pork loin with cumin, ginger, garlic, and broccoli (and rice)

Recently K and I picked up a pork loin while food shopping (usually I do the food shopping solo, but this was a quick essentials trip and pork loin happened to be on sale so we grabbed one). It turned out to be two big pieces, and this dinner was using the second half.

pork with cumin, garlic, and broccoli

I had read somewhere recently that cumin and ginger go well with pork. I’m not super familiar with cumin, but I knew that we had some and that K loves ginger, so I thought we’d give it a shot. First K cut the pork into strips. I prepped a mixture of cumin, ginger, and diced garlic (which was, again, evenly chopped thanks to K’s skills), which we then dragged the pork through before putting into the skillet.

pork with cumin, garlic, and broccoli

We were worried that the spice mix might all stick to the pan, but it stayed on the pork pretty well! I steamed some broccoli, and then when the pork was almost but not quite done, added the broccoli to the skillet with the pork. Look how colorful that is! I just love how green fresh steamed broccoli is. It just screams, “I’m good for you! But I also taste good!”

pork with cumin, garlic, and broccoli

I also managed to remember to make some rice (yes, it is Minute Rice, and no, I’m not ashamed. Maybe slightly embarrassed, but not enough to not post evidence). K noted how impressed he was that I managed to get a protein, and vegetable, AND a starch on one plate.

pork with cumin, garlic, and broccoli

This taste combination was a success! The pork was VERY flavorful and the broccoli took on just enough of the spice flavors from being finished in the pan with the pork. I’m really pleased to be getting to a place where I/we can sort of wing it and have tasty results!

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garlic statute of limitations?

I planted garlic a few years ago, and I’ve never yet managed to harvest any successfully. I always seem to miss the window and then it seems too late to get anything decent out of the ground.

garlic that didn't get harvested last year (plus some weeds)

There are some weeds in here, too, but does anyone know if I could theoretically harvest garlic this year, even though it’s been in the ground for so long?

garlic that didn't get harvested last year (plus some weeds)

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rainy Spring! Saturday

We had such warm temperatures this past week that most of the snow melted, and it’s been raining lightly but steadily all morning, so I think any remaining snow has disappeared. I don’t even mind the rain, because my crocuses are coming up!

lots of crocus (crocii?) coming up

crocus coming up

crocus coming up

I planted quite a few mixed crocus and snow crocus in the front garden last year and it appears that they will bloom soon.

Some of the other front garden plants seem to have survived the winter, including the blue sea holly:

blue sea holly

the periwinkle vinca:

periwinkle vinca

and the Snow-in-Summer:

Snow in Summer

Things in the back yard are looking pretty good, too. The asparagus isn’t growing yet but still looks pretty:

asparagus

The hyssop is green at the center:

hyssop is getting green at the heart

and the garlic is sprouting:

garlic sprouting

Hooray for Spring!

More pics on Flickr.

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jive potatoes!

I spent almost all day today out in the back garden, which I’ve been neglecting while focusing on the front and driveway-side perennial gardens. The fence-side bed where I have corn and potatoes growing (also marigolds) was really looking weed-infested and the potato plants were all faded and ready to be pulled out. You can see in this photo from last week that it was pretty overgrown:

fence-side bed

And now, after today’s hard work, ta-da!

fence-side veg bed

As I pulled out the wilted potato plants, I gathered a few potatoes, leaving some (those buried deeper) in the ground for later harvest. From what I’ve read/heard, you can leave potatoes in the ground for quite awhile and they’ll be the same when you pull them out later. I also harvested a few ears of the Tom Thumb Popcorn I planted, which is tiny and adorable (and needs to dry for a month or so before it’ll be ready for popping, according to what I’ve read). The potatoes are theoretically Desiree and Red Gold, though I think that some of the taters I grew last year might have spawned some, too.

potatoes and tom thumb popcorn

What a haul! Karl got inspired and created a mega delicious dinner from some of these potatoes. Back in my undergrad days, my pal Moses used to make a dish called Jive Potatoes and we made a variation on that dish tonight. First, I sliced the potatoes pretty thin (you could also chop them into chunks, but thinner slices cook faster) and then Karl tossed them with olive oil, oregano, minced garlic (not fresh, alas, as my garlic isn’t ready yet), and some general Italian seasoning.

mixing

mixing face!

ready for the grill

After it was all mixed, Karl fashioned a pouch from aluminum foil (we didn’t have any of those ready-made pouches around the house) and put that on the grill. After awhile (20 minutes? I forgot to keep track), Karl determined that they were ready and pulled the pouch off the grill.

after being grilled

after being grilled

plating

delicious jive potatoes

SO delicious! I dipped mine in ranch and Karl seasoned his with pepper (he likes things VERY peppery, to the point where it makes me sneezy). I highly recommend this dish, which was made all the more enjoyable by having grown the potatoes myself.

The mint that has taken over a small patch by the AC unit is in full bloom, and I seem to have two different varieties, one with slightly purplish blossoms:

mint

and a taller variety with white blossoms that the bees really seem to be enamored with:

mint

bee on mint

I haven’t made mojitos yet this summer but I definitely have more than enough mint. Anyone have a good mojito recipe?

More photos at Flickr.

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veg

I returned from ALA to find that the veg gardens are growing by leaps and bounds! So are the weeds, of course, and this morning I spent some time listening to podcasts of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and clearing out of a bunch of those.

back yard

fence-side bed

I was thrilled to find cucumbers and squash:

early russian cucumber

baby pam squash

buttercup squash

There are also some green tomatoes, which I didn’t manage to take any photos of. I ripped out the remaining pea vines and gave up on the beans (I planted some seeds left over from last year, and they never got any taller than about eight inches).

main veg bed

I’ve also got garlic and lettuce and potatoes that are ready to go or will be soon. Hooray for growing your own food!

Finally, look how cute Logan is:

Logan on the back patio

Awww.

More photos on Flickr.

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