Upcoming Classes, Recipes, Gardening for September 2017

Upcoming Classes

Food Preservation Boot Camp
Saturday, September 30, 9am – 4:30pm, Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield,
$108 member, $120 non-member, info here
A full day of classes preparing you with everything you need to know to stock that winter pantry. Three different instructors with recipes and samples included for one great price. If you are interested enroll now as we are nearly full.

Drying & Freezing, Susan Evans Chrysalis Herbs
Turn your garden or farmers market bounty into a ready-to-use pantry full of flavorful dried or frozen veggies, fruits and herbs. Get an overview of the best freezing and drying techniques. Fun and easy to process, compact dried and/or frozen food is perfect for long storage, high nutrient value and concentrated taste.

Fermentation, Chef Elizabeth Buckingham
We’ll discuss the basics of fermentation, its health benefits, and how you can safely and deliciously ferment at home. Whether you’re interested in fermented pickles, kimchi, kombucha or sauerkraut, this class will have you ready to make your own incredible house made fermented foods!

Boiling Water-Bath Canning, Kathy Lee, Modern Gingham Preserves
This beginning canning class will teach the new/beginner home canner the basics for boiling water bath canning. We will cover equipment you need, recipe sources, food safety, and we will make 2 different items for your pantry.

Folk Cures and Kitchen Remedies Workshop
Sunday, October 8, 9am to noon, Denver Botanic Gardens,
$60 member, $65 non-member, . info here
Look no further than the tea drawer, seasoning rack and produce bin for remedies which boost immunity and ease cold and flu symptoms. Discover the thrill of self-reliance as we explore the art of easy, affordable and effective home remedies. Have a light meal of delicious and fortifying immune soup and take home anti-viral syrup and tea to get you started. Keep those winter bugs at bay and learn what to do if they arrive. Lunch, handout with recipes and all materials included.

 

Things to Do
Colorado State Fair, The big guy in Pueblo with big name entertainment, rodeos, food, carnival, and exhibits. Now through September 4, http://www.coloradostatefair.com/.

A Taste of Colorado, September1-4, Food, food and more food. Along with cooking demos, arts and crafts marketplace, carnival rides and 6 stages of free entertainment. An end of summer blowout. http://atasteofcolorado.com/

Salida Wine Fest, Saturday, September 2. Colorado wines, food, and art. http://www.salidawinefest.com/

Yampa Valley Crane Festival, August 31 – September 3, Steamboat Springs. Watch the cranes feast and dance before the big migration. http://www.steamboatchamber.com/annual-events/yampa-valley-crane-festival

Longs Peak Highlands Festival, September 7-10, Estes Park. Jousting knights, bagpipes, music, food and more. http://www.scotfest.com/

Denver Octoberfest, September22-23 and 29-30, Games, food, and music in the ballpark neighborhood. thedenveroktoberfest.com

Mountain Harvest Festival, September 21-24, Paonia. Music, arts and crafts, farm tours and grape stomps. www.mountainharvestfestival.org/

Free Days
For more free days check out scfd.org.
Denver Art Museum – Saturday, September 2 and 9
Childrens Museum, 4-8 pm on Tuesday, September 5 and Friday, September 15
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Sunday, September 17
Buffalo Bill Museum in Golden, Sunday, September 17
Molly Brown House, Friday, September 22

 

Herb of the Month – Sage
Sage is a savory seasoning for poultry, pork, winter squash, pear and apple dishes, cheeses, stews, and chowders.

Antiviral and astringent, sage has long been used as a healing herb. Sage leaf rubbed on unhealthy gums will help tighten and disinfect. Sage tea is a delicious remedy for sore throats and will help with menopausal hot flashes and drying up the milk of nursing moms. It is high in bio-available calcium and trace nutrients and helps the digestive system to deal with fatty foods.

Legend has it that where a vigorous sage plant grew, the woman ruled the house. Go sage! It is an easy to grow perennial, a must for every herb garden. Put it in a sunny spot and don’t over water and enjoy this useful, beautiful plant.

Now is the time to harvest your sage, just cut it, bind with a rubber band and hang upside down until dry.

Sage Tea
Put 4 tbs of dried sage in a teapot and pour 4 cups boiling water over the sage. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and add honey and lemon. Delicious and wonderful for colds, flu and sore throats. Refrigerate the leftovers and reheat in a pot on the stove as needed.

