Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Step Closer

Over the weekend we started sod busting to make room for the vegetable bed. Harper rescued worms from the sod
and helped her dad sort lumber. 

Ricki said we needed to figure out how much usable cedar we had left over from the tree house and how much we needed to buy to build the raised bed. When he started muttering numbers, I pretended I had sod in my ears and wandered off, wisely leaving the calculations to him.

He's keeping the girls busy tricking out the tree house over spring break - but those sneaky petes were up to something else today. I came home from work and found that the 3 of them had done this:

Do I have a cool family, or what? All we need is a burrow-proof screen for the bottom and a lot of dirt and we'll be ready to get going.

I did a walk-about of the whole yard and found the first signs of my other culinary treasures peeking up into the late afternoon sun.


Lemon Thyme

In honor of St. Patrick's day and our garden-to-be (which will include potatoes), here's a recipe for Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Lemon and Chives. 

(I believe this is from Cook's Illustrated, May 2005)

For even cooking and proper browning, the potatoes must be cooked in a single layer and should not be crowded in the pan, so be sure to use a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet. 
Serves 3 - 4

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 1/2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes, small or medium, scrubbed and unpeeled
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Combine lemon zest and chives in small bowl.
2. If using small potatoes (1 1/2- to 2-inch diameter), halve each potato. If using medium 92- to 3-inch diameter), quarter each potato to create 3/4 to 1-inch chunks. Rinse potatoes in cold water and drain well; spread on clean kitchen towel and thoroughly pat dry.
3. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add potatoes cut side down in single layer; cook, without stirring, until golden brown (oil should sizzle but not smoke), 5 - 7 minutes. Using tongs, turn potatoes skin side down if using halved potatoes, or second cut side down if using medium; cook, without stirring, until deep golden brown, 5 - 6 minutes longer. Stir potatoes, then redistribute in single layer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender (paring knife can be inserted into potatoes with no resistance), 6 - 9 minutes.
4. When potatoes are tender, sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon chive mixture, and toss or stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.

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