Thursday, October 6, 2011

What I time I have had!

I have gone through two full seasons engaging in this exercise, called gardening. I was an absolute novice a mere six months ago struggling to keep the palm in the house alive. However, I have learned that trying to grow something in the earth exposed to the elements is actually easier. That is not to say, that the labor in involved is inconsequential or that gnawing, cutting, boring pests that work to thwart the desired outcome are effortlessly out maneuvered. I have raced out during whipping thunder storms to save young corn stalks from being uprooted and mourned the death of cauliflower due to an obliterating infestation of black fleas. I have successfully nursed my loveage, sorrel and chamomile through the wilting heat of summer to watch them reclaim their productive lives in the past few weeks. 

Since the autumnal equinox the sun is positioned in a less aggressive position for those plants that can tolerate a life without air conditioning. I have crunched on plum radishes, candy-stripped beets, and I awaited the broccoli both common and Romanesque as well another attempt at cauliflower. We have built up the topsoil deep enough that a crop of carrots have actually taken hold. I feel good about getting through this final push of dirt. I am most proud of the achievements and how we have managed to live off the generosity of our modest plot.

I am buoyed by the response I have received for next year’s plantings. I already have started my list of things I want to try to grow: sesame, fenugreek, water radish, cumin, shiso, garlic, and if I win, start raising chickens. Of course, this is addition to all that was grown this year and come February the dining room will be lined with a hefty, plastic bag and become home to seeds that have been collected, and with fingers crossed will sprout. 
                                                       Pork Meatballs – yields about 16

¼-cup amaranth
2-tablespoons loveage – chopped
1-tablespoon Italian parsley leaves – chopped
1 medium carrot – grated
1-small onion – finely minced
3-garlic cloves – finely minced
1-poblano pepper – seeds discarded; then finely minced
1-1/4 pound ground pork
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
                                                ¼-cup white wine

Place the amaranth in a small work bowl and cover the hot water. Let the amaranth sit for an hour.  Then drain.

In a large work bowl mix all the ingredients, except the white wine, together in order to distribute everything well. Form into 16 meatballs, approximately the size of a golf ball. Refrigerate the meatballs for 30 to 60 minutes.

Heat a 10-inch saute pan over a high heat, and brown the meatballs. You will want to do this in two batches. 

Once the second half of the meatballs are browned add all the meatballs to the pan, and pour in wine. Reduce the heat to lower, and cover the pan. 

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately over wilted greens. 

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