Edible plants

April 28th, 2008 by Dawn

Don’t miss this weekend’s edible plant sale, put on by the Seattle Tilth each spring.  We go each year to pick up plants for our garden (although we will unfortunately miss this year’s sale!), and we’ve learned that you’ve got to get there early for the best selection – the line starts a good half hour before the doors open at 9am on Saturday, May 3.  Bring some empty plant trays, boxes, or a wagon to carry your stash, if you want to bypass the line for purchasing trays.

If you don’t have a garden but have been thinking about starting one, now is a great time to do so.  How much closer to eating locally can you get than walking outside your kitchen door?  Michael Pollan actually had a great column in the New York Times a week ago about climate change and this very topic.  And if you don’t have a green thumb, or want to learn how to work with an edible garden, contact Amy Pennington at Go Go Green Garden.  Amy is a foodie who has recently started her own business doing veggie garden consulting.  I met her when the Dahlia Bakery first opened, when she was the bakery manager.  Now she’s helping people connect with their food by growing it in their own yard.  She can help coach you in getting started, or if gardening really isn’t your thing, she can even plant your garden and harvest the vegetables, leaving a basket of goodies on your doorstep.

For a list of what’s available at this weekend’s plant sale, check out the plant lists.  They’ve got great tomato starts, and lots of herbs which we love to sprinkle about our garden.  We also always make sure we’ve got rose geranium so we can make Jerry Traunfeld’s incredible strawberry ice cream.  The rose geranium isn’t a prominent flavor in the ice cream, but instead enhances the strawberries immensely.  Purchase the rose geranium this weekend and then make this ice cream when strawberries are in season this summer!  Not only is it among the best ice creams we’ve made, but it has no eggs and less fat content than most ice creams, making it a light summer treat.

Strawberry Rose Geranium Ice Cream
From The Herbal Kitchen, by Jerry Traunfeld
Makes 1 quart, 8 servings

2 cups half-and-half
1½ cups sugar
8 medium rose geranium leaves
1½ pints very ripe strawberries

Bring the half-and-half and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir in the rose geranium leaves, cover, and remove from the heat.  After about 10 minutes, strain the cream and let it cool.

Wash and hull the strawberries.  Puree them in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth.  You should have 2 cups.

Stir the strawberries and infused cream together and chill in the refrigerator or over ice until cold to the touch.  Freeze in an ice cream maker.  Scoop the ice cream out into a lidded container and store it in the freezer until serving time.

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