Tomato Cobbler

Cinna Knits suggested I make tomato cobbler with my plethora of tomatoes from the garden. Tomato Cobbler?! What’s that?! I had to try it. I’ve never made a savory cobbler before.

I basically followed this recipe. However, I tweaked it a lot. So here are my instructions for a vegan and gluten free version.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Peel and thinly slice 1 and 1/2 yellow onions. (Because that’s all the onions I had.) Add about 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until transparent, or go ahead and carmelize them, which is what I did.

While the onions are carmelizing, peel and mince two large cloves of garlic. Rinse and de-stem about 3 cups of cherry tomatoes. I used Igleheart Yellow Cherry from my garden. I also had a couple of larger Cherokee Purple that needed eaten, so I cored and cut them into quarters. Four cups of tomatoes? At this time I also pulled two bunches of basil leaves off the stem and cut them into large pieces.

Once the onions are carmelized, add the minced garlic and sauté together for a minute or two. Add 3-4 tablespoons (what I refer to as “a splash”) of balsamic vinegar and stir until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add 2 tablespoons of flour. (I used a gluten free blend from Nuts.com, similar to Bob’s Red Mill.) Stir until the flour forms a paste. Or, if you are like me, you won’t have enough liquid for that. I didn’t want to add more balsamic so I added a little water.

Add the tomatoes and basil leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, and remove from heat. Stir well. Set aside. At this point I covered it to get a little more liquid so it was easier to combine.

I had already de-petaled a few calendula flowers, de-leaved a few fresh thyme sprigs, and cut fresh sage leaves into slivers for my biscuit dough. I love cooking from my garden!

To make the biscuits blend together 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, 3/4 cups corn grits, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (instead of cheese), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Work in 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance vegan butter and the calendula, thyme, and sage. Once that was crumbly, Add about 1 cup oat milk with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, instead of buttermilk. I had to mess with the dry ingredients to get the dough consistency right. If you make biscuits a lot, you get it. (Or you can follow the recipe linked above.)

Once the dough was ready, and I had given the tomato mixture another turn, I scooped up the biscuit dough and dropped it onto the cobbler, still in the cast iron skillet. I ended up with six biscuit blobs.

Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the tomato mixture is bubbly. We’re having this tonight with burgers.

I have to say, it’s pretty tasty. It will be great with a bison patty.

Sorry if this is vague. This is how I cook, like my Grandma. “By guess, and by gosh… By guess I made it, and by gosh you’d better eat it!”

In other news, I have been sick twice in two weeks! This time it’s an upper respiratory infection. I was down and out for 48 hours. I’m feeling better today, but I’m trying to take it easy as I’m still fatigued. I do hope to get to some knitting this weekend. Sewing may be too strenuous.

Garden Update

Twocumbers (I have to give credit to Clara Parkes for that name.)

I cleared all of the cucumber and zucchini plants out of the garden. We couldn’t handle any more cukes or zukes. I’ve got plenty for more pickling, and Bob made a delicious vegan lasagna with zucchini sliced lengthwise instead of noodles.

I transplanted the kale, cabbage, and broccoli seedlings for fall. I hope this net keeps the cabbage moths off. I also transplanted arugula, chard, and Bibb lettuce seedlings.

In other exciting news, we have blackberries! Which are my favorite, even if the brambles jump out and scratch me.

It’s worth it.

A Plethora of Pickles: A YOP Update

I was a little under the weather this week, so didn’t blog. I didn’t even knit for two days! But yesterday, I caught up on my mystery knit along. Ready to start Clue 3!

I also cast on the Cemetery Cowl (Ravelry link) for a little impromptu knit along. It’s Halloween in July! Also, I sewed myself a Halloween treat/project bag.

I had to rip out the cowl and re-cast on because I twisted my stitches, of course. I was really careful so I don’t know how I manage to do that almost every time I join to knit in the round. The yarn is BFL Mohair Fingering from Forest Lane Fiber Co in Pitch and October. I also recently purchased an Apothecary Collection, and I love everything!

Especially this tiny skull planter from Ice and Dust Pottery, which I planted with a tiny coffee tree.

The garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I’ve canned five quart jars of pickles, and we have one quart jar plus a bucket of refrigerator pickles. Yes, a bucket. I went into the garden this morning and came out with enough for three more quart jars, so I ordered some that I will pick up later. I will also have to stop off for some dill because there wasn’t any at the farmers’ market yesterday and I used all my garden dill. It’s a good thing we love pickles!

I researched what might be going on with my zucchini plants, and learned that too much nitrogen + too much moisture = over growth of foliage and calcium uptake deficiency. The remedy? Plant Tums in the ground around the plant. I did it, and now we are getting zucchini! One got away from me (it’s very large) so I’m planning to make zucchini bread this afternoon.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on Ravelry. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Here’s one that hearkens back to my youth:

Saturday Harvest

I went into the garden to check on the plants, and found so many cucumbers! I was excited. I made pickles.

Refrigerator Pickles
Canned Pickles

We still have a few fresh for eating, and I’m sure there will be more.

I made a new friend today.

My orchid is still blooming!

May 9
June 26

I never thought I would be able to keep an orchid alive, but this one’s been going since April 2019.

Friday FOs

After complaining that I hadn’t done any sewing last Sunday, I decided to finish up these linen Emerson Shorts. They were cut out. I only had to sew them together. They came out really nice, and they are super comfortable.

I finished up Bob’s Pride socks!

This photo shows the colors better.

I made a “make do” drying rack with netting and a frame, and am drying calendula flowers to steep in oil.

Have you finished any creative projects this week?

My volunteer sunflowers have been taking a beating, thanks to heavy rains and critters knocking them over. So I cut the stems for a bouquet. They look lovely in my raku vase from The Alchemist’s Studio.

No Mercy for Slugs

My garden ( I say my garden but it’s really our garden as Bob put in a significant amount of prep work) is a veritable jungle. Yet, so far, we haven’t had a single zucchini or cucumber, which I think is due to blossom end rot and slugs. It’s been a wet year here.

I have declared a strict manifesto of “No Mercy for Slugs” in an attempt to remedy the situation. I feel I need to share with you that not all slugs are dumb. Sure, about 80% fall for the beer trap, but a good 20% hang on to the edge of the can wondering what the heck happened to their friends. 80% will sit in the bottom of the bird seed tray, waiting to be eaten (after I pick them off the plants) but about 20% will truck it over the side of the tray and bungee jump on their slime to safety.

I’ve ordered some Escar-Go from Gardens Alive. (See what they did there?) It should control the slugs without harming any other critters.

The good news is we have calendula (my new favorite flower/herb) peppers, tomatoes, dill, and mutant volunteer sunflowers.

I’ve been knitting on The Lonely Heart is a Hunter mystery knit along today. It’s been a long time since I’ve knit lace. I had to pull it out and start over once, but I think I’m on my way now. I’ll post a pic tomorrow!

Garden Update and a Yucca Story

I thought it would be fun to take you on a little ramble through my garden. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it. 🙂

And, yes. My dress does have root vegetables on it.

I found another dragonfly in the garden. I’m not sure what kind it is. Maybe you know? I also saw a praying mantis, but they are still too small and quick to get a photo.

We have black raspberries.

We also have yucca in the front landscaping that are flowering. I was surprised someone planted them here. But they seem to be surviving. I have a yucca story to share with you.

When I was a student at the University of California, San Diego, I took a Southwestern American Art class. We had to weave a traditional Pueblo basket as a project. Most students bought reed at the hobby store, but not me. I saw a traditional basket woven from yucca at a museum, so I had the bright idea that I was going to find yucca and strip it and weave my basket with it! So, I dragged my surfer boyfriend out to the desert to look for yuccas with me. I had a photo from a book so I would know what they looked like. We spent an entire day hiking. We did not find a single yucca. We went home and I was exhausted and sad because I couldn’t weave my traditional yucca basket, and guess what! There. Was. A. Yucca. Growing. Right. By. Our. Front. Door. In the landscaping of the condo complex where we lived.

I did weave my basket and I still have it. I used Rit to dye the yucca fiber because traditional methods called for urine as a mordant and I didn’t have the guts to try that. I got an A. The end.

Porch Life: Wednesday WIPs

I took the afternoon off because I haven’t been feeling myself lately. It’s been quite cool where we are, so I knit on the porch, watched and listened to podcasts, and read the new book by Alys Fowler. You can see I haven’t made much progress on Bob’s Pride sock.

My Milkshake cardi is coming along. I skipped the waistline decreases because I figured those were for people with a waist. I will do the hip increases, though.

I cast on my swatch for The Lonely Heart is a Hunter MKAL. This lace pattern is repetitive, so I am enjoying it. I look forward to trying the beads with it when they come in the mail. I think I’m really going to enjoy my first mystery knit along.

My garden is a happy jungle.

The peas got a beating from a heavy rain earlier in the week. I’m hoping we can get some pods before the tops break. Even though they are English Peas, I’ve been eating them like snap peas.

Lots of lettuce.

Tomatoes are starting.

Apparently, I planted two different types of basil.

I’ll have calendula flowers soon.

Borage is in full bloom.

I saw a whitetail dragonfly in the garden. That’s a good sign, right?

Stimming in Stockinette

My Milkshake Cardigan is coming along. I love the construction. It’s very straightforward. I love the gray. I love all the stockinette. It’s the kind of thing I like to knit, and like to wear. This sweater reminds me of the Kids in the Hall skit “Are Extraterrestrials Dull?” It will be a quality garment. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Heather Gray from my stash. I decided the Tunis yarn is too special and will still make up the Kiki with it, when I am ready for cables again.

The garden is burgeoning. I wish I had planted more flowers. I might try peonies in here somewhere. I am still fighting slugs. They’ve just about taken out my Gerber Daisies, and it was a mature plant going in. Maybe I should try cosmos since I could dye with them.

The indigo is up, but so far only one madder seed has germinated. No tansy yet. I think I need a trip to the garden center!

Mostly Gardening with a Side of Sock Knitting and Podcasting: A YOP Update

I’ve started a new pair of socks for myself. I’m in love with this yarn, which is Honeybees and Violets Please from Bone and Birch. Other than the socks, I’m knitting on my Hansel Hap. I’ve just about talked myself into focusing on the Arrowhead Cardigan instead of casting on a new one, so that I can wear it in the fall.

My garden is exploding. This is the middle, where there’s a lot going on. I accidentally broke off a pea shoot yesterday while weeding, so I ate it. It was delicious!

Full length of the garden. Elderberries in front. I’m not sure how well they’ll do here, but we’ll give it a try. The sunflower transplants are struggling in the back. I found out what happened to all my seedlings back there. Slugs!

For Mother’s Day and my birthday, Bob put together a flower bed for me out of some old wood he found in the barn. We went to the local garden center yesterday, and while I did get the foxgloves and coral bells I wanted to attract hummingbirds, the bed is looking a little sparse. We’ll see how these do. The smaller two are ground cover, so maybe they’ll spread out.

I did get the lilac bush I wanted, and a rose bush too! I didn’t really want yellow roses, but these had the best scent so I couldn’t resist. I also got hollyhocks, coneflowers, and a Joe Pye Weed for under the bird feeders.

I’m trying out wool pellets in the lilac and rose bush plantings to condition the soil, along with some compost. I’d like to add the wool pellets to the vegetable garden, but I’m going to wait until it needs a feed.

These lilacs smell so good! I have a small bouquet by my bedside.

My new podcast episode is up for The Just Craft! I had a wonderful visit at Tarheelbilly Farm, and am releasing the episode in two parts. I am so grateful to Charis and her husband Ben for spending time with me. It was a lovely day.

The sheep in front is Hollis, whose fleece I knit my Paris Toujours Shawl with. I met Hollis! And a few other shweeties as well.

This is Charis’s hand knit sweater she made with her Tunis yarn. She spun the contrasting gray herself. It’s so squishy and lovely!

And I got a sweater quantity of yarn! I had already purchased two skeins of Clancy’s fleece, and the eight new skeins are from Julie. They are close enough that I think I could use them together if needed. Because I don’t want to dye the yarn and loose the sheep smell, I’ve decided to knit it au naturel into a cabled cardigan. And because I was so pleased with the Franca I knit for my Mom, I’ve decided to knit Kiki by Cocoknits.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.