It's a little late, but I thought I would finish my series on gardening.
If you remember there was:
Finally, there is the all important, fertilizing… aka The Compost Pile.
Until I actually started my own compost pile I thought compost was a smelly pile of garbage one kept behind the garage.
Now I know better.
Compost, done correctly, doesn't smell.
It can be kept right on the kitchen counter if you like.
This will be a short post; composting is simple.
First: What goes in the compost pile?
This includes scrapings from your dinner dishes except as below.
From the garden: All of the trimmings and clippings from your vegetable and herb garden, all annual weeds that have not seeded, plus the occasional load of grass clippings from the lawn mower.
Second: What does NOT go in the compost pile?
From the garden: No perennial weeds, annuals with seeds or anything with a thick stem that will take a long time to decompose.
Third: Where should you put the compost pile?
They should be on bare ground and be enclosed with a wire mesh or cage. You use the first one for 6 months, just dumping everything on the top.
At the end of 6 months you start using the second one.
If you're ambitious, take a pitchfork or stick and turn or stir up the first one about a month after you stop using it, and again in another 2 months… Or not.
The first compost pile will be ready for your garden in 6 months, at which time you stop using the second one and start over at the first.
I keep a plastic bowel under the sink that I scrape everything into as I cook, taking it out to the pile every few days.
And that's it!
To reward yourself for a job well done – try some tender grilled chicken breasts with tangy mustard sauce….
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Mustard Sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup (8oz, 240gr) chicken stock
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) sherry or vermouth – whatever you have on hand – even white wine would work
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp mustard seed
4 tbs (2oz, 60ml) Greek or plain yogurt
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard – yes, another tbs.
Combine stock and sherry in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until reduced to about 1/3 cup. Whisk in mustards, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in Greek yogurt.
Mix 1 tbs Dijon mustard with 1 tbs olive oil and spread on chicken breasts. Cook on barbecue grill for 10 – 15 minutes or until done. Remove from heat, slice and serve with sauce. Or can be baked for 20 – 25 minutes 400F or sauté for 15 – 20 minutes - in all cases until done. See techniques if you have questions.