Apocalypse, Gardening, New recipes, Tuna

Snails and the apocalypse… are they connected?

We have signed the paperwork for our new house and all that remains is to deliver the rent check and start moving in. Now, instead of trying to can during the summer in a 3rd floor condo with southern exposure and very little ventilation we have a gorgeous little wood framed house with a small but open and bright kitchen, a wood-paneled breakfast nook with built-in cookbook shelves and corner cupboards, and plenty of gardening space in the yard. Now, I have to admit that I won’t be canning knotweed there this year as the knotweed we picked is not suitable for canning now. The condo we are in is being sold by our landlord and in a frenzied attempt to straighten up before another realtor showed up we stashed the bags of knotweed and I forgot about them until it was too late. I feel terrible about the waste but I suppose the community garden is happy we thinned put the pesky “invasive” at least. On a happier note, I am already gardening at the new house (Thank you to A and pbA) and  I took over some boysenberry plants, raspberry, scarlet runner beans, and garlic chives. I also did some more clearing of the blackberry brambles and clipped the neighbors overhanging trees to give the rhubarb growing along the side of the garage more sun and air. Well, that and me better access to it without the danger of slashing myself to ribbons on the blackberry thorns. Right now I look like I shaved my legs with a steak knife. I’m hoping to pick up a huckleberry plant, lilac bush, jasmine and perhaps an antique coral colored rose in memory of my nana, who loved roses. So we move in on Saturday the 28th and I can hardly wait!

Thankfully, I’ve had no slip-ups with meat or cheese  since the last one I posted. It’s so much easier when I simply don’t have the meat or dairy in the house at all. We stopped by Trader Joe’s last night to pick up some staples… unsweetened vanilla almond milk for coffee, apricots, super firm tofu, veggies, vegan cookies called “Cafe Twists”, and some apricot Pyramid Ale to help me pack. One of the things I like about TJ’s is that you can click on the vegan logo on their product page and it will give you a list of every vegan product in the store listed by category. VERY helpful when making out a shopping list. Right now I’m marinating the super firm tofu in vegan chicken broth with herbs so that I can use it to make a Fresh Tofu and Apricot Tagine that I’m basing on a chicken and apricot tagine recipe I found in this month’s Clean Eating Magazine. The recipe has it being served over regular couscous but I don’t care for the tiny little couscous and am going to use either israeli couscous or quinoa. I also made another batch of my faux tuna salad. I tried making my tofu mayo with extra firm tofu instead of silken, and although the silken gives a much creamier texture (the extra firm looks, if not tastes, a little grainy) the firmer tofu made for a stiffer mayo. I found the silken mayo too runny. I also switched from brown to yellow mustard in the mayo recipe and found the flavor a bit more mild and mayo-like without that undercurrent of horseradish that you get with spicy mustards. If it turns out okay I will post the recipe and a picture tomorrow.

Celery Root (Celeriac)
Chinese Mustard (Tah Tsai)
Purple Kale

Now that summer is closer (I won’t say arrived yet as I don’t want to jinx anything and start the rain up again) my mouth is

Golden Beets

starting to get ready for stone fruits, berries, fresh salads and tomatoes. I also can’t wait to start experimenting with garden produce, especially now that we have more garden space. Our purple kale,

Rapini (Brocolli Raab)

golden beets, rapini and rainbow chard are going like gangbusters already, the miner’s lettuce, squash seeds and chinese mustard not so much. That last one can’t get a start before the bugs nibble all the

Rainbow Chard

leaves off. I suspect snails. I ALWAYS suspect snails. Ok, I admit it, I have snail prejudice. They have slime and for their size, enormous poop and even bigger eggs. And they leaves them everywhere. AACCCKKKK. We also planted celery root for the first time this year and it seems to be doing well. I am waiting on mexican sour gherkins from the nursery and plan on putting in tomato starts soon. We’ve planted 2 catnip starts but I have come to the conclusion that their must be a cougar with a catnip problem roaming the community garden because every time I go to weed/water, the poor catnip is chewed on, snapped off and generally mauled.

I am signing off with a haiku in honor of today’s predicted apocalypse since I won’t be attending our local “end of the world” party:

The world is ending
I have weapons and canned goods
Where are the zombies?

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