How To: Felt Vegetables

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The DIY Felt Vegetable Collection (Asparagus is missing)

Making felt vegetables is not an entirely new concept around here. 6 years ago, I made some partially convincing felt asparagus. But now, here's an entire collection!

Over the next week or two, I'll be posting my patterns and instructions for making each of the above felt vegetables shown, and updating the list at the bottom of this post.

Before we begin, one useful thing to note: I've found that felt vegetable patterns can be broken into three approximate approaches:

  1. "The Cone" (i.e., carrots & radishes, among others)
  2. Multi-leaved, multi-dimensional (i.e., eggplants, tomatoes, etc.)
  3. Other (i.e., peas, asparagus, chard)
Felt vegetable patterns that share an approach are pretty darn similar. The size/quantity of felt pieces you cut may be different, but you can generally follow the same instructions for each within the same approach.
The DIY Felt Vegetable Collection (Asparagus is missing)

Felt Vegetable Pattern Collection

  • Felt Asparagus (a revamp of the pattern with better sizing will accompany the feltgarlic tutorial)

Mozzarella & Sausage Pasta [omg]

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Mozzarella-Sausage Pasta

This is not the first time I've made TheKitchn's Kitty’s Bocconcino and Sausage Pasta Quick Weeknight Meal, nor will it likely be the last. It is not an 'omg' for flavor, but for a combination of flavor and ease. Good enough, simple enough to make several times over my lifetime. Although, I do recommend quadrupling the original recipe.

I think what I like about this recipe, aside from being easy, is the subtle flavors added by the cinnamon. It's a lovely touch.

Mozzarella-Sausage Pasta

Here's the BYOV take on it all:

BYOV's Mozzarella Sausage Pasta

Makes about 7 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Italian sausages, casings removed (I prefer sweet, but hot will work. Heck, even pre-cooked chicken sausages will work!)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chopped yellow onions (or 1 onion + 2 garlic cloves)
  • 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (I often use 2 jars of my homemade chopped tomatoes instead)
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste (honestly, an entirety of one of those little cans is the way to go here)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flaes (up to 1/2 tsp, depending on spiciness preference)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (no more!!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 chopped green peppers
  • 2 cup mozzarella, cut into bit-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 4x 12oz packages of Spaghetti
Directions:
  1. Prepare noodles according to package instructions to al dente. Salt the water!
  2. Heat a LARGE skillet over medium high heat with a couple Tbsp olive oil.
  3. Add the sausage, using the tip of a spatula to crumble while it browns. Once brown, remove to a plate.
  4. Toss in the onions (add more olive oil, as needed).
  5. When the onions begin top turn translucent, add in the green peppers. Saute until onions have a light caramel tint and peppers are cooked through.
  6. Add tomatoes, and break them up with a spoon as needed. Add tomato paste, and spices as well.
  7. Add the sausage and noodles. Mix.
  8. Just before serving, stir in the mozzarella and basil.

Harvesting: Sugar Snap Peas

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Cascadia Bush Sugar Snap Peas (from High Mowing Seeds) and Sugar Snap Magnolia Tendril Pea (from Baker Creek Seeds)

Welp. I've finally done it. In my third year of having a vegetable gardne, I finally got everything set-up early enough to plant peas directly in the garden (they super flopped in my winter sowing this year) and...get peas. Like, the full harvest of peas.

Cascadia Bush Sugar Snap Peas (from High Mowing Seeds) and Sugar Snap Magnolia Tendril Pea (from Baker Creek Seeds)

I grow Cascadia Bush Sugar Snap Peas (from High Mowing Seeds) and Sugar Snap Magnolia Tendril Pea (from Baker Creek Seeds). Can you guess which one is easier to harvest?

Cascadia Bush Sugar Snap Peas (from High Mowing Seeds) and Sugar Snap Magnolia Tendril Pea (from Baker Creek Seeds)

While the Cascadia peas are sweeter and more compact, the Magnolia peas are beautiful with lovely flowers and easy-to-spot pods.

Sugar Snap Magnolia Tendril Pea (from Baker Creek Seeds)

Plus, Monty Don of 'Gardener's World' fame grows purple garden peas (Blauwschokker variety), and so this is just one thing we almost have in common ;)

Sugar Snap Magnolia Tendril Pea (from Baker Creek Seeds)

My peas are tucked in the north side of my 18' raised bed, behind the pole bean trellis. This does mean they do not get maximum light, once the beans start being tall enough (around early July), but they still get plenty of sunlight. And I hope having the hot, mid-day sun will help pro-long their life a bit. They don't like summer heat too much!

