Monday, May 26, 2008

In the Sun

The weather this Memorial Day weekend has been glorious! We've spent almost all of it outside in the backyard, gardening and reading and celebrating.

On Saturday morning before we got to work finally putting in the tomato seedlings and the like, we heated up the solar oven...

...harvested some rapini...

and mixed up a crustless rapini quiche to have for lunch a couple of hours later. Using our own veggies as well as local eggs, milk, and cheese made this an exceptionally local lunch--one we cooked with only the sun's energy, and ate while basking in that same sun ourselves.

* * *

This is the first time I've ever grown potatoes--this time, just red new potatoes and yellow finn--and they are doing very well, at least on top of the ground:

We're also starting the grand experiment of a "three sisters" garden of corn, beans, and squash. We've chose to plant really interesting varieties: Mandan Bride corn which is edible fresh or dried and also makes a beautiful fall decoration, Delicata squash, and gorgeous Tiger's Eye beans meant for drying. I've never tried drying varieties of anything, and never grown corn at all. David created the mounds as part of his Mother's Day present (or at least he made them that day, which I took as a present). We planted the corn seeds a week or so later and now they are as high as a ... well, about as high as a squirrel's eye. By next week we should be able to plant the squash and beans.

* * *

Some garden treats don't require as much waiting as those crops do. We harvested a few radishes:

I love their color!

* * *

Although we've had sweet woodruff in a garden since we moved to this house ten years ago, we've never made May Wine until this year. We picked a few sprigs of the woodruff...

...and let it dry. We then soaked it in white wine overnight.

On Sunday evening, we lit the citronella candles and had our Earth Evening, and enjoyed our first taste. A strawberry crushed in a little sugar made a beautiful addition to the glass.

Even Son got to have a bit--his drink being May Tea instead of May Wine:

* * *

Today: off for a picnic at the farm of some friends!


Dame Wendy said...

How lovely! I wish we could have a garden. :) I'd never seen a solar oven before. So cool!

C Meir said...

How long does it take to heat up or cook something in the solar oven?

The Purloined Letter said...

Solar ovens are a typically slower than kitchen ovens but a little faster than crock pots. Ours heats up to about 325-350 on a regular relatively sunny morning--and can get hotter if really well positioned in the middle of the day. We're not experts yet on how to cook things in the solar oven and tend to put in things that are pretty forgiving about time.

Some people throw in a dish in the morning with a positioning that makes sense for the middle of the day. That way, the oven cooks at a lower temp for most of the day and holds the food hot until dinner. You might want to make sure you know how your particular stove will heat during that time before you do that--or cook something that won't go bad easily (vegetables or dried beans or grains?) if it isn't always hot enough.

Melinda said...

Your garden looks beautiful! And those potato plants - wow. Mine are still chitting, waiting not so patiently for me to amend the soil...!! Your solar-cooked meals are amazing.


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