Recipes for the Week

From The Book of Outdoor Gardening by Smith and Hawken.

Potting Soil, version 1
1 part compost
1 part peat moss
1 part sand or perlite

Potting Soil, version 2
1 part vermiculite
1 part peat moss
1 part sand or perlite

Mix all ingredients together. Add 1 part water to 4 parts mix prior to planting. Otherwise it's hard to get the stuff evenly moist and the water likes to run off instead of soaking into the soil.

I'll be mixing some of this stuff up this weekend. I'm going to try rooting cuttings. I found my bottle of rooting hormone last weekend, so I'm already to go cut. I'll be layering my three outdoor ivy plants and pruning back the new blackberry canes too. It won't happen this weekend, but eventually I should de-grass the area under my fruit trees and cover that over with mulch. That would simplify my mowing and would probably be better for the trees too. I'm going to have to get really bored or really energetic to get that done. I'll focus on getting the weeds out of the veggie garden first, then worry about the errant grass in other locations.

Food Recipe of the Week:
This has been my lunch all week long and will probably continue to feed me over the weekend. This is a lot of food. I actually cooked the couscous by boiling the water in my tea kettle, then pouring the 3 cups boiling water over the couscous in a glass bowl. It worked just fine that way.

Autumn Couscous from the Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook by Sarah Fritschner
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 green or red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with juice
16 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups couscous

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. This should be around 4 cups. Heat oil in a deep, wide pot. add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and sweet potatoes. Cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers, increase heat to medium-high, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high; add tomatoes and juice. Bring to a boil and add chickpeas, red pepper, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.

Boil the water in a small pot with the salt. Add couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Spoon sweet potato sauce over the couscous and serve.

Serve 4-6 (large servings).


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