Saturday, May 19, 2012

how does your garden grow...

All the  gardens are now planted out except for the remaining tobacco. Early spring  crops will be coming out in the next week or two and will  be replanted with summer things.  The first corn planted is a couple foot tall and  many of the tomato plants have fruit as do the squashes. Everything else is slowly poking through the soil. My favorite time in the gardens is coming: when things grow  enough overnight after a good rain to notice a difference in everything and things  become a beautiful mess.

 The hot tub is again full with wood and leaves using  a bit of the soil we made in  the hugulkultur experiment. In a few years we will have another tub of  nice soil to use around the place but have  a fine growing spot in the mean time.   

Thursday, May 17, 2012

simple supper-deep dish skillet pizza

Last night manthing wanted pizza or pancakes for dinner. After some  internet bantering it was decided that pizza  was going to be it. Since I was not going to fire up the oven for a single pizza and my regular cookie sheet was dirty, I had to figure out just how I was going to make said pizza. After a minute or two of thought, it hit me!  Why not make a deep dish  pizza pie in the cast iron skillet.  It came out quite splendid though it was more like a pizza pot pie than a pizza since I went a little bit crazy on the dough making. 
 I made it just as I would make any other pizza: dough, sauce, and toppings. The only difference was what it was cooked in and how it was cooked. After making the dough, I rolled it and put it in the skillet, just as one would make a pie with the edges hanging over the pan. Then I threw the sauce and toppings on ( a garlic sauce with oregano, onion, tomato, chicken, shrooms, broccoli n cheeses) and  rolled the edges of the crust down  around the edges.  

To cook, I simply set the pan on the stove top with a few chunks of broken brick under it. This is to keep the bottom from burning and to allow the  toppings to  heat  properly and cook. I then placed a lid over the top  of the pan to keep the heat in and do its job.  I do  flat pan pizzas in the same manner but  I cook  all the toppings(but the cheese) prior to adding them on the crust since it cooks much quicker. 
 It  took about 25-30 minutes of cooking time. The last 10 or so was ensuring the crust  was cooked through. Like I said, the crust was a bit too much turning it into a pot pie looking creation rather than a pizza but it was still quite good.  The bottom picture is what it turned into though it was not a greenish yellow. The lighting just made it look that way.
Total cost to make was approximately  3 dollars (though a rather expensive meal for us  it is way cheaper than going to a pizza place or buying all of the ingredients to make one) and would easily feed four people. Had I made it on cookie sheets it would have made two pizzas rather than a single. Most of the toppings were from our own produce and leftovers from other meals.  Total time to prepare and cook was under an hour and that was having to chop all the ingredients, make the dough and sauce, and cook.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

tobacco time...

After getting the majority of the gardens in for the summer, it came time to begin planting the tobacco down in the holler.  We loaded up Azulita with plants, the tiny tiller, wood ash, fertilizer and chainsaw then  headed down the hill for a day of "fun."
Manthing tilled up the rows right quick while I  followed behind with the bucket of ash, fertilizer, and my handy dandy little trowel. After he tilled, I sprinkled some ash in each hole, threw a bit of  grow juice in  and set the plants in.  We do use commercial fertilizer twice a year for the tobacco. It is a very heaver feeder  on the soil and though we do not use chemical fertilizer on anything else we grow, we cannot keep up with amounts needed for the tobacco too.
The plants were a  tiny bit smaller than I would have liked but they did  have an excellent root system for a change.   Once manthing got my rows done he went off and collected  cook wood from dead fall while I planted and planted and planted.  About 200  plants were put in the ground and we still have about that many to go in yet.  Depending on the weather we may get them in this weekend. Tobacco needs to stay moist just after transplantation or they tend to die off to the ground. Planting just before a rain  or watering them in is needed.  As a side note, once tobacco has established   good roots it is very difficult to kill  off. It more often than not, will grow back  from  what looks to be a dead plant so  wait a week or two before replanting if you think you have killed the babies.