Friday, July 21, 2006

greening thumb + leftovers on pizza

For years Jonathan has teased me about having a "black thumb." I really wasn't very good at growing things. Our houseplants generally slowly dried and passed away.... The houseplants are doing better now as I have been learning about growing plants.

What really excites me is that I have vegetable in the garden. Yes, it is my first attempt (ever) in growing vegetables.

Well, we have kale, brocolli, and lettuce which we have already been gathering from the garden. I have eggplants, peppers, cantalope, cucumbers, and tomatoes which are growing well. I have had my first red roma tomato. Wow! It is very exciting! I will have to take pictures of my success. A neighbor offered some squash and zuchinni in exchange for homemade bread. I love that this kind of networking/bartering is going on. It just takes a little voice and effort.

Last night we ate a salad of roasted beets, goat cheese, olives, tomatoes, home grown lettuce, grilled bread. It was incredibly delicious. The kids even ate it all! They were excited that some of the food came from our own garden! A month ago my kids hated goat cheese. Now they request it! They were excited about the roasted beets. The salad was great - the sweetness of the beets, the salt of the olives, the tangy of the goat cheese. All great!

Tonight is a very important night in our week. It is Pizza Night! What does this mean to us? Well, it has become a family tradition. Every Friday night we eat pizza and watch a movie or play a game. I make dough (white/wheat/honey/olive oil/ sea salt), and we pile on our favorites. What I also learned is that it is a great way to clear the fridge for tomorrow (Farmers Market).

Did you realize that traditional pizza can be made with any topping? I sometimes make mine with a pesto sauce, a white sauce, BBQ, olive oil and garlic, or tomato sauce. I also found that some of my favorite toppings are roasted veggies (zuchinni, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, onion...). Other combinations that I have found are potatoes (mashed or sauteed), wilted spinach, leeks, and goat cheese (I saute all but the gaot cheese in olive oil and garlic). Tonight I will make a tomato and eggplant pizza with the few things left in the fridge.

I also found that in the summer it is fabulous to grill pizza! I make the dough, roll it out, and then throw it on the grill. I cook it until it bubbles and then take it off, turn it over and put toppings on it. I then put it back on the grill to finish. It is a wonderful way to cook pizza in the summer. I did this for the first time last week when we were in the middle of the heat wave. At 28 weeks pregannt, I felt like it was 200 degrees outside. I certainly wasn't going to heat the house any more. Why not experiment? I do make "traditional" pizza for Jonathan and the kids, but they end up loving the other pizzas I make. The pizza we do not eat at night are saved for leftovers on Saturday lunch.

On another note, I do freecycle quite a bit. I offer up a lot, and take a little. Almost everytime that canning jars are offered they are claimed very quickly. This time, I saw that someone was offering over 3 dozen jars. I received them! I don't mind purchasing canning jars - as I see them as 1) an investment (I reuse) and 2) a way to sustain ourselves / our food. So, when necessary I will purchase, but free is soooooo much better!


Mikael M said...

Nice colors - mmm I want food .... I´m still training my english - so two of my blogs are in swinglish - you have the Global Warming comment on ?- it´s just in the neighbourhood

Through a Glass Darkly said...

There's a movement in California to have kids grow vegetables and herbs at school. They end up WAY more willing to eat them. It's funny how that happens.

Your pizza night sounds fantastic! It's a great idea. My husband and I don't have kids, but I've been thinking about starting a game night once a month or so to be able to hang out with people without spending lots of money!

emme said...

I love that kids are growing veggies at school. I have seen that when the kids know where the food comes from, they are more apt to eat it. Whether it is the farmers market or our garden, our children are much more excited about foods than when we go to the grocery store!

I was talking with a friend from our hometown yesterday. Our Friday nights used to be a 2 family pizza night. We would all get together, make pizza together, talk, play, etc. It was incredible fun!

Thanks for you comments!

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