Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CSA Week 17 and Sugar Beet Latkes

My house has turned into a jungle over the past few days.
About 2 weeks ago I dug up 3 African Blue basil plants, a number of peppers, rosemary,House tomatoes, sweet marjoram, a geranium, Amish Cockscomb and a few more that I couldn't bear the thought of parting with via the sure death that is frost.

They lived in my garage for a while as they adjusted to the pots and the lower light levels, and as of last night, they came all the way in.
Some are under lights, some are in the front window and I'm hoping that my cats will be gentle on everything.
The chickens enjoyed having the plants in the garage, scratching at the dirt, pecking at my sad little impatiens as though they were the only plants in the world.
Of course they had everything, absolutely everything available to them to peck, but my treasured little plants were their focus.
I'm hoping I can keep them all safe indoors with my cat crew.

Some of them will be starter plants for a new crop next year.
In a few months I'll start taking cuttings from the rosemary and basil, and begin all kinds of new plants, some for my garden, maybe some for yours. One season leads into another and I'm already thinking of 2015.
There are also a few more gaping holes in the garden too.
My little mustards, arugula, salads and chards that I seeded are growing nicely in my greenhouse for winter crops.  Last year I successfully dug up a number of kale plants very carefully from outside and moved them in the hoophouse, and I've done the same this year too. I dug deep and left lots of my lovely clay attached to their roots, waiting for overcast days for a successful move.
It's been pretty successful. There have been no droopy leaves, no apparent transplant shock at all.
Instant gratification.
Todays baskets were pretty root oriented, with a continuing hit of summer....and heat.

Still a taste of tomatoes in the baskets, a good helping of peppers which survived outside because I have been careful to cover them, carrots, winter radishes, kale, thyme, rosemary, leaf celery and a sugar beet which is pretty large.
If you want to experiment with making your own sweetener with it, be my guest. You will find instructions HERE Essentially you are boiling the beets and using the sweetened water.
But sugar beets are very tasty and obviously very sweet which is why I grow them. If you boil them to eat, then use the sweet cooking water as a sweetener as a side benefit. They are also good roasted, and the greens are fully edible as well.

This recipe is adapted from "Modern Farmer"

Sugar Beet Latkes

4 cups shredded sugar beet
11/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch of cardamom or fresh herbs if preferred
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3 egg whites
olive oil for frying

Stir the shredded beets with the salt and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid.
Combine the cardamon and flour, then stir in egg whites, and the beets.
Form into patties and fry until golden brown.

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