Sage Molasses Glaze

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, or 2-3 tbs. dried sage
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs kosher or sea salt

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Spray the bottom of your cooking pan with oil before adding ingredients to avoid excess scrubbing. Use to glaze turkey breasts, chicken, Cornish hens, pork chops roast or ham. Apply liberally before roasting then again half way through cooking. You may need to pour a little bit of water in the bottom of the roasting pan to avoid the glaze dripping and scorching.

 

Harvesting Herbs
September is the month to get those herbs dried or frozen for your winter pantry. Harvest your herbs in the morning or evening when it is cool. Bundle cuttings in a rubber band, slip a scrap of paper with the herb name into the band and hang upside down, out of direct light, until dry. You can use separated paper clips to hang on twine. Once dry, remove the rubber band and store in labeled glass containers in a cool dark place.

Basil, cilantro, and chives do not dry well, though chive flowers do. For these herbs, make a paste in your blender or food processor with olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays. You can also put tablespoon mounds of the paste on cookie trays lined with parchment paper. Once frozen just peel off and store in freezer containers.

Herb Vinegar
Another great way to preserve that herbal flavor is in vinegars. You can use my favorite, organic apple cider vinegar or any wine, champagne or rice vinegar.

To make your vinegar, fill a glass mason jar full of fresh, clean herbs, pour vinegar over the herbs, completely covering them, and cap with a plastic coated canning lid. Place the jar on a shelf for 2-3 weeks, strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter and voila! the vinegar is ready to use. You can store in decorative bottles from a wine making store or use the original mason jar. No refrigeration is necessary. Herbal vinegar can be used in salad dressings, salsas, stir-frys, marinades, and sauces.

Here are some combinations that I have found to be quite tasty:
Lemon thyme, lemon balm, lemon grass, and lemon peel.
Summer savory, basil and minced garlic.
Opal basil, chives, marjoram, and oregano.
Dill, lemon thyme, rosemary, and minced garlic.
Nasturtium, lavender, peppermint, and minced ginger root.
Basil, chives, chili pepper, and garlic.

Herb Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup herb vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive, avocado or canola oil
  • 1 tsp of agave or honey
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard

Combine in a glass container with a lid (used glass bottles work great) and shake well.

Garden Herb Blend- dried herbs

  • 1 part parsley
  • 1 part garlic flakes
  • 1 part thyme
  • 1 part granulated onion
  • 1 part oregano

A part represents anything from a teaspoon to a cup depending on how much you want to make. Blend some or all of the above herbs and store in glass. Feel free to substitute whatever herbs you like. Use in soups, casseroles, marinated cheeses, butter, roasts, chicken, and veggies.

Herb Cheese and Butter

  • 8 ounces cream cheese or butter at room temperature, you can also use goat or feta cheese
  • 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic (optional)
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • ½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chives
  • 2 tsp. herb mix or fresh herbs of choice
  • 2-3 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan

Mix together and serve, decorate with fresh edible flowers and herbs.

 

Recipes of the Month
Overwhelmed with CSA and garden produce? Here are some recipes to use them up or freeze for future use.

Roasted Peppers
Wash peppers. Place directly on grill over high heat, turning until all sides are charred. Place in a paper or plastic bag and seal for 10 minutes. When cooled peel off skins and remove seeds. To roast peppers inside, put in a 500-degree oven and repeat above process. Add fresh marjoram, parsley and chives, or whatever you have on hand, a drizzle of oil, and refrigerate or freeze.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 275. Cut fresh tomatoes in quarters and place in a bowl. Season with a pinch of sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs of choice and minced garlic. Toss gently. Place tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet in a single layer and drizzle with any leftover oil. Roast 3-4 hours until soft and sweet. Use on everything, desserts excluded.

Summer Crunch Salad

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup finely sliced kale, tough stems removed
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup Feta or Parmesan cheese
  • your favorite vinaigrette or salad dressing

Combine all ingredients except cheese gently in a large bowl. Put on serving plates and top with cheese. You can also add other vegetables like radishes, bell peppers, avocados, peas, carrots, shredded beets, etc..

Plum Crumble
Easy and delicious!

  • 3 pounds fresh plums, pitted, quartered, about 5 cups
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup butter, melted

Combine plums and sugar, stirring well to blend. Pour into a buttered 11 1/2×7 1/2 inch baking dish. Sift together the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the beaten egg, stirring lightly with fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the plums then drizzle with the melted butter. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve with some vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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