Monday, January 30, 2012

Baking: Applesauce Muffins

The apple tree in Parksville went crazy this year. When we had our annual September gathering over there with friends this year, Jason and the kids and I spent a number of hours freezing applesauce from the fallen apples, and we filled two large Rubbermaid Roughtotes with apples from the tree. 100 lbs I'd say.

Much canning of applesauce and apple butter followed.

All these one-cup jars of apple sauce and butter are sitting around with not much to do, so I've tweaked a few recipes to come up with a quick, weekday morning muffin. Great for school snacks. These are plain muffins to be sure. Next time I may add some diced apple to really kick things up a notch".
(whoo, hold back Bonnie!)

Quick Applesauce Muffins

1 cup a.p. flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients together. 

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Whisk together, then pour over dry ingredients. 
Pour in 1 cup applesauce. Blend gently until evenly mixed.
Fill 12 lined muffin cups

Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes. Check at the 15 minute mark. My first batch seemed over-baked at 20 minutes, and my second was perfect at 15. But it will depend on your oven.

Enjoy with a cup of tea. Or a whole pot.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Planning: The Garden 2012

Ahhh, winter.
I don't particularly like you, but you have some benefits. Like Christmas, Faire's birthday, less-crowded trails in Lynn Valley, a break from yard work...
and the arrival of the West Coast Seeds catalogue!

As I start my dreaming and listing, I'm trying to get a sense of the stuff that actually gets used up around here, to see if it can influence my decisions on what seeds to purchase. I received a pressure canner for Christmas (canned all my turkey stock - hurray!) so I am dreaming of corn. But I don't have the kind of success I want with corn, so I will be buying it from the Farmer's Market. I'll be buying a whole heck of a lot of it I think! Canned corn! Maybe I'm a little weird in my super-excitement? I just haven't really eaten corn outside of August and September in years, so to have a year-round supply sounds quite appealing. I am thinking of trying to can green beans too, just because I adored them as a kid (Green Giant - good times, good times). I'm not sure how my adult tastes will handle canned beans, but we will see. I always plant two teepees worth of Blue Kentucky beans with so many I don't know how to use them up fast enough. 

Anyway, on the list so far to plan in 2012:

**Kyla and I canned 300+ lbs last year. We can never have too many. I think my canned sauces and tomatoes will last me until late Spring this year, but it will be a stretch. We canned tomatoes until we just couldn't handle the thought of it anymore. But I think I'll add another session this year so I have a bit more to carry me right through until July.
**I'll stick mostly to 20 or so heirloom variety plants this year for overabundant eating. I'm debating not planting Romas or other canning tomatoes because I know of some local farmers I can order from for a good price. Leave myself more garden space for something else.

Green Beans.
**Kentucky Blue. Two teepees worth (each teepee has 5 or 6 bamboo poles with 3 seeds at the base of each one) And some Kentucky Wax. Maybe some Royal Burgundy bush beans? 

Lettuces, Spinach, Cabbages, Kale.
**maybe swiss chard. It always looks so beautiful, but I just can't actually commit to liking it! Maybe it will give me some incentive to try new recipes.

**3 or 4 Tasty Green.
**maybe some Homemade Pickles too. I make way too many pickles each year. Maybe if I restrict it to only the pickling cukes I grow, it will keep the pickle jars from overwhelming me. (not that I don't have plenty of takers...)

**Bolero pelleted, Little Fingers, Rainbow Blend

**Touchstone Gold, Red Ace

**worked fairly well last year, and soooo convenient to have celery right in my garden!

Onions. And Leeks!
**the leeks have been awesome all winter for potato-leek soup.

**Super Sugar Snap. Best snack around.
**maybe some shelling peas too. I'll ask for advice at West Coast Seeds when I go.

**jalepenos. No sweet peppers unless I'm sucked in a usual. They don't produce enough to be worth my time and space. Maybe if I get a little greenhouse...

Radishes, Parsnips, Turnips.
**I think I still have seeds for all of these, so why not?

**3 or 4

Sugar Pumpkins.
**can't resist.

**basil, cilantro, basil, parsley (still going strong in my garden now), basil, dill, did I mention basil?
**hoping calendula will spread this year, add chamomile, bergamot?, more mint! and stevia.

**I need to add some. I've got to think on what and where.

What's in the garden already?

Berries: strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, blackberries, blueberries
Garlic: 50 or so cloves
Herbs: lavender, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme
Asparagus: please flourish this year!