This is the first time I’ve had any meat since this thing has started, lots of yogurt and milk and a little cheese. These were exceptionally good to me. They are based on a dish that is sold from one of the booths at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every year. It is pretty simple, essentially it is red beans and rice made with white navy beans instead of the red ones. Everybody has their own special twist to red beans so this is mine. It blends up amazingly well and only needs a little more chicken broth to get it to slurping consistency.
- 1 pound dry navy beans, soak overnight
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 6 – 8 oz of cooked ham, chopped
Drain beans and put in crock pot with 1 quart of chicken stock. Throw in the bay leaf and Italian seaoning and start cooking on high. Saute all vegetables in olive oil in a skillet, til tender. Pour into crock pot with beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the skillet and add a little more olive oil. Brown sausage in skillet. Put it in with beans along with the ham. Let cook on high for at least 4 hours. Then turn it down to low and let it go 1 to 3 hours longer. You can eat it like it is if you can open your mouth. If not, blend it up and it is yummy.
Sweet Potato Soup
The next recipe is for Sweet Potato Soup. It is very tasty and provides a nice contrast to some of the spicier things I’ve been making. The recipe is adapted from epicurious and goes like this:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1.4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
Place sweet potato, and all other ingredients through chicken broth in the blender. Cover and blend until contents are smooth. Pour into saucepan. Add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until soup comes to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve. It drinks through a straw just fine.
I have not given up on my pursuit of all foods local. In fact, those potatoes and the milk and chicken broth in that soup came from local sources. I am trying to get as much of my local food as I can from my own yard. To that end I have been working this week to get some new areas of my yard planted, now that I have more sunshine.
Artichoke plants in new space.
I got the new areas tilled up and have begun to fill them up. My friend, Tamela who lives nearby came over during the week to help me get some artichokes planted. You can see the tiny little plants right here at the right. I put in lots of seeds too, of Swiss Chard, English peas, carrots, and radishes. We were supposed to have two rain events in the past 4 days but neither one of those really panned out, so I got out and watered today. I also planted potatoes in another new area near the privacy fence. I still have lots of spot weeding that needs to be done, because the weeds like living in my yard as much as the vegetables do. I’ve got extra light in the evenings with daylight saving time and I need to let the chickens out for a while anyway. So I’ll have plenty to do to keep me occupied while I’m out there.
Weedy Swiss Chard that overwintered.
There are a few things left in the garden from the fall/winter garden. Here’s some Swiss Chard that has hung around and is still pretty tasty, but it is one of those things that need weeding. I also still have a little lettuce and a couple of bunches of green onions. My collards are about to bolt and the arugula already has. So they need to come out to make way for more summery stuff. I’m getting really excited about that. I’ve got plants coming from Mary Denton and I will be happy to get them in. I’m going to plant tomatoes in the bed in front of the porch and in the amongst the English Peas in the new bed in the back. As the peas go by the wayside in the heat, the tomatoes will be coming on. So things are looking good. I’ve got to figure out some kind of blended thing to make with the Swiss Chard. That will come soon. I’ve got lots to look forward to. My wires come off and the CSA starts at just about the same time. That will be a happy week.