Summer 2012- Gardening and summer cooking (preferably outside)

Started by J. Eriksson, May 09, 2012, 11:12:45 PM

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Coach-Rev

I like the idea - and will be looking for it tonight in North Platte.  (the town, not the river... ;))

Weedon

James,

We recently moved (with the new job) and so we have a deck for the first time AND we have a square foot gardening on the outside of our backyard fence.  We've got all kinds of goodies going in there.  We've eaten outside a few times already, but the wind around these parts tends to hamper lots of outside dining.  Still, the village offers a bit of a wind-break (more than up at the Church at any rate).  We're looking forward to dining on our deck a bit this season - even purchased a new table and chairs and umbrella and grill.  So far, we've only grilled out a couple times. 

Eileen Smith

We're having an interesting year.  Our NJ winter was so mild that my annual herbs are thriving again!  We have perennials in the front and some shrubs in the back.  My goal for this year is to plant (once again) some vegetables that WE will enjoy.  However, I just know that when I'm kneeling in the dirt, digging away, planting and watering, the chipmunks, groundhogs, and deer are watching me and laughing - all the while knowing that I am preparing a feast for them.  Ah well.....

We BBQ year-round as we have what I never thought I'd have:  a gas grill.  Oh for the taste (and aroma) of charcoal!   We do mostly chicken, fish, and vegetables (vegetables that we buy, not grow :)).


Jeremy Loesch

Will, I hold you in such high esteem.  Please tell me that when you grill, you actually grill and do not resort to merely cooking outside.  It is a charcoal grill, right?  Weber, without doubt. 

Any tips on grilling asparagus?  For Mother's Day I am fixing grilled pork loin, asparagus, spinach salad, and fruit salad.  The kids selected the various fruits and they will put the salad together.  And prior to the grilling, we'll plant some marigolds and petunias in the front garden.

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

RPG

Quote from: Jeremy Loesch on May 11, 2012, 09:26:21 PM

Any tips on grilling asparagus? 

I just brush it with some olive oil, season with a little salt, and grill.
I'm more partial to wrapping it in bacon and putting it in the oven. A silpat works awesome if you have one of those.
The Rev. Ryan P. Gage
Eureka, SD

Charles_Austin

Esmith, do you know about New Jersey Master Gardeners? They are certified by Rutgers, know tons about gardening, do volunteer work around the state and other stuff. They are "semi-pro" amateurs, who take a couple of years of training and commit themselves to advancing the cause of gardening in New Jersey.
Beloved Spouse has been one for 10 years.
Her crops are the envy of the community gardeners and our neighbors. (And the bunnies and groundhogs. Deer are rare in Teaneck.)


George Erdner

Quote from: ESmith on May 11, 2012, 07:26:45 PM
We're having an interesting year.  Our NJ winter was so mild that my annual herbs are thriving again!  We have perennials in the front and some shrubs in the back.  My goal for this year is to plant (once again) some vegetables that WE will enjoy.  However, I just know that when I'm kneeling in the dirt, digging away, planting and watering, the chipmunks, groundhogs, and deer are watching me and laughing - all the while knowing that I am preparing a feast for them.  Ah well.....

We BBQ year-round as we have what I never thought I'd have:  a gas grill.  Oh for the taste (and aroma) of charcoal!   We do mostly chicken, fish, and vegetables (vegetables that we buy, not grow :) ).

Though purists may scoff, you can get excellent grilling results using a gas grill. I recommend getting chunks or chips of woods like hickory, cherry, oak, or other aromatic woods. Soak them in water then wrap them in little packets of heavy-duty foil and poke small holes in one side of the packet. Place these "smoke bombs" over one of the gas burners, and they'll produce excellent smoke to fill the grill.

Some of the best ribs I've ever made were cooked on my gas grill, on the warming rack. I only have one gas burner turned on low, with hickory or cherry smoke bombs over the burner. I rubbed the ribs with cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon and slow smoked them over low heat for two hours. The results are outstanding. The same process produces excellent chicken wings, though it only takes them about an hour.


George Erdner

Quote from: Josh Osbun on May 12, 2012, 09:15:12 AM
Quote from: Jeremy Loesch on May 11, 2012, 09:26:21 PM
Any tips on grilling asparagus?

My foil pouch method works great for asparagus.  It doesn't need as much time as the potatoes, though.  20 minutes ought to do.

A foil pouch technique for anything is an excellent way to cook a side dish outdoors while grilling the entree. However, in terms of providing that special grilling flavor, it doesn't do that.

That's not to say that every single item on a menu that features a grilled entree must also also have that distinctive grilled taste. Vegetables steamed in a foil packet can be excellent, whether the packet is heated on an outdoor grill or an indoor oven. But, if you want that distinctive grilled flavor, then you'll want to give the asparagus a light coating of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill directly over low heat, turning often. A wire-mesh vegetable basket comes in really handy when cooking any vegetables by that method.

Don't worry about whether the heat source is gas or charcoal. Most of the distinctive flavor of charcoal grilling is from fat from the meat dripping on the coals and turning to smoke. For vegetables, what you're really doing on the grill is upside-down broiling. Any technique you'd use to broil a vegetable indoors with a radiant heat source above the food is applicable outdoors, where the only difference is that the heat source is below the food.



Weedon

Jeremy,

It IS a weber grill, charcoals and all.  I am not very good at using it however - the kids fondly remember (as in, never let me forget) the mother's day I made hamburgers for mother's day and the end result was a burger that acutally fit under the top of milk container.  Sigh.  Fortunately, son-in-law arrived and saved the day!

What we do for asparagus is to load them with some good butter (Kerrygold salted), some sea salt and pepper, wrap in foil and toss on grill till they are cooked (don't like them mushy, though!). 

Cutting grass yesterday just noticed rasberries reddening on the thing we weren't sure about and so didn't pull.  Can't wait to eat some of our own home-grown.  :)  So far we've got a pile of herbs (garlic chives, chives, oregano, basil, sage, parsley and I don't remember what all else), cucumber, tomatoes (both big and cherry), and peppers.  We hope to get a pumpkin vine in (it's been seeded but is sitting on the deck at the moment). 

P.S.  Speaking of cutting grass:  great joy with new black and decker electric (battery) lawnmower.  Never have to fool with gas or pulling a cord.  Works fabulous for our yards (also cutting inlaws next door). 


James S. Rustad

Grilled chicken and vegetables for dinner last night.  I have what looks like a wok except that it has 1/4" holes all over it.  Works really well for vegetables (haven't tried it for asparagus, though).  Last night's vegetable dish was mild sweet mini-peppers, onions, and potatos tossed with oil, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder.  Yum!
"Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem." -Thomas Jefferson

Evangel

Did a lightly smoked salmon for mother's day.  Had all three mothers in my life over ... my wife, her mom and my mom.

Grilled and mesquite smoked a full salmon filet on a sheet of aluminum foil over a very low gas burner for about 10 minutes.

Then brushed on a mix of mayo, lime juice and zest, brown sugar, parsley, salt and pepper - then continued to grill for 10 minutes more.

There was not much left over!
Mark Schimmel, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, LCMC
Priddy, TX
--
ACXXIII, "Your majesty will graciously take into account the fact that, in these last times of which the Scriptures prophesy, the world is growing worse and men are becoming weaker and more infirm."

Eileen Smith

Pastor Austin - no, I'd not heard of the NJ Master Gardeners!   Just last week I mentioned to my husband that I would like to visit the gardens at Rutgers.  I'll have to find out a bit more about this.  Thank you! 

Charles_Austin


J. Thomas Shelley

Quote from: Josh Osbun on May 26, 2012, 07:13:15 AM
I just grilled up some rabbit last night, with a nice homemade barbecue sauce.

Though the rabbits were home-grown (that is, not wild), the meat was still kind of tough.

You're welcome to my well-fed wild ones any time, Josh.

So far so good as rodent pests and the garden are concerned.

Last Friday I tilled and planted the plot.

My wife teaches in the last School District in our County to have a Vocational Agriculture program and FFA chapter.  One of the students' projects is to start various vegetable plants in the school greenhouse, which are then offered for sale to the staff.

This year their goal was "quality, not quantity" so we bought 12  to 15 inch high blossoming Big Boy tomato plants, 6" pots of zuchinni with small fruit, 4" pots of sweet and Jalapeno peppers, all blossoming, some bearing fruit. 

This is the earliest I've planted in years, and with bigger plants than ever.  I may need to find some smaller plants for second crops....already planted Zuchinni seed so that those plants can take over once the almost ready-to-eat have run their course.
Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

George Erdner

Quote from: Josh Osbun on May 26, 2012, 07:13:15 AM
Though the rabbits were home-grown (that is, not wild), the meat was still kind of tough.  I probably should have marinated them, but I didn't get the chance since we moved up the date that we were going to grill them.  Our original plan had been to grill on Sunday, but due to a change in other plans we grilled on Friday, so I lost all of Saturday to marinade.

Marinating is an excellent way to add flavor, but it is not very effective at tenderizing meat. The best techniques for tenderizing meats involved getting anything with a papaya extract into the meat, usually using needle-style tenderizers. Sometimes, deep injections of papaya-extract bearing ingredients with a needle and syringe can be helpful.

One of the main enemies of tenderness with any meat is overcooking. The best way to ensure that nothing is overcooked is to only rely on a probe thermometer or an electronic instant-read thermometer, especially when cooking on a grill where you don't know the exact temperature.

I did some porkchops last night, and they were tough. I goofed up and let them slide up to 155, effectively ruining them, though my wife actually prefers dried-out meat.

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