July 2, 2008

First Fruits

Here begins my third blog! The first one helped me through a tough life passage and the second one was to keep family and friends updated on our move to Iowa two years ago. Both of those blogs were a little preachy probably, so this one is intended to be simpler and mostly about what we're growing and eating in our garden. Along the way I'll share our personal growth experiences when the mood strikes me.

This year has been VERY wet in Iowa as you've no doubt seen in the news. We were spared any real trouble and our sump pump did the trick. We feel very blessed! So we're using that as our excuse for our slow start on gardening for 2008 - hee! We do have lots of lettuce and spinach and it's been great. I also learned how to thin beets and use the greens that get pulled out. Last night I added them to a bean and ham soup that was delicious. I love the "Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special" cookbook and they're big on the soup, salad, and bread meal combo. If we do this for supper I like to make the salad special so I added cucumber, toasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese to our lettuce, and dressed it with
Ken's Vidalia Onion Lite dressing. I baked some Rhodes multi grain frozen rolls (which are addictive) and we had a feast! Aren't these beet greens gorgeous?!

I'm big on using what's ready in the garden and not letting anything go to waste. I don't mind canning and freezing, but it's so nice to eat it fresh and try vegetables we haven't eaten before. One of my very favorite tools for helping with this goal is an old book I discovered last year - "Joy of Gardening Cookbook" by Janet Ballantyne. I got it in the used book section from Amazon.com and it's worth a hundred times the $4.48 I paid for it! I even bought a second copy for my aunt and uncle who have an amazing garden that I'll write more about tomorrow. Janet B. gives a wealth of information on growing, harvesting, keeping and cooking a huge variety of vegetables. I highly recommend the book.

I'll end this first post, and all others, with my grandmother's famous line - "Well, this is all then."

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