What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pruning and Turkey Leftovers

For those of you who lead normal 9 to 5 lives, you can not understand what March is to us. Pruning. It takes us most of the month to prune the vineyard. Yea, we take breaks and run out to the store. But most of the day light is spent clipping. After the first week the numbness and soreness in your hand seems to lessen. Last year, or the year before, we changed our technique. We used to just start at one side of the vineyard and go until we reached the other side. Now, we prune the muscadines first, then move to the muscadine hybrids (we may even be pruning the first marketable seedless muscadine! How exciting is that!) then finish the rest of the vineyard. What this means, is that we prune the hardest 'stuff' first and then it gets easier and easier. By the time you are over the soreness, it's a breeze and at the end, it is a piece of cake.

We finished the muscadines today, and tomorrow start the hybrids. The last few days have been unseasonably hot. Everyone else is saying how wonderful it is. When you prune muscadines by hand, you are covered head to toe; long pants, long sleeves, glasses and hats even if it is 80 degrees, which it has been. I don't remember pruning when it has been this hot. I would prefer it 15-20 degrees cooler.

What dies this have to do with food? Everything. It's what you have to do to get food on the table, if you're not one of the buy-everything-from-the-supermarket types and farm. And, if you want to eat, you have to plan around it, especially for really busy times like this. Yesterday, at one of our breaks, I put a turkey breast in the oven on a timer. Our oven can be timed to cook it for a length of time and then hold it. We had turkey with mashed potatoes and butter beans. On the way to the store, the next night, I stopped to drop off something at the neighbors and they invited us to stay. We had surf and turf: grilled steaks, twice baked (stuffed) potatoes, broccoli and left over desserts from our party, mainly mousses and truffles. Then it was turkey pot pie

and Italian wedding soup

with the turkey leftovers. Yum! All wonderful comfort food for the return of cooler weather.

The recipe for Italian Wedding Soup is on the website. I'll try to get around to putting the Pot Pie Recipe on their as well in the next day or so as well as adding some vineyard shots.

Until then, Cheers!

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  • At 1:29 PM, Blogger Katie said…

    I hate pruning!
    It's not bad on warm, sunny, dry days but today was windy and cold. I only have around 500 vines to do, so I know I shouldn't complain....it's just so boring.
    If only I'd remember the ipod before I get to the vines....
    Happy March,
    With empathy...

  • At 12:32 PM, Blogger Pookah said…

    Thanks Katie,

    I really don't mind it unless it is cold and windy. We've had a few days that were perfect and it is nice being outside! But it is hard work, especially the muscadines, which are done, except for tying. We estimate that we have maybe thousands to do....


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