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3rd year gardening in High Park Allotment in Toronto

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

kale chips, caramelized leeks and rose hips

I was lazy this year and am starting to think there IS a certain genius to it. Taking so long to go get the kale and the leeks allowed them to reach their full potential and let me attend to 'other', nongarden-related pressing matters. I just chopped the entire kale tops off and yanked all the leeks out about a week ago (Thursday 2 Dec) - just before it got really really cold.

I washed the leeks and caramelized them in EVOO with some organic cane sugar and a little balsamic vinegar. I was shocked that after so much had gone into growing them from seed, etc., I only had a half jar of leek jam.

They are a precious commodity now ... you can almost see them if you squint at this blurry shot of them (see brown in a little bowl in amidst the salami w three french cheeses I picked up at La Fromagerie on Friday). I think I'll just go to the farmers market next year (or maybe plant closer together). How can I give up growing my own leeks? I'll see.

I wiped the kale off and checked every crook & crany for bugs (found a few little guys), ripped it up, threw it into a big bowl and tossed it with EVOO, cayenne pepper flakes, salt and a little sugar (I have since gotten some organic garlic powder which I'm going to toss a few in and try) and ripped it up and put it into the dehydrator ... the chips were done within a few hours. Again, a whole lot of shrinkage!

Back to being lazy ... David gave me a big bag of rose hips and I kept meaning to get to them. They remained underfoot in my kitchen as a reminder of my recalcitrance until now - not that I didn't almost do 'something' with them a few times, but truth ... I wasn't sure what to do ... and 'other', nongarden-related ... (blah blah) ... so today I googled and found what I could do now (that they were shriveled up little knobs of maroon) phew.

All I needed to do was separate them from their thorny stems (as task probably best done wearing gloves) and then I used my kitchen scissors and cut off the furry bits and stems, threw them into the blender and sifted them so the powdery bits and fur fell through.

And voila - now I have a jar of hips for winter tea! And I saved a few seeds from the blades and will google to see if I might be able to try growing roses from seed! There is something about cold stratification I need to look into before they are planted! I have access to a neighbourhood greenhouse so I might want to do this sooner rather than later - stalling on finding out more abut this might just be someplace where laziness might not be smart!

... 'cold stratification' ...


  1. looks yummy ...glad you made use of the rose hips.......

  2. hey welcome back David ... now I need to remember to make some tea!


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