Cucumber (Cucumis sativus Linnaeus)

20190718_093355You cannot have a true Greek village salad without cucumber, nor can you have true Greek tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt sauce).  So can you be a true Greek gardener and not grow cucumber?  I think not.

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Rendered Fat (Tallow, Lard, and Schmaltz)

No, I don’t live on some isolated homestead.  Yes, I could easily go to the store and buy some lard.  No, I don’t want to because making your own is easy enough to do, and why not save money and reduce waste in the process?

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Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

For whatever reason, the first appearance of asparagus in my garden seems almost magical.  One day it’s just empty dirt, the next day baby spears of deliciousness have erupted through the surface.

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Spiced Pear Butter

20190930_191735xdfcPears are fickle things.  Frustratingly fickle things.  And yet, when you get some cooperation from them, they are also delightfully delicious things.

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Grilled Eggplant Baba Ganoush

20190829_193457As a child I hated eggplant.  Then I grew up and decided I should try them again.  Turns out they weren’t too bad after all (this didn’t work with mushrooms, though).

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Fig & Honey Jam

20190818_215622trfghIf a fig tree is anywhere near a sidewalk or roadway in Greece, any fruits over the property line is fair game for passers by.

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Easy, No-Waste, Homemade Dill Pickles

20190728_073940So maybe you planted some cucumbers and now you’re realizing how many cukes those vines can churn out in a season and you’re wondering what the heck to do with them all.  Once again, I’m here to help!

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Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare var. hirtum)

20190528_172210No self-respecting Greek will return home from Greece without a large stash of dried Greek Oregano in their luggage.  Try explaining that one to a customs officer.

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Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

20190530_190306Any plant that can multitask is a plant I want in my garden.  Sweet Fennel lives up to this expectation very well as most of the plant is edible, as well as attractive.  Oh yeah, pollinators like bees and butterflies love it, too!

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Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)

Usually when a plant has the word “weed” as part of it’s name, it doesn’t immediately attract itself to the typical gardener as a good candidate for their landscape.  But this is one of those that should be given a second look.

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Fresh Spinach & Tomato Pasta Sauce

20190401_203435A while ago, I had purchased a rather large quantity of spinach.  Even though I often grow my own, spinach is pretty picky about not liking my hot summer temperatures and I don’t always get around to growing it when it will thrive.  Thank goodness for grocery stores!

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Fermented Whole Cabbage Heads

20190202_184320To make good food you need the right ingredients.  Sometimes the right ingredients will seem to be so so wrong.

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Skordalia (Greek Garlic & Bread Dip)

20190326_143237I have known only one person in my life that has ever uttered the phrase “that’s too much garlic”.  Yes, I’m still friends with them.

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Umm… You Don’t Want to Look in There

untitledMy family has come to learn the hard way that I essentially view my home and garden as one big science lab.  They are likely to stumble across experiments either already in progress, or getting ready for one, in a variety of locations inside and outside the house.  What did you expect from a science teacher?

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Greek Kumquat “Spoon Sweet”

20190307_175732If there is ever a global shortage on sugar or honey, I’m not sure what most Greeks are going to do.  Greeks really love their sweets.

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When Company Arrives Unexpectedly

20190224_081449_MomentDespite the menacing appearance of this shady group of uninvited visitors, they are actually pretty harmless.  If anything, they were more comical than anything else.

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Homemade Traditional Mizithra Cheese

20190219_203149If you’re from the West Coast, you likely know about mizithra cheese from The Old Spaghetti Factory’s browned butter and mizithra cheese pasta (which is really good).  What you may not know is that this cheese has a history that goes back thousands of years.  That should tell you how easy it is to make if ancient Greeks could do so without modern kitchens!

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Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis)

20180413_180142ijklmGarden Sage is an all-in-one plant offering both looks as well as functionality.  Spires of tubular, lavender colored flowers sit above a sea of grey-green and fragrant leaves in masse each spring.  And of course, those leaves become a tasty addition for your kitchen spice rack.

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Simple Greek-Style Greens (Horta)

20190131_185507

Not long ago, my Medium Boy flattered one of his teachers by suggesting he might live to his 90s.  This teacher, a long time colleague of mine, was taken aback at the thought and reminded my son that the average life span of the typical American male was 75 years.

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