Spring a Leek

The last crop from our garden was harvested, cleaned & cooked last week into a delicious late-harvest meal. Mum & Dad pulled out our crop of leeks, a hardy fall vegetable, and Mum made a lovely chicken dish in a flavorful leek-based sauce.

As you can see in the photo below our leeks featured a nice crisp white stem with tall, leafy green tops.

You may be saying to yourselves, “Leeks? They must be confused. Clearly these Coverts are not just novice gardeners but also completely delusional. Those green onions in the photo below look quite delicious.”

Sigh.

No, sadly our leeks just didn’t grow that big. The leeks in the market right now are fat, practically bulging, practically waving their size & healthiness in our faces. Our leeks tasted fine, as leeky as you like, but were just small. Tiny. Mini-leeks.

This is likely caused by a couple if different things: 1) our soil is thick with clay and I think this means the veg have a harder time pushing through the soil to come to their normal size. This has happened to us with other under-ground-growing types of veg (onions the most obvious example). 2) I think we were supposed to thin out the little leeklings when they were very wee. We didn’t do that, it seemed kind of inhumane to sacrifice every second plant. That and we might have forgotten.

Oh, and did I mention we have no idea what we’re doing? Yeah, that might have something to do with it too.

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America’s Test Kitchen

That’s what Dad said during our last canning jaunt. “How’s it going in America’s Test Kitchen?”

I think the question was rhetorical, but I took it as a compliment nonetheless. Why yes, we are as competent and meticulous as the fine chefs behind one of cooking’s best respected publications .

The truth is that there is quite a lot of science-y type stuff at work when canning & preserving. There are chemical reactions, there’s the sterilizing of instruments, there is precise timing.

With multiple pots on the boil at any time, one sterilizing the jars, lids & tongs (as you can see in this picture) the other filled with a roiling concoction of sugar, vinegar and pureed good stuff from the garden, a person can tend to feel like a mad scientist. Either that or one of Macbeth’s witches.

So what did the long Thanksgiving weekend bring? A trip to the only grocery store open on holiday Monday ( thank you Rideau St. Metro!), more chopping of the (hopefully) final crop of jalapeƱos and 12 gorgeous little jars of our now-famous jalapeƱo jelly.

Ooh! And here’s an idea: take some cream cheese and a few spoonfuls of the jelly, mush it together and eat it on crackers! Yum. (because on holiday Monday after our big Thanksgiving meal even more food was required).

Seriously, you all are getting some of this so you’ll need the recipe ideas.