Happy New Years everyone!

 

 

 

 

A lot has happened since the last time I blogged; holidays have come and gone and I hope they were wonderful for you and your families!

We are already into the new year and I’m so excited to share new recipes with you. There are so many that I love, it makes it hard to choose which recipes I am going to include in the upcoming classes. In fact some of the classes will have three recipes instead of two!

I had so much food from the garden this past year and it tested my ability to not waste food. I made meals for the freezer, canned and dehydrated some of the produce from the garden and of course we ate a lot. I most have given away 100 pounds of eggplant. LOL.  I’m planning on giving some meal planning tips in future blogs to let you in on what I learned along the way. This year I will also be including fermenting, pressure canning, dehydrating and making shrub drinks into some classes along with my “classic” recipes.

The garden is doing very well this season and I’m looking forward to starting classes picking produce to use in the recipes we are making. To see the awesome recipes being offered, please go to the 2019 classes page!

If you can’t make it out to The Farm, I also love teaching at The Kitchen in Alamo! It’s a gourmet kitchen in the Alamo Ace Hardware store and they want me back teaching in March or sooner. You can sign up for a scheduled class or private taught by me at The Kitchen – Just call Diane at 925-837-2420 to set a date. If you want to see me at The Kitchen more often let them know so we can make it happen!

See you in class

 

A New Season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It finally feels like Fall! There is a little cool breeze in the air and leaves are falling from the trees and a lot has been going on here at “The Farm”. The summer crop was wonderful. And yes, I still have eggplant but I don’t have the heart to pull it out when it is still providing produce.

Companion planting went well and was a lot of fun to try. The Eggplant loved the Banana Pepper and Tarragon as its companion plants. The Okra loved the Basil and Bell Pepper as its companion plants.

The strawberry and blueberry plants are looking happy and strong. I was told to remove all the flowers off of the plant in the first year to ensure that the roots will be healthy for years to come. I sure hopes this pay off because I have pulled so many flowers!

 

The raspberries are doing well. They tasted great and I get a small hand full each day. It is perfect for topping yogurt or ice cream. My fig tree gave me so many big beautiful figs that I made fig jam, fig newtons, as well as dehydrating some of them and of course eating them. I’m hoping to get fruit from my apple trees, cherries, pear, nectarine, plum, peach and apricot next year.

With all the food that came for the garden, All In A Jar had a lot to offer students all summer long. I was very busy canning and preparing dishes for the freezer too.

Let me tell you what I have planted for the fall/winter garden. In bed 1 I have Green Onions, Garlic, Walla Walla onions, Sweet Spanish Onions, and Lettuce. In bed 2 I still have Tarragon and Eggplant in 3/4 of the bed and at the other end I have Brussels Sprouts. When the Eggplant is done I will be planting a few companion plants for the Brussels Sprouts (like Beets and Celery). In bed 3 I have Broccoli and Kale; the companion plant for these two is Spinach. In bed 4 I have Cabbage with the companion plants of Roma Lettuce, Arugula, Swiss chard and I put a few Fava Beans in for the nitrogen. In bed 5 Blueberry plants, In bed 6 Strawberries. In bed 7 Carrots, Beets and companion plants of Onions and Cauliflower. Bed 8 Blackberries, Bed 9 Raspberries. I have three dirt bags and they have Oregano, Parsley, and Thyme in one bag. Parsley, Basil and Lemon Thyme. In the last bag I have Rhubarb, Mint and Cilantro.

I have been trying to watch the moon and plant accordingly.

I read that you should plant your annual flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the light, or waxing of the moon … from the day the moon is new to the day it is full. And plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground during the dark, or waning, of the moon … from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.

Soon I will be working on the new class calendar. Please let me know your suggestions for a class you would like to see on the schedule.

 

See you in class!

 

True Confessions

 

Ok I have to fess up, I can’t stop eating a cupcake I created the other day for a birthday canning party. I have been thinking of this cupcake recipe for a while now and the birthday canning party was the perfect excuse to make them. The birthday group said it was the best cupcake they have ever eaten, and I would have to agree, it’s definitely the best cupcake I have created so far!

I’m one of those people that will think about recipes for days. Go over it and over again in my head until it drives me crazy. Then I must make it. I guess I should be happy that I have this problem.

If you were one of the lucky ones that came to the Maraschino Cherry class; here is the recipe!

Don’t laugh but I used Betty Crocker super moist chocolate fudge cake mix but made it my way. This comment “made it my way” is a standard joke with my family. They ask did you make it your way and the answer is usually “of course”.

 

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge cake mix

1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

Place two cherries in each cupcake liner then fill with cupcake mixture

Follow directions on box to bake cupcakes

For the frosting:

1 stick soft butter

4 oz cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup maraschino juice

Mix well

Wait for cupcakes to cool before frosting

Place one whole cherry on top of each cupcake after frosting.

Enjoy!

See you in class