Sunday, May 6, 2012

Three Random Updates

Here are three random bits: an update on my garden, my new babies (old bits of paper, really) and my cooking project of the day (Vegetarian French Onion Soup).


Do not let the sun in these first pictures fool you, it lasted for only a few hours this morning, and is the first we have had in about a week.  

My seeds have, mostly, grown!  I now have tomatoes, cucumbers and melons starting inside.  The weather here is still crap, so I can't put them outside yet, but hopefully in the next two weeks I will be able to.

My strawberries are coming along nicely; they seem to be the only thing not deterred by the weather.

My lettuce, arugula, cress and spinach.  The arugula and cress have started to bolt because they are too close together.  

My onions (shorter, in the front) and garlic (taller, in the back).  I hope they actually grow.  I have had problems with these growing in the past and not actually forming bulbs.  They should both be ready in about 2-3 months.

My peas, which should be much bigger by now.  The weather is so crappy that even the pea, which normally like the cooler weather, are stunted now.  It didn't help that our neighbors broke the fence they are suppose to grow up, smashing a few in the process.  I might start some new peas indoors, and transplant them outside in order to get a bigger harvest.


This is a print of Bath Abbey from the book Monasticum Anglorum, printed in 1718 (the original book is earlier, but this is from a reprinting).  I bought it for 1 pound ($1.63) in January.  I had it framed and love it!

At the same book fair where I bought the Bath Abbey print I also bought this.  Introducing my manuscript.  It is a page from a French book of hours (old-timey book of prayers).  It is illuminated (meaning the words are fancy, including being gold leafed....I am going to pretend that 'gold leafed' is a real phrase) and from the mid 15th century.  This is just one side, which is the beginning of a litany, or list of saints.


I have wanted to try French Onion Soup for a very long time, but since I am a vegetarian and the stock is traditionally beef broth I have been unable to pursue my culinary curiosity.  I finally looked up a veggie recipe and decided to make it today.

I was out of veggie stock, but had a bunch of veggies that would otherwise not have been used, so I decided to make my own.  This is just a pot water with: an onion, shallots, carrots, celery, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, herbs and a leek...oh and spinach.  I let it boil for a few hours and was left with.........

THIS!  Introducing my very first, home-made veggie stock.  I know the picture is upside down, but for some reason when I transfer the image to the blog it rotates it.

Now all that I had to do was sweat 2 pounds of onions.  In case you have never seen that much chopped is roughly the size of a brontosaurus egg.

Now add the stock, garlic and a bit of sugar and simmer for 20 minutes.  Then put in a bowl, top with slices of French bread, slices of Gruyere cheese (I used an Irish cheese that is similar) and broil until the cheese has melted.  

And enjoy!!!

That is all for now.  My best friend will be here in a few weeks, so there should be more updates then.

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