Monday, October 13, 2014

God's Gracious Harvest

Food grows in our backyard
I have alluded to my lack of gardening knowledge before.  This summer, we actually dared to plant SEEDS in our garden.  And then the chickens came in and ate or scattered most of them.  We did harvest a few carrots.    Late in the summer, there were even a couple of cucumbers discovered.  Two zucchini plants still thrived - of course.  And it has been so fun to be making dinner and ask a child to go grab a zucchini or two from the garden.

Before we moved into this house (7 years ago), the previous owners planted some lovely food producers in our backyard.  Peach trees, apple tree, blackberry bushes, and grape vines.  I love that my children can be playing in the backyard, and grab themselves a snack of delicious concord grapes.  I know they've been eating blackberries when their faces and clothes are a purply-blue color.  

We have added a few more fruit trees and some raspberry canes.  I am looking forward to seeing those produce soon.  And now that the chickens have a new, functional (securely closing) coop, we may even be able to plant a garden from seeds next year.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Homemade Hummus and Pita

From the beginning of my married life, I had a bread machine.  We wore that thing out.  Reordered the bread pan twice.  But a few years ago we found out that model was no longer made and we couldn't get a new pan.  I decided to upgrade to a mixer, as a bread machine didn't quite make enough bread for our growing family anyway.

I haven't mastered bread making in the mixer, yet.  I've had a few successes and lots of failures.  Recently I decided to try the no knead method, as described in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  And I have found success!  

The easiest is pita bread, as the soak time is only 2 hours, with no rest time after shaping, and baking is less than 10 minutes.  And it is delicious!

My 11-year-old daughter helped me make a spectacular dinner with homemade pita and homemade hummus.  We also had mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives with a balsamic vinaigrette.  Add some delicious cheese, and we had some happy, satisfied diners.


3 cups ( 2 15 oz cans) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs sesame tahini
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs lemon juice
Salt to taste
Water to desired consistency

In a food processor, pulse the beans and garlic until chopped.  Add tahini, cumin, lemon juice, and salt.  Blend.  Add water while blending until you get the consistency you want.

Can be served with pita, chips, crackers, raw veg like carrot sticks, or spread on bread.

There are many ways to spice up hummus!  Cilantro, parsley, spinach, roasted bell pepper, olive, tomato, avocado,  Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan has a whole section of just hummus recipes.  Ooh, I just found this recipe of hers for Chipotle Lime Two-Bean Hummus.