Playing With Polenta & Doodling Doodles

Posted: 15/01/2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Well, I’m sad to say that a lot of my outdoor plants have perished.

The perpetrator of this seemingly perpetrator-less crime?  The polar vortex.

I know, when you first hear those two words put together, visions of little polar bear cubs hovering around you in a soft, furry & hug-worthy tornado pop up.  That was basically the antithesis of what went down in my community garden & balcony garden.

What had happened was a whole bunch of freezing weather finally made it down to Florida(truth be told, I really hated being the only state to have nice weather while the rest of the country was an iceberg–it kind of made us look like we were heat hoarders & waaay too many of my acquaintances shared this graphic on the internet:

Just one of the graphics...this one is pretty nice versus what happened at its worst.

Just one of the graphics…this one is pretty nice versus what happened at its worst.

You can kind of see where this would paint many Floridians as dicks for posting this in a moment of boasting), forcing a lot of us to stay inside.  I tried to, for the most part, occupying my time with drawing & reading.  I even worked on a couple of comics for a page(check it out here if you dare) that I haven’t been able to update for a while due to working so much in the past few months.  I’ll share the drawings next post & probably a few comics as well.  I apologize in advance.

Needless to say, I kept busy.

When I did have to be outside for farmers markets, I definitely couldn’t feel my extremities, or they were just very, very cold.

A lot of people threw sheets or plastic over plants, many to no avail, primarily because this freeze stayed for a few days here.  That isn’t normal, and it killed a lot of plants.

That isn’t a problem for me, I have farmers markets I can still peruse & I have starts of plants inside(yes, I consider pepper plants & various herbs nice house plants).

I really do need to start gardening inside more though, it would be much more convenient & easier to keep pests away.  I am a giant fan of the hydroponic systems that look like gutters just flowing water down to the bottom, where the water gets pumped back up to the top.  Of course, whenever hydroponic systems or indoor plants come into play, you always have to take a step back & think…..

They wouldn't do anything while I was at work, right?

They wouldn’t do anything while I was at work, right?

Well, that might mean making a wall around the apparatus.  Maybe a moat.  Wait, they drink moats.  Two walls with sentries keeping watch from towers it is.  In my living room.

Enough on that front though, let’s talk polenta.

Polenta is super easy to make & really has a way when it comes to customization.

Basically go with the idea of 1 cup of corn meal to 3 cups of water.  Boil the water first, then whisk in the corn meal so it doesn’t clump.  Throw just a pinch of salt in there, turn the heat to low, and stir often for about ten minutes(or until thick).  That is your base, add what herbs you want to it from there!  I usually add a tablespoon of garlic & a tablespoon of rosemary to make it pop, but add what you like!

From there, put the mix in a large pan where the mix is only about 1/2-3/4 of an inch deep.  Cover & let that sit in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, cut it up(think about cookie cutters for fun shapes too!) & pan fry the pieces.

I didn’t take any pictures of the food, so here are some more dog pictures.

He sleeps when I'm reading.  He sleeps all the time.  Not when he's eating or playing though.

He sleeps when I’m reading. He sleeps all the time. Not when he’s eating or playing though.

She likes to smell things that I have, even if it is a rock.

She likes to smell things that I have, even if it is a rock.

If you are feeling really frisky, make a great sauce for it–I recently found a spectacular ragout recipe that is super easy!

Saute a few handfuls of washed & sliced mushrooms & a diced yellow onion on medium high heat in some olive oil until carmelized.  Add a couple cloves of minced garlic & a pinch of salt & pepper.  Throw just a bit of marsala wine & a decent amount of veggie stock(1:4 ratio) into the mix & boil for a couple minutes.  From there, turn down the heat to a simmer, add a tablespoon of arrowroot powder(or another thickener) & heat for about ten minutes, mixing often. Turn off the heat & mix in a handful of chopped Italian parsley.

Put that on your polenta & enjoy some tasty goodness that will warm you up!

  1. Laura says:

    That ragout sounds delicious – and sorry to hear about your outside plants! We’re lucky to be alive after venturing outside around here (kinda kidding)

    • jona79 says:

      I can only imagine! My family in Ohio loved the weather, but they don’t have horses anymore, so they are easily able to hibernate inside next to the fireplace without the burden of outdoor chores(with the exception of taking the dogs out).

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