Since my arrival from Spain I have been struggling trying to keep up with life.  Gardening, prepping for summer web courses, and in the midst of it all, I made a wedding cake for 250 people!  Even for me, this past week and a half was simply over whelming!  I’m so happy the wedding cake turned out great, and over this past weekend I had the opportunity to get caught up with my gardening.  I’m still behind on my blog so I have planned to share my gardening updates from the past few weeks and after that, I will roll into my trip from Spain which will include a very special giveaway especially for baby wearing mama’s!

So of course I have to start by showing you the cake I made this past weekend.  It was for my cousin in law Tyler and his beautiful new wife Alishia!

weddingcake
weddingcake2

A little background.  Gabe’s grandmother, Agnus Bauman, made wedding cakes in her day.  She was a farmers wife that adored chickens, her gardens, baked cakes and was a spunky gal!  His family is always joking that I am so much like her.  After she passed a few years back and I took up cake decorating, I was given her supplies.  She made wedding cakes for both of her sons.  What made Tyler and Alishia’s cake so special was that the same pans that made his parents cake also made his.  It was a blessing to sit next to Grandpa Howard and have him talk about Agnus’s cake decorating days.  We walked over to the cake so that he could take a good look and he shared some tips that he had learned from his late wife. He said it turned out beautiful.  Those words made me smile.

Now to the gardening!  I want to share in photos (and for my own documentation) garden updates from the past few weeks.

May 5, 2010

The day before we left for Spain, Nehe and I tended the garden and planted 10 of our heirloom tomato plants that we started from seeds.

Second succession of green onions.  Also planted a second succession of radishes and carrots.
Started four bags of potatoes in burlap coffee bags.  I learned this method from Sustainable Eats.

May 25, 2010

On our return from Spain I was excited to see that the gardens looked great!  Nehemiah was excited that our strawberry patch was starting to produce!!  We’ve harvested at least 16lbs so far!!

Cilantro

Carrots

Peas

Beets

Romaine Lettuce, Radishes

Potatoes growing!!

Covered them with topsoil

Green Onions

Harvesting Lettuce

Radishes

Green Onions

The garden is growing even more and over the weekend my hubby was able to raise me 3 more beds in my community garden.  I was able to plant all of my peppers, tomatillo’s and eggplant varieties.  I still need to sow squash, cucumbers, beans, corn, more tomatoes and peppers.  I’m almost there!!!

So how is your garden growing?  I still have a few more gardening informational posts I’d like to get up.  Topics including how to thin your seedlings, tending tomato plants, diseases and preventatives.  Please feel free to share some photos on my facebook page.  I will for sure be doing a round up of gardening pictures as soon as I finish sharing my Spain trip.

Until then!

asparagus3
Before leaving to Spain I made a trip to opening day of the Downtown Des Moines farmers market.  Although I knew my trip was only a few days away, I couldn’t resist!  Seeing so many of my market vendor friends again was a blessing!  They are already working so hard to provide us with nourishing food.  The market was filled with spring green veggies!  I was giddy with excitement to see spring garlic and asparagus at almost every market booth.  I purchased a bunch of asparagus from Grinnell Heritage Farm and green garlic from my friend Yang at Yang’s Organics.  As my  trip was approaching I realized I just wasn’t going to have the time to cook the asparagus and finish up my green garlic.  As my thoughts were geared on spoiling my chickens with some great produce, I realized I could ferment or pickle my asparagus.  I opened up some of my canning books and saw a couple of recipes that included tarragon.  I was so excited as I have a container of fresh tarragon growing right outside on my front patio.

asparagus4
So I made a lacto-ferment with what I had!  Asparagus, green garlic, tarragon, pepper and coriander seeds.

asparagus2

Before I left for Spain I put my mason jar downstairs and let it ferment for the two weeks that I was gone.  I was so excited to get back and open up the jar.  As I opened the jar, it started to bubble and sizzle.  My first taste was great!  Crunchy asparagus spears with a little bite!  A perfect side to my morning eggs!

asparagus1a
Last week I purchased 2 more bunches of asparagus with great bulbs of spring garlic.  I’ll be fermenting two more jars today and will for sure make at least 2 more batches after that.  This is a great way to preserve your spring asparagus!

Naturally Pickled Asparagus with Green Garlic

  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut in half.  Remove little overlaying pieces on stalk as dirt can be trapped underneath these folds.
  • 2 long stalks of green garlic chopped
  • 3 freshly cut stems of tarragon (about 4″ tall)
  • 1/2 tbl black peppercorn
  • 1/2 tbl coriander seeds
  • 1 tbls sea salt
  • 4 tbls whey (If you do not have whey, feel free to add 1 tbls extra sea salt)
  • filtered water (must be filtered as chlorine will disrupt the fermentation process)
  1. In a quart sized mason jar, add the asparagus, spears down. 
  2. Add the tarragon in between the asparagus spears.
  3. Add the green garlic, peppercorn and coriander seeds.
  4. Add the filtered water, sea salt and whey.  Make sure you add enough water to cover and 1″ from the top of the jar.
  5. Cover and shake it up.
  6. Uncover and make sure all your spears are underneath the liquid.
  7. Allow to ferment in a dark cool place for 3 days up to two weeks (or more).

Buen Provecho!

I’m sure many of you have already heard the great news that Jenny from Nourished Kitchen is currently offering an online cooking class.  A class that will teach you how to eat nutrient dense foods locally and in season.  Jenny is one of my blogging heroes.  Her knowledge and passion for real food was one of my inspirations to start my own blog.  She has a way with showing you how to simplify things and do it all affordably.  Her recipes utilize whole, fresh ingredients and her veggies always give you the sensation that they have just been pulled from the Earth.  She shows you how to use what is in season to create a satisfying dish the entire family will enjoy.

