Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Landscaping, Garden Report and Black Bean Burgers

Earlier this week I decided to stop at Lowe's for 12 cubic feet of dirt. I wasn't quite sure it was enough dirt. But I'm glad I didn't buy any more than that. The Garden Soil was 25 pounds a bag (x 8 bags) and the Peat was 40 pounds a bag (x 4 bags). As the Hubs said: "Anna, you had two dead bodies in your hatchback. This probably isn't good on your struts".

 And it wasn't good for the driveway either.
 I spun out. I was laughing the entire time. And then the Hubs noticed a dent in the front bumper and the laughter was supposed to be over. I'm pretty sure the dent came from one of the tree roots that is protruding in the driveway. Which made me laugh even harder.
 So the project was landscaping in front of the porch. I rearranged the landscaping blocks that I already had so that they're just one course high. I might go back and get a second course, but this works for now. To keep the dirt from falling under the porch, I covered the open space between the lattice and the ground with composite landscape edging. In addition to the dirt I bought, I also used about 3 cubic feet of other dirt I bought last week to top off the garden beds.
 A couple weeks ago I bought 7 Stella de Oro daylilies from a local nursery. Family Flowers Greenhouse- they're one of those that has several locations around town in parking lots of other businesses. I prefer buying my plants from them instead of big box stores because they're typically in better shape, cheaper, and my sales benefit a local company instead of some corporate chief executive who sits on his ass and knows nothing about gardening.
 Off my soapbox now. I imagined that I would put 4 daylilies on the right side and 3 on the left. But then I decided once I got home that I should pay attention to the suggested spacing (12") and ended up going back to buy another 10 today...
 I put the daylilies close to the front of the bed so I can put taller plants like irises in the back. I almost bought a Japanese maple to put on the right side, but decided against it. I see some rearranging of existing plants in my future. Which is sad because it took three years for the peonies, yucca and irises to bloom.
Today I harvested:
Black Cherry tomatoes: 2.5 oz (5 tomatoes)
Banana peppers: 2 oz (about 5 small peppers)
Golden Marconi peppers: 1 oz (one pepper)

and now on to Black Bean Burgers. There are several blogs I follow and so I've seen several different versions of these burgers. I made up my own recipe as I went along.

Black Bean Burgers

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of Rotel, drained
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 banana peppers, seeded and diced
1 Golden Marconi pepper, seeded and diced (I don't expect you to have these, so use another banana pepper.)
garlic powder
salt and pepper
Sriracha sauce
chili powder

In a skillet, cook the garlic, onion and peppers until tender then turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, smash up the drained beans in a bowl (a potato masher is a great tool for this, otherwise a fork is good).

Then add the rotel, onion mixture, and spices to taste.

I apparently didn't get the beans and rotel drained enough because I had to add a cup of cornmeal to soak up the juices.

Heat up a nonstick skillet (the same one used for the onion mixture) and drizzle a little olive oil in it. Divide the batter in fourths and cook until brown on each side. This is the same way I make falafel, instead of frying them in oil.
 The Sriracha gave it a sneaky kick. I topped the burgers with feta cheese and had a glass of Mad Housewife Cabernet Sauvignon. No joke, the label says "This is your time [...] The dishes can wait. Dinner be damned." It's been one of those kind of weeks.
Lesson for next time: drain the beans better!

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