July 14, 2009

Garden Cleanup

Since it has been too hot to go outside during the day, I waited until 7pm this evening to go out and do my gardening. I pulled out all the dried husks of chile plants, put away the metal cages and pulled out what few weeds there were. A few of my old chile plants have survived. The fatali, the red scotch bonnet, a half dead cherry bomb, my yellow canary bell and what I believe is some sort of jalapeno. I also have the two blushing beauty bells that I purchased this spring. My salsa garden has never been this sparse before, but then again I haven't been putting in the effort into my garden this year as I normally do.

My husband is requesting that I devote more space to herbs since he discovered this year that he enjoys fresh basil leaves in his sandwiches, so that might be something that I look into over the next few weeks. The only herb that I have right now are the chives. Nothing kills those babies.

Why did so many of my plants die? It was because my soaker hose system has broken. One of the hoses has sprung a huge leak and needs to be replaced. I went to look for a replacement at the Home Depot this morning, but I couldn't find the part that I needed. I will try other hardware stores later. The timer also is not working. It probably needs a new battery. Once I get these two things working again, my salsa garden should be back to taking care of itself once again.

July 03, 2009

Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

I discovered a new chile recipe on a blog called Homesick Texan. I gave it a try with chiles from my garden. I used homemade habanero powder for the cayenne in the recipe and a hot cherry bomb instead of the serrano. It turned out very good. I used it as a dipper for celery sticks and carrots. It is spicy and much better than the hidden ranch dressing I normally use...and far less expensive to make.

Buttermilk dressing, extra spicy
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 serrano pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and let chill for an hour.
Makes 1 cup, keeps for a week in the refrigerator.
Notes: I like my dressing on the thinner side, so if you prefer it thicker use 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. And if you don't want it to be so spicy, feel free to omit the Serrano or substitute a jalapeno pepper instead. Also, you can use parsley instead of cilantro if you're one of those "Cilantro tastes like soap" people, I won't be insulted.