Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Afternoon...

Long sunny days ......long warm days....and I get lazier and slower....but a person has to eat! the garden is giving me potatoes, carrots, beans, radishes, beets, turnips, lots of greens...kale, lettuce and all the tops from beets and turnips too.

a fire to cook on outside is always tempting since the kitchen is hot and who wants to turn on the stove... the other day I chopped garden potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, kale, greens, beans and some organic frozen corn and peppers and boiled it for an hour with some vegetable bouillon, cayenne pepper, regular ol' pepper (don't take it for granted...it's a good thing to toss in), and some dried thyme.
After an hour of simmering, I mixed some pancake mix with a bit of milk in a bowl, and dropped tablespoons of dough in the boiling soup, and walaa! Dumplings!
I learned that from mom...drop in lumps of dough and you thicken the soup and add a side dish all at the same time. At the end of simmering your soup, drop in dumpling dough, and cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. With all that yummy goodness from the garden, we topped the late  dinner with ice cream and pie. And Screwdrivers!

Here's what I planted in late spring, so I was thrilled to pull some tasty homegrowns the other day and eat....

I had to pull out the peas, and chop back the swiss chard, the kale and the pak choi....the hot weather is not a friend to them. Everything got watered deep and also got a douse of organic fertilizer.

The tomato plants are growing tall, and so are the sunflowers and the corn. The squash has blossoms....late summer is gonna taste great.

I love being barefoot in the kitchen in summer.....and I set up a cooking area outside. It is so cool,  (weather-wise and mood wise), to set a frying pan on the barbeque to fry some oysters and serve them with a cold green salad plucked from the garden in the morning.

Here's a look at the garden in early June. The lychnis, the shasta daisies, the nasturtiums, and the tomatoes planted on teepees made from branches cut from the winter damaged black locust trees...

Late last winter I set cardboard out on the sunny part of the lawn to kill the grass so I could plant tomato plants. I covered the ground with lots of manure and compost, covered it with cardboard and  then I put lawn clippings on top of that after the first mowings of the spring. Then, I cut a hole in the cardboard, set in my tomato plants, and fashioned teepees with branches wired together at the top.

One leg is held in place with an 18" length of iron rebar to hold them in place. This method is great for lazy er, busy gardeners. The cardboard/mulch arrangement holds in water and prevents weeding!
I water every 2 weeks by putting a trickling hose near the base of each tomato plant for about 10 minutes and also fertilize the ground right at the base of the plant. As the plant grows, I gently tie it to the branch. I have lots of blossoms and sooooon I'll have tiny tomatoes........and then Big Tomatoes.........Homegrown Tomatoes!!!!

Screwdriver: Simple. in a canning jar pint glass of orange juice, organic please ...oh a simple little thing...OJ, then I squish basil or mint leaves in the OJ with my fingers (I'm lazy), then add an ice cube or 2, a splash of lemonade, then pour in a jigger or 2 of vodka....the herb oil/leaves add a bit of extra tastiness to the summer Screwdriverand sip slowly in the shade.....