Archive for January 10th, 2010

Fun things from the White House

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

What a garden at the White House does for us!

Gives us an Iron Chef episode where the challenge is revealed by Michelle Obama, “the “Secret Ingredient” was the White House Kitchen Garden and the challenge was to create meals that were fresh, healthy and uniquely American”

The White House Kitchen Garden is a perfect example of how easy it is to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables. It costs less than $200 to plant the garden and in the past few months it has already yielded over 1,000 pounds of produce. We use this fresh produce in meals for the First Family, in dinners for foreign leaders and we donate a good portion of it to Miriam’s Kitchen, a nearby soup kitchen.  The garden is a constant reminder for me that fresh fruits and vegetables really do taste better!

read the full post by White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford >

Gives us a crazy indulgent gingerbread house featuring the vegetable (video) >

And, gives us great examples of the kinds of foods that can be grown through the winter under simple structures

Over the past few weeks, we have worked to prepare the soil for the planting of the winter garden.  We are able to extend the growing season by using a simple, inexpensive cover called a high tunnel or hoop house.  A hoop house simply amounts to a series of metal bars set in a row over one of the beds, and a fabric or plastic pulled tight around the bars.  As the sun warms the garden during the day, the fabric traps the heat in, keeping the plants from freezing overnight.  Although there are many kinds of plants that aren’t able to grow even in the hoop houses, we are thrilled to have so many delicious things growing at this very moment!

We have planted spinach, lettuce, carrots, mustard greens, chard and cabbage, and we will add a few more varieties in the next couple weeks. I especially look forward to cooking with the spinach.  Winter spinach is extra sweet.  Sugar doesn’t freeze, so spinach produces extra sugars in the winter to protect itself from frost.  It tastes almost like candy.  We are going to make soups, salads and, of course, Chef Comerford’s famous cream-less creamed spinach.

read the full post from Sam Kass, assistant chef and the Food Initiative Coordinator >