Saturday, September 22, 2007

Best Laid Plans

Last night, it rained. It rained and rained and rained, and right now, it is raining again. Thank goodness, because it is the driest year on record in LA County. Despite this wonderful turn of events, I'm having my own personal pity party. I know we desperately need the rain, and really, I am very grateful; however, my garden plans of rototilling and building the garden's frame are ruined. No, they're not really ruined, they're just postponed, but I'm disappointed just the same because I cannot wait to plant. My fingers are itching to plant. My dreams are full of fall planting. I must plant. But, I must plant a week later than planned.

To make myself feel better, I'm going to share my seed choices for the year, that way we can all dream about planting-time, and even better, eating-time. Check out what I've planned then take a moment to let me know what meal you would anticipate making with the harvest.

Source Key:
SSE = Seed Savers Exchange
SOC = Seeds of Change
BC = Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
HA = Heirloom Acres Seeds
T = Twinleaf
BI = Botanical Interests

Seed List for Fall 2007-Early Spring 2008 Vegetable Garden
Brown Dutch, T
Four Seasons, SOC
Sucrine, SOC

Other Greens:
Apollo Arugula, SSE
Broadstem Green Chard, SOC
Di Cicco Broccoli, SOC
Dinosaur Kale (Cavalo Nero), SOC
Monnopa Spinach, SSE
Tatsoi, HA

Sugar Snap Peas, SOC and BI
Windsor Fava Bean, BI

Red Core Chantenay, SOC
Thumbelina, HA

Other Root Crops:
Detroit Dark Red Beet, SOC
Golden Ball Turnip, HA
Harris Model Parsnip, BC
Laurentian Rutabaga, BC

The Warm Winter Mix from Gourmet Garlic Gardens (I haven't received my order yet, so I don't know the exact strains that Bob Anderson, aka The Garlicmeister, will send me, but the mix includes Asian, Artichoke, and Marble Purple Stripe varieties as well as two Creole varieties.)

Right now, with the rain flying slantways and a cool breeze blowing, I can practically smell the turnips and rutabagas tossed with garlic cloves, salt, olive oil and thyme roasting in my oven. What do you crave?


Anonymous said...

Christina, years ago I used to live near your area. I tend to miss my Hudson River, so I always end up back here. Seed shopping..that was what I did on cold dreary winter days..dream of my garden. Nice post :)

corrinamurdy said...

I crave any kind of baking when it's raining out, but especially a good homemade bread.
I'm loving your recipes!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the seed list. Will be interested to hear how they all turn out.
What do I crave when the rain's falling sideways (which is fairly frequently in the Highlands!)? Tea and toast for breakfast, chunky minestrone for lunch and risotto with leeks and taleggio for dinner. Comfort food. :)

Shaun said...

Christina - Of course it rains heavily five days after I left Los Angeles County! Actually, while Eric and I were talking today, I could hear the rain in the background. It rained a lot here today as well, but it always does in Spring. You have many exciting things coming your way. I know that I am most excited to hear what you're going to do with things that I couldn't live without: arugula (rocket) and beets. Happy planting next week.

The Passionate Palate said...

I love the line-up for your fall garden. Yes, with this rain and real weather we've been having I am craving fall foods. Tonight it's rabbit stew!

Lucy said...

I crave, really crave, warm weather. Keeps staying cool at nights...sure I'll be complaining about the heat soon enough.

Well, you've got a lot of greenery going on, so I would suggest anything that involved braising them. Cavalo Nero, sliced and slowly braised with a little oil, some garlic and a spoonful of stock for about 30 minutes. Yum. With white beans on toast. Same for the chard with the addition of a handful of arugula and cilantro if you can find it.

And as for that photo at the top? Beautiful.

Elle said...

That will be a magnificent array of veggies once they come in. Be happy that in CA we can have an autumn planting time. I can see a mixed lettuce salad with roasted garlic dressing and soem of the carrots, plus a soup with all those root veggies, fava beans, and some arugula.

Christina said...

Maryann: Thank you. Seed shopping certainly is some dreamy stuff. I don't blame you for trying to stay close to the Hudson River. I've spent a good deal of time in that area, and I understand its appeal and beauty.

Corrina: Thanks! I'm so happy you enjoyed the mac and cheese. I've got some good ones up my sleeve that I'll be pulling out in the next few weeks. What did you decide to bake in the rainy weather?

Wendy: Risotto. Oh goodness. You know, I love risotto, but I've never made it myself? I feel an experiment coming on . . ..

Shaun: Sorry you missed the stormy weather. I think you would have really enjoyed it. Yes--arugula--you and I are both great arugula fans. I also love some beets, and I'm looking forward to finding new ways of cooking them this winter.

The Passionate Palate: Where do you get your rabbit? I've had it but never cooked it, and I wouldn't even know where to find it.

Lucy: Good news: warm weather is coming. It isn't far away for you and then you can relish it with its longer days and glorious evenings, when they do roll around. I can't wait to make that filo pie you posted when my chard comes in.

Elle: How do you make your roasted garlic dressing? You've piqued my curiousity.

winedeb said...

I feel for you Christina! It has been raining here every single day and not just your light enjoyable rains, it hammers down! But it is our rainy season and I will deal with it. I keep moving some of my container plants around so they do not get too soaked with the rain and I do try to make sure the soil is a well draining one, but some of the poor guys are looking a little water logged!
I am so excited that you put the list of seeds in your post. Now I can check out some new areas to purchase my seeds. I look forward to the progress of your garden and the wonderful goodies that you harvest!

Anonymous said...

oh hell yeah! I'd make pan braised dinosaur kale with favas and green garlic. And then I roast some parnsips with some beets and some thumbelina carrots and green garlic. And then I'd have some peas in butter with green garlic. And then I'd have a salad of lettuces, tatsoi, arugula and spinach with a green garlic dressing.
I'm sensing a trend here!
I hope the weather clears up for you soon!

Christina said...

Winedeb: Sorry to hear about your waterlogged veggies. I hope the rain stops long enough for the little plants to catch up. Happy seed shopping!

Ann: Ah, a green garlic fan, I see. I think I'm a garlic in any state fan, but green garlic certainly is something special. I'll let you know how it grows.

Susan in Italy said...

Oh my God! You're going to plant all that?! Wow. I'm so jealous. You must have so much room at that octagon. I love the cavolo nero. It's so dark and rich and the bumpy leaves make it look so good.

westie said...

Christina, I rent in El Segundo (right next to LAX) and have a huge backyard, I have been wanting to plant a garden for the longest time. Can you give me any insight or suggestions on how to get started - what you have experienced thus far. I roughly would like to start small (maybe 6x6 or 8x8 plot)?? any help is appreciated. best regards, westie

Christina said...

Susan in Italy: I've significantly expanded the plot in the back of my friends' house, so it's no longer a small octagon, but now a large rectangle. And, I'm planting very intensively, so crops should complement each other. It's a pretty dense plan I've made for my space: I hope it works as planned. I've got mighty hopes for that lovely cavolo nero.

Westie: I have tons of ideas for you. I'll email you personally with the names of some helpful books, and I have plans for posting lots more great ideas on this site. I hope I can help you get your garden in the ground.

Susan said...

Won't be long now, Christina. Weather willing, you should be able to work your soil this weekend. What a lively and lush mix of seeds you have planned to poke in the ground. Let's see...if I had to pick just one of your crops, I'd stir up a mess of caldo verde with that cavalo nero.

Christina said...

Susan: I know--I cannot wait! Ah, caldo verde on a cold day. I can taste it now!