended. Add flour mixture and set aside.
Beat the Egg Whites
In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium high speed, beat the 8 egg whites and the cream of tarter until soft peaks form. With a silicone or rubber spatula gently fold one-half the egg whites into the batter until almost blended. Second step, gently fold in the remaining egg whites with your spatula just until combined. Pour batter into an ungreased 10- inch tube or angel food cake pan. Using your spatula create a flat surface.
Bake the Cake
Bake approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted in the center to see it has no batter clinging to it when removed. If toothpick is dry, remove from oven and invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool for one hour. When cooled run a thin-bladed knife around all edges of the pan including the center tube ind invert onto a serving plate. Serve as is, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve. Leftover cake freezes well when wrapped in foil or plastic and will slice while still frozen.
Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma  Food Made Fast Series, by Lou Seibert Pappas.

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I want all our  blog visitors to know we are now on facebook and you tube.

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This is where we comment on gardening and keep you informed about what is happening here at our nursery/seed company:

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Here is the first episode of our new series of short instructional videos on how to grow, care for and use herbs from your garden. This session is “How to Make a Lavender Wreath”.

http://www.NicholsGardenNursery.com

Please visit our site, request a catalog if you don’t already have one and of course check out our online catalog. We are a 62 year old family seed owned seed company located in Albany, OR.

Happy gardening,

Rose Marie

Black Friday

Visit the Nichols website www.NicholsGardenNursery.com you will discover all seed varieties containing the word black are discounted 50% until midnight Friday, November 26th.
Catalogs for 2011 are in the mail. Not on our list, please go to our catalog request form and ask us to send one to you. Check here and at the website for coming selections that made a seed crop too late to list.
Hope you have all had a great Thanksgiving. We had three generations gathered around our table, good food, good conversation, a trace of snow on the ground, we are moving to winter.
A few minutes ago there was a tapping at our back door, odd, it was a large raccoon. That, and the deer tracks up and down our snow covered street reminds us we are not alone in our city.