By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

Snow, Seeds, Supper


I’m sad to report we’ve been getting more snow, off and on. It melts a little, a little gets added, then melts a little more. The melting is winning; I can see a bit of lawn next to the garden, as well as mud at the bottom, where my asparagus grows. Instead of April showers bring May flowers, we get April snows means more indoors. Of course, that works out okay while we’re self-isolating, doesn’t it? It also helps me not feel guilty for not getting outside to clean the south flowerbeds. Those are mostly cleared of snow, but are buried in the leaves that weren’t raked in the rain last fall. When it was dry enough to rake leaves, we were back out in the fields trying to harvest what was left of our wheat. Ah, well, next year is here.

I have finally gone through the seed catalogs. I made a spreadsheet from five different companies (discarding those that only offered perennials) so I could compare apples to apples, as it were. Orders were placed with three of them. All of the emailed confirmations told me to expect delays because of the pandemic situation. My lemon tree and two cranberry plants are backordered. Those will both be kept in large pots that I can drag inside next fall. I’ve never tried either before. (The catalog said bogs are not required for cranberries, and in fact, they can be grown in hanging baskets.)

One company had the best prices on onion plants, so I’m looking forward to Walla Walla, Vidalia, and a sweet red variety. I did pick up onion sets, along with a variety of dinner plate dahlias at Markles last time I was in town. I didn’t take the time to look over their vegetable seed packet offerings. I may have to supplement my mail orders, depending on what arrives.

I did order two coir bricks that will be broken up and used for starting seeds and for repotting my amaryllis bulbs. Those freeloading Mother of a Thousand Babies really need to go. I plan to make a bunch of seed starting containers using old newspapers. I’ve used those before. The entire thing, container and seedling, can be planted. I’ve saved seeds from both my delicata and butternut squashes. I’ll have to move the large pots of geraniums from under my rock-painting table in the kitchen to use that space for my starters. I’ve hung a grow light under the table to supplement the sunlight that comes through the south facing French doors.

Last week while rooting through the freezer, I found an eight pound pork loin roast. There was a photo of the meal I made with it, along with the oyster mushrooms I’d grown from a kit. Of course, an eight pound roast is much too big for two people for one meal, so leftovers need to be used creatively. (They can be frozen and used later, of course.) The first use of some of the leftover meat was to simply chop up a bunch of it, douse it with barbecue sauce, and heat it up. You can serve that mock pulled pork on crusty buns, or over rice, quinoa, or cous cous. Add a salad and fruit and you have a healthy meal. I spooned mine over a sweet potato zapped in the microwave. (Time was of the essence since I’d lost track of time while painting rocks.)

The next meal using the pork has an unwieldy name. I’ll have to think of something snappier. I’m open to suggestions. It was a good meal, so that recipe will go into my file. I’m with my brother on wanting a written-out recipe to follow. I’ve tried just using online, but the phone (or iPad) always times out while I’m doing one step. It gets annoying having to constantly reopen the phone to do the next step.

Quick Leftover Pork Loin Dinner

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp butter

1/2 thinly sliced onion

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 C white wine

1 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon

4 oz tomato sauce

6 oz leftover pork loin

In a heavy sauce pan, saute the onion and garlic in the oil and butter until soft. Add wine, bouillon, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, and cook, uncovered, at a low boil, 10 minutes. Add more water or wine if it gets too thick. Slice pork 1/2” thick and put into sauce, flipping to cover both sides. Cover pan, lower heat, and cook until pork is heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Serve over wild rice (or quinoa, or cous cous).

I sliced the garlic thin, using two cloves, rather than chop it. The wine from my Hutterite friend was used (it’s a little stout for my taste for sipping), but cooking wine could be used. The bouillon I used is Better then Bouillon, which I prefer. (They also have beef, mushroom, and ham flavors. You do need to keep the jar in the fridge once opened.) The last time I bought tomato sauce (I don’t can tomato sauce) I could only get 8 oz cans, so I froze the other half. (I do that with pizza sauce as well.) I opted for cous cous since I plan to make pork fried rice next. I’ll share that recipe next week.


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