Cascadia Bush Sugar Snap Peas (from High Mowing Seeds) and Sugar Snap Magnolia Tendril Pea (from Baker Creek Seeds)

Sugar snap peas are one of the main reasons I garden. I looooooove how fresh garden peas taste! I eat them fast enough, they usually don't make it into the house!

Cascadia Bush Sugar Snap Peas

A "Rejuvenative" Pruning for an Overgrown Forsythia

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Pruning & Rehabilitating an Overgrown Forsythia Shrub
June 6, 2021.
Pruning & Rehabilitating an Overgrown Forsythia Shrub
June 30, 2020.

There's a drastic before & after. At least, if you're the iconic forsythia that sits in the middle of our mountain view!

I had been doing some research on pruning forsythia, and realized the lanscapers hired by the previous owner had likely been pruning it all wrong for 15 years. Pruning just the tips of the forsythia repeatedly may get you the desired shape for a couple months, but also ends up with the tips of the branches splitting more and more, getting heavier and heavier. Requires more shaping all the time.

Meanwhile, what the forsythia actually wants is to have a handful of its thickest/oldest branches pruned to the ground every year. In our case, we opted for a more rejuvenative pruning, and cut 3/4 of the branches to the ground, after flowering. This gives plenty of light and air for new, younger branches to sprout from the base.

Forsythia, now 3/4 lighter!
All the branches cut off the forsythia
May 1, 2021.

Next year, after flowering, we'll prune the remaining old branches, and then the forsythia will be a whole new plant! We're hoping it'll be smaller and better able to cope with the gale force winds we get. We'll have reduced flowers next year, but hopefully a healthier plant going forward.

Weeding, digging a ditch
Installing landscape edging to make mowing easier
Damp cardboard as a weedblock

I also took the opportunity to spruce up the area underneath the forsythia. This will make it easier for J to mow around it. I weeded and dug up sod, then added compost, cardboard weed block, and some leaf mulch. ...Pretty much what I always do! A modified hugelkultur.

Leaf mold on top as a mulch

A few weeks later, and we already have new branches sprouting at the base! So everything is looking promising!

New branches sprouting already!
June 6, 2021.

Propagating Tomato Plants Via Suckers

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Propagating Tomatoes via suckers - 1 week in the water

Old school tomato growers remove every "sucker" vine that appears between the main stem of tomato plants and each leaf. I keep about 3 of these suckers for each tomato plant (particularly for my Cherokee Purple which do some weird genetic oddness), which still has me cutting off quite a few suckers. Like, several per day.

Let them grow 6" or so, cut them out, plunk them in water for a week, and you have a plant with 1" roots!

Propagating Tomatoes via suckers - 1 week in the water

Once you've got ~1" long white roots, then you can pot the plants up in potting soil.

Propagating Tomatoes via suckers - 1 week in the potting compost

A week or so after that, their roots should be growing long enough to start pressing through the bottom of the pot. Now they're ready to have their lowest leaves removed, and then planted deeply in the garden.

Propagating Tomatoes via suckers - 1 week in the potting compost

This makes for some tomatoes that mature later in the summer. Perfect for a friend who's just getting started a little later...Free heirloom tomato plants! I've worked up 4 Purple Cherokee Tomatoes, and 4 Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes with this method.

Volunteer Chives, now potted

They've also got some self-seeded chives, transplanted to a pot, coming their way. Chives just end up *everywhere* in the garden. More free plants for friends!

Success: Marry Me Chicken

Sunday, July 4, 2021

"Marry Me" Chicken

I made this Marry Me Chicken Recipe from Little Sunny Kitchen. I had heard of it a long. long time ago. Maybe a decade ago? Maybe more? Although, I thought perhaps it might've been a one-pot roast chicken recipe back then? Who knows. Anyways, I decided to make it, along with some spaghetti and a side salad.

"Marry Me" Chicken

It is good, but perhaps not so good someone will ask you to marry them. It is hard to go wrong with cream, parmesan, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. It honestly feels sort of like a Cheesecake Factory dish (not that that's a bad thing!). It is an easy, crowd-pleasing dish. So it's got that going for it! I think maybe next time, I'd make TheKitchn's Bocconcino & Sausage Pasta dish again. I recall that being tasty...

"Marry Me" Chicken

Doubling the recipe (approximately) made enough for 5 meals. And yes, you should double it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails