Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Polenta, Puhlease!...and the season's first harvest: radishes

When I was growing up in America, corn and its products comprised a big part of my eating.  The Calm One being of the British persuasion did not particularly warm up to corn bread, Indian pudding, hominy grits, succatash, and hushpuppies.  Additionally, the French regard corn mostly as animal feed.  So corn products and my cooking had parted ways quite awhile ago.  Though I knew of polenta, for some reason I never incorporated it into my menu planning.  Since creating a vegetarian menu for +Rajini Rao's birthday, I have become smitten with all things polenta.

Those dark flecks are dried thyme

Cooking polenta is a cinch: stir it into a pot containing three times its volume in water--I usually use one cup of polenta to three cups of water.  Keep stirring as you bring it to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about ten minutes until cooked.  Herbs can be added as the polenta is cooking.  Scoop out a sunny mound and top it with butter or grated cheese, and you got a nice, hot humdinger of a hunger-satisfying meal.  In these times of long gardening hours, I will make a pot of polenta and thyme--there is tons of it in the garden--and pour what we are not eating immediately into a small loaf pan, putting it overnight in the fridge.

Next day, I unmold and slice it.

The slices are then sauteed in butter on a medium flame.  Once browned on one side and flipped over, thin slices of cheese are placed on top.

Melting Edam cheese slices

As the radishes I planted about a month ago to mark the rows of slower growing carrots are now ready to harvest, I wanted to start including them in our meals.

Their refreshing bite added a nice taste foil to a stack of sauteed polenta slices and melted cheese.

In the potager, the nine fruit trees' blossoming is coming to a close.

Golden Delicious tree

Red Delicious tree in background

Their white and pale pink blossoms fall onto the grass in flurries.

Yellow flowering broccoli in foreground!

Fallen blossoms seen from the house resemble a dusting of snow

The asparagus crowns planted about two weeks ago are starting to sprout spears which of course I will not harvest so as strengthen their root system.

Most of the indoor sowing is done.  The seedlings are placed outdoors weather willing during the day and brought back in before dark.

Melon, tomato, basil, parsley, cucumber, butternut squash, Bell peppers, lettuce & Thunbergia Alata seedlings

Dayo becoming a furry centrepiece makes sure that I do remember to bring them in at twilight.

À la prochaine!


Planting asparagus
Sowing radish and carrot seed together