A quick tip to make your plants extra happy? Save the water you boil your eggs in and give it to your green things. Vitamins and minerals and good stuff comes from the egg shells when they cook, so by putting them into your soil, it’s a great extra boost for the things you are growing.
We have a bumper crop of green and red bunching onions this season. Also known as scallions, spring onions, green onions, etc. So of course a batch of scallion pancakes was needed. Duh.
Mix 2 1/2 cups flour with 1 cup warm water and knead until elastic. Cover with a towel and let sit for half an hour.
Chop a large bunch of green onions while the dough is resting – 10-15 stems.
Divide your dough into 4 sections. On a lightly oiled surface, roll one of the dough portions into a rectangle – as thin as possible without breaking.
Liberally sprinkle the lightly oiled dough with salt, spread a generous amount of onions on the dough and roll into a long rope. Cut in half, coil and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Roll each cool as thin as possible while a pan heats with a combination of sesame and olive oil and some of that bacon grease you have stashed in the freezer.
Fry each cake approximately 2 minutes on each side, cut into 4 sections and serve with soy sauce, gyoza sauce or just on their own.
They were amazing and super easy – what is that, 5 ingredients?? If you want to kick it up a notch, add some pepper jack cheese and you’ve got a handheld funky pizza. Hooray! (The husband thought that was pretty amazing)
I recently took a quick trip back to NY to visit the family and drink beer I don’t normally have access to (there were also chicken wings, but that’s a story for a different time). I had forgotten how choosing a salad for the 3 of us to have with dinner was a little Three Little Bears. My dad likes straight iceburg lettuce. I like the plain iceburg with a few extra frills (actual lettuce bits) but my mom is really into what I call “grass clipping” type salads – all the greens and then some. So when I’m not there playing Middle Bear, they lettuce spectrum is pretty wide. After a bit of discussion, we got some seeds and a box and my mom is on her way to growing her own “grass clipping variety lettuce” all for herself!
It’s the cheapest and easiest every day kinda eats you can do and with even just a small container, you’ll be in greens all summer. I dump the entire seed pack in the box and as the little shoots grow in, they are thinned into salads and garnishes, and if you vary where you clip, the plants will continue to produce for you well into the fall. Lettuce likes it cool, with a little sunlight, but not baking all day. Keep well watered and they will reward you in kind.
It’s that time of year: time to get those seedlings a’sproutin for this years new and improved urban garden! I learned a lot from our adventures last year and I’m ready to make this one the best one yet.
Thus far I have the tomatoes, jalapenos, squash and cucumbers starting in the greenhouse (read: spare bedroom). As soon as the squash outgrow their tiny pots here, they will be moved to my storefront (with huge windows) to further grow inside before they can start their lives outside. Herbs in jars have also been started as there was a huge response when my storefront customers were polled.
One of our avocado pits was planted last week and this one is almost ready. Lots of great “growing” energy in the house. I love it!
We had intended to get our feet wet in the container garden arena last year as we had a deck put on our condo. However, the best laid plans and all that, as well as the deck building crew taking all summer to build the damn thing, put us behind schedule to an entirely new growing season. So here we are. Still gardening virgins. We read all the books and the blogs and thought we were ready, and then mama nature showed up and put a wrench in our plans by snowing in May of all ridiculous times. So needless to say, the seeds I started in March (Lesson 1: too early for everything but tomatoes) either didn’t make it or were barking to get outside. I have already learned a lot in our foray into the world of seed starts…Shall I share the knowledge? I hear it has power.
Lesson 2: Eggshells are great to start your heartier plants in (squash, zucchini, etc) but too tough for delicate things like herbs. I lost most of my herbs because I either lost track of watering in the shells (whoops) or their root systems were too delicate to maneuver in the small space.
Lesson 3: A grow light is great to get your starts green and growing, but after the first 2-3 inches of growth, doesn’t supply enough light to keep them growing any larger (except of course for the squash which is apparently a super plant and just wants to take over the world) – they stay the same stagnant size until presented to actual light on a windowsill or (someday, maybe) outside. Most of my tomatoes and my pepper plants just sort of stopped growing – it took forever for secondary leaves to come in, and I fear I wasn’t as ahead of the game as I would have liked.
Lesson 4: Dirt is expensive! I know this is a big investment for the moment and doesn’t need to happen each year, but the cost for (on sale!) bags of dirt was more than I had planned for. My suggestion: slowly buy bags throughout the year or when they are on sale to help offset the cost (or at least spread it out).
We definitely still have a ways to go as these little guys aren’t ready to go outside yet. Strike that, the outside world is not ready for these little guys. We’re still dipping close to freezing at night and though the days are sunny, we’re not quite there….So for now, all available windowsill real estate is spoken for and then some. I took all of the cucumbers and remaining peppers to my shop where I planted them (inside) in the containers there. I am still unsure as per whether they will stay the summer outside the retail space, or come home to hang out on the deck….the learning continues!