Monday, April 16, 2012

Cauliflower needs to be Blanched

Cauliflower needs to be 'Blanched' even if the self-blanching type.  I use a small clamp with rubber tips.
Simply pull up closest leaves and overlap them to totally cover the new-forming head. Don't worry the leaves are pretty tough to handle it.

If not  blanched, the sun will darken the head and flavor is not as delectable.

here's the result, a nice white head.

Although I love the cheese sauce, a less caloric way to prepare is below:

Cauliflower chips:  recipe from

Slice florets in 1/4 inch slices.
Place in a bowl & drizzle with soy, sugar & oil.
Mix well to coat.
Place on foil-lined cookie sheet.
Bake in 400 deg. oven for about 20 min.
Flip over after 10 minutes.

These are so easy & so good!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Here's A Mama sparrow that has taken up residence in my greenhouse.

And then there were 4 eggs:

And then there were 4 babies born April 12, 2012. I day old in this pic:

Mama is used to me now. I noticed she didn't quite chew up the worm she gave one today.
It was stuck in it's mouth like a boulder. The baby bird wasn't swallowing it or coughing it up. 
So I took a pair of tweezers while Mama was out of the nest, and plucked the boulder out of it's mouth, without touching the baby. Whew!!

The nest is tucked into a basket on the wall with many items to block a predators attack, aka snakes.

I'll be full of worry until they 'fly the coop'! But I can't wait to watch them grow up.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Table Top Lettuce

Table Top Lettuce
Yes, you can grow lettuce right on top of the table or counter, as long as it’s in a sunny window, BABY lettuce that is.
What you will need:
  • A shallow, wide container with holes in the bottom for water to drain. We used a berry container here.
  • Another larger, shallow container or tray to catch the water underneath as it drains. (no holes in this one)
  • Coffee filter or paper towel.
  • Sterile potting mix or seed starting mix. Do not use garden soil.
  • Package of lettuce seeds.
  • Water
What to do:
  1. Place the coffee filter or paper towel in bottom of smaller container, covering the drainage holes.
  2. Fill the container with very moist potting mix, up to 1 inch from the top.
  3. Place the small container inside the larger one. Rough up the surface of the potting mix with a fork, forming nooks & crannies.
  4. Sprinkle the lettuce seeds all over the top of the potting mix.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap or in the case of our berry container, it comes with a top!
  6. Put in a warm spot, (not on the floor) in bright light but not sunlight until the seeds begin to sprout & show a little green, about 4-10 days. Don’t uncover & poke at them, be PATIENT.
  7. Uncover, and put in a sunny window.
  8. Every day or two, add a little room temp water to the larger container to “bottom water”. The potting mix will suck up the water & bring it to the seedlings roots at the top by what is called capillary action!
  9. After about a week, you can FEED them with a tea mixture or you can make from water & veggie scraps, and then strained. Water in bottom container.
  10. Harvest in about 2 weeks with clean scissors and use on sandwiches or in a salad. BABY lettuce is always sweet & tender!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Frog in the House

A good sign of a healthy yard & home are frogs & toads, even in the kitchen?
I wonder if this guy thinks the other frog is real?
Anyway, he was gently captured and put outside before the dogs noticed him!

welcome to greengardenchef's blog

Although a have a website that I love to write educational stories about organic kitchen gardening & cooking, many times I just have something that needs to be said , now.

 So, I've started the blog for,  because so much happens here in my Florida garden & also in our New York mountain garden!