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What to make for dinner tonight

Here’s a list of things I bouncing in my head, just not feeling inspired to actually do it…

-curry lentil cakes (I should probably share this recipe with you) to fill up the hamburger buns we have
-something with green beans and potatoes from the garden… but I’m all out of feta
-something with the 3 small red tomatoes growing in the front yard
-black bean/zucchini/corn tacos, except I don’t have any of the newly picked and shelled black beans cooked up yet
-buttermilk corn chive popovers, but what to have with them? (if only my children thought tomato salad was delicious)

-uhhhhhh… your thoughts?

Beans are here!

A Bean!

This weekend we noticed that a couple early beans are a ready. There are lots of blossoms, so we will be rolling in beans shortly. The one pictured is a provider bush bean. Looking at our pole beans we will have a bunch soon.


Rhubarb peeking out from the leaf mulch.

Did we mention that rhubarb is loved around our house?

We have some friends with a giant patch of rhubarb. Every time we see them they tell us to come over and cut as much as we can. For a while we will keep doing that, but hopefully we won’t have to in a few years.

When we moved in five years ago we transplanted  a couple rhubarb plants to our backyard, but they never did well. I think there wasn’t enough sun, plus they’re choked out by the oregano. Earlier this month we transplanted some more, but this time to the front yard. We planted them right when it was really hot, and a few days later the leaves we all brown and dead. Bummer.

But then a week later Bridgit tells me that a few are sprouting tiny new stalks and leaves. Now, a couple weeks more and they are all looking great!

If you’ve got rhubarb ripe for the picking, try your favorite rhubarb-strawberry pie, but swap out the strawberries for some mulberries (they grow like crazy in out town), and cut down on the sugar just a smidge. And if you’re feeling wild, add a quarter teaspoon ginger. Or go simple and stew together rhubarb, mulberries, a pinch of salt, some ginger and sugar to taste with the juice of a lemon. Cook it up until it thickens, let it cool and spread it on some toast. What a way to wake up!

Still weeding

Onions, carrots, and potatoes in the foreground.

This past weekend we got a bunch of work done in the annex garden. We had nice weather and spent about six hours over two days. We got everything weeded. between the corn and bean plants, and the second planting of carrots.

The most work was hilling the rows of potatoes. I had to keep alternating between hilling and weeding carrots.

Bridgit in the Garlic

We also noticed the presence some pests. We had a couple of plants picked clean from Potato Bugs so we spent some time doing a sweep and kill operation. Also our beans were getting hit by deer. We had delayed getting the fishing line fence up, but it is up now.

We did a bit of planting and got some broccoli and carrots in. I also cut scapes of most of the garlic and made some pesto out of them.

Plants coming up and more stuff planted

This past weekend we planted about 12 lbs of seed potatoes. That should yield about 120 lbs of crop. It worked out to about 160 feet of rows. We also got some of our broccoli and cabbage seedlings in the ground.

Our peas are growing tall and we can’t wait to start eating snap peas!

The other seedlings (mainly tomatoes and eggplant) are getting huge, we need to up-pot them before the time comes to put them in the ground in a few weeks.


Luckily at our home garden we haven’t had many pest problems. At our annex garden we have. My parents house is surrounded by a few hundred acres of woodlands for animals of all sorts to live in. Deer, raccoon, turkey, opossum, skunks, bugs, birds, it is all there. Last summer I watched a flock of wild turkey walk into the garden and hang out with the watermelons. They ate some bugs, enjoyed the freshly turned dirt and then left. A couple years ago we had pole beans decimated by deer, and last year had our corn ravaged by raccoons. (more…)

On Anticipation (Gaudete Sunday)

I just read this post at Dinner A Love Story about anticipation. She lays out how we have lost so many opportunities for anticipation in everything from food to phone calls. Her readers point out other losses, including having to wait for the Christmas Special. “Back in the day” TV specials came when they came, and if you missed it, as I often did, you had to wait until it came around again next year. Our kids don’t have to wait for much. They don’t even have to wait for 10AM to see sesame street. But this is one of the advantages of the garden that I pondered as Eli has helped plant peas in mid-March. He won’t even begin to see the results for 2 weeks when the first little sprouts peek out their heads. The good stuff doesn’t happen until mid-May, when I stop double checking to make sure they’re eating their vegetables, because the vines are picked clean every day. For this house, cucumbers only come when it’s hot, or when you’re at grammy’s. And while they’re always excited when someone serves strawberries, our kids recognize the ones from the farmers market (or better yet, the you-pick place) are in a whole different league.

But frankly, vegetables are not in their minds right now. Right now, the focus is Christmas. Today we light the third advent candle, and… it’s PINK! Gaudete! Joyous Sunday! The time is near. Or near-er, anyway. Last year was the first year Eli’s head wrapped around the idea of the advent candles. Every day for a week he wanted us to light a second candle. We finally thought to say, “We can’t light the second candle until we see it lit at church.” We could practically see a little light bulb switch on: this is going to take a while. And it did, and Christmas came, and we celebrated the birth of Jesus, and we tried to do more nice things to bring Him into the world just a little more. And we ate a lot of food. And we opened presents. And we enjoyed time with family and friends. And a few days later, we opened the seed catalog and asked what we should plant this year. “PEAS!” Let the anticipation begin.

Tons of stuff from the garden

This morning we spent a bit of time before it got too hot doing some stuff in the garden. I did some tomato plant wrangleing and it looks like we are going to have tomatoes coming out of our ears soon. We harvested the first couple eggplant. It has been really hot here for the past week or so and our basil started to go to seed. Bridgit headed that off by snipping off the top of the plant and I made the first round of pesto this afternoon. I made an ice cube tray worth and then noticed that I had left a third of the basil in the salad spinner. Bridgit is going to put it into bread for dinner

This combined with the Potatoes, carrots, beets, onions and beans that have started to become ready means we are in for a good harvest this year!

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