Archive for May 7th, 2009

Gone Digging

May 7th, 2009 No comments

Today I dug over the small Mariposa veggie patch for the second time. I also added the fertilizer, ash, and compost.

The radish seed set two days ago has pushed up to the soil surface but we won’t count it as germinated until some green appears. As best I can tell from Wikipedia, all the brassicas are dicotyledonous.

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Chicken Curry Sauce/Pie/Soup

May 7th, 2009 No comments

Here is the recipe for a simple curry sauce that you can use as a base for pot-pie or soup.  Make the sauce in a frying pan over low to medium heat.  Start with a pint of chicken stock or chicken gravy, or even plain water.  Thicken* the liquid with one-fourth cup flour.  Stir in two chicken bouillon cubes and one of vegetable “bouillon.Add one teaspoon sugar and two teaspoons each of Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.  Add one teaspoon of yellow curry powder.  Season further with salt and pepper, and add bay leaf and a sprinkle of sage, rosemary or thyme if you like.

To make pot-pie, place a layer of cooked, boned chicken in the bottom of a round baking dish.  Add a layer of halved, raw Brussels sprouts, followed by a layer of raw carrot chunks (each about 1/2 inch long). Over this, pour some of the sauce, with any bay leaf removed. It is important not to use too much sauce, because you do not want the pie crust resting in it.  Use just enough so that the carrots are not quite covered.  Leftover sauce can be thinned and used in soup.  Top the pie with short-crust pastry,** seal the edges, cut vents in the center, and brush with beaten egg.  Bake the pot-pie at  375 degrees until the crust is golden, about one hour.  (About four servings.)

To make chicken curry soup, start with about a pint of sauce, with any bay leaf removed, and thin it to the consistency of a hearty soup.  Stir it constantly as you heat it.  Add pre-cooked vegetables such as  carrot chunks and halved Brussels sprouts.  Last, add bite-size chunks of cooked chicken and a generous amount of medium-dice celery.  As you serve the soup, sprinkle some raisins over each portion.

*If you are not sure how to avoid creating lumps of flour in your sauce, check an online cooking source for the techniques of thickening sauces and gravies.

**To make the pastry, stir together one cup plus two tablespoons of pre-sifted all-purpose flour and one-half teaspoon salt.  Cut in one-half cup shortening.  Add enough cold water to make the dough manageable (not more than two tablespoons.)  Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before rolling it out.  Roll it out and then fit it over the top of the filling.  (Make tart shells with any leftover pastry.)

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pH Corrections on Two Potted Plants

May 7th, 2009 No comments

Today on Mike’s recommendation I added one-half ounce ash to the poinsettia and one and one-half ounces of Kellogg’s Azalea and Camellia Fertilizer (11% S, 7-14-7) to the old blue spruce.  I am to repeat the addition of ash to the poinsettia twice at one-week intervals. –MJH.

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The Usual Thursday– Glorious

May 7th, 2009 No comments

I hope I am not being gaggingly sugary, but it has been such a lovely, ordinary Thursday that the only word for it is “glorious,” except for the pollen count.  A morning spent pottering while Michael worked (!).  Lunch on the deck.  Afternoon in the garden, followed by weekly grocery shopping.  Although I am not keeping a meticulous account of spending (I’ll resume that on July 1), I keep an eye on costs at the grocery store and everywhere else.  I completed an analysis of some of our spending today, but am sorry to say no other paper work was done.  –MJH.

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Fertilizer Notes

May 7th, 2009 No comments

The 15-30-15 we use in small quantities is Miracle-Gro.

The 22-3-4 is actually 29-3-4 lawn fertilizer but 7% of the N is slow release so we count it as 22-3.4. It also has 3% S and 1% Fe – it’s the least acidic high N fertilizer that we could find in our three local stores.

We’re also using some fine white hardwood-ash, which we estimate is 0-1-5 and 25% lime.

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