...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Let it Snow!

Vera enjoys poking the pizza dough.
It's December now so it's "officially" winter.  That's according to the local weatherman because this is the beginning of the four months in which they record snowfall.  I guess I'm ready.  A couple of weeks ago I saw news hour scenes of heavy snow in Minnesota and actually, for the first time in my life, winced and covered my face.  Now that Thanksgiving has passed I suppose it's okay to see a few flakes though I'm ambivalent about the snow this year.  On one hand I'm excited to take Vera out in her sled or boots to play in the white stuff.  On the other hand I don't like to shovel (though Ben usually does more of the winter outside upkeep whereas I do the summer, right B?)  I think what makes me most hesitant is the idea of cabin fever--being cooped up inside in a small place with a youngin' who currently only focuses on one activity for about 10 minutes.  Of course, we'll
manage, but not without some challenges, I'm sure.  Time to get creative.

We got out of Dodge for a pre-blizzard day-trip already this week.  On Wednesday we headed down to Chicago to visit a girl friend I've known since grade school and her two young children.  We spent the day hanging out with the kids and catching up after not having seen each other in about three years.  She's a fellow nutrition major so we always have some sort of food conversation.  This time we talked about the challenges of getting our kids to eat veggies (especially green ones) and the joys of Community Support Agriculture.  She's motivated to expand her vegetable garden next year, which is a fantastic opportunity to have even a postage stamp size yard right in Chicago.  I realized how amazing it is to have friends who have known me so long.  I am lucky to have maintained several of those relationships and do my best to keep in touch.  Sounds like the beginning of an ongoing resolution for the New Year.

So, in case you're still nursing some Thanksgiving turkey, I have a couple more recipes.  Today was day seven--by restaurant sanitation standards, the last day I could hang on to my turkey.  It was time to use it or lose it.  We're just about turkeyed out after this week so I trimmed a bit more dark meat off the bone and threw the rest (two legs and a large breast) into a freezer bag.  It's the turkey that never ends!  Earlier this week I made an Asian-inspired turkey salad, which I served over a local spinach salad.  I was lucky enough to find mint and cilantro still surviving in the garden.

Spicy Thai-Style Turkey Salad
Serves 4-6

Mix the first five ingredients and use it as a marinade for chicken breasts as well; serve on baguettes with the fresh herbs.

Turkey Salad over Spinach
2 hot chilies, seeded and minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 t. sesame oil
1/2 c. homemade mayonnaise (see recipe below or sub. store-bought)
3 c. chopped turkey (or chicken)
1/2 c. chopped curried pickled vegetables (I used homemade pickled summer squash), optional
1 T. dried basil leaves
1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 c. fresh mint leaves

Whisk chilies, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and mayo in a medium bowl.  Add turkey.  In a food processor, chop the herbs thoroughly then fold into turkey mixture.  Serve on a sandwich or salad.

Easy Homemade Mayonnaise
Makes about 1 c.

Recipe from my 2010 Holistic Moms Network Cookbook.  I like this mayo recipe because it uses both the egg yolks and white.  

1 organic egg, room temp.
2 T. red wine vinegar, room temp.
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. dry mustard
3/4 c. neutral oil (I recommend grapeseed, sunflower, or olive oil...you could also add a little flax oil)

Place raw egg, wine vinegar, salt, and dry mustard in food processor (or blender at low speed) and add 1 T. of oil.  Blend and then add remainder of oil in a slow steady stream until thick.  Refrigerate.


In keeping with our regular Friday-homemade-pizza-night we used a little more turkey for this week's pie.  I finally found a gluten-free crust recipe I can enjoy in the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef Cookbook.    It doubles as a gluten-free cracker recipe.  I pulled Vera up to the counter in her "tower" and she had fun "helping" roll out the dough.  (It looked more like throwing flour around and eating the dough to me, but she had a great time.)

Napa Cabbage and Sunchoke Pizza
Makes one 12-inch pizza

We used sunchokes from our garden and our first harvest of Napa Cabbage, which I saved from the freeze.  Though sunchokes have a very earthy flavor, this "sauce" turns out to be slightly "sweet."

1 lb. sunchokes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper
2 T. ghee
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Savoy or Napa cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
1 c. diced turkey
1/2 lb. prepared pizza dough
Flour for dusting
1 c. shredded cheese--Swiss, mozzarella, your choice
3 T. freshly grated pecorino cheese
1 T. chopped thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Preheat a pizza stone for 45 min. or generously oil a large baking sheet.  Boil sunchokes in milk over moderate heat until tender, about 15 min.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a food processor.  Add 1/4 c. milk and puree.  Return puree to pan and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until reduced to 1/2 c., about 3 min.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a large, deep skillet, heat ghee.  Add onion, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 min.  Add cabbage, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 min.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roll out pizza dough and slide onto pizza stone.  Dock.  Prebake until slightly golden, about 5 min.  Remove crust from oven and spread the sunchoke puree over the round, leaving 1/2-inch border.  Add cabbage/onion mixture, mushrooms, turkey, cheese.  Bake about 10 min. or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle pecorino and thyme on top.  Serve hot.

1 comment:

  1. The turkey salad and pizza looks delicious.I love the mayo recipe.I came across your site from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this mayonnaise widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about mayo recipes,Thanks!