Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More snow is coming!

We really have had a pretty mild winter so far - behind on snow fall for the year - but February wants to make up for it. We got a foot of snow last weekend and another foot or more is on it's way starting today!

I did not get outside and finish the pruning last weekend with the snow. So when I got home from work last night I went out for a few minutes before it got dark and pruned about a third of the grapes. Hopefully I will be able to finish before they wake up for spring! I should have done that pruing when there was no snow on the ground - that's what I get for procrastinating!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Garden goodness in the middle of winter

We got over a foot of snow this weekend. What is better on a snow day than Chili? It's even better when it's made from things grown in your own garden.

I started by cooking dried beans in the slow cooker. I soaked them overnight - rinsed them and covered with cold water and cooked on low for about 5 hours. I use a variety of beans - this time I used Kidney beans, Garbanzo beans, black eyed peas, pinto beans, small red beans and black beans. I usually do a cup of the kidney beans, a half cup of garbanzos and 1/4 cup (dried of course) of all of the others. You could use canned beans as well - I don't buy anything canned in aluminum if I can avoid it myself.

I chopped up one onion and sliced boneless chicken breasts into bite size pieces. I used 3 chicken breasts today. I never seem to use the same amount or measure much when I cook.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and cook chicken until done. Then add the onions and saute until translucent.

Add 2 quart jars of stewed tomates and 2 pint jars of tomato sauce. I also added about a quarter of a jar of canned green chilis. I sprinked in some dried garlic and 4 tablespoons of chili powder. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and salt to taste - I added one large palmful - probably about a tablespoon.

Drain the beans and add them to the pot. Stir and heat through. We like to crush corn chips on top when we eat it.

This made a pretty large stock pot full - somewhere between 6 & 8 quarts of chili - but it won't go to waste - it will be eaten this week.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Winter is pruning time

Before spring comes, don't forget to do your pruning. Right now is the perfect time to do it - while the trees and bushes are dormant. I pruned the apple tree today and plan on getting to the grapes before the end of the week.