Monday, April 23, 2012

More from the vegetable garden...

It is so exciting to watch a vegetable garden grow!  I can see my little corner of the gardening world from my bedroom window...didn't really intend to do that but so glad I did.  Every morning, I open the shades and it makes me smile to see how happy all of the plants are.  I must get tomato cages this week or my tomatoes will be close to out of control but I really want to find just the right ones and haven't seen them yet.  There they are at the top end of the photo...I promise to get up close and personal with all of the plants for the next post but wanted you to get the whole picture.  In the foreground are beets.  I have been thinning them like mad but they insist on multiplying so we should have lots and lots of beets with goat cheese, sauteed beet greens and beet salads.  I grew up thinking there were only pickled beets in jars, that bright magenta!  A color that truly does not exist in nature!  But I discovered how delicious beets can be when roasted until just tender and then tossed with other wonderful flavors like vinaigrettes and cheeses (especially goat).  I have people in classes who cringe at the thought of beets but never say anything until after they have tasted the ones we make in class.  Then, it's...I don't like beets but these are so good!  So...get ready to try my beets, we will be having them in class!   
Now this picture is really exciting!  There are beautiful peppers (red bells and poblanos), butternut squash and a cucumber plant (only one because they go crazy) at the top of the photo.  Next down are rows and rows of my favorite...arugula!  I can't wait to start the harvest and believe me, there will be lots!  It is so wonderful in salads but is sublime...not wimpy like spinach but has that lovely peppery bite that stands up to beef and lamb and then blends beautifully with fish and poultry.  DIVINE!  Next to the arugula...carrots!  They are in need of thinning so I will be in the carrot bed tonight and whoever is walking through my vegetable patch (Mr. Squirrel)...I will be on the lookout for you!  Closest to the bottom, radishes that have been thinned and are growing like ca-razy!  The plant is a second butternut squash...hoping for squash blossoms to stuff, yummy!

And, now the lovely herb container garden.  That's Greek oregano on the right in front then next to it and behind, basil that I have already trimmed once...I see pesto in my future and in my freezer, next is sage.  If you haven't used fresh sage in soup or on pizza or in your Thanksgiving dressing, you need to get some and go for it.  Wonderful heady and earthy pine fragrance...and it will remind you of the holidays.  Last but definitely not least, my friend, rosemary.  I have a very funny (ironic) rosemary story where a chef friend of mine insisted that my rosemary plant was lavender and even had me smell it and then said...see, it's lavender!  Well, no, honey, it ain't lavender and if you think it is...turn in your chef's coat, right away.  So there you have it...Week Two of the vegetable adventure!  Stay tuned for next week...

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