July 31, 2008

Back in the Garden

We were back in the garden last night and starting to feel a little return to normality. Thank you so much to all of you who have written and especially for the prayers. We still have lots of details to work out with the car situation, but one step at a time will do it. Below is a link to a photo album with pictures of the car and flooded area in case you want to peek. Click on the first photo and you'll be able to see the captions and go through the album.

Here are some oddities from last night's garden take:

It's strange to be getting so many snow peas at the very end of July. No complaining though, just noting that these are normally a much earlier crop and they are very sweet and crisp. These cucumbers are actually supposed to be white and are called "Pearl". I'm still a little freaked out by them and I don't know if I'll make weird pickles with them or not! These artistic looking curly peppers are part of a variety seed pack (which we will not do again!) and they are fire cracker hot. DH and I both tested them and suffered just a little!

Speaking of oddities from the garden, my sister-in-law out in CA told me that her zucchini plants are behaving normally, unlike our sluggish one, and she is now picking zucchini that are so big her dog barks at them when she brings them up to the house!!

Over the weekend we ate well from the garden again. DD made her wonderful Asian marinated cucumber salad for us, which uses only rice wine vinegar, water, toasted sesame oil, and a little sweetener. I made the Caprese salad I'd been anxious to do since our first little cherry tomatoes were ready to enjoy! I made the salad with our globe basil and some tiny fresh mozzarella balls called "perlini", plus olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

We also enjoyed homemade Pad Thai, which uses any assortment of veggies and meat you have on hand. Other than having the right kind of Thai noodles, the most important thing is figuring out the sauce recipe that you like. It takes just a few unusual ingredients, which are well worth hunting down and they last for a long time as well. We've experimented a lot and have come up with this recipe for sauce: 1/4 C fish sauce; 1/4 C soy sauce or tamari; 1/4 C tamarind sauce; 1/2 C white vinegar; 1/4 C sugar; 2 tsp. chili paste; 2 tsp. paprika - stir well.
The basic method is to stir-fry your veggies and meat, then add the sauce and bring to a boil, then add your noodles (which have been softened in water first), and cook until the sauce is thickened up and absorbed by the noodles to your liking. The toppings we like are fresh bean sprouts or cucumber matchsticks, unsalted peanuts, lime juice, and fresh cilantro.

We're about to enter a new phase in the garden and rototill one large section where most things are done for the season-the beets, broccoli, lettuce, etc. Then it will be time for sowing some fall crops. We're still waiting on most of the tomatoes to ripen, and the corn, lima beans, and green beans to be ready. When the green beans are ready I'll be trying out my lovely Aunt D's recipe for the slow cooker which is green beans, onion, turkey bacon, and diced potatoes all simmering away together - yummmmm! Now when the CORN is ready, you won't hear from me for a few days!

Well, this is all then.

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