One of my favorites… Kale and Potato Soup with Chorizo

Jenny is amazing.  She is a mother, farmer’s market manager, and experienced natural foods cook.

Here is a video introduction of her e-course.

 How it Works:

You’ll get detailed lessons, hands-on experience, and be able to get all your questions answered. Do it all from the comfort of your own home – even while the kids are napping. In just 12 short weeks, you’ll have mastered everything you need to get your family started on a healthier way to eat.

Since the class is hosted online, you can download the materials and video tutorials anytime that works for you.  You can even attend in your pajamas!  Each lesson is posted once a week – every Tuesday, beginning June 1st – and you can open them up, start the video tutorials and download the printable materials when it works for you.  This class is designed to meet your needs.  Plus, if you miss a class or don’t have time to watch the video tutorial on the scheduled week, don’t worry you’ll have lifetime, full access to the class even after it ends!
Don’t worry. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, this class is still for you. The recipes are basic, the techniques simple and every lesson can be modified to meet your family’s needs, preferences and the seasonal availability of food in your area. And if you’re not sure that you’ll absolutely love the class, don’t worry – we offer a 14-day, no-questions-asked refund policy. Plus if you’re afraid you won’t be able to finish a lesson before the week’s up, simply download the print-outs and keep them for later.  PLUS you’ll have lifetime access to the course materials and members forum!

What will be covered:

  • Lesson #1: What is Real Food & Where to Find It 
  • Lesson #2: Soak Whole Grain for Pilafs and Scones 
  • Lesson #3: Homemade Sourdough Bread 
  • Lesson #4: Homemade Salad Dressings 
  • Lesson #5: Braise and Roast Seasonal Vegetables 
  • Lesson #6: Make Real Pickles and Fermented Veggies 
  • Lesson #7: Roasted & Slow-cooked Meats 
  • Lesson #8: Stocks, Broths & Soups 
  • Lesson #9: Easy Homemade Yogurt & Cheese 
  • Lesson #10: How to Make Water Kefir & Kombucha 
  • Lesson #11: Natural Sweeteners, Desserts and Seasonal Fruits 
  • Lesson #12: Menus & Meal Planning

As you can tell, it’s going to be a great class as it really teaches you how to source your ingredients and cook.

Classes start June 1st
Hurry! Enrollment ends Memorial Day, May 31st.
Save $20 with a 1-time payment of $120!
That’s less than $10 a class PLUS lifetime access to materials!

OR
Pay with just 4 easy payments of $35 each.

Here’s to Real Cooking!  Buen Provecho!!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Nourished Kitchen’s online eCourse, so I will be earning a commission from any sales made after clicking a link in this post.

Where to begin?!  I’m home, back in Iowa.  We flew in last Thursday and my little ones and I have been trying to catch up on sleep and adjust to the time.  I’ve also been tending to my gardens and harvesting!  I’ll share in a future post.  As much as I had wanted to post from Spain, I found it extremely difficult to find wifi.  Having to pay so many euros per half hour was not sufficient enough time to post.  So… it’s left me way behind and over these next couple of weeks, I plan to catch myself up as time permits.  I have so many great pictures to share and yummy food shots to swoon over.

One of the first things I need to do is announce the winner of the Ebersole Cattle Co. Grassfed Beef Giveaway!  According to random.org

Congratulations to Katie from Kitchen Stewardship.  It’s always so much fun when someone you know wins.  If you haven’t stopped by Katie’s blog, you really must.  She’s a wealth of real food information!

Katie wrote, “Any farmer who feeds their cows grass and makes a living is one more farmer proving it can be done! Soooo necessary! Thank you!

Some posts to look forward to:

  • Garden Update
  • SPAIN!!!
  • Lacto-Fermented Asparagus and Green Garlic
  • 2 Great Giveaways!!!

Until then, Besitos!!!

It’s been quite a day but we are finally waiting at the terminal and ready to board our flight for Spain! I can’t wait to get there!

I’m totally in love with my Beco baby carrier! It really made getting through the bus, train, and airport SO much easier! With the older kids in strollers and many adults watching over all the kids we made it through pretty easily! Next… Madrid!

My sister carrying baby Ezra in her Beco. 4 months and on his first trip to Spain.

– Post From My iPhone

Today, my baby boy turns 2

He is my VBAC victory.  My baby.  My sweet… sweet… Ezekiel.  We’ll be celebrating his birthday tomorrow so that his Abuela can be here for the festivities.

I wanted to take some time to share with you through photos my life over the past few weeks.  As any gardener and homesteader knows, Spring time is a busy, busy time.  I wanted to show you some of my gardening updates and life pictures before I leave for Spain next week!  One of my prayers is that while we are gone, my hubby will keep my garden and plants watered and tended.  Totally crossing my fingers here ;)

Opening day of the farmers market was today.  I found a beautiful bunch of green garlic.  What a great edible centerpiece!
greengarlic

With the amazingly warm Spring weather that we have had my family has…

Played Ball

Built a hoop house

Cried

Picnicked

Helped mama plant Spring beds

Worked our plots at the Franklin Community Garden on Work Day

Played with new friends

Got excited for our strawberry patch that has GROWN!!
Watched seedlings grow in the Spring garden

Took pictures of brothers

Watched cousin Xavier excel at soccer!

Loved on my boys!

Tried and trying to perfect homemade Mexican chorizo

Ate mama’s failed attempts

Made Pizza

Went morel mushroom hunting with my sis

Yup, a busy past few weeks but so much fun!  The Spring garden has grown even more.  Will need to take some new pics soon and share!  Until then, thank you Jesus for my family and for this life that you have